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Saber Builders?

 
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Masterbean (Brian Bean)
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2008 6:34 pm    Post subject: Saber Builders? Reply with quote

History first, then my question. I'm attempting to build my own saber both the blade and hilt. I did some research and poking around and I had decided to go with the EL blade design. I picked up the supplies to light and diffuse it and I didn't like how not bright it ended up being. So I decided to go with LED.
I found a supplier of the Luxeon LED's after figuring out that just getting high intensity LED's barely produced a single Lumen.
To diffuse the LED light I decided to try Side Glow Fiberoptics and this is what my question(s) are all about.
I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with Side Glow Fiberoptics. I picked up some first with my high intensity LED's hoping it would help, and it didn't. So I tried it with my Luxeon colored LED (if memory serves it's about 100 lumens) and it does have a pretty nice glow to it, but both ends are very bright, which I find a little annoying. I was hoping the fiber optics would get rid of the source flare the just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. And in a way it's kind of doubled it.
Anyway, I'm wondering if there's a way to cut that down/out, if there's a way to get a better glow without increasing the source lumen output by either getting thinner/thicker dimensions or if that doesn't matter at all, or going from solid core to stranded increases/decreases the brightness.
Basically, I don't want to have to spend more money to find this out Laughing
I have a couple ideas but really until I know whether or not the path I'm going down leads anywhere I really don't want to take another step...so I'm shoutting down the path to see if anyone has already ventured here and can tell me what stones they would not recommend stepping upon...to stick with the path analogy.
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ArkaiHalon
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2008 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've never used the side glow fiber optics. what type of blade are you using?
my sabers use a hollow PC tube with a mirroed tip and about 20 ft of poly film (a $1 at the dollar tree), then I sand the blade exterior with fine grit sand paper.

It's a pretty even glow, I'll see if I can find a pic.
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Masterbean (Brian Bean)
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2008 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For the outter portion I currently have a Polycarbonate tube, however I wasn't paying attention when I ordered it and so it's the thin walled (1/16") style. I'm wanting to get a thicker wall, I may end up going back to the same place because everywhere else that is cheaper has a minimum of like $100 or the equivelant.
I was also considering using an Arcylic tube because I found a place that showed the impact resistance and it was listed as being slightly better.
So...the poