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  1. The14thDr's Avatar
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    Oct 7, 2017, 7:52 AM - ANH Skywalker Lightsaber Scratchbuild (metal - PIC HEAVY!) #1

    I can't even remember the first time I watched Star Wars, but since I was a kid the one thing I've always wanted (aside from a full-scale Millennium Falcon of course ) is a metal lightsaber replica.

    And what better way to start my collection than with the one that kicked it all off.....

    Luke's "hero" prop from ANH!!


    This will be a complete scratch-build on a fairly small budget, but that doesn't mean I'm not aiming for screen-accuracy! I've been researching this prop for weeks to make sure everything is as close to the original as possible.

    My dad and I spent 2 hours cutting, filing and shaping a piece of aluminium tube until we ended up with the basic Graflex shape.

  2. eethan's Avatar
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    Oct 7, 2017, 8:05 AM - Re: ANH Skywalker Lightsaber Scratchbuild (metal - PIC HEAVY!) #2

    nice start, good luck for the rest
  3. The good-looking one;) RPF Premium Member PropReplicator2's Avatar
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    Oct 7, 2017, 9:06 AM - Re: ANH Skywalker Lightsaber Scratchbuild (metal - PIC HEAVY!) #3

    Remember!! Slow and steady, wins it all! Good luck!

    Sent from my KYOCERA-E6560 using Tapatalk
  4. this space left blank RPF Premium Member James Kenobi 1138's Avatar
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    Oct 7, 2017, 9:13 AM - Re: ANH Skywalker Lightsaber Scratchbuild (metal - PIC HEAVY!) #4

    When I first got into this hobby real Graflex’s were the only option and replicas didn’t exist (except ICONS). Scratch building a Graflex has always been a dream of mine since the early days. I might still try it someday.

    You’re off to a good start !
  5. halliwax's Avatar
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    Oct 7, 2017, 1:36 PM - Re: ANH Skywalker Lightsaber Scratchbuild (metal - PIC HEAVY!) #5

    Dang this is gonna be good!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  6. RPF Premium Member propmainiac's Avatar
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    Oct 7, 2017, 3:49 PM - Re: ANH Skywalker Lightsaber Scratchbuild (metal - PIC HEAVY!) #6

    Nice
    !

    Nice love Graflex Scratch builds! Made many long time ago.
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    Oct 7, 2017, 6:27 PM - Re: ANH Skywalker Lightsaber Scratchbuild (metal - PIC HEAVY!) #7

    Hey @The14thDr ! If you haven't seen it already, check out @Jeremy.g 's Stainless Scratch-built GRAFLEX over at FX-Sabers...

    https://www.fx-sabers.com/forum/index.php?PHPSESSID=rp0qmbroo1n9736n9vdoj02a02&top ic=52217.0

    ANYONE LOOKING FOR A SHOULDER PULLER... Check out the way Jeremy pulled it off!!!
  8. RPF Premium Member propmainiac's Avatar
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    Oct 7, 2017, 7:30 PM - Re: ANH Skywalker Lightsaber Scratchbuild (metal - PIC HEAVY!) #8

    That shoulder puller is great!
  9. The14thDr's Avatar
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    Oct 8, 2017, 3:36 AM - ANH Skywalker Lightsaber Scratchbuild (metal - PIC HEAVY!) #9

    Thanks guys! I hadn't expected this to generate so much interest! Buying a real Graflex (or even a replica) is way out of my price range, and I've never worked with metal before so I'm hoping this will be a fun little challenge.

    Thanks for the link @Ridire Firean, definitely an interesting read (if only I had access to the same tools and equipment though - it would make my build much easier!)

    Tomorrow I'll be taking a trip to the craft store to pick up some materials for the grips; in the meantime I need to order some aluminium sheet for the clamp and other details. Stay tuned.
    Last edited by The14thDr; Oct 8, 2017 at 6:47 AM.
  10. halliwax's Avatar
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    Oct 8, 2017, 7:59 AM - Re: ANH Skywalker Lightsaber Scratchbuild (metal - PIC HEAVY!) #10

    Ridire Firean said: View Post
    Hey @The14thDr ! If you haven't seen it already, check out @Jeremy.g 's Stainless Scratch-built GRAFLEX over at FX-Sabers...

    https://www.fx-sabers.com/forum/index.php?PHPSESSID=rp0qmbroo1n9736n9vdoj02a02&top ic=52217.0

    ANYONE LOOKING FOR A SHOULDER PULLER... Check out the way Jeremy pulled it off!!!
    Never seen that build before. Very interesting on how he pulled the bumps.

