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The Saber-smith's Thread
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Tymae Yarmoo ()
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Location: Joliet, IL
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 11:07 pm    Post subject: The Saber-smith's Thread Reply with quote

THE SABER-SMITH’S WORKSHOP THREAD

I had this thread in another area but was encouraged to move it to the general folder for NSB, so here it is. This is a show case of the sabers I have in my collection. I started out buying Ultra Sabers and eventually moved on to building custom sabers with parts from The Custom Saber Shop. Both companies have been a pleasure to deal with and I have had a lot of fun with this. So without further delay…..




I have named this saber The Knight. I built it from TCSS parts. It has a few parts powder coated for some color and style. TCSS machined the switch box hole but I drilled and tapped the covertec and blade set screws myself. It has a green LED and a 32” Corbin style blade. I just finished this saber. This is Tymae Yarmoo's saber and my pride and joy at the moment. This is the saber I will carry at all future events.



This saber I named The Agent. When I first discovered TCSS I bought some parts but realized I had no idea what I was doing. The parts I bought were not going to work for what I envisioned. The Knight is what I wanted to build and eventually I did. The Agent is the result of figuring out what else I could do with the first set of parts I bought. I made this saber sleek and smaller, the way an undercover agent might choose to make a saber. I drilled and tapped the switch box myself as well as the blade screw and shroud crew. I made the shroud from the TCSS tube material they sell and painted it. It has a blue LED and a shorter Corbin style blade (28”).

UPDATE: This saber is going to be reworked. I needed to steal a few parts from it for something else. I was never real happy with the shroud on this saber, (it was my first attempt at this kind of work), so I am rethinking the design. I will certainly post pictures of the New Agent when finished.



This saber is an Ultra Saber that I modified. It started out as a Shock model and I added the Archon style emitter and pommel. I then swapped out the neck for a coupler piece to make it more solid. I wrapped the switch with leather to give it a nice grip and some more style.



This is an Ultra Saber Standard Issue. It is the very first saber I bought after I discovered Ultra Sabers. I was not really sure of the company and wanted to see what the quality was like so I ordered one of their cheaper models. It is a simple design but solid and well built. The name and simplicity suggest to a saber that was mass produced for war times as either a back-up saber for Jedi masters or a stop-gap saber for a Padawan in need. If and when I get into sparring, this is the saber I will use.



This is an Ultra Saber Initiate V2. It is small and simple but very cool saber. This saber is very solid and I have used it to spar with my kids in the basement. It takes a lot of abuse and keeps on going.



These are the Initiate V3 sabers I bought for my kids. How could a father say no? Vincent wanted purple and Christopher wanted orange. They have a lot of fun with these (under supervision of course).



This is an Ultra Saber Dominix V2. I bought this to scratch a Dark Side itch. I added the claw and leather wrapped the handle over a series of O-rings to give it a distinct look. I pretend I confiscated it from a Sith Lord (don't judge me, you know you would do the same thing.)



This was my first attempt as making a saber. I had left over parts from Ultra Sabers and bought a body and the guts to try my hand as sabersmithing. I tried a bunch of different things I read about on forums including olive oil weathering. This was also the very first attempt I made at soldering wires. This saber looks like it has had a rough life. It is not as cool as other sabers I own, but it has a lot of character.



This is a re-work. It is the same saber you see above. I had tried doing olive oil weathering to it. It came out ok but ultimately I was not happy with it. I decided to redo it so I removed the olive oil finish with steel wool and refinished it with Birchwood Casey Aluminum Black. Some of the original finish is still in the grooves which gives it a nice gold inlay look. I am now happy with this hilt. I think it looks like a saber that was found in the tomb of an ancient Sith Lord.



This one is another "bad guy" saber. I call it The Dark Prince. I have had this idea in my head of a Dark Jedi that is also a nobleman, kind of like Dooku but more flamboyant. I wanted this saber to look like the Bentley of hilts. It is a combination of parts from TCSS and Ultra Sabers. It has some gold and black powder coating and a brass activation box with an accent LED. The blade is Ultra Sabers' special color Bane's Heart which did not photograph well. It has a very deep magenta/hot pink look to it which is very cool and suits the hilt well. This saber was a labor of love and well worth it, in my opinion.



This one I call my Old Republic saber. My idea was this...if Luke's saber from ROTJ is inspired by Obi Wan's which is based on an ancient design...this is that ancient design. I wanted it to look like a simplified, earlier version of Luke's saber. It is built entirely of TCSS parts. It has a cyan blade and a slight patina finish I created with Birchwood Casey Aluminum Black (used sparingly). This saber feels great in the hands and would be good for fighting.


I love tinkering with this stuff and will post pictures of modifications and new sabers as I go. I might also post pictures of accessories and tools. This is a learning thread so feel free to ask question of how I did something. I am always happy to share.

Also, feel free to post any sabers or saber upgrades you want to show off.

Enjoy.
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Last edited by Tymae Yarmoo () on Fri Oct 04, 2013 4:35 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Schph Gochi (Phyllis Schulte)
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

my lightsaber collection...
as was displayed in the lobby of the Joliet Public Library...

the only saber that is not mine is the Darth Sidious...that was Kurodor's




My character's lightsaber is one I picked up many years ago...
I love it because it is plain...
and it is a smaller diameter which fits my short fingers nicely..




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Tymae Yarmoo ()
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote




The Agent 2.0
This is my improvement on the original Agent pictured above. I was never really happy with the way that saber came out. It looks better in the pictures than in real life. The shroud and almost every hole were off just enough to be irritating. I cannibalized it for other projects and then came back to it. There were still enough parts to make a complete saber, so I got to work.

The body had a gazillion holes in it so I covered them up with a piece of the shrouding material to make a handle. I then made a new emitter shroud by cutting a piece at a 45 deg. angle, and then cutting back a ¼” to make something that resembles a Graflex style profile. I then finished it with Birchwood Casey Aluminum Black. Several heavy coats were used on the shrouds and a light coat on the body and pommel to age it a bit. I think it looks pretty good this time.





I added something to this saber. I was looking at it and realized that I did not put any sort of belt clip on it. Being too lazy to take it apart and drill a hole, I made a leather loop with a d-ring. I am very pleased with this and I think it adds to the Old Republic look that this saber is supposed to have.






Here are a few tools of the trade, for reference to any interested.



Safety first.


Soldering iron and electrical tools.


Various Allen wrenches, screws, nuts, and hand tools.


Drill bits and tapping tool. 8-32 seems to be the most handy size screw thread for sabersmithing.


Dremel tool and various precision tools for metal working.


My baby drill press (isn’t it cute?) I found this online. It is called a Jewelers’ Drill Press and it is great for sabersmithing. I have limited space so this takes up very little room.


My highly organized box of spare parts. This box has inspired many great ideas just by digging through it.


A plan. I did not invent any of this stuff, I just build using creative ideas of my own and information I find online. I make good use of the TCSS MHS Builder program and download manuals and schematics as needed. Anything I need to know is out there somewhere.



Please feel free to contribute anything saber related you wish to share. Very Happy
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Schph Gochi (Phyllis Schulte)
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for sharing this information.....

I love seeing the process of how things get done.
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Woulf ()
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

this is really cool. thanks for sharing your work with the base.
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hartss ()
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent work mate. You make some great looking sabers
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Schph Gochi (Phyllis Schulte)
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

btw....I covet your drill press...

Laughing
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Tymae Yarmoo ()
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Schph Gochi wrote:
btw....I covet your drill press...

Laughing


Here is the link to the place I bought it...

http://www.nationaljewelerssupplies.com/c/drills.html

For the press and the vice, I think it was right around $100. And it is very small, just want I need for my saber-smithing and other small machining I do in my basement. You ain't going to build anything big with it, but for hobby work, you can't beat it.

The drill bits and tapping tools came from Home Depot. If you are looking to drill and tap something, they sell taps that come with the right size drill bit so there is no guess work. I think the brand is called Irwin.
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Schph Gochi (Phyllis Schulte)
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am a tool junkie...

Laughing
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Tymae Yarmoo ()
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 12:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I decided to do one more saber build and figured I would document it, Phyllis style. So here we are.

About a year ago, in a town not too far away…..A want to be saber-smith bought a bunch of parts from TCSS and had no flipping idea what he was doing. Among these parts I bought was this piece, a choke,



I thought it would work for what I wanted to build but it did not. After figuring out what I was doing, I built The Knight, (pictured above), which was what I had in my mind. The other parts I had used to build the other sabers like The Agent, and The Old Republic. But time after time, this choke piece was left over. I just could not work it into a design. It rolled around in my box-o-parts and was an aggravating reminder of my limitations; a failure of my imagination.

After re-working The Agent, I had another left over piece, the switch box. Both the choke and the switch box are very cool pieces and I felt I needed to do something with them. I spent weeks playing around with the MHS Builder program on TCSS’s website and finally came up with something.




I really like the “grenade grip” piece that they sell and wanted that in the design, too. I am partial to flanged emitters so I chose one of the ones I have not used yet. And so I set to work determined to not only use these pieces, but to NOT use any mill work services from TCSS. I was going to do all of the machining myself.

This is not even close to finished (this is going to be a long journey) but here is what I have so far.

The parts…



The emitter machining. I drilled and tapped the blade retention screw myself with my with my cute little drill press.




The switch box machining. This was a pain in the butt. I drilled and tapped the screw holes and then drilled out the switch hole with one of those multi-sized, cone shaped drill bits. I think this came out pretty nice. I was ready to have to use the Dremel tool to finish it but there was no need.




The dry fit. Here is what it looks like so far. You will notice that the two body pieces are switched around from the original design. I found this way to be more comfortable and a more natural grip. I plan to have a few pieces powder coated or anodized to give it a little color.



I am also still debating on the electronics. I would like the blade to be Sentinel Yellow, but this is going to be a challenge. TCSS does not sell a yellow LED module. Ultra Sabers sells a yellow LED module but these will not fit into this hilt the way the pieces are arranged. I have three paths before me in this goal.

1) I can use a white LED with a yellow filter. I really do not want to do this as a matter of pride. It seems like cheating. "The Dark Side is easier, more seductive."

2) I can build an LED module but I have never done this before. I think I might be able to build one with TCSS parts but I would have to do ALL of the soldering myself, rather than buy an assembled unit. So far all I have done with electronics is imitate what I see. I have nothing to go off of with this one. “I don’t believe it.” “ That is why you failed.”

3) I can buy an Ultra Sabers Sentinel Yellow LED and transplant it into a TCSS heat sink unit. This seems doable in theory, the problem is that if it does not work, I will potentially ruin about $100 in electronics. “Do or do not, there is not try.”

Meditate on this decision, I must. Razz

Enjoy the pictures and I will post more as I go.
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Schph Gochi (Phyllis Schulte)
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

oh man...

heavy drooling

Very Happy
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WedgeAntilles (James Norman)
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesome. Now stop making me want to build a saber... Laughing like I have time for that.
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Tymae Yarmoo ()
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

UPDATE ON BUILD:

Ok, I had a little time and did some work. I soldered the leads on the switch.

I am going to use an LED driver sold by TCSS and this driver has JST plugs for all of the components. The only soldering I need to do for this project is on the switch. I had the switch laying around and never used it so I decided to work it into this saber.

The switch has an LED inside of it so I needed to put two sets of leads on it.








Please do not consider this a tutorial on soldering. I am sort of self taught on the subject (some help from a guy at work) but by no means am I am expert.

I ordered the rest of the guts from TCSS. I decided to go with an amber LED. I had considered this color originally but came back around to it after seeing how much would be involved in making yellow. They do not sell a yellow LED, it must be made from green and red which means using two LEDs. There is a vicious circle of space vs. power requirements that was driving me crazy. Some electronics expert might be able to make it happen but not this Jedi...not at this point at least. I might explore that more later, but for now, amber will do. It looks kind of yellow-ish in the pictures so I think it will serve me well.

The guts are on their way. That is going to be just plug and play when they get here next week. But over the weekend, I will do my finishing work on the body.

I decided against the powder coating because I cannot find someone who will take a small job like this. So I am going to paint it with etching primer and enamel paint. Powder coating is just paint applied in a very cool way so spray paint will not cheapen this project too much. Of course, I will post pictures of that too. Stay tuned!!!
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Schph Gochi (Phyllis Schulte)
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

neat stuff...

and I may commission you to do a little work on my signature saber...
it could use a little "bling"....

Wink
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Tymae Yarmoo ()
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Schph Gochi wrote:
neat stuff...

and I may commission you to do a little work on my signature saber...
it could use a little "bling"....

Wink

Do you want the Elton John or Mr. T package. Very Happy
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