I think it is about time I posted a new saber in my portfolio.
Un-named Copper and Brass saber
(I will leave the naming up to the eventual owner)
What can I say. It's copper and brass. If you look real close, you might see a vague family resemblence to another saber or two.
This is also my first ever saber with a sound board (and a CF at that).
I based the design on an overall theme and tried to work a few different elements of that theme into the design. I keep a spare parts tote filled with old circuit boards and computer parts. I broke down a couple drives and thought the stators looked like radial engines. The pommel is designed to look like an old, vintage radial aircraft engine/cowling. The front shroud bears a similarity to a jet engine cowling. Near the middle of the saber, I have some removeable panels with grooves in them to simulate the look of corrugated aircraft panels. I also used one of the stators to make a blade plug out of with what looks like the spinner from a turbine engine or propellor hub.
For the crystal chamber, I wanted to do something that didn't look like you would need to call the Mario Brothers to work on the plumbing. I decided to go 'all electric' with this one. I have a couple of pieces of old computer circuit board on either side of the speaker mount. On those, I soldered some wires just for looks. The main crystal is a piece of Red Phantom Quartz from Tibet. Is is pretty much clear except for some purplish phanton hazing inside near the base. I have read that the Sith would make their crystals and that they were not natural - this crystal screamed man-mad to me when I saw it. The crystal sits off center of the saber because I wanted it to. The 5mm LED for the Crsyal, and 4x 5mm LED in the pommel, are tied into the main LED so they mimic what the blade is doing flicker wise.
Surrounding the crystal/electric chamber, is a piece of copper mesh and a brass outer shield. Topping this off is a brass covertech button. Moving up to the middle section, there are two momentary push button switches and a recharge port. There are very tiny custom switch nuts and buttons for the switches (which were heavily modified Radio Shack pieces) and a custom kill key cap. These are meant to look like power nodes or something along those lines. The removeable covers are held on with four 0-80 screws. I chose slotted screws to mimic aircraft 1/4 turn fasteners. There is also a brass collar with some very small engraving on it. In the Sith Profecy font, I engraved "FEAR LEADS TO ANGER ANGER LEADS TO HATE HATRED LEADS TO POWER POWER LEADS TO VICTORY." I also have some coil looking rods that pass from the collar back to the mid section. These are stainlees steel springs with 28 gage red enamaled wire wrapped along side the spring windings.
The jet engine cowling shroud has an internal structure with 29 1/16" holes drilled in the front and 10 1/16" holes drilled in the back. The front holes are purely for looks, but in the back holes are 1/16" od stainless steel tubes running back to a brass ring. I even heated the ends of the stainless tubes to give a weathered, burnt look to them.
In the front, there is a removeable blade plug that was made similar to the TCSS unit but I made a brass press in section and sandwiched another stator between the plug end and a spinner. It lights up quite nice when in the saber.
Tuning the saber was a real nightmare. Because the CF is near the center of rotation, I had to really mess with the setting to get the swings and clashes to work well. That meant running wires back and forth and soldering a half dozen connections each and every time I made a change. Unfortunately, the design of this saber precludes easy access to the SD card.
I went a lot of different directions than I normally do on this saber. Usually when I do a saber, I have the entire design down and know exactly how everything will fit together before I ever start machining. With this saber, I just started with the pommel and went from there. I machined a few parts, then looked at them and decided what the next part would look like. That makes changes very hard to make, but I like how it came out. There is a ton of subtle detail in the saber. In the pommel, there are two pieces of stainless steel screen. The larger one that you can see in the pictures of the pommel pieces and a smaller one that is under the smaller stator part that is already mounted into the pommel plug (had to glue it in because I kept dropping it on the ground). These screens have been heated with a torch so they have some bluing around the edges to simulate having been heated. I also tried to make sure there were no large sections of just plain round body (the exception being in the choke area). In the crystal/elecrical chamber I have two circuit boards. On the top one (crystal side) there are 20 small gage wires soldered to the board and passing through the bulkhead. I made a custom stainless steel mount setup for the crystal and heated it with a torch to give it a nickel color (didn't want to go entirely blue on it so I kept the heat low). On the bottom circuit board, I have two larger gage wires and eight small gage wires soldered to the board and passing through the bulkheads at each end. The wiring gives it an more usefull look as opposed to just a bare board mounted there. (the bottom board also hides the speaker). There are other small details and such scattered over the saber. You really have to see it in person to find all the subtleties I tried to include. I wanted something elegant and understated, not a saber with a Vegas neon sign attached to it. I like the way the mesh turned out on the grip. I originally had some finer mesh that allowed a better view into the crystal chamber section, but it was so soft it just mashed itself in my hands. I went to the heavier mesh and you have to look to see the crystal chamber detail - it's not hard to see (it just doesn't yell 'look at me'). But when the saber is on, it is really easy to see. Specs:
Copper, brass and a little aluminum construction
Plecter Labs CF 2.5 upgraded to 4.X
Korriban and Vader (from Madcow), Blackstar and Ancient saber (from Novastar), and Starkiller and Sidious (from LDM)
2 x 16340 Li-ion cells
2W rectangular speaker
Recharge port with custom kill key
LEDengin 10W RRRR
Red Phantom Himalayan Quartz
4x T1-3/4 LED in pommelVideo:http://s726.photobucket.com/albums/ww266/acerocket/Kegger/saber/?action=view¤t=100_7075.mp4The money shots: