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  1. Member Since
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    1 Week Ago  Nov 28, 2017, 3:46 PM - Obi-Wan's first Lightsaber build using turning and milling #1

    This is my first build thread on here and this was a piece that I created during my final year studying SFX at Bolton University. It was my intention to learn turning and milling to a good standard. I got help from the engineering department but I did all the machining myself.

    This is going to be a copy-and-paste of my report so it'll be written in third person past tense, to the best of my ability anyway. I hope that the way this is written doesn't put anyone off and if people have any questions, don't be afraid to ask.
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  2. Member Since
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    1 Week Ago  Nov 28, 2017, 3:58 PM - Re: Obi-Wan's first Lightsaber build using turning and milling #2

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    Initially, general decision making as to what materials would be used to create the lightsaber were made. To do this, reference imagery and videos were examined and the partsofsw.com checked for information. It was found that aluminium was used for the high shine parts and a black plastic was used for the black parts.

    When purchasing the aluminium, a datasheet was found to identify which grade of aluminium was used. This stated that the machinability of the grade was good, meaning it responds well to the cutting process. Leading to a good surface finish, long tool life, low force and power requirements, and low cost. (Marinov, 2017)

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    As there were bulges in the main outer aluminium shaft, it was decided, a suitably thick piece of aluminium bar was to be used and turned down to the diametre it needed to be in different parts of the shaft. This left room for the outer diametre to change but the inner diametre would remain constant. In turn, this allowed for butyrate pipe to be fitted inside. Overall, these broad decisions offered a solution for creating the effect that was within the realms of possibility for creation with a lathe and mill.

    The parts to be made out of plastic were sourced from a few locations and it was decided that testing into making the different types of plastic match was to be done.

    Before the build could get underway, drawings of each part of the lightsaber were made so that measurements were known and decisions upon which tools to use were made throughout the build
  3. Member Since
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    1 Week Ago  Nov 28, 2017, 4:03 PM - Re: Obi-Wan's first Lightsaber build using turning and milling #3

    As I'm still finding my way around this site I'm unsure where to put things. I'm going to continue this over on the Star Wars page.
  4. Member Since
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    1 Week Ago  Nov 28, 2017, 4:11 PM - Obi-Wan's first Lightsaber build using turning and milling #4

    I started this thread on the general prop replica section but think I should continue on here. Follow the link to see the start of the thread.

    https://www.therpf.com/showthread.php?t=284394

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  5. eethan's Avatar
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    1 Week Ago  Nov 28, 2017, 4:15 PM - Re: Obi-Wan's first Lightsaber build using turning and milling #5

    the lightsaber is really great. congrats. this is a saber I really want and I'm very envious
  6. el toro's Avatar
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    1 Week Ago  Nov 28, 2017, 4:54 PM - Re: Obi-Wan's first Lightsaber build using turning and milling #6

    Very nice.
  7. russellsch's Avatar
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    1 Week Ago  Nov 28, 2017, 6:45 PM - Re: Obi-Wan's first Lightsaber build using turning and milling #7

    That looks fantastic
  8. RPF Premium Member Remote People's Avatar
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    1 Week Ago  Nov 29, 2017, 2:18 PM - Re: Obi-Wan's first Lightsaber build using turning and milling #8

    Really a lovely job... any plans to make a few more?
  9. Probe Droid's Avatar
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    1 Week Ago  Nov 29, 2017, 5:47 PM - Re: Obi-Wan's first Lightsaber build using turning and milling #9

    It's a beauty. Bravo, sir!
  10. Member Since
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    1 Week Ago  Dec 1, 2017, 11:19 AM - Re: Obi-Wan's first Lightsaber build using turning and milling #10

    Hey, it's been a couple days since I started working on this thread because I've been costing a commission. Posting on this will resume on Monday I believe, but maybe earlier.

    Thank you for you kind words and such a warm welcome.

    Here is a link to more photos of the completed thing.
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/115211...7684914813636/

    If anyone is interested in buying this I'm guessing it'll have to be done off site currently as I'm only a basic member. But I'm posting whenever I can in order to gain access to premium.
  11. RPF Premium Member StevenBills's Avatar
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    1 Week Ago  Dec 1, 2017, 11:22 AM - Re: Obi-Wan's first Lightsaber build using turning and milling #11

    Premium membership information can be found here: https://www.therpf.com/faq.php?faq=c...premium_member

    SB
  12. Member Since
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    3 Days Ago  Dec 7, 2017, 6:31 PM - Re: Obi-Wan's first Lightsaber build using turning and milling #12

    And so, it's Thursday and my life has been tiled on it's head, so I haven't had chance to post! I'm moving back to Manchester as I currently reside in Nottingham and starting work. So I've been prepping and saying my goodbyes.

    Sorry for the wall of text that is about to ensue, I apologise because I am the shy, retiring, extremely English type.

