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Author Topic: My first Graflex... On it's way to an FX Luxeon!  (Read 18148 times)

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Offline Baena

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My first Graflex... On it's way to an FX Luxeon!
« on: June 03, 2007, 07:41:39 PM »
Hi all!
I've decided to join these forums after lurking and reading a lot of your posts!  I posted an introduction in the padawan thread: http://www.fx-sabers.com/forum/index.php?topic=7629.0

I recently won this awesome hilt from ebay.  (see pic links below) It's definitely a graflex replica, I'm guessing a parks.  Maybe someone could help confirm?
I bought it from a good fellow who was going to make a fan film, and had this made as a stunt saber. (thus the duct tape)

It is what it is, I have no clamp piece so that will be my next purchase when I've saved the funds for it. I'll probably go with the Parks unless anyone else knows of others?  Parks looks REALLY good to me though and is a decent price for such craftsmanship.  And to make it "A NEW HOPE" friendly saber replica (with the addition of the covertech male piece, I guess I could justify that as a transitional hilt between Episode 3 and 4.  :P ) I'll also need a glass eye blade retention screw when I go to get my blade socket... most likely the new deluxe socet from graflexshop.  8)  And even though it does have that covertech male piece, I'll probably get a d-ring for the pommel from Blast-tech supplies.  You know, to give it that more authentic movie replica charm.  :)

Now with the few questions I have right out of the gate for this lovely hilt...

Notice the square based brass pins in the "plug" area?  I'm guessing the cool brass pins tool won't work for that?  Any ideas what I could use there to remove those?

Also, any idea if the big red button by the bunny ears could be converted into the actual ignition button when the luxeon blade socket goes in there?
I know it's tight, but looking at the pics of the blade socket on graflex shop, it looks like there's maybe a little space there for a small switch and wires...
Am I being too hopeful there?  And would just be better off putting the switch in the clamp area similar to the MR sabers?

Then in regards again to gutting the top end of the hilt.  Everything seems pretty straight forward with the exeption of those wierd square based brass pins, but two spots, the pin/thing there below the big red button, and the small almost unnoticable chrome switch.  How are those removed?

Help me oh ye sabersmiths of greatness... You're my only hope.  ;)

Here's the saber.

Here are those strange pins.

And here's a look down the hilt.

« Last Edit: June 03, 2007, 07:48:25 PM by Baena »

Offline Wondermon2000

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Re: My first Graflex... On it's way to an FX Luxeon!
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2007, 12:02:51 PM »
talk to the man "Yoda "   8)
welcome to the forum !
« Last Edit: June 06, 2007, 12:04:22 PM by WONDERMON2000 »
Steve

Offline Baena

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Re: My first Graflex... On it's way to an FX Luxeon!
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2007, 08:25:10 PM »
Thanks for the welcome and the advise.

You see this Yoda?
Any ideas?

I think I can use some tweezers on some of the pins, as they're a little loose already, but some are DANG tight, tweezers won't do...

As to the little slider button... I've seen here a couple of ideas. One sounds promising, where you cut off the tip on the inside with a dremmel I presume?

What about the little attachment to the big red switch button behind the bunny ears?  How does that come out?

Thanks for looking!  :)

Offline Timmy-Wan Kenobi

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Re: My first Graflex... On it's way to an FX Luxeon!
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2007, 03:25:21 AM »
You can actually buy a tool from TCSS that is specifically designed to undo the brass pins.
It is worth it as it makes it so easy to remove and replace the pins wothout damaging them or the graflex.  ;)

Offline Luke S.

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Re: My first Graflex... On it's way to an FX Luxeon!
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2007, 05:01:20 AM »
Welcome to the forum Baena,

I consider myself a padawan as well and Yoda is def the master of the Graflex so direct any questions to him as he has helped me out.  But I will help you with what I know and this was acquired from our master.

First I am not sure about a new clamp from parks fitting on a vintage so hit yoda with that before you buy.  In fact verify everything before you buy as i wasted 60 bucks on batteries and a charger that I won't be able to use.  there are some custom guys that do gralfex's that may be able to make you a clamp that would fit but the price might be high. 

