This saber is near completion, I received the AW 18650's today as well as the recharge port, which means I have almost everything for the build, so I started wiring it up. But first, a look at the shrouds:
Here's how they came to me
Then I used a sanding drum on the end of my dremel to widen the slots right at the end.
Then, hand sanding all 8 sides at different angles using 220, then 320 grit sandpaper. I'll be doing a 400 grit sanding when I get more sand paper this week. This step took about 4 hours, but it's completely worth it (to me at least :) )
One of the cool things about this saber is the way I'm doing the chassis. The middle connecting piece hosts a blue Anti-vandal and switch 22, inside 1 1/8" polycarb. That polycarb then pushes into 1 1/4" at each end. This means the entire saber is lined with effectively a single chassis, as all the tubes lock together and prevents things from shifting.
As you can see, this is how I'm keeping the crystal chambers in place and lined up correctly with the slots cut in the body of the saber. The silver unit at the end is the LED assembly, and behind the crystal chamber is the speaker, which is a normal Regal speaker, held in place by friction and epoxy putty (which I've used a bunch on this build)
Lets jump to some wiring. Here's the soldering on an 18650, which I think I did pretty well.
Then covered with epoxy putty to insure no contact with other wires
So I installed the chassis in the side of the body hosting the bargraph and encounter a rather annoying problem. The bargraph is quite spaced out, not like a convention graph, and would be really quite difficult to secure each LED individually in such a small space, but I also couldn't think of a way to line them up correctly and then install them all at once, cause the holes aren't equi-distant from eachother (by design). So I tried doing them one at a time, took forever, and I gave up on the second one. I then realized I could line them up on the outside of the hilt, solder all the negatives together (cause the CF5 only wants 1 negative lead from the LED's anyway), and that would hold them in place correctly. Worked like a charm.
I cut a slot for them to fit into chassis and with a little jiggling, got them into place, then pressed epoxy putty in overtop of them, to keep them securely in place.
I also needed to fit the recharge port in on that side, which I installed near the base of the hilt, and then slid in an 18650, which fit quite snugly. I doubt you could fit anything else into this side of the hilt, it's quite full.
The recharge port and bargraph keep the chassis from spinning cause they're connected to the saber body through slots in the chassis (obviously), so I have no worry of parts sliding around or the crystal chambers facing the wrong way.
Also, the e-tape on the hilt is just a base for a wrapping that will come later (as soon as I get it). Not leather, as it's not my style, but a thin, tanish-brown color wrapping. I should have another update soon. Let me know what you guys think :)