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    Outer casing

    A piece of 1m long aluminium pipe with an outer diameter of 38.1mm and an inner diameter of 25.4mm was placed inside the chuck of the lathe with a small amount exposed. From this, the piece was faced off to give a parallel, clean surface to put in the live centre.

    When setting up a centre, the tailstock is brought almost up to the work and the handle turned so that the centre is touching the work. The tailstock is locked off, the handle is then brought past the halfway mark and locked off. Locks are used to prevent the tailstock from moving from vibration once the machine is running. The handle is positioned past the halfway mark so that if vibration does occur, it will tighten the work. (Lewtas, 2017)

    A live centre was used as a 250mm length of the bar would be exposed from the chuck. A live centre is held in place by friction on a morse taper shank and will rotate with the workpiece. (p.42, Byrne, 1996)

    The whole bar was then turned down to 36mm diameter as that would be the thickest point. From there, points that needed to be turned down further were marked on the shaft using a marker. Beyond this cuts of different increments were taken.

    Overall cut Increments Final finish Reasoning
    4mm 2mm, 1mm, 1mm Shiney but slightly dull End cut, could take off large amounts at a time
    4mm 3 x 1mm, 2 x 0.5mm High shine Was in the middle of the work and therefore needed to be taken off in smaller increments.
    2mm 1mm, 2 x 0.5mm High shine Experimentation with finish indicated taking off 0.5mm increments would produce high shine.

    To create the chamfered bulge, the inner size was marked out which should have been 6mm as 10mm by accident. This meant that more had to be taken off and it caused striping in the work. This was buffed off using two grades of emery cloth.

    Setting up a boring operation

    A boring tool was set up on the tool post which had been turned 90 degrees. This allowed for the tool to reach inside of the tube. When turning down the inside of the tube, the direction in which the cross-slide was to be moved was switched compared to normal operations, and therefore special care was taken to make sure the tool was being moved in the right direction. Care also had to be taken when backing away from the work to not move too far, as the tool could crash into the other side of the work.

    Polished centre bar

    The aluminium bar was faced off, drilled and centred in the same way as the pipe as a 250mm long section of the pipe was turned. The pipe was polished used fine grit emery cloth, held across the bar, applying pressure to improve contact between the emery and the bar. This was then cut long using the mechanised hacksaw and faced to the length just short of 180mm. The bar was cut short by roughly 0.1mm so that is would bring all sections together tightly. The bar was then centre drilled, then drilled using an 8.5mm to a depth of 25mm and tapped to M10.

    These processes created a centre bar, which was polished to a high finish. It would also be the part that would bring the end components together.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Also, I have tried my hardest to make my pictures bigger by uploading them using the direct link from imgur, but it hasn't helped at all. If anyone has any suggestions, they would be welcomed.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Oh, if you click on them they are shown big. I am jumping the gun.
  13. Member Since
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    3 Days Ago  Dec 7, 2017, 6:37 PM - Re: Obi-Wan's first Lightsaber build using turning and milling #13

    Parts of the pommel

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    The cap - This piece was shaped in a freeform manner. To turn the shape of the cap, acetal rod was faced off at one end and turned down to 32mm on a length of 30mm. An 8.5mm hole was drilled in the centre to a depth of 10mm and this was then tapped with an M10 tapping drill. This was then parted off to size. M10 threaded rod was super glued into the piece of acetal. This piece was then placed in the jaws of the chuck and spun anti-clockwise. Using a rhomboid inserted tip tool a large amount of bulk was removed from the piece to block out its shape. The piece was then spun clockwise and shaped with an upside down quarter round shaping tool, to ensure the orientation was correct. The angle of the tool was changed twice to follow the curve and meet the end of the work. The facing tool was then angled to touch the piece on its side and take a large amount of material off at a set angle.

    The other part (no images sorry) - The original drawing of the pommel had different angled chamfers which would make the turning process very hard, the drawing was re-done with a standard angle of 45 degrees.

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    6 square parts - these were cut using a hacksaw and the remaining end of the rod was cleaned up on the disc sander using the fence, giving the flatbed the parallel fence to butt up against. This would provide the finish for the end of the next piece which would be on display. Each piece was sanded with P240 grit sand paper which gave a high shine finish which still showed work marks, this matched the finish of the parts which were made on the lathe.

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    The part which would house the 6 square parts was drawn out in RhinoCAD and cut on a laser cutter onto 10mm acrylic. The piece was traced over 6 times on the speed 25 and a power 90. This was then primed with grey plastic lacquer, black paint and finished with satin lacquer.
  14. Member Since
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    3 Days Ago  Dec 7, 2017, 6:45 PM - Re: Obi-Wan's first Lightsaber build using turning and milling #14

    Emitter

    Acetal was faced off at the exposed end then turned to diameter, finally was parted off from the main bar. This was then placed back in the lathe, protected by emery cloth from indentation from the jaws of the chuck. As with the pommel cap, the piece was then drilled and tapped to M10 and threaded rod was glued in. The threaded rod was then put in the jaws of the chuck and the grooves in the emitter were turned in using a 2.2mm parting off tool.
    Turning the emitter sheath

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    To create the emitter sheath, the aluminium tube with wall thickness 6.35mm was bored out to have an inner diameter of 31.5mm and an outer diameter of 35.5mm.

