Dang it, why didn't anyone tell me...?!?! [/melbrooks]
My opinion, okay, um, lesseee here...
I say go ahead, call yourself a smith, a master builder, tech, artist, installer, MHS
assembler... whatever. Because if no one did, there wouldn't be a lightsaber community. Whether or not old school dudes actually believed or deserved to be called it, is irrelevant, they called themselves whatever the heck they wanted. But if it wasn't for them, there wouldn't be anyone to look up to, compare yourself to, or exceed. It's time that has decided that so-and-so is a sabersmith, or so-and-so is a master builder. Although, I think Qui-gon is the only one who voluntarily called himself "MHS assembler". lol.
So yeah, call yourself what you will - everyone else will decide if it's correct.
What makes a sabersmith?
Here's what I think: someone else will say so, and the work will speak for itself. According to Katooso, I may possibly be one.
So when you say: "I consider this person a saber smith, but not that person.."
BAM, that's it. Entirely subjective, but ... yeah, entirely subjective.
If you made the whole hilt or just bought a kit and clipped the leads together, other people will see what you did, and will remember what they will and judge how they will. If you're lucky enough to be included in a discussion like this, be it private or public, THAT, imho, is what will determine who will be remembered, deemed, agreed is a smith or not.
On a side note... from my experience, that when a bunch of close-knit, like-minded folks get together, it doesn't matter what they call themselves (it's almost all tongue-in-cheek anyway... I was a muppet). People's personal motives for being involved will eventually rise to the forefront... be it artistry, money, helping people, build challenge, camaraderie - and they eventually pursue said motives, regardless of what they're called.
There's always going to be old folks, newbies, and a bunch of in betweeners. This was an argument when I started, and it's still going... but if it didn't happen as a community, someone would step in and force something arbitrary and stupid on everyone. So keep it up, ask again in a couple years, the more you opine, the more you casually influence folks to ascend to said levels, thus raising the communal bar, and inadvertently creating "real" sabersmiths and master builders.