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Author Topic: Luxeon type LED Blade Assembly Tutorial- (at least, how I do it!)  (Read 39301 times)

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Offline QUI-GON JINN

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I needed to make a blade for CS-7,  so I thought this time,  why not snap a few pictures while I was doing for a simple tutorial!  This should give custom saber buyers an idea of what goes into making up a blade,  and for those that would like to try it themselves,  as well!

So,  here we go:

The first thing you'll need is a polycarbonate tube.  In this case,  we have a 36" long,  1" o.d. (outside diameter) thin-walled piece.  (It has an inside diameter of 7/8").  We also have a 9 foot long,  30" wide roll of polypropylene (cellophane gift wrap).  I use my kitchen counter,  as it's about the easiest to clean surface in my house.  You want to do this in as clean of a room as possible,  and with out any air movement.  (Try not to do it near a heat duct when your A/C or furnace is running,  or you'll get a lot of dust and hair contamination in the blade.)  Since the polyp film is full of static,  any particle of dust or pet hair will stick to it,  so clean the work surface prior to starting.

Make sure your blade tube is clean as well,  especially if you had to cut it to length.  I use a 3/8 dowel rod and a small piece of tack cloth to clean the interior of the tube.  The tack cloth will pick up the dust particles that might be inside.  Stuff the cloth into one end of the tube,  and then push it through to the other end using the dowel rod.  Repeat as necessary!

Because this roll of film is only 30" wide (see here to get a 40" x 100':
http://www.papermart.com/clear-cello-rolls/id=11979#11979,  we'll have to cut our film along the length of the film,  rather than across the width:


Lay the blade across the film and give yourself enough film to trim some off later if you must.  I usually cut it to about the same length of the blade just for that reason.  You'll see why in a few moments.  Cut the film:

I have to use a pair of fabric shears,  as they are the sharpest pair we have.   If you do it right,  you can cut the film just like you would regular paper gift wrap....just hold down the film and shear as straight of a line through the film as possible. 

When you have it cut,  get a 3/4" dowel rod.  Make sure you have a straight one!  Lay the dowel rod across the film like so:


Roll the film up on the dowel rod:

Make sure the film is fairly tight,  but not so tight that it doesn't move on the dowel.  It also helps to roll it as straight across the dowel as possible,  to keep the ends of the film in line.  You really only need to make sure that one end is straight.  That end will go into the tube first,  to butt up against the blade tip.  When it's rolled up,  it will look like this:

It'll look a little bit ike a chrome rod!

Slide it into the blade tube:

Repeat this step as necessary,  to add more film.  I used another roll,  cut the exact same way,  but rolled up on a slightly smaller dowel rod...I used a 5/8" for this second roll,  and install that roll inside the first one.

With the film inside the blade,  I added the blade tip to check the film:

Your blade film on the tip end needs to be straight to properly sit against the bottom of the blade tip. If it's not,  slide the film out of the blade about 3 inches,  and trim the edge with the scissors.  This is why you want a little bit extra length on your film roll!

The other end of the film should be about 1/4" - 1/8"short of the end of the polyc tube.  You may have to trim this as well.


Now's a good time to test it:

If your blade isn't evenly lit enough for you,  add another roll of film.  Or,  if you have a wider film roll,  use a longer roll.  When I have a roll wide enough to roll the film across the width,  I'll roll up about 6 feet of polyp film for a 32"-36" long blade.

With the film to your liking,  you can now glue the blade tip to the polyc tube:

I use Weld-On #16,  as it's an acrylic welder,  not really a glue.  It chemically bonds the two pieces of polyc to each other for a tight fit.  This is probably the best thing for the do-it-yourselfer to use.  Get it at TAP Plastics.  Another option is Weld-On #3,  but that is a liquid,  and can make a mess if you aren't careful.  Weld-On #16 is a gel,  and is easier to apply.

Apply a small bead* to the edge of the blade tip:

*I actually put on a little too much here!  :-[

When you install the tip into the blade, give it a slight twist,  to even the coverage of the cement.  You might get some squeeze-out if you apply too much like I did:

Just clean it off with your thumb nail.  You can also sand some off with some 400 or better grit sand paper.


All cleaned!  Be sure to allow 24 hours for the Weld-On to fully cure.

The next thing to do is to glue in the blade film.  This is why you want to have the film be a bit shorter than the tube.  We're going to use some hot-glue to keep the film from falling out when you remove your blade:


Apply a bead large enough to cover the edge of the film rolls,  and also the polyc tube. 

The final step?  Install the blade in your saber,  and have fun!

« Last Edit: January 11, 2016, 09:41:20 PM by QUI-GON JINN »


Offline darthmorbius

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Re: Luxeon type LED Blade Assembly Tutorial- (at least, how I do it!)
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2008, 09:11:05 AM »
Thank you Master Qui-Gon! Sticky applied!

Offline Jin Ke

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Re: Luxeon type LED Blade Assembly Tutorial- (at least, how I do it!)
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2008, 10:14:23 AM »
Great tutorial!  This is pretty much the same way I make blades as well.  I usually use acetate, available from a craft shop in my area.  I did a tutorial awhile back on the old NYJedi forums, but not as thorough..... :)

Offline Darth Matth

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Re: Luxeon type LED Blade Assembly Tutorial- (at least, how I do it!)
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2008, 11:12:27 AM »
Qui-Gon-Jinn, nobody can tell this more clearly than you did here with those pics.
Now this saves a lot of time for the SABER-SMIDS out there.
Now they have only to send the parts and this topic to the costumers, in the future.  :D ;D ;D



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Offline Senti Xamas

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Re: Luxeon type LED Blade Assembly Tutorial- (at least, how I do it!)
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2008, 12:56:38 PM »
Thats a really good tutorial! I just so happen to have a spare blade here. Looks like im gonna practice it myself.

