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Author Topic: Sapphire crystals for crystal chambers  (Read 1123 times)

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Offline profezzorn

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Sapphire crystals for crystal chambers
« on: August 28, 2017, 12:41:34 PM »
It seems that synthetic sapphires can be had for relatively cheap:

Blue Sapphire 34 Lab Created Half Boule Flame Fus Synthetic

Does anybody already make lightsabers with sapphire crystals?

Of course, If I was really crazy I'd try to energize the crystals until the start to laser, but that probably belongs in the "delusions of grandeur" sub-forum... :)

Offline JC Denton

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Re: Sapphire crystals for crystal chambers
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2017, 06:31:37 PM »
It must look very nice when polished but I have no idea how it behaves under an LED
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Offline lelegossalas

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Re: Sapphire crystals for crystal chambers
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2017, 03:32:53 AM »
(NB: Etsy link is not available)

Most synthetic gemstones are flawless.
A good light effect needs some imperfections in the stone, but not too much. Need to find a good balancing (same situation than a laser that need smoke or dust particles in the air to be visible).
For instance, there is a very clear and flawless small Quartz crystals called "Herkimer". These quartz won't fit for a crystal chamber while basic crystals can be awesome.
Note : Aqua-aura is articial light-blue colored quart, amethyst is natural purple quartz, citrin is a yellow/brown quartz too (either natural, or artificial heated)
For other colors, I'm still looking for alternatives cheaper than emerald, spinel or tourmaline...

Moreover, depending on the stone, the polish can be mirror-like and so, the light effet will not be satisfying.
Sapphire/Ruby (same familly "corundum"), quartz have good reflexion properties to be polished, while garnet and zircon (same property than diamond) probably may not have.

PS:
Sorry, my english is not good enough to speak about gems and jewelry. I hope to be understandable...

Offline profezzorn

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Re: Sapphire crystals for crystal chambers
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2018, 02:20:46 PM »
I just ordered some sapphire half-boules to experiment with. :)

Offline K-2SO

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Re: Sapphire crystals for crystal chambers
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2018, 02:48:27 PM »
I have a couple of light blue crystals, but have never used them in hilt, because you really need clear crystals to do color changing (with matching crystal) sabers.
If you do an only blue (or any single color blade)  hilt, then yeah, colored crystals look great.

I find your arguments vague and unconvincing.

Quiet! *Slap* And there’s a fresh one if you mouth off again.

Offline jbkuma

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Re: Sapphire crystals for crystal chambers
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2018, 04:45:32 PM »
I think I posted about heat fracturing at some point.. basically heat the crystal up in the oven then drop it in ice water.  It really helps make the crystal look cool if there isn't enough inclusions to catch the light.  I went a couple rounds on a couple crystals, and never had one completely break. 

Offline profezzorn

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Re: Sapphire crystals for crystal chambers
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2018, 09:04:45 PM »
I don't know if you can heat-fracture sapphires though.
Btw, I ordered a clear one, a purple one and a blue one.
They are pretty big though, but maybe they will work for the wookietana, which is pretty big.. :)
Otherwise I'll have to figure out how to make them smaller, which might be interesting given how hard sapphires are.

Offline jbkuma

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Re: Sapphire crystals for crystal chambers
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2018, 02:24:44 AM »
Ah, right, transparent aluminum. I was thinking it was a quartz for some dumb reason
« Last Edit: August 23, 2018, 02:26:45 AM by jbkuma »

Offline Onli-Won Kanomi

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Re: Sapphire crystals for crystal chambers
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2018, 12:20:37 AM »
I remember when ST:IV came out thinking "but transparent aluminum already exists; sapphire..." LOL though the idea the Federation used metres-long giant sapphires for starship windows (or whale tanks) may have seemed prohibitively expensive to 20th century audiences ;) but hey; 23/24th century industrial replicators (or IRL sufficiently advanced nanoassemblers) eliminate our finite-supply economics concerns with rarity/scarcity 'expensiveness' in ST future society eh so why not?

But it 'inspired' materials engineers to make ALON etc sooo...lightsabers someday? ;)

meanwhile yes one could, and in earlier years of the hobby some did, use faux sapphire and other coloured gemstones in our prop sabers but it took extra effort and lighting them in 'creative' ways and nowadays with seemingly everyone preferring colour changing RGB sabers the end-lit clear quartz crystal standard approach is usually more practical and certainly easier so probably better.
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Offline profezzorn

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Re: Sapphire crystals for crystal chambers
« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2018, 04:18:26 PM »
I remember when ST:IV came out thinking "but transparent aluminum already exists; sapphire..." LOL though the idea the Federation used metres-long giant sapphires for starship windows (or whale tanks) may have seemed prohibitively expensive to 20th century audiences ;) but hey; 23/24th century industrial replicators (or IRL sufficiently advanced nanoassemblers) eliminate our finite-supply economics concerns with rarity/scarcity 'expensiveness' in ST future society eh so why not?

But it 'inspired' materials engineers to make ALON etc sooo...lightsabers someday? ;)

meanwhile yes one could, and in earlier years of the hobby some did, use faux sapphire and other coloured gemstones in our prop sabers but it took extra effort and lighting them in 'creative' ways and nowadays with seemingly everyone preferring colour changing RGB sabers the end-lit clear quartz crystal standard approach is usually more practical and certainly easier so probably better.

Bullet-proof military helicopter windows are made by integrating sapphire glass into regular glass, so....

Besides that, I've received two of the three sapphire half-boules that I ordered. They are heavier than glass, and super-duper clear on the inside, which actually makes them worse for lighting.

I'm going to do some experiments with them though: Polishing (polishing wheel and/or rock polisher), breaking (with hammer), cracking (boiling water -> ice water) and anything else I can think of...

I'm hoping that the hot/cold cracking will look interesting and not just reduce them to tiny pieces. Sapphires are supposedly very brittle, and there are lots of articles on the internet about how to conceal cracks in sapphires, but none about how to create them... :)


Offline LUMINARA UNDULI

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Re: Sapphire crystals for crystal chambers
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2018, 06:48:16 AM »
We have used them as accent pieces, and we once used a mystic topaz as a lit switch, but I have never used a sapphire in a crystal chamber.  Amethysts and quartz of many types but not sapphire.  I am interested to see your results once you find a way to deal with the opacity.  It is a nice idea  :grin:.  I love natural gemstones  :azn:.



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Offline profezzorn

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Re: Sapphire crystals for crystal chambers
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2018, 04:40:57 PM »
I still haven't done anything with my sapphires, but I saw some selenite yesterday, which might be an interesting choice for crystal chambers. Selenite is not "clear", like sapphires, but have structure, almost like wood. Might look pretty cool when lit up.