Where can I find a machinist for a lightsaber commission?

Discussion in 'Star Wars Costumes and Props' started by red4, Apr 24, 2015.

  1. red4

    red4 Sr Member

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    I'm looking for a machinist preferably in the USA, but will consider other options.
    Here's my design. It is not meant to house any electronics.

    [​IMG]
     

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    Last edited: Apr 24, 2015
  2. Sni9er

    Sni9er Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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  3. red4

    red4 Sr Member

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    Per your recommendation, I sent them a message. I do prefer machinists working in the USA though, to keep the shipping price down.
     
  4. KaanE

    KaanE Sr Member

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    How is the Rebelscum owner named? I'm pretty sure he's a member here and he's from Texas. He has made, or at least knows, some machining.
     
  5. Sni9er

    Sni9er Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    ahh sorry you didnt state where you were in the world so i went with the best i know here haha
     
  6. red4

    red4 Sr Member

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    What is Rebelscum? Is that a website? Do you have a link?

    - - - Updated - - -

    That's okay. My location is displayed below my avatar though. Still, no problem. I may very well go with a European machinist if I have to.
     
  7. KaanE

    KaanE Sr Member

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  8. Drunkenmunkey

    Drunkenmunkey New Member

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    Check out LDM customs too!
     
  9. Anakin Starkiller

    Anakin Starkiller Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Draw it up in e-manchineshop's software and you can see what they'll quote you
     
  10. Clutch

    Clutch Master Member

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    Good luck. I couldn't get a small threaded pipe machined without spending a small fortune.
     
  11. red4

    red4 Sr Member

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    Not to go too far off topic, but I actually contacted a local professional machine shop and they said my design would cost $900.
     
  12. red4

    red4 Sr Member

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    Thanks for the suggestion. I actually tried it, but that software is incredibly cumbersome for someone who has never used 3D drawing software. I used the tutorial videos, and spent about an hour trying to draw something remotely lightsaber-shaped, and ended up with nothing more complex than a coin shape.
     
  13. CT7567

    CT7567 Active Member

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    Cloudseeker custom sabers. I met this guy at celebration and saw some of his work and its phenomenal! I am currently in the process of ordering from him. Do a quick google search and you'll find his site.
     
  14. Robiwon

    Robiwon Master Member Gone but not forgotten.

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    Here is one I made on the MHS Builder site. Close to your for about $100.
     

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  15. red4

    red4 Sr Member

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    I've fine-tuned my design for 10 years, and looked into the MHS thingy several times. It just doesn't come close to what I want at all. For one thing, every piece in the MHS is far far too wide. It's like wielding a soda can as a lightsaber.

    I actually paid a machinist to make my design last year, but he deviated from my design in strange ways and without warning.
    The paint isn't the deviation - it's correct. The deviation is the number of rings in the central grip. Should be 8 instead of 7.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2015
    Scott D and JJ Griffin like this.
  16. SmilingOtter

    SmilingOtter Master Member

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    I wish my lathe hadn't gone tango uniform on me some time back - I could have done that in an afternoon. Sigh. :(
     
  17. cayman shen

    cayman shen Master Member

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    Email it to a high school machine shop, see if a kid needs extra credit or something.
     
  18. ARKM

    ARKM Sr Member

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    The pieces that make up the handles for MHS sabers are 1.45" in dia. 1.5" in the norm for completely custom sabers and most people consider that to be just fine. However not all hands are the same size so it's completely understandable if 1.5" dia. is too large for you.

    For custom sabers, your best bet is to visit the forums that are specifically for custom sabers such as Imperial Royal Arms or FX-Sabers. There are several sabersmiths on both of those forums who do commission work. For sabersmiths, on Imperial Royal Arms, you would look at the "Consortium Members" section and the" Imperial Armory" category in the "Armory Sales and Trades" section. On FX-Sabers you would check the "The S.A.B.E.R. GUILD: Saber Manufacturers" section and the "The Mining Colony" category in the "The Cloud City" section. I hope that helps.
     
  19. red4

    red4 Sr Member

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    That's like 3 times removed from what the phrase means. Impressive.
     