OK the big red button.  If you are careful can screw right out of that little beer tab holder as there is a small slit that if matched up will thread right off.  This will allow you to work on things easier and also for ploishing.  I used MAAS metal cleaner found at WALGREEN's.  Hand buff only with a rag as you want to be careful with the old plating coming off.  I am using my vintage red button as my activation switch by placing a small micro switch underneath.  There will be some grinding of the red button rivet and plunger but I have not done that yet as I am still waitng for the parts to see how much I actually need to grind down.

As for removing the bunny ears there is a rivet above the red button.  I carefully used a small "pin punch" and hammer to carefully tap it out.  Be gentle as not to break your vintage, it is 60 years old.  Later on you will need to tap out these holes for a small screw to reattach the bunny ears.   The screw will allow you to remove them easily rather than tapping out the rivet everytime.

The switch on the side stays and you can carefully remove the long part of the little tab on the inside, but don't remove the whole thing or the switch will fall right off.

The brass pins on the side can be removed with the pin tool sold at TCSS, graflex shop and reused if you want.  I just put duct tape on some needle nose pliers and took them out that way.  I am going to replace them with new shorter ones from the graflex shop.

As for the covertec wheel i think you may be able to fix this.  If you can remove your grips you should be set.  You don't have the rivets like the ESB since it's ANH so you can replace the grips anywhere you like. like right over the hole that held on the covertec. 

I used Blastech for my parts and loved them.  They have the whole kit or just parts separately.  Be careful with the d ring as you need to tap the holes and screw it on, DO NOT USE THE NUTS from blastech you will need to grind down all screws so they don't protrude into the hilt as this will prevent your electronics from sliding in.

Yoda has a very cool kit soon to be out and you can check it out under "graflex sneek peek"  He has a blade holder also that should be the best there is.  He has put a lot of time into the graflex and probably will have the best set out there.

I am going to use his new "chassis" that will hold the batteries and other internals.  I am also going to add Ultra's Soundboard and either a lux v or the k2 with yoda's new crystal pulsing core.

I am a DIYer but if you choose not to or get stuck Yoda could prob help you out. 


JUST DON'T DRILL ANY HOLES OR MODIFY THE BASIC HILT UNTIL YOU ARE SURE YOU ARE DOING THE RIGHT THING YOU DON'T WANTTO DESTROY YOUR VINTAGE GRAFLEX!!!!!!!!

Offline Baena

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Re: My first Graflex... On it's way to an FX Luxeon!
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2007, 08:40:57 AM »
Thank you so much for the info LukeS!  :)
Thanks also to Chewbacca for the info on the tool.  I actually know about that tool and intend to get it plus the shorter pins to replace these, but if you look at my pics again, the one entitled "strange pins" You'll see that the bases are sqaure, not hexagonal!  :o  So I'm guessing that tool won't work on these?  But like LukeS said, I may have to just be careful with tweezers and loosen the others with a pair of needle nose pliers and some duct tape for protection.

@ LukeS again... You're talking like my hilt there is a vintage Graflex... While that would be cool, I really doubt that's the case.
Some more info on this hilt that I might not have been clear about in my post above.

I got this hilt off ebay, from a guy that was going to use it as a stunt prop in a fan film he was going to do but never did.
He had another auction for an Obi Wan Luxeon that he had built by Parks.  So as he used Parks for one prop, I'm guessing that this Graflex is also a Parks replica, not a vintage.  If it is a vintage... It is in AMAZING condition, but again, I highly doubt it's a real Graflex.

I may keep the covertech knob there... I'm still toying with that idea.  I've got a jedi belt and covertech clip which is more reliable for carrying hilt on my person.  But I'll definitely be going with the Blast-Tech kit for new grips!  And I'll still put the d-ring on the back as it really adds that Star Wars charm to the hilt.  Thanks for the tip on the screws!  ;D

A newbie question, I'm aware of Graflexshop.com, and I'm aware of Yoda here on the boards and other FX boards... Is Yoda's shop and the Graflex shop one and the same?