    I honestly can’t believe the piece he used made the bump so perfect. I figured you would need a “mushroom” shape in order to achieve the goal u want

    But I’m proven totally wrong here
  11. RPF Premium Member propmainiac's Avatar
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    Oct 8, 2017, 10:09 AM - Re: ANH Skywalker Lightsaber Scratchbuild (metal - PIC HEAVY!) #11

    Are you planning electronics or a static prop? Also actual graflex clamp or build your own?
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    Oct 8, 2017, 2:07 PM - Re: ANH Skywalker Lightsaber Scratchbuild (metal - PIC HEAVY!) #12

    I look forward to seeing the progress on this. I've got a few in the works myself. Two from aluminum tubes and one using a vintage Eveready flashlight for the bottom (the ends do look strikingly similar). The only thing I haven't licked is a good and readily available source for grip material (apart from the actual grip suppliers).
  13. The14thDr's Avatar
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    Oct 9, 2017, 12:39 AM - ANH Skywalker Lightsaber Scratchbuild (metal - PIC HEAVY!) #13

    propmainiac said: View Post
    Are you planning electronics or a static prop? Also actual graflex clamp or build your own?
    For the time being this will be a static build. I'll hopefully be building my own clamp from aluminium sheet - how hard can it be?

    Hey, @Tan Djarka! Do you have a thread for your lightsabers (metal scratch-builds seem to be few and far between)? I'm currently working on making my own grips, so look out for an update later this week.
    Last edited by The14thDr; Oct 9, 2017 at 12:40 PM.
  14. Member Since
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    Oct 9, 2017, 5:30 AM - Re: ANH Skywalker Lightsaber Scratchbuild (metal - PIC HEAVY!) #14

    Currently, no, I don't have any threads. As computer UNsavvy as I am, I don't even know how to upload a photo or how to attach them to a thread.

    So far the only thing I've found is the stake from a yard sign, though they required a considerable amount of work to get them in shape. Some suggest using the tines of a plastic rake, but I've yet find any that aren't too narrow. I'm currently working on a set made from the clear plastic corner protectors for drywall and wall paper (available in most home improvement stores). Glue two sections back to back to form the T, cut to size, and paint them black. It's looking good so far.
  15. RPF Premium Member propmainiac's Avatar
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    Oct 9, 2017, 12:48 PM - Re: ANH Skywalker Lightsaber Scratchbuild (metal - PIC HEAVY!) #15

    Lowe's has a screen track that is plastic and can be trimmed to make t track if you are on a budget. I've cut and used it on my e-11 and home built sabers. Not as accurate as the track solder but I think it doesn't look bad.
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    Oct 9, 2017, 1:03 PM - Re: ANH Skywalker Lightsaber Scratchbuild (metal - PIC HEAVY!) #16

    I'll have to check that out. Actually, some time ago I picked up some plastic grid pieces for a drop ceiling that might work out.
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    Oct 10, 2017, 7:24 AM - Re: ANH Skywalker Lightsaber Scratchbuild (metal - PIC HEAVY!) #17

    Just a heads up on the guts/blade plug: I found some cabinet knobs at Lowe's #590593 1 5/8 nickel base knob and #241896 1 5/8 zolee knob. If you remove the knob part, the exposed stem has an inverted cone with a center stub that looks like the emitter's interior.
  18. RPF Premium Member propmainiac's Avatar
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    Oct 10, 2017, 8:13 AM - Re: ANH Skywalker Lightsaber Scratchbuild (metal - PIC HEAVY!) #18

    Can you post pics?
  19. The14thDr's Avatar
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    Oct 11, 2017, 11:45 AM - Re: ANH Skywalker Lightsaber Scratchbuild (metal - PIC HEAVY!) #19

    At first I was adamant on using windscreen wiper blades for the grips, but I soon realised they wouldn't give the right look for this build, so instead I decided to make my own from scratch.

    I spent a while thinking about what materials would be best for this, and eventually decided on these basswood strips from Hobbycraft, which were luckily the perfect size for the grips (3x5mm).


    I cut these to a length of 92mm (3-5/8") and added the 30 degree bevels. For the base of the grips I used seven strips of hardboard measuring 92x13mm.


    After assembling the t-tracks with PVA glue, I painted them black and finished them off with a coat of Mod Podge matte finish.

  20. The good-looking one;) RPF Premium Member PropReplicator2's Avatar
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    Oct 11, 2017, 12:37 PM - Re: ANH Skywalker Lightsaber Scratchbuild (metal - PIC HEAVY!) #20

    Another thing to think about for the future: if you don't have any molding and casting skills, you can probably sharpen them up by molding and casting one of your grips with some mold max 30 and some onyx resin. Pretty cheap, pretty fun.

    Sent from my KYOCERA-E6560 using Tapatalk
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    Oct 11, 2017, 1:04 PM - Re: ANH Skywalker Lightsaber Scratchbuild (metal - PIC HEAVY!) #21

    propmainiac said: View Post
    Can you post pics?
    Sorry, no (see above).
  22. Member Since
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    Oct 11, 2017, 1:09 PM - Re: ANH Skywalker Lightsaber Scratchbuild (metal - PIC HEAVY!) #22

    The14thDr said: View Post
    At first I was adamant on using windscreen wiper blades for the grips, but I soon realised they wouldn't give the right look for this build, so instead I decided to make my own from scratch.
    Looks good. Will you sand a curve into the bottoms of the grips to conform to the pipe?

    I'd considered a similar construction technique, but I know at some point I'd end up snapping the upright fins off the base of the grip. Though I haven't tried it, tabs on the bottom of the fins that slot into the base might work better (but it would be significantly more difficult to fabricate).
  23. The14thDr's Avatar
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    Oct 11, 2017, 3:44 PM - ANH Skywalker Lightsaber Scratchbuild (metal - PIC HEAVY!) #23

    Tan Djarka said: View Post
    Looks good. Will you sand a curve into the bottoms of the grips to conform to the pipe?

    I'd considered a similar construction technique, but I know at some point I'd end up snapping the upright fins off the base of the grip. Though I haven't tried it, tabs on the bottom of the fins that slot into the base might work better (but it would be significantly more difficult to fabricate).
    I'll definitely be sanding the bottoms of the grips (this will give me a larger surface area touching the pipe which means more strength when it comes to gluing.) I hadn't considered the uprights snapping off, but now you mention it that could be a danger if the lightsaber is handled too roughly - although PVA glue can be quite strong when gluing wood to wood.

    If I end up breaking the grips, I will certainly look into replacing them - the method you suggested sounds perfect. Either that or 3D printing; everything can be made as one piece and formed perfectly to the curve of the lightsaber.
    Last edited by The14thDr; Oct 12, 2017 at 12:36 AM.
  24. The14thDr's Avatar
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    Oct 13, 2017, 8:52 AM - ANH Skywalker Lightsaber Scratchbuild (metal - PIC HEAVY!) #24

    For the two holes below the emitter, I built a wooden jig to hold the lightsaber in place without crushing the tube, which allowed my dad and I to drill the metal more accurately and prevent the bit from "wandering" and damaging the aluminium.

    Unfortunately, the largest drill bit we had was only 13mm wide, so I had to file the metal to get the more accurate diameter of 15mm.


    For the hole above the bunny ears, I marked out the rough position with electrical tape. After drilling a hole through the centre of this area, I used a small file to carefully (and slowly!) file away the metal until it was the correct shape.

    Last edited by The14thDr; 2 Weeks Ago at 2:57 AM.
  25. Marvin3242's Avatar
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    Oct 13, 2017, 10:56 AM - Re: ANH Skywalker Lightsaber Scratchbuild (metal - PIC HEAVY!) #25

    Absolutely awesome! the amount of time and devotion that goes into these scratch builds always blows me away

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