T-TRACK GRIP PROJECT

Discussion in 'Replica Props' started by GINO, Jul 10, 2005.

  1. GINO

    GINO Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I have put together a completed CAD drawing for the profile of the T-track used on sabers and blasters.
    I based it on photographs of film used pieces that were visually clear.
    IF there were different types of t-track used then so far I have't seen any clear profile views of it, that's why I went with what we DID have.

    Is there anyone here who can have this extruded in some plastic?
    I have the completed drafting that I can send or email to whoever can make this happen.
    Here is a viewer friendly version of the drawing with solid color and without all the dimensions.
    Also here are some of the photo references that I used.



    [image]http://home.comcast.net/~ryu-kumon/gino/grip_ref.jpg[/image]
     
  2. TheRealMcFly

    TheRealMcFly Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    This definitely exciting. Great work Gino... I was going to mention a few overlooked details in our T track profiles in the other thread. You have definitely done it right, this is the one.
     
  3. acerocket

    acerocket Well-Known Member

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    I don't know many places that do extruding, but you could try emachineshop.com. I have never used them but have heard other people who say they do nice work.
     
  4. laszlo

    laszlo Sr Member

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    Gino - that looks good to me too - though the radius on the base looks way to big to me.

    You are going to get the grips riding too low - which has always been the problem with the grips we have been using up until now. I am still chiming the same thing - Flat Bottoms ;)
     
  5. GINO

    GINO Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I used to think flat bottoms as well. However if you look in the photos above, you can clearly see there is a curve cut out on the bottom. Also, the curve looks large lookin at the profile by itself but once you put it atop a 1.5" diameter, the gap is very slight just like in the above photos.
     
  6. Treadwell

    Treadwell Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Based on those pics, it looks to me like the transition from the T-bar to the flat base is much more gradual on the right side than on the left.
     
  7. Dewy

    Dewy Well-Known Member

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    Looks pretty good. I don't see why we needed an entirely new thread but I guess it makes no difference.

    Also- I'm not entirely convinced the grip 'fins' were taperd and I agree, at least in your drawings, the radius cut out from the base looks to large.
     
  8. GINO

    GINO Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I tweaked the drawing ever so slightly and added the 1.5" saber body so illustrate the grip situated on the body. You can see the gap but when at 1:1 scale, it is as thin as a fingernail.
     
  9. TheRealMcFly

    TheRealMcFly Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I realize I'm gonna get jumped for saying this, but I'd rather have the bottom channel match the mating surface. Perhaps the taper is slightly too much. Seems the ROTJ grips show less of a taper than the Barbican, but it definitely does taper... good eye.
     
  10. GINO

    GINO Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Question is, does the drawing match the photos?
    I am going for a non idealized version. I want it to be as close to the real thing as possible.
     
  11. TheRealMcFly

    TheRealMcFly Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I totally understand, I think the new tweaked drawing does match the photos. Regardless of channel raidus, I am very excited about this project and will definitely be picking up a few sets (should these be fully realized.)
     
  12. Dewy

    Dewy Well-Known Member

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    After inspecting the Barbicon grips it does look like a slight taper but only on one side of the grip the other looks either very slightly tapered or straight (going against accuracy I'd like to have them symmetrical). So IMHO either a slight taper or straight would be fine.

    Gino- Seeing your grip on the 1.5" circle (saber body) helps to put things into perspective. Looks pretty * good.

    Lets get these suckers made (hopefully in massive quantities so we can get them cheap). Any ideas where we can get these made? I wouldn't mind having them extruded so everyone would have to cut their own lengths but if you ask me I think a lot of people would be much more prone to buying a set of six grips with the correct profile ready to attach to a saber... (With epoxy?)
     
  13. GINO

    GINO Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Now you're talkin'.

    I would want it to be in longer lengths so that they could be used for different sabers and blasters as well.
    Yep, epoxy.
     
  14. Dewy

    Dewy Well-Known Member

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    '

    Ahhh yes. Forgot about the Vader ESB/Blaster Market.... If these were made from a softer plastic (IE not brittle but more flexible) what would be the best way to cut/round/shape the edges? I'm thinking at this point some files and fine grit sandpaper. Maybe a boxcutter for the angle and files/sandpaper for the round?
     
  15. GINO

    GINO Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Rounding the edges is the easy part. Dremel, sandpaper, etc..
    I'm thinking that if you apply heat, you wouldn't have much trouble bending the plastic t-track for the blasters. I guess it depends on the resin used in the extruding process. If it is polystyrene, it shouldn't be a problem at all.
     