I totally plan to get his blade holder/luxeon mount when I've saved the $$$ for it, AFTER I get this hilt put together as a good replica of the ANH hilt.  ;)

I'm a bit of a DIYer too, and want to do as much as I can on this, but it's so good to know there are guys like Yoda around to save my bacon if I get stuck.  I'm an artist (illustrator) and as such, I won't to anything to damage my saber severely, I've got a fairly good steady hand and understand the importance of having the best tool for the job.  But I also recognize that I will get stuck at some point and will need help... Thus my posts here!  8)


Offline Luke S.

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Re: My first Graflex... On it's way to an FX Luxeon!
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2007, 11:44:07 AM »
Hey B,

Yeah sorry I read the replica thing and it looked so real I got carried away.  If it is a Parks then from what I hear it is an extremely close fax to a vintage.  That said you should be able to get the clamp.  I also have the square base pins on my vintage. 

As for Yoda and the graflex shop as far as I know they are separate but I believe they may have gonw in together on designing that new holder.  I know Yoda has one and I think it may be that one. You can also get the bubble strip from Blastech. And the mylar tape.

I would still recommend getting Yoda's chassis when it comes out this month as it will be a perfect fit and able to house all of the components.

Check this vid out from C4 you'll be hooked.  This is Yoda's "crystal core"  It uses a k2 luxeon for the blade and this little chamber for added effect..  ie just to look freakin cool.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LmS40MWGlpI

The only downside is because the lux v battery pack is so large you need the extra space required for the crystal core.  I big dilemma here as both setups are way cool.  Now you have some hard thinking to do. :D
« Last Edit: June 07, 2007, 02:20:24 PM by Luke S. »

Offline Baena

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Re: My first Graflex... On it's way to an FX Luxeon!
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2007, 02:13:10 PM »
The chassis sounds excellent!  I hope it's not too expensive, but at the same time, I don't want Yoda getting ripped off either.
Something to save for then for sure!

Yoda and the Graflexshop.com are not the same then?  Does Yoda have a website/store separate from here?  Or do we just PM him what we're after?

I'm new here, so he doesn't know me from Adam yet.  That crystal core is AWESOME!  Seeing as I'm trying to get the right components to do this myself, I doubt I'd get the core... but as the Great Jedi said. "Difficut to see the future is..."  8)  Again, as I'm newer to the FX sabers, I really want this to be my first Luxeon.  I'm building a TCSS MHS saber with my daughter, and then I plan to convert my MR Obi Wan to a luxeon.

So for my wallet... I've got a few things going already!  :D

As to my pins, I think it's possible that those are vintage, they certainly look aged compared to the rest of the shell.
Perhaps when this was built, whoever built it, took a vintage core and gave it a new shell?  The guy that had this built said he only paid $80 for this hilt with no clamp.   So I'm guessing it could be a hodge podge of parts used to piece this together?

Offline Luke S.

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Re: My first Graflex... On it's way to an FX Luxeon!
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2007, 02:28:57 PM »
I'm sure you can come up with something.  It looks to be a nice hilt.  AS for a shop jsut shoot yoad a pm and he'll get back to you.  He doesn't have prices up yet as this is all just coming out.  I have been waitng since february and you are on the eve of greatness.  C4 took up some time and yoda is waiting to get ultra's soundboard to make some tests then we shall see. hopefully in the next couple of weeks.

Hard to guess the cost but I would say maybe 300 for all the parts including the blastech kit, less the bare hilt   Yoda will be charging i think somewhere in the mid 400 range and mine will be pretty close to that when it's all done.  the soundboard form ultra is 79$.

I'll pm you my shopping list but this is only my starter so don't go ordering anything until you talk to yoda.  You don't want to buy a part you won't need.

Offline Baena

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Re: My first Graflex... On it's way to an FX Luxeon!
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2007, 03:04:15 PM »
Thank you again for your help Luke S!  Got the PM.  ;)

The list is excellent, though I don't know if I'll be able to get everything, I've got to think some more about what I want for this saber.  ;D

I will definitely be getting the ultra sound board for sure!  I've seen the video on Ultra's site, I'm sold!  :D

Do y'all think I need to get that soundboard right away?  Or will I have time to save up for one?

Another question... Where to put the activator switch?
Under the bubbles on the clamp?  Or would it be possible to put it under the big red button behind the bunny ears?
I know the blade holder has to go there, but I think I read on here somewhere that Yoda is able to put the switch up there?
That his blade holder gives room for a low profile switch?  Both of my red button screws there are functional buttons...
This so?  ;D
« Last Edit: June 07, 2007, 03:14:57 PM by Baena »

Offline Luke S.

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Re: My first Graflex... On it's way to an FX Luxeon!
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2007, 03:50:46 PM »
B

Yes Yoda should be able to hook you up with a low profile switch to go under the vintage red buttton.  If you are doing ANH then you will want to get the glass eye to replace the second red button.  The glass eye will be your thumbscrew blade retention bolt.  The new holder will have a cut out for the button to go.  Like i said earlier i am not sure if we will need to grind down the rivet on the red button and also the plunger for the micro switch but yoda will fill us in soon enough. 

I just noticed that the Graflex shop now carries the grafles button/switch.  They hadn't had that listed before.  This will make the conversion easier as no messing with the old vintage button.

« Last Edit: June 07, 2007, 04:26:07 PM by Luke S. »

Offline Baena

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Re: My first Graflex... On it's way to an FX Luxeon!
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2007, 06:11:18 AM »
Excellent, Thanks again LukeS!
You're squashing many of my concerns and just getting me more jazzed about this hilt! (As if I wasn't jazzed already!)
Now if I only had all the cash I need to order all the parts at once! ... We can all dream right?  :D
And you're right on the ANH accurate hilt, and I was already planning to get  the glass retention screw.  ;D
« Last Edit: June 08, 2007, 06:16:29 AM by Baena »

Offline Luke S.

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Re: My first Graflex... On it's way to an FX Luxeon!
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2007, 04:24:16 PM »
Be glad you're doing ANH not ESB as you don't need to drill the grip holes.  To answer your question earlier.  Ultra said he was not sure whne he would make another sound board run.  No idea what to expect here but I can't imagine this board not taking off.  Personally I wouldn't wait to find out I would order one now to be safe, just in case.  They are 79$.  You must have sound and this is going to be a great board.

Glad to help out. and don't forget that yoda is that best converter out there.  I am just a nooob with a little info.

keep us posted we love to see home job stuff.

Offline Anatim

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Re: My first Graflex... On it's way to an FX Luxeon!
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2007, 10:38:07 AM »
...
I just noticed that the Graflex shop now carries the grafles button/switch.  They hadn't had that listed before.  This will make the conversion easier as no messing with the old vintage button.

aww....i have my conversion kit for a month....the old one! with these two useless switches...and now they sell this new kit with 2 inch more  space in the hilt ...
they should have told me that, BEFORE i ordered... now i need the switch for  15$  + 15$ shipping....
i feel a little bit kidded....

Offline Luke S.

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Re: My first Graflex... On it's way to an FX Luxeon!
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2007, 11:12:59 AM »
...
I just noticed that the Graflex shop now carries the grafles button/switch.  They hadn't had that listed before.  This will make the conversion easier as no messing with the old vintage button.

aww....i have my conversion kit for a month....the old one! with these two useless switches...and now they sell this new kit with 2 inch more  space in the hilt ...
they should have told me that, BEFORE i ordered... now i need the switch for  15$  + 15$ shipping....
i feel a little bit kidded....


Don't feel bad ani.  You came in in the middle of a lot o breakthoughs both with ultra's sound board and the new graflex configuration.  This is why i have been stressing to Baena the importance of patience and checking with Yoda or forum members before making a purchase.  I was in your boat in february and jumped the gun and spent 60 bucks on batteries and a charger that are now useless to me.  You should still be able to use that holder you will just be limited on space in the hilt.  you may suffer with battery runtime and you won't be able to you yoda's new chassis.  Guessing you got the sale price on the holder so you shouldn't be out too much.  if it were me i would just suck it up and count it as a loss and go with yoda's setup.  if you are going to spend 300 bucks on a saber you might as well do it up right. And yoda is the man to set you up with the right stuff.

The graf shop was simply selling off their products while they were developing new stuff.   Technology moves so fast sometimes.  VCR,DVD, DVD recorder, now blue ray,  at least your holder wasn't that much. :)

PM yoda before you make any more purchases, he will hook you up and point you in the right direction.