  20. 8 perf

    8 perf Sr Member

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    What are the dimensions for this drawing? I can show it to a guy I know here in North Carolina and see what he says.
     
  21. red4

    red4 Sr Member

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    The exact measurements aren't set in stone, but can be derived by scaling this http://i.imgur.com/6b9qgJh.png to 10 inches in length. It is drawn to proportion for the purpose of deriving accurate measurements.
     
  22. H380

    H380 New Member

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    1) If you are trying to get a quote from a non CNC hobby guy. You will need a set of drawings with measurements, angles and radii. What type of aluminum. The type of screws you want. The tolerance you want +/- .005 or +/- .030 etc.

    2) If you try a real machine shop you will need the above just not to get laughed out of the shop. If you get in the front door. You will need a CAD drawing or pay them to make one from your drawing. The shop should handle the CAM software. CAD file to Gcode for their specific machines and tools.

    For one offs most shops will charge by the hour. Around here its $150 to $200 a hour plus material, plus any setup fee, plus any special tooling they need to buy to make your part. Talk to the shop you can redesign your part to fit their tooling and save some money.

    Take those grooves for example. On a manual lathe the machinist will need to grind a tool by hand to cut that specific groove shape. He will need a long aircraft drill bit and a long small carbide boring bar to bore out the blade holder. Also the correct tap drill size bit, taps and countersink cutter for the screws. This is why a set of drawings is a MUST to get a quote.
     
  23. ARKM

    ARKM Sr Member

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    Nah. Just change the angle of the grove to 60 degrees and you can use a regular triangle shaped cutter. As for the emitter, if it's to have electronics, I would make the saber from three pieces, blade holder/emitter, handle and pommel. Those pieces can either be held together via screws or the parts can be threaded, similar to how the TCSS MHS parts are. If no electronics, just bore in 2". Either way, a simple 1" dia. (or whatever diameter you want) Silver and Deming drill bit will suffice. I tend to go a 1/16" smaller though and then bore out with a boring bar for better tolerances and a smoother finish.

    This saber is a really simple design and is exactly the type of design style I used to crank out back in the day. For me, it would be a breeze to build (once those groove angles were changed to 60 degrees like on a Luke RotJ). You should have no problem finding a sabersmith that can make this for you. If you need the parts threaded like MHS though to avoid visible screws, well, that will narrow down your choices of smith by quite a bit.

    On another note, if it helps, the pommel does not need to be nowhere near as long as it is. Part of that can be more of the handle material.
     
  24. 8 perf

    8 perf Sr Member

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    Yep. Prices and machinists needs as stated above are gonna be the norm for any reputable machine shop. As an alternative, I can tell you from experience that something simple like this could be 3d printed for somewhere between $100 and $150 out of sintered nylon, more if you wanted it cast in steel and polished. Don't know your budget, so just a thought.
     
  25. red4

    red4 Sr Member

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    I did contact a local professional shop, and they said it would cost $900. Not even close to being something resembling a viable option for me.

    The angle of the grooves is not set in stone, but they do need to be acute. So 60 degrees is entirely viable as long as these nuances are met: http://i.imgur.com/foLRMoG.jpg

    The reason I made the pommel so long is because I assume most machinists do not have very long tools for boring holes. By making the pommel separate where it does, the machinist can bore the hole from both ends using a tool roughly 4 inches long. I need the hollow shaft to be roughly 6.5 to 7 inches deep for the sake of reducing weight, as well as providing sufficient insertion for the stunt blade. I do not believe a shallow shaft of 1 or 2 inches is safe at all.

    Also regarding prices. My first custom hilt was made by RandomSabers. He charged me $65 for this: http://i.imgur.com/m65xcAy.jpg

    My second custom hilt was purchased last year. It is erroneous, but I don't want it to reflect negatively on the machinist because the majority of his work is excellent: http://i.imgur.com/QyTNbiC.png He charged $235 for it. It is nearly perfect; the errors it has would have been entirely avoidable if he had warned me ahead of time that my design presents certain obstacles that his tools could not overcome. The Covertec wheel is machined from stainless steel (I specifically requested that), which raised the price substantially. This time around, I want an aluminum wheel.

    3D printed hilts do not appeal to me at all. I do like 3D printing for certain things, but not for lightsabers. I love the look, feel, and weight of a real aluminum hilt. $150 is well within my budget, but I'd rather spend that money on custom machined aluminum.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2015
  26. ARKM

    ARKM Sr Member

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    Ah I see. What you might not know is that most saber smiths make a saber from at least 3 basic parts, the blade holder (otherwise known as the emitter), the handle and the pommel. 99% of the time the handle is made from hollow aluminum tube. As such, the handle does not need to be bored out in any way (unless adding internal threads). This allows for the handle to be as long as the saber smith's lathe can hold.

    As for blade depth, I can assure you that 2" is completely safe for extreme dueling. This goes for polycarbonate blades as well as texalium wrapped carbon fiber blades. Any other sabersmith will tell you the same. What Ryan Wieber did with his stunt sabers is fine and all but not all of it was necessary.
     
  27. red4

    red4 Sr Member

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    I considered that machinists start with a tube, but when drawing my design I'm not sure where to draw the emitter as a separate piece without adding a screw in a place I don't want it. I also know machinists press parts together in a vice, which ideally would negate the need for screws, but I know from experience that vice-pressed sections can separate with repeated blows. Therefore, I want everything anchored with screws. I may look into incorporating the set screw as an anchor for the emitter.

    Did you know real swords are made with full-tang blades? The metal of the blade forms the "skeleton" of the handle. I used the same mindset when I designed my hilt. The saber blade should enter the majority of the length of the hilt. This reduces the centrifugal forces on the blade because the hilt transfers energy into the blade more gradually. If the blade was only inserted about 2 inches, the transfer of centrifugal forces from the hilt toward the blade would be much more abrupt because the change in the consistency of the material is also more abrupt. There's a simple small-scale test to verify this. Hold the tip of a pen or pencil between the tips of your thumb and index finger, then whip the pen/pencil. It may or may not slip out of your grip, but you will definitely feel how precarious it is. Then, hold the pen/pencil between the tips of your thumb, index, middle, and ring finger all at once, and whip it. You might not feel any inertia in the pen/pencil at all; that's because the energy transfer was much more gradual, and put much less strain on the structural integrity of the pen/pencil. That doesn't mean I'm going to be whipping my lightsaber around fast and violently to make full use of the added stability - but it boils down to wanting to make my lightsaber right the first time. Also, I want the weight to be reduced. My erroneous hilt is about 95% accurate to what I wanted, and the weight is correct, but even still it's a little heavier than I prefer. Therefore, reducing the weight is ideal. A long hollow helps in that regard.
     
  28. ARKM

    ARKM Sr Member

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    What is your opinion of using metal epoxy (like J-B Weld for example) for attaching the emitter to the handle? I have had great results with it but never fully stress tested.

    I do indeed know about full tangs. I'm a sword enthusiast as well. (not in using them but when I was able to afford it, in collecting them). However I think you'll find that with the extreme lightness of a lightsaber prop blade when compared to the weight of a sword's steel blade, it negates the transfer of energy quite a bit. You might want to contact the TPLA about this topic. They are a group of lightsaber enthusiasts who focus on dueling as well as the best way to make a saber for dueling purposes. They could answer this particular question better than I. They take these topics very seriously and with a lot of hands on research. Here's a link to their facebook page... https://www.facebook.com/TerraPrimeLightsaberAcademy .
     
  29. red4

    red4 Sr Member

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    I don't know what JB Weld is, but if it doesn't actually fuse the metal sections together, it's effectively just glue, which always gives out because epoxies cure into a brittle state.
     
  30. ARKM

    ARKM Sr Member

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    True, all glues dry out and become brittle over time but metal epoxy (not to be confused with epoxies that state they can bond metals together) is known to last quite a long time when compared to clear epoxies. Some brands are even used for quick engine repairs during races (the type where you stop overnight and continue on the next day). Some metal epoxies consists of two parts, the steel (J-B Weld version looks black) and the hardener (J-B Weld version looks light gray). Both have a toothpaste like consistency. You mix them in equal parts (I use a toothpick). I have made a few stunt sabers with this stuff. It's very strong. I'm not saying that this is the best solution for your needs. It's just a suggestion.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2015
  31. H380

    H380 New Member

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    ***NO trolling or flaming intended. Just my opinion take it as such.***

    As someone who does machine work on the side I will point out the problem and why you got the $900 quote. The $900 was a politically correct middle finger. To make sure you never come back to that shop.