    Cutting shapes in emitter sheath

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    To create the shapes in the emitter sheath, a sticker was created that would fit around the diameter. This was placed on and aligned. The general shape was cut out using a large hacksaw and a Dremel. The straight parts were cut using a hacksaw, cutting through both sides of the pipe at once, this made cutting quicker and easier as the length of the blade could be used. The shape at the bottom was approximated as a triangle and cut with a Dremel fibreglass reinforced cutting bit on two different speed settings. The first of which was slow and dug out the shape of the cut. The second of which was faster, to take away the most material. Care was taken to hold the Dremel steady with both hands resting on a surface creating a strong angle, this was done to avoid the Dremel glancing off the work and ruining the finish. The bits were freed using a pair of pliers.

    The shape was then filed to the sticker lines using a flat file for the straight sides, a round file for the corners and a half round file for the dips into the small round channel, which was filed in with a needle file. Draw filing and finishing was done with a half round needle file.


    Aluminium pipe was placed on the chuck with space to work. Inner surface was cleaned using a boring tool. Edge of the workpiece was touched and a datum was set on the compound slide, the tool was then brought inside of the work 2.7mm and a stop was set up. Part of the inside was then bored out to a diameter of 31.5mm taking small amounts and measuring each time to test if it was to size. Due to the boring tool having a radius, the end of the emitter was turned round to make it fit. The end was then turned to size using a parting off tool giving an angle to work between for the chamfer. The chamfer was created by setting up the angle on the compound slide by eye and feeding in closer and taking a cut until there was a lip left behind on the back and a chamfer.

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    The piece was then parted off which left it rough. The piece was then placed on the outside of the jaws of the chuck and faced off.
  15. Member Since
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    3 Days Ago  Dec 7, 2017, 6:54 PM - Re: Obi-Wan's first Lightsaber build using turning and milling #15

    It's late in England and I travel tomorrow, so I'll continue posting when I've settled back into Manchester.
  16. RPF Premium Member veektohr's Avatar
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    3 Days Ago  Dec 7, 2017, 7:30 PM - Re: Obi-Wan's first Lightsaber build using turning and milling #16

    I love that you include citations. This is great work, btw


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  17. Member Since
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    2 Days Ago  Dec 8, 2017, 6:44 AM - Re: Obi-Wan's first Lightsaber build using turning and milling #17

    The pipe was cut down its length to release it and fit inside the aluminium pipe. The pipe was doubled in thickness by cutting a piece to size and fitting it over the top of the other piece, this was then marked to the shape of the channel and fit to size by sanding to shape and test fitting. This caused the two pipes to appear separately when the piece was milled out but was not obvious upon first glance.
    Attachment 778965 Attachment 778966

    Due to the flutes only being on the bottom of the drill bit, yet the shank was as thick as the flutes, the work could be held on its side and cuts with round edges could be taken in stages. The channels had to be milled out of the pipe whilst fixed into the outer casing, care had to be taken whilst setting it up in the milling machine. The side of the outer casing had to be marked with a line which would enable the back of the hand grip to be perpendicular with the bed. Meaning that when the channels were milled in they were the same distance away from the casing on each side.
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  18. Member Since
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    2 Days Ago  Dec 8, 2017, 7:41 PM - Re: Obi-Wan's first Lightsaber build using turning and milling #18

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    Photos from previous attachment didn't get attached right due to my lazy copying and pasting.
  19. Member Since
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    2 Days Ago  Dec 8, 2017, 7:44 PM - Re: Obi-Wan's first Lightsaber build using turning and milling #19

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    To finish the lightsaber, the emitter was marked out with places for the buttons and Chicago screws using a marker pen. The black emitter was wrapped at the bottom with double sided tape, this provided a tight fit and adhesion between the emitter and the emitter sheath. This was then placed in a drill bed vice protected by plasticard. As there is a bulge in the centre of the emitter sheath, the two ends of the assembly were packed up with paper the height of the bulge. This prevented the assembly from rocking when force of the drill bit was applied to it. Each marked place was then centre punched before being drilled.
  20. Member Since
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    2 Days Ago  Dec 8, 2017, 7:53 PM - Re: Obi-Wan's first Lightsaber build using turning and milling #20

    Some final photos taken by the amazing Aimi Sargent who did a wonderful job with them. I couldn't have gotten such perfect lighting and settings as she did.

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