Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
Here's my second lightsaber build! I actually started working on this simultaneously with my Luke Lightsaber ROTJ replica. I must say I always loved this design more than Luke's ROTJ, probably because it was built from real parts. I can't really put my finger on it, but I just think that this saber looks more like something that could actually work. Anyway, the parts are much more difficult to manufacture.
I'm the kind of person who not only wants to own a prop/replica, but who also loves to make it himself. I have to admit, for a long time, I didn't believe I would be able to finish this one. I also love looking at work-in-progress pictures of prop building, so, if you're like me, here's how I made my replica of this saber.
As always, I started this project with a little bit of sketching to figure out how I'd go about making it. This lightsaber is very complicated, so it took some time to actually figure out how to make it all work. There are so many parts... Anyway, I knew from the beginning that since I was going to use a Graflex clamp, I wanted to make a functional 'graflex mechanism' that will allow me to take the lightsaber apart just like Luke's Graflex saber. After the sketching, I made a CAD 3D model to see if I didn't miss anything.
Today I made four parts on a lathe. The first piece I made will be a part of the pommel - I divided the pommel into three parts, for easier manufacturing. Just like Luke's saber, this one will be held together using a threaded rod. Well, two pieces of threaded rod, because, as I said, I want to be able to take the lightsaber apart. That means I have to divide it into two main parts. I also made a second part of the pommel. This one doesn't have a thread running through it, just a hole. That means that I've got 2/3 of the pommel finished. I can't make the last part of the pommel at the moment, because I'm waiting for a shaped face mill to arrive. Anyway, I continued to work on another part, the one that will be locked inside the Graflex clamp. It's also not fully finished, yet. I still have to cut out the locking mechanism for the clamp, but that's for another day. The last part I made is the 'grenade' section of the saber. I finished just the operations I could do on a lathe, but again, I'm waiting for a special mill to arrive, so I can create the V grooves of the grenade.
There wasn't much going on today. I just marked the Graflex clamp 'slot' with a golden marker and cut it out with my dremmel tool. It fits perfectly into the clamp. By the way, the clamp I'm using at the moment is from my Luke's Graflex lightsaber replica (which I bought), it won't be a part of this saber.
Today I manufactured a part of the emitter (the 'head' of the lightsaber). Again, the emitter is divided into two parts, it's not one piece. I can't create the other part at the moment, because I don't have aluminium rod of the diameter I need.
I finally got the aluminium rod of the required diameter. This is the second part of the emitter. I've been waiting for this, it's practically the first part of the lightsaber that is fully finished. It's kinda scary, turning a piece like this. The thickness of the 'tube' is just 1mm, so you really need to be precise, no excuses here. Anyway, I'm very happy with this part, it looks better than I expected... I might be using this phrase a lot, from now on, because I honestly didn't think I'd be able to make some of the parts.