Tom’s cut-a-way Lightsaber Model - Graflex

thd9791

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Does anyone remember who made the original lightsaber mode for the visual dictionary? I DEFINITELY talked to him on here and can’t find or remember it.

Anyway, inspired by his work, I started my own. I don’t know how he made the “boxes” or the black sections but I’ve collected random parts for the better part of a decade… and have always wanted to make these. I used his setup for the general “parts” of a saber.

I did not cut up a graflex, don’t worry. I had a failed attempt at a Luke motorized stunt lying around. This meant the red button and glass eye holes were already there. I reshaped the top, cut it in half and sectioned a little bit for the top section of a graflex socket to sit comfortably with some glue.

I started by going to my local fossil and mineral store for crystals. I bought a Fluorite Pyramid and a piece of quartz, and sat with a HUGE pile of parts just fitting things together. I went through a few variations… I ended up using an old meta hair curler for the main tube… an exactra circuit board and some bread board for the center… random calculator board for the clamp (yes I cut a replica clamp) and some spacers and an old chrome car radio knob for the quartz piece. Pyramid is held in with some random piece I saved for this purpose, 4-40 thread and a hard drive bushing.

Power cell is a piece of aluminum round bar.. I did away with my first idea of using a soda syphon thing.. just didn’t “flow” design wise.

Does anyone have a broken bubble strip replica? Any broken red button replicas? I want to cut those in half too…

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Recognize the V8 camshafts?! There’s also a hand telescope piece under the Fluorite… it was interesting trying to get everything to “float” in the middle of the tube. That was tricky.. I used E6000 glue for everything so far and I ended up putting extra components under the upper tube to brace it.

Milliput it curing around the power cell. I want to paint that black.. trim the bottom on a belt sander.

Do I use two red buttons and add screws to the grips? I really want to cut a replica bubble strip in half so maybe not…

Ooh I’m also proud of the 7 IC transistors I glued into the rim of the tube! I was thinking… something to run signals from the 7 bubbles to the lightsaber innards!
 
The top of the tube is one of those graflex glass eyes that had a cable in it…. Lathed on a drill press. Also.. Super6Props T track and I belt sanded one side of the “flat” off of the ones on the edge of the tube!

It is the same length as the ANH saber
 
Made originally by Don Bies, artoo77 for the Star Wars Visual dictionary.

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Mr. Bies suited up as Boba Fett for the special edition of ROTJ

Early inspiration for the cutaway sabre most likely came from the 1978 book Mechanismo.

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Looking good Tom, keep going!
 
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Is it too late to scoop out the plumber's epoxy? That's the only thing I don't like about it. It get you're going for insulation but I'd used actual fiberglass matting or foam insulation at that point, and maybe cut something from copper or brass sheet to make a faux metal conducer core or something hide it some more. You can never cram in enough junk, Tom!
 
Is it too late to scoop out the plumber's epoxy? That's the only thing I don't like about it. It get you're going for insulation but I'd used actual fiberglass matting or foam insulation at that point, and maybe cut something from copper or brass sheet to make a faux metal conducer core or something hide it some more. You can never cram in enough junk, Tom!
This is very good advice.

I took a closer look at Don’s model above and I almost can’t believe it - the copper insulation is peeling away from the lathed aluminum core. Almost like it was flexible material.

I had fantasized about pouring resin around the core but didn’t like the idea of trying to hand-mill the surface.

Also - some of my issue isn’t immediately visual. None of the parts, save the hard drive spacer, are the same diameter of the tube. So.. getting them to sit in the center of the tube was tricky! Brian is right, some brass layering would have been really neat actually.. last night I sat with an xacto knife set and chipped away at the putty. I have some brass strip and paint and I think I’m going to completely coat the surface, maybe in two stripes

These pictures are terrible and there is glue everywhere but I added some pocketwatch parts and I absolutely love them
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Nice work Tom :)
Always wanted to offer that cut away graflex! I hope I get the time someday.
What you call cooper insulation peeling off, I always thought was wood, I'll check later when on my computer if I see it better on another image.
 
this is the highest resolution image I had on my computer, to me the insulation around the power cell has always been wood in my mind, but now that you said copper, I'm confused, I don't know, I feel it's wood and they would have used wood as copper would be super hard to machine into that or be deformed like this...
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As a matter of fact, this was one of my very first lightsaber- related prop builds about 20 (!) years ago :)

There was a run of these about 8-10 years ago as well.

Here‘s my early attempt at the cut away:

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eethan: With regards to the "insulation"...I used -brushed- copper sheet and simply stamped the rectangles into it.
 
this is the highest resolution image I had on my computer, to me the insulation around the power cell has always been wood in my mind, but now that you said copper, I'm confused, I don't know, I feel it's wood and they would have used wood as copper would be super hard to machine into that or be deformed like this...
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Dang I’ve looked at this image a lot growing up, and now that you mention wood I can’t unsee it. It certainly would be fairly easy to make a wooden insert…
 
Okay I did a few more things. I painted the putty a few times, ran some wires inside brass tube along the rim (dug out a channel with diamond grinding bits) and used some leftover gold paint from my Ep1 Obi Wan. Since the original model had brass cylinders up top…

I opted not to go with the random circuit boards behind the buttons. Instead I glued pocketwatch parts up near the socket, painted them to match and ran wires with super glue!

I did some other sloppy black washes, I think to the main tube if I remember correctly…. I cut up some styrene and painted it to make the second layer of the power cell housing…. it’s an interesting art project to stare at and keep fiddling with
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"Recognize the V8 camshafts?!"
Yes! I was going to say it's a good thing you upgraded those, so your saber will have a better lope at idle!
[hijack] It occurs to me that the programmable sound boards could allow one to make a lightsaber that sounds like a big-block drag racer.[/hijack]

We now return you to the regular thread, already in progress. ;)
 

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