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  1. The14thDr's Avatar
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    Nov 24, 2017, 3:50 AM - Re: ANH Skywalker Lightsaber Scratchbuild (metal - PIC HEAVY!) #51

    For the clamp, I began by printing out a template and using this to mark out a strip of 50mm wide aluminium.

    The devil really is in the detail with this prop, and I decided that the clamp just wouldn't look the same if it was nothing more than a strip of aluminium wrapped around the lightsaber, so I started out using a craft knife to create the two sets of lines on the clamp.

    For the five holes I drilled through the metal then used a needle file to carve the aluminium into the correct shape.

    (I chose to omit the Graflex logo because I felt it didn’t look right on something that’s meant to come from a galaxy far far away - which kind of lends a TFA look to the clamp)


    The trickiest part was then creating the 90 degree bends for the clamp box. This took me and my dad well over an hour.

    Fortunately, once this was done we were then able to gently curve the aluminium into shape without any issues, then we added a bolt to hold the two halves of the clamp together.
  2. RPF Premium Member propmainiac's Avatar
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    Nov 24, 2017, 7:05 AM - Re: ANH Skywalker Lightsaber Scratchbuild (metal - PIC HEAVY!) #52

    Nice work on the lines! Dude that looks great! Harbor freight sells a small bench top bending brake that has been very useful to me when bending metal. That must've been very tedious making those lines! Fantastic job so far!
  3. The14thDr's Avatar
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    Nov 24, 2017, 7:11 AM - ANH Skywalker Lightsaber Scratchbuild (metal - PIC HEAVY!) #53

    Strangely enough, the lines were the easiest part of the clamp to make. I just marked them out with a pencil and then used a craft knife and a ruler to “etch” them into the metal.

    But yeah, I’ll definitely have to invest in a bending brake for any future lightsaber/metalwork projects; that would make things so much easier.
    Last edited by The14thDr; Nov 24, 2017 at 7:24 AM.
  4. RPF Premium Member propmainiac's Avatar
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    Nov 24, 2017, 11:33 AM - Re: ANH Skywalker Lightsaber Scratchbuild (metal - PIC HEAVY!) #54

    I'm gonna Fab up a clamp but buy one of Roy's clamp covers. Or......buy a Romans clamp. Cheating a little but it will have the look I want.
  5. The14thDr's Avatar
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    Nov 24, 2017, 1:11 PM - Re: ANH Skywalker Lightsaber Scratchbuild (metal - PIC HEAVY!) #55

    Oh yeah, buying a clamp is definitely the easiest route to go down and guaranteed to be 100% accurate, but I wanted to keep this on as small a budget as possible (the aluminium sheet only cost me £1.60, and there’s more than enough left over for the bunny ears, beer tab, etc.) - not to mention I find scratch building things much more satisfying and personal; but that’s just me, even if it does make everything 1000x more difficult for myself.
  6. RPF Premium Member propmainiac's Avatar
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    Nov 25, 2017, 9:43 AM - Re: ANH Skywalker Lightsaber Scratchbuild (metal - PIC HEAVY!) #56

    I agree on the building of things vs buying. But there are times when my quest for perfection overrides my build ability.
  7. The14thDr's Avatar
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    Nov 25, 2017, 4:39 PM - ANH Skywalker Lightsaber Scratchbuild (metal - PIC HEAVY!) #57

    propmainiac said: View Post
    I agree on the building of things vs buying. But there are times when my quest for perfection overrides my build ability.
    Oh I agree wholeheartedly; the parts I build are in no way 100% accurate, and certainly not to the level that you’d get with someone like Roy’s parts. But then of course my limited bank balance wins out over everything.

    Having said that, I’m still very proud of how this has turned out so far, being my first ever metal build. Hopefully I should have an update for the clamp card/bubble strip over the next couple of days or so.
    Last edited by The14thDr; Nov 27, 2017 at 12:21 AM.
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    Nov 27, 2017, 6:26 AM - Re: ANH Skywalker Lightsaber Scratchbuild (metal - PIC HEAVY!) #58

    I'm always infinitely more impressed by scratch built props, even when they aren't 100% accurate. I've got two Obi ANH sabers, one that's mostly machined parts, and one that is mostly hand fabricated. Neither is completely accurate, but somehow, I find greater satisfaction in the one that's hand made.