  16. Darth Lars

    Darth Lars Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Great that we have new pictures.
    I don't believe in the taper. I think what we see as taper on only one side could be warping - maybe because the saber has been lying down on that grip. ;)

    Another thing that would make it look like a taper, is that I do not think that the inner curves are circular. The curve looks more like an exponential curve to me.
    I also think the top of the fin should be slightly flattened.

    I would still like the edges of the base to be just a little bit sharper, and maybe it should also be just a little bit thicker - a 10th of a millimeter or so.
     
  17. GINO

    GINO Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I see a taper on both sides. Also, I think it would be highly unlikely that they would have been manufactured unsymmetrical.
     
  18. phase pistol

    phase pistol Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I. See. Four. Grips. B)
     
  19. Trallis

    Trallis Well-Known Member

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    it looks like each grip is different. some seem to have a wider slope
     
  20. Killdozer

    Killdozer Active Member

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    The question is... or may be... do we want a lot of people buying them... or do we want it done right?

    ;)

    KD
     
  21. GINO

    GINO Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    DONE RIGHT..
     
  22. dcarty

    dcarty Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Well that's the beauty of this project. To have it "Done Right" it should be mass-produced extruded plastic track. This way everybody wins :)

    Cheers and thanks for the good work,

    Dave C
     
  23. rhboyd

    rhboyd Well-Known Member

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    Don't you think one will follow the other?. If it's made right... and I mean RIGHT, then a lot of people will want them.

    -r.
     
  24. GINO

    GINO Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Agreed.
    So as I said, the completed drafting is ready to go. Who wants to pick up the ball and run with it?
     
  25. SethB6025

    SethB6025 Well-Known Member

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    I agree that it should be lengths of track, as opposed to ready-made grips. It lends itself to more than one project that way.
     
  26. laszlo

    laszlo Sr Member

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    I keep saying this but I have four types of different T track here and I think that whoever decides to run with this should pick up some samples of the material from me.

    It would help with type of plastic and colouring etc.

    Let me know.
     
  27. 3Tripnip

    3Tripnip Well-Known Member

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    Awesome project. I can draw the grip in CAD and get it CNC machined. Don't know if casting is a possibility, but I could get it made out of delrin, aluminum, whatever. Whatcha'll think?

    -Trip
     
  28. GINO

    GINO Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I already have the drawing in CAD and it is ready to go.
    What needs to happen is someone who has a contact with an extrusion house will take the CAD file, blueprint, (whichever the extruder prefers) and have a profile die machined.
    Think playdoh extruding playset.
    Because the die usually is specific to the extruding machine that is being used, we will need to find an extruder who is capable of having the custom die made as well as the actual extruding run.
     
  29. ssdesigner

    ssdesigner Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    GINO,

    I'm only asking because I honestly do not know but, didn't some of the T-Track on the sabers also have holes at the base of the stem that they would have used to put a small nail through to hold the T-Track down inside the drawer fixture?

    -Ss
     
  30. GINO

    GINO Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    You are correct Scott.
    There were holes staggered on both sides about a foot apart.
    Lonepigeon would be the one to consult about the exact specs.
    In regards to the original T-track, during the manufacturing process, the holes would have been a secondary operation after the initial extrusion took place. I figured that once we had the extruded track, we could put the holes in ourselves for those who want it.
     
  31. GINO

    GINO Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Anyone want to post some hi res shots of the t-track on a blaster that shows off the holes?
     
  32. Trallis

    Trallis Well-Known Member

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    i never saw the holes on any blasters. thats prety interesting.

    im a little confused though. when did the grips start being custom made as theory has said. I realize the grips are different from the ANH ones. however, i am wondering if the same grips were used in ESB or if they were the custom made ones
     
  33. GINO

    GINO Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I don't think we have any concrete proof that the grips differed at all from film to film. If I'm wrong, someone please post it.
     
  34. Trallis

    Trallis Well-Known Member

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    im also interested in knowing if anyone knows what the original grips were made out of. was it a firm rubber, or plastic, or metal?
     
  35. TheRealMcFly

    TheRealMcFly Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I thought rubber was out... and varying degrees of flexibile plastics in.
     
  36. Trallis

    Trallis Well-Known Member

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    ok thats what i was expecting
     
  37. Tyre

    Tyre New Member

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    what's up guys...

    HEY. send that cad file this way and i'll have a set of your grips printed for you in one hour. Seriously. Pictures of them on this thread in one hour...