    You do not have dimensions anywhere on your rendering. In a machinist eyes you have no idea what you want. That is the problem. You have a dream. Machinist are not mind readers and do not own crystal balls. A blueprint is to a machinist as a purchase agreement is to an attorney.

    If you told me the handle is 12" long and 1.5" at its widest. I would need to sit down and do all the math and PIA BS to get all the dimensions in order to make that part. What if your drawing is not to scale in some places? Would you say about 2 hours to do all of that? 2 x $150 = $300 right there. Which is something you can do. A hand drawing with pencil and paper is ok to get started.

    As pointed out your drawing shows flat bottom grooves. I might suggest a #5 or #6 Acme thread tool which are 29 deg side angle, flat bottomed and common. The common 60 deg thread tool will leave a sharp V bottom. Look at a bolt. The depth of the grooves and side angle do matter. The deeper the groove the wider the top of groove becomes which then reduces the amount between grooves. Because math.

    A shop would also need to do a set up in a mill. To drill, countersink and thread all of the screw holes.

    That handle would be made of 6061 bar stock about $40 for about 24".
     
  32. ARKM

    ARKM Sr Member

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    If I were to make a groove like that, to achieve the flat bottom, I would just move the tuning tool from left to right to widen the gap of the groove. This would achieve the flat bottom using a sharp turning tool. One would just have to decide on how deep they wanted the groove to be compared to how much flat area they want at the bottom of each groove and make a compromise somewhere so that it will actually work.

    Easy enough to draw it out on graph paper. Most sabersmiths (as opposed to standard machinists) are used to working out the dimensions of a customer's blueprints themselves. Often all we get is a crude hand drawing or a crude workup in MS Paint.

    Man I'm just full of opinions tonight in this thread. Please understand that I'm only trying to be helpful.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2015
  33. red4

    red4 Sr Member

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    Actually, the image I sent to that shop had measurements everywhere. It was a much simpler design with only 4 slanted angles (one under the emitter, two in the choke, and one at the very end of the pommel). The rest of the angles were perpendicular to the hilt. I even used several zoomed-in views to show all the measurements of the thin grooves.
    I was as polite and neutral as possible in my message to them. I even told them I was open to discussion. Their very first reply said it would cost $900. If they were giving me a "politically correct middle finger", then they're just hostile to anyone who isn't a professional engineer.

    Also, when I said "machinist" in the opening comment of this thread, I don't strictly mean "a professional machinist". My use of the term means "anyone with the confidence, experience, and tools, and photos of their work." It's meant to encompass professional machinists as well as hobbyists.

    There are 2 reasons the current drawings do not contain measurements.
    1. I actually tried to take all the measurements, but the margin of error was getting worse and worse each time I took another measurement. By the time I stopped, about a centimeter had beed added to the hilt in terms of written numbers. The thickness of the tiny black marks on the ruler was actually affecting the measurements. If I had continued all the way through the entire hilt, the written measurements would have added up a whole new inch. The unacceptable margin of error was probably present in the old design that had many measurements, but I never added them up to verify. It only occurred to me to verify the measurements when I drew the new design, which was long after I got the $900 quote for the old design.

    2. I'm preferably looking to commission the hilt from someone who has experience making lightsaber hilts. Most of these artists preface their commission pages with disclaimers such as "I can't guarantee the finished product will be 100% accurate to your design. Please keep in mind I do this for the passion, and I need be able to interpret the details."
    I am completely fine with the conditions of those disclaimers. I don't need every minute detail adhered to with absolute precision. Therefore, there is little need to provide a measurement for every single detail - if I presented every detail to the artist, they would turn me away as being too picky. In fact, that's almost exactly what happened when I commissioned this http://i.imgur.com/QyTNbiC.png He sent me a progress photo which showed that he had cut 7 grip rings that took the space of the intended 8 rings, which are shown in my design. So I sent him this image http://i.imgur.com/rNFgQEo.jpg I was completely polite and professional in my wording in the message. I even told him the thickness issue of the emitter was not important, and that I only pointed it out to understand why it came out as thick as it did. The 7 rings, rather than 8, made less sense to me, but I was still polite. He responded by saying he would have never accepted my commission if he knew I was so picky and wanted everything exact.