    BTW, you've inspired me. Since I've already made the clamps for my two aluminum Graflex WIPs, I may make TFA style covers using your methods and aluminum flashing. At least that way I won't risk ruining the good aluminum sheet!
  9. The14thDr's Avatar
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    Nov 27, 2017, 6:51 AM - ANH Skywalker Lightsaber Scratchbuild (metal - PIC HEAVY!) #59

    Tan Djarka said: View Post
    I'm always infinitely more impressed by scratch built props, even when they aren't 100% accurate. I've got two Obi ANH sabers, one that's mostly machined parts, and one that is mostly hand fabricated. Neither is completely accurate, but somehow, I find greater satisfaction in the one that's hand made.
    I think that has something to do with being able to look at a prop and think, “yeah, I made that myself” - and having gone through the entire process yourself, you do feel a lot more satisfaction in the finished product, even if it does take a lot more time and effort (which is probably another factor that makes it more satisfying.) I’d never pretend that this build is in any way 100% accurate, but I know that it’s as good as I can possibly make it with the tools I have available - I suppose that just adds more character to the finished piece and makes it completely unique to you.

    Tan Djarka said: View Post
    BTW, you've inspired me. Since I've already made the clamps for my two aluminum Graflex WIPs, I may make TFA style covers using your methods and aluminum flashing. At least that way I won't risk ruining the good aluminum sheet!
    That’s great! I’d love to see how this turns out.
  10. The14thDr's Avatar
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    Nov 29, 2017, 4:26 AM - Re: ANH Skywalker Lightsaber Scratchbuild (metal - PIC HEAVY!) #60

    Unfortunately I didn’t have any clear plastic to use for the base of the bubble strip (and I didn’t want to order some and have to wait even longer for materials to arrive), so instead I settled on a piece of card, cut to 50 x 18 mm and mounted to a strip of hardboard.

    For the bubbles themselves I used a hot glue gun with the WannaWanga plans as a guide to get the right diameter. (If you place a sheet of baking paper on top of the paper template it makes it 1000x easier to peel off the glue)

    Despite that, it still took a fair few attempts to get seven which were all roughly the same size and shape as each other.

    A bit of acrylic glue and the bubbles were firmly attached to their base, which I painted a pale silver colour.


    Finally, I fixed this to the clamp with some acrylic glue. With the limited tools available to us, it would’ve been impossible to bend the rest of the aluminium over the top of the strip.


    So to remedy this, I filed the aluminium until it was level with the clamp card, then glued two thin strips of aluminium into place on top.

    (Cheating, I know, but it still gives the same effect unless you look too closely )
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    Nov 30, 2017, 6:10 AM - Re: ANH Skywalker Lightsaber Scratchbuild (metal - PIC HEAVY!) #61

    In the past I've left the last bend until the bars are in stalled, inserted a piece comparable in thickness to the activation strip, and bent the metal around that with a hammer, smoothing it out with the back end of screwdriver handle followed by a little sanding. It usually work out okay.

    For the bubbles I've used plexiglass backed by silver mylar film with either clear rubber bumpers or cabachons (essentially acrylic jewels without the facets).
  12. The14thDr's Avatar
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    Dec 6, 2017, 4:26 AM - Re: ANH Skywalker Lightsaber Scratchbuild (metal - PIC HEAVY!) #62

    Using the awesome plans on wannawanga.com as a template, I marked out a piece of aluminium for the ‘beer tab’.

    I used a hacksaw to cut out the rough shape then filed it back to the pencil line.


    (I also sanded the top of the red button so that it was shorter and looked more accurate.)

    I forgot to mention this in the last update, but we also epoxied the grips onto the lightsaber.
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    Dec 7, 2017, 10:22 AM - Re: ANH Skywalker Lightsaber Scratchbuild (metal - PIC HEAVY!) #63

    Looking more and more like the real deal all the time.
  14. The14thDr's Avatar
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    Dec 7, 2017, 11:34 AM - ANH Skywalker Lightsaber Scratchbuild (metal - PIC HEAVY!) #64

    Tan Djarka said: View Post
    Looking more and more like the real deal all the time.
    Thanks. I’m currently halfway through working on the bunny ears at the minute, so once they’re done and attached at the weekend it should look even more like the real deal.
  15. RPF Premium Member propmainiac's Avatar
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    Dec 7, 2017, 8:24 PM - Re: ANH Skywalker Lightsaber Scratchbuild (metal - PIC HEAVY!) #65

    Looking awesome!
  16. emeluis's Avatar
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    Dec 8, 2017, 12:36 PM - Re: ANH Skywalker Lightsaber Scratchbuild (metal - PIC HEAVY!) #66

    Great job! May I ask what is the tube diameter?
  17. The14thDr's Avatar
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    Dec 8, 2017, 12:42 PM - Re: ANH Skywalker Lightsaber Scratchbuild (metal - PIC HEAVY!) #67

    emeluis said: View Post
    Great job! May I ask what is the tube diameter?
    Thanks! And the tube is 1-1/2” or 38.1mm wide (the same as all original trilogy lightsabers) with 1.2mm thick walls.
  18. emeluis's Avatar
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    Dec 8, 2017, 1:27 PM - Re: ANH Skywalker Lightsaber Scratchbuild (metal - PIC HEAVY!) #68

    The14thDr said: View Post
    Thanks! And the tube is 1-1/2” or 38.1mm wide (the same as all original trilogy lightsabers) with 1.2mm thick walls.
    Thank you for the info! I'll look for a tube as soon as possible!
  19. The14thDr's Avatar
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    Dec 8, 2017, 1:56 PM - ANH Skywalker Lightsaber Scratchbuild (metal - PIC HEAVY!) #69

    emeluis said: View Post
    Thank you for the info! I'll look for a tube as soon as possible!
    Glad to help! I can’t wait to see your build if/when you start it.