    I don't know what you guys have your mind set on, and I havn't gone through the whole thread, but have you thought about resin cast copies? I'd ship you a few master grips and you could resin cast um'. It would be a lot cheaper than paying for the extrusion I think. PM me if you're interested... and BTW even if you don't go this route I'd still like to do a few quick renders of the grips for the thread. Send that profile this-a-way man.

    Later on
     
  38. Trallis

    Trallis Well-Known Member

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    after seeing this gentleman's halo pistol replica I have to say that sounds like a great idea.
     
  39. steveday72

    steveday72 Well-Known Member

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    I worked on an accurate grip material for several months around 1-2 years ago. I was talking to a company that makes the molding for arcade machines. Everything was looking good until they came back with a price per foot - which wasn't any cheaper than the stuff from Yoda's house. Very disappointing.

    Anyway, the odd thing I found out through my research, was that the grip material used in ROTJ (on Vader's saber and the redesigned EE-3 and E-11's) was different to that used on ANH and ESB. So be careful not to mistakingly confuse the two.

    IMHO, the profile you have shows the upright as being a little short and fat.

    My version was different, in that I was going for ever so slightly angled sides on the base, with a slight curve in the underside too. I tweaked it from the flat design so that it would conform to a 1-1/2" tube nicely (unlike the Yoda's House), without having the ugly curved base like the EDC version.

    Here is a couple of shots showing my last revision:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Hope your run ends up more successful than mine did.

    Good luck

    Steve
     
  40. GINO

    GINO Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    At this point, we haven't seen anything concrete to suggest that there were different grip profiles between the movies. There is controversy surrounding the originality of the grips on the Joiner/Kurtz saber.
     
  41. TheRealMcFly

    TheRealMcFly Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I agree, the sabers up for auction recently do not count as concrete evidence. Regardless of their origin, I'd rather have grips based the on a design from sabers that remained in the lucasfilm archive since filming.

    I'll drop this question again. Who has some good shots of the Ranch saber? I'd be interested to see what that edge connector looks like as well.
     
  42. Darkknight0667

    Darkknight0667 Sr Member

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    BUMP from about page 10 so that it doesn't get forgotten.
     
  43. Darth Lars

    Darth Lars Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    There must be someone who has taken a good shot of the saber at Celebration 3 ... Here is the best I have found on the 'net so far:
    Sir Steeve's Guide
     
  44. TheRealMcFly

    TheRealMcFly Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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  45. SethB6025

    SethB6025 Well-Known Member

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    I have a pic of the saber, but the grips are pretty blurry. (I took the shot head on) here it is: [​IMG]
    (edited to add picture)
     
  46. saberlover

    saberlover Well-Known Member

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    The smallest extrusion run I have been able to find is at least 800 feet as a sample, but I would still have to pay for all tooling... This project really doesnt lend itself well to manufacturing standards.

    I was thinking of machinging them in aluminum. To keep machining costs down, it would be cheaper to machine them without rounded ends. It wouldnt take anything to round the ends off with a file and sandpaper....

    Or my friend who owns a machine shop said he might be able to make an aluminum mold for casting them in a high grade urethane....
     
  47. g-force

    g-force New Member

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  48. TheRealMcFly

    TheRealMcFly Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Incredible, I should have known better... if someone is taking a close-up shot of the Ranch saber it muct be one of us, right?
     
  49. g-force

    g-force New Member

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    As promised:

    [image]http://www.wackychimp.com/uploads/Photo114copy.jpg[/image]
    [image]http://www.wackychimp.com/uploads/Photo119copy.jpg[/image]
    [image]http://www.wackychimp.com/uploads/Photo120copy.jpg[/image]
    [image]http://www.wackychimp.com/uploads/Photo122copy.jpg[/image]
    [image]http://www.wackychimp.com/uploads/Photo138copy.jpg[/image]
    [image]http://www.wackychimp.com/uploads/Photo139copy.jpg[/image]
    [image]http://www.wackychimp.com/uploads/Photo141copy.jpg[/image]
    [image]http://www.wackychimp.com/uploads/Photo144copy.jpg[/image]
    [image]http://www.wackychimp.com/uploads/Photo145copy.jpg[/image]
    [image]http://www.wackychimp.com/uploads/Photo146copy.jpg[/image]
    [image]http://www.wackychimp.com/uploads/Photo147copy.jpg[/image]
     
  50. GINO

    GINO Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Those grip profiles look just like the various vader saber grip profiles pictured earlier in this thread. I'm beginning to believe that ALL the grips had the same profile. So far, every grip we have clear pics of is the same profile.
     

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