    There are 2 measurements that I want the artist to adhere to with a margin of error of 3 millimeters (that is: 1.5 millimeters too large/long is okay, and 1.5 millimeters too small/short is also okay). I know lathing is a slow process, so my understanding is that most errors are easy to anticipate and therefore avoid.
    The 2 measurements are:
    - The width of the inner hollow should be 0.75 inch. (margin of error 1.5 millimeters up or down)
    - The widest part of the hilt, other than the emitter, should be 1 and 3/8 inches in diameter. (margin of error 1.5 millimeters up or down)

    The margin of error for the other details is very open, with the exception of the screw holes, which the artist/machinist is likely to realize on their own because screws won't work if the holes aren't made correctly.

    I don't like telling anyone how to do their work, but there is a simple way to transfer/derive the measurements from my drawing onto the aluminum stock. The artist/machinist can scale my drawing to 10 inches in length, print that on a sheet of paper, hold the printout against the aluminum stock as if the paper were a ruler, then mark the grooves onto the aluminum with a Sharpie. The depth and width of the cuts is at the discretion of the artist/machinist, hopefully with the intention to get the details visually right by eye.

    Are sabersmiths, as you call them, more interested in the written measurements, or in the visually marked details? Because if a sabersmith relies more on the visually marked details, then everything is already provided with a high degree of accuracy in this drawing: http://i.imgur.com/asR4pMI.png
    and an even higher degree of accuracy in this over-sized view: http://i.imgur.com/6b9qgJh.png

    EDIT: This is the design that was quoted at $900 by the local professional machine shop. Although the diagram I supplied them did not have the black sections. I no longer have the file with the measurements because it became obsolete. This picture is obsolete too, but it happened to still be on my computer.
    [​IMG]

    A comparison for posterity:

    [​IMG]

    Paint is just about the only thing I can do for my own lightsaber, so I created these images as a guide.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2015
  34. H380

    H380 New Member

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    Your issue in reason #1 is spot on. You are transferring that problem to the machinist. He must figure out all the math before he can cut anything. I would need to interpret, guess and make decisions. For me that is the hardest part of the job. A CAM drawing gives all of this automatically. Most machinist will not touch a job like this for one part. Too much time and headache for too little profit. A hobby guy might not have the skills and experience to get those measurements himself. Which is what happened in reason #2

    Reason #2 is a perfect outlook on your situation. You made that machinist interpret your dream. It looks like good workmanship, AGAIN if you had a real blueprint you would not have an argument. It eather measures exactly like the print or not. PERIOD. He made a decision you did not like. A print takes his decisions out of the mix and you get exactly what you want. No argument.

    Again Blueprints to a machinist = Contracts to an attorney. If it is not spelled out in a print or a contract it does not exist is the real word. It is like giving a carpenter only a picture of a house and say build me this. It might be built to code but will not be exactly what you want.

    My suggestion is to commission someone to make you a solidworks CAD file. Which automatically gives you all dimensions and is easy to make future revisions and you own it. It also allows you to also get quotes from CNC shops. Which might give you the best price.

    If you have any more questions I will try to answer them.
     
  35. H380

    H380 New Member

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    That is possible but will be hard to get every groove exactly the same. Just my opinion. I would take 20 minutes to a grind a HSS form tool. Make one plunge to the same depth and all groves will be the same size. Making the saber would be a very easy job except boring that deep hole. I would cut the hole in one setup from one end. You could drill 4" flip the part drill another 4" and the runout will be bad. You will still need to bore the hole. It will just add on another setup.

    If details matter a real blueprint is a must have so both parties are on the same page. Someone at some point must come up with real dimensions and if it is the shop you should have no whining. But we all know the opposite is the norm.
     
  36. red4

    red4 Sr Member

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    The sabersmith I commissioned has an impressive gallery on Facebook. He does all kinds of full-custom jobs, including LED blades and hilts with sound effects and lit crystal chambers; and all of his hilts are one-offs. He doesn't do any runs of anything. He doesn't simply modify MHS parts like a lot of sabersmiths do. There was every indication that he has the experience. The guy from RandomSabers operated in a very similar fashion.

    I got a quote from JQ Sabers today. More than $900.

    My question comes back to what I suggested about transferring the details onto the aluminum stock. Is it not a viable method to print the diagram to scale, align it to the aluminum stock, and mark the cuts on the stock with a Sharpie?

    EDIT: Here's a mock-up I did specifically for the Sharpie transfer technique. Let me know if this is even a viable idea.
    [​IMG]

    With this mock-up, you can either use the red lines, or fold the drawing in half on the dotted line and assign your own marks. My understanding is that it negates the need for actually taking measurements and writing numbers.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2015
  37. SkunkonToast

    SkunkonToast New Member

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    Personally as a metalworker I'd say $900 is daylight robbery. I think part of your problem may be that the guys you asked would be likely to CNC the hilt and therefore have to spend a couple of hours setting up the program and the machines. If you gave me some dimensions on your drawing I'd have a go for you I do all of my work manually and therefore work out a lot cheaper. I've not made a lightsaber before but have tackled many complicated turnings very similar in shape so I don't see any problems. I'd say price wise it wouldn't cost more than £150 (not sure of exchange rate sorry). You can check out my work here http://joebirtles.co.uk/gallery.html
    Its all just my interior design work mostly in brass but I do work with all metals I just don't have a lot of other pictures.
     
  38. red4

    red4 Sr Member

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    Would you also be able to do the perpendicular details, such as for the screws?
     
  39. RiotJavelinDX

    RiotJavelinDX Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Pretty common internet slang.
     
  40. H380

    H380 New Member

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    That is exactly the way Norm would turn down an Oak baluster for a stair handrail on a wood lathe. As much detail and accuracy you want. This approach will end up like your last saber. Tolerances stack up just like you said in your reason #1. Again these out of sight quotes are a PC "Get out of my face I do not want the job". Hell who knows some people might pay $1000.

    It should cost less than $50 for the raw bar stock. I think a fair price would be anything under $300 for the machine work only. So <$350 total. Couple hours to draw up a print another $300. Now $650 total.

    If you want it made cheaper you need to look and hope for a skilled fan hobbyist that will do a lot of work for you for free.
     
  41. ARKM

    ARKM Sr Member

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    That I'm not sure of. It depends on the smith. As for myself, I prefer written measurements on the blueprint similar to this... http://www.therpf.com/gallery/data/670/medium/LUKE_HERO1_EP6.jpg or this http://www.geocities.ws/mhtaylor67/images/cad/lukerotj.gif but I'm used to just getting a drawing. IMHO, your drawing is just fine for most smiths. They would print it to the scale you want (in this case, 10" long) and then use a ruler to determine all the measurements. Easy peasy.

    As for how to transfer the marks to aluminum, Once the blueprint it to scale, I either use a metal ruler like this one... http://i01.i.aliimg.com/wsphoto/v0/...bile-Ruler-Metric-scale-Level-Woodworking.jpg or a vinyl tape measure used in making clothes, like this one... http://i01.i.aliimg.com/photo/v0/1820276639/3m_body_vinyl_tailoring_tape_measure_120.jpg_220x220.jpg and measure the blueprint and then transfer that measurement to the metal. Usually the vinyl tape measure is only used on the metal to avoid unwanted scratches.
     
  42. red4

    red4 Sr Member

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    Basically I really need to get those measurements, right? I think I can do it, and assign certain "give" areas that can be compressed or elongated by the machinist to compensate for any measurements that add too much length. In other words, the length needs to be 10 inches, and the "give" areas will allow certain measurements to slide around within a certain tolerance to prevent the added up measurements from exceeding 10 inches. I hope this doesn't sound too convoluted.
     
  43. ARKM

    ARKM Sr Member

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    I'm not sure I'm understanding you right. Maybe the following is just a different way of stating what you already stated, lol...

    Let's say you fix the grooves to match a standard triangular cutting tool to overcome that one hurdle. Now you're ready to print it to scale. You keep changing the scale in the print options until it measures 10 inches long when printed. Now you have your blueprint. The blueprint is static once printed to the proper scale, meaning it does not change. That means you cannot possibly add all the different measurements up to be under or over 10" long unless you're really horrible at basic math. As long as you measure everything properly, it will always add up to 10". You then submit the blueprint to the machinist that way without making any note of any "give" areas. Now once the machinist has the blueprint in hand and examines it, if they say "Here's an area I don't think I can get exact. Is it ok if I make X part this way or Y Part that way?" then you work out those details together.
     
  44. red4

    red4 Sr Member

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    That's where the measurements go off kilter. If I don't place the ruler in exactly the same spot every single time I take a measurement, the slight shifts of the ruler add up, resulting in screwed up measurements. I basically have to glue the ruler to the paper to stop it from moving at all until every single measurement has been taken. For example, lets say I measure one of the rings in the central grip. All 8 are supposed to be identical; but lets say I only measure 1, and my ruler says it is 0.25inch. Then I multiply that number by 8, which yields 2 inches. Then I place the ruler on the paper to verify that it's actually 2 inches, and it ends up being less than 2 inches. My math was not wrong; the error is in the manufacturing process of the ruler. In fact, I have confirmed that many rulers are erroneous this way; so much that one brand of rulers measures differently than another. The numbers that the rulers give me do not accurately reflect what I have drawn on the computer.

    Here's a diagram to explain the "give" areas:

    [​IMG]
    If the ruler makes the red area too long, then the green area can be shortened. If the ruler makes the red area too short, the green area can be lengthened.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2015
  45. ARKM

    ARKM Sr Member

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    All I can say is I don't have that problem.

    Since your measurements might not all come out to be to an exact millimeter or 1/32 of an inch once scaled to 10" long, it might be best to use dial or digital calipers anyways and measure in the thousands of inches. This allows for greater accuracy and is what U.S. machinists want anyways For example, Instead of 1-3/8" we want it to say 1.375". Also, that way you have a lot less material to subtract or add to each individual measurement to get the 10". Just a suggestion.
     
  46. red4

    red4 Sr Member

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    If the measurements are supplied to the machinist by the client, what do you think a good price would be?
     
  47. ARKM

    ARKM Sr Member

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    Well, not all sabersmiths do threading similar to what one would see on MHS parts and I really don't know what they would charge for that particular service. If it were to have 3 or 4 screws to hold in the pommel and 3 or 4 screws to hold in the blade holder instead of threading, I'd say this could cost you anywhere from $100 to $300 but I might be lowballing. *shrugs* Commission work is usually more expensive than non-commissioned work.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2015
  48. scottjua

    scottjua Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    how wide are you imagining that emitter *? That's the widest part, and if machined from one piece the stock needs to be THAT wide... and that's a lot of material to remove on the rest just for that one measurement.

    Now IF you went with a separate piece for the emitter, that would make things easier... less time consuming.

    OR compromise on your design... say... if it HAS to be a single upper piece, then an extruded 60621 tube with a .75" IS and 1.5" OD then no one would have to bore it out. It would come with your .75" ID for your blade.

    Still it would require a lot of material removal just to accommodate that wide emitter. That would take LOTS of time...

    - - - Updated - - -

    Also... you need calipers. NEED.
     
  49. red4

    red4 Sr Member

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    Wait wait, do you mean I, as the client, need calipers to take measurements to create the blueprint? Or do you mean the calipers are only used by the machinist when transferring the measurements onto the aluminum stock?

    As for your first point: I think I will look for a way to redesign the emitter as a separate piece. It is 1.75 inches wide.

    I don't want any pieces to have threading. That sounds too complex, and therefore expensive. I would try to have each section attach with a single screw - as hidden as possible, or disguised as a greeble.
     
  50. ARKM

    ARKM Sr Member

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    I think he meant the first part but most likely the smith will use calipers to transfer certain measurements and whatnot. Mostly we use the calipers to measure diameters but it also helps with linear measurements.
     

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