    Today was quite productive in terms of finishing off the bunny ears and getting them fixed into place.

    Using the templates shared further up this thread, I marked out some aluminium sheet and cut it to the rough shape, filed it back and then repeated until I had two bunny ears.

    This alone took several hours split over a couple of days.


    Holding the bunny ears securely in a vice, I gently hammered the curved ends outwards, before bending the two tabs inwards on each.


    Using some two-part epoxy I fixed the two bunny ears together and attached them, together with the red button/beer tab, to the back of the lightsaber.




    Let me know what you think; we’re getting really close to completion now (just a few more pieces and it will hopefully be ready for when I see The Last Jedi!)
    Last edited by The14thDr; Dec 9, 2017 at 5:56 AM.
  20. emeluis's Avatar
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    Dec 8, 2017, 3:04 PM - Re: ANH Skywalker Lightsaber Scratchbuild (metal - PIC HEAVY!) #70

    Really awesome! The final look will be amazing! I hope you will enjoy it watching TLJ next week!
  21. The14thDr's Avatar
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    Dec 9, 2017, 3:29 AM - Re: ANH Skywalker Lightsaber Scratchbuild (metal - PIC HEAVY!) #71

    emeluis said: View Post
    Really awesome! The final look will be amazing! I hope you will enjoy it watching TLJ next week!
    Thank you! And trust me, I will.

    I ordered some d-rings online which already had the metal ‘strip’ attached, but unfortunately my misreading of the description meant they were around half the size I needed - hopefully they’ll come in handy for another project in the future.

    I tried to be cheap and make my own, correctly sized, d-ring out of an old coat hanger but it didn’t work out and I ended up ordering these instead.


    To finish off, I cut a small aluminium strip (51 mm long and 19 mm wide) and bent this in half around the d-ring, with the two halves epoxied together and the ends filed to a more rounded shape.
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    Dec 9, 2017, 5:36 AM - Re: ANH Skywalker Lightsaber Scratchbuild (metal - PIC HEAVY!) #72

    Lookin' good. Although I'll have to admit, I am a little disappointed you decided not to go full on with the ears/emitter loop. But then again, if it ends up looking better, who cares, right?
  23. The14thDr's Avatar
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    Dec 9, 2017, 6:11 AM - Re: ANH Skywalker Lightsaber Scratchbuild (metal - PIC HEAVY!) #73

    Tan Djarka said: View Post
    Lookin' good. Although I'll have to admit, I am a little disappointed you decided not to go full on with the ears/emitter loop. But then again, if it ends up looking better, who cares, right?
    Yeah, I decided that trying to make them as one piece with only a hacksaw and file would be very time-consuming and a little beyond my skill levels. Hopefully it will still look just as good as the original.

    P.S. I’ve updated my last post with some better photos of the bunny ears and red button.
  24. The14thDr's Avatar
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    Dec 10, 2017, 3:28 AM - Re: ANH Skywalker Lightsaber Scratchbuild (metal - PIC HEAVY!) #74

    The trouble with scratch-builds like this is that you literally have to scratch-build every single part yourself, and that includes even simple things like the bottom of the lightsaber.

    I cut a rough circle out of some more aluminium and filed it back until it had a diameter of around 36mm - just enough to sit snugly inside the aluminium tube.


    Unfortunately I didn’t have any rivets/screws that would look the part, so for now I just epoxied the d-ring to the end cap.


    To attach this to the bottom of the lightsaber, I cut a section of 1-1/4” PVC pipe to 1” long and wrapped electrician’s tape around it so that it could be slotted nice and tight inside the aluminium tube.


    Some two-part epoxy was used to attached the end cap to the pipe, which I then slotted into place (with some more glue on the inside for extra strength.)

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    Dec 11, 2017, 10:31 AM - Re: ANH Skywalker Lightsaber Scratchbuild (metal - PIC HEAVY!) #75

    I'm planning on using a PVC plug held in place with counter sunk flat head screw, which will be hidden under a grip. I'll cover the exposed PVC with some metal HVAC tape.

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