Offline Matt Thorn

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Re: Luxeon type LED Blade Assembly Tutorial- (at least, how I do it!)
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2009, 02:37:14 AM »
I tried this for the first time today, and am blown away at the evenness in light it creates. I added one 50cm wide sheet to a blade that contained only a Corbin double-wrap, compared it with another blade with just the Corbin film, and was amazed. I added another, and got double the effect. The hardest part is the struggle with debris. The film is a veritable static-charged vacuum cleaner.  :-\ My only disappointment was the reduction in the "Corbin effect," which I'm rather fond of. Still, I don't think I'll ever make another blade without it. Thanks for the tutorial, Qui-Gon!   :)
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Offline Jag

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Re: Luxeon type LED Blade Assembly Tutorial- (at least, how I do it!)
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2009, 12:08:55 PM »
I'm not even a padawan yet, but i humbly ask: to get diffused light within the saber could you sand it?  A fine grit sand paper on the end of the "loading rod" (the 3/4" dowel) then run up and down the "barrel" could make the tube cloudy.  Or am I missing the point?  Is the film used to absorb and disburse the light?  Is the sanding idea too clumsy and random or demand a high degree of skill/luck?

thanks in advance for suffering the ignorance of my question.

Offline Goodman

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Re: Luxeon type LED Blade Assembly Tutorial- (at least, how I do it!)
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2009, 03:24:17 PM »
It's not an ignorant question, Jag. That being said, it's a topic that has been covered many times if you use the search button ;)

In short, some people have sanded either the inner or outer wall of their PolyC blades. The idea is to catch the light and push it outwards towards the eye, and not all just forward towards the point.  Sanding can sometimes come out unevenly though, which can be an eyesore.

The new UltraEdge blades, made by Ultrasabers (see his section in this forum) take the human error out of this concept. PolyC blades are extruded in white, so the light is "drawn" out to the outer edge of the blade. Because it isn't manually sanded, the effect is perfectly even.


Also, as a new member, be sure to go to the Padawan section and sign the Rules post.

Welcome :)
 
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Offline QUI-GON JINN

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Re: Luxeon type LED Blade Assembly Tutorial- (at least, how I do it!)
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2009, 03:33:01 PM »
I'm not even a padawan yet, but i humbly ask: to get diffused light within the saber could you sand it?  A fine grit sand paper on the end of the "loading rod" (the 3/4" dowel) then run up and down the "barrel" could make the tube cloudy.  Or am I missing the point?  Is the film used to absorb and disburse the light?  Is the sanding idea too clumsy and random or demand a high degree of skill/luck?

thanks in advance for suffering the ignorance of my question.
Well,  someone figured out my secret....that's how I make my "Dual-Core Diffusion" blades....I have a 3/8 dowel with a 3/4" dowel piece on the end that I attach a piece of sandpaper to.  I then insert that into my cordless drill and using a slow steady motion,  sand the interior of the polycarbonate tube until I get the desired look.  It doesn't take much to do it....I use a 400 grit sandpaper.  It does take a lot of practice to get it to be evenly sanded,  however.  Your first attempt may not be pretty.

After you have it sanded,  you'll want to clean the tube  with another dowel rod and a piece of tack cloth to remove thesanding dust.  then follow the above steps to install your diffuser film.


Offline secretApprentice

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Re: Luxeon type LED Blade Assembly Tutorial- (at least, how I do it!)
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2009, 02:25:47 PM »
where would i find these polycarbonate tubes?
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Offline QUI-GON JINN

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Re: Luxeon type LED Blade Assembly Tutorial- (at least, how I do it!)
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2009, 02:48:19 PM »
where would i find these polycarbonate tubes?
There are several places to get them online....use your favorite internet search engine....but for the most part,  I get them from TCSS when I get saber parts.


Offline The Highwayman

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Re: Luxeon type LED Blade Assembly Tutorial- (at least, how I do it!)
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2009, 02:48:31 PM »
www.thecustomsabershop.com TCSS sells them in the thick and thinwalled version and they also sell tips and Corbin film. Look under LED specific.


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Offline Pepperpete

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Re: Luxeon type LED Blade Assembly Tutorial- (at least, how I do it!)
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2009, 09:07:21 AM »
Thanks very much for this. Being a newbie can be daunting and you just took some of the difficulty away. =)
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Offline Jedi Bov-ch Roche

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Re: Luxeon type LED Blade Assembly Tutorial- (at least, how I do it!)
« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2009, 01:12:42 AM »
A great insight thank you this will be very helpfull for me :)

Offline bnguyen

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Re: Luxeon type LED Blade Assembly Tutorial- (at least, how I do it!)
« Reply #14 on: July 09, 2009, 03:11:30 PM »
Thanks!! So if i wanted to make a UltraEdge i would buy the white poly carbonate tube from them and do the same thing? Instead of gift wrap im thinking about using the film TCSS has, how many wraps do i use? i'm not sure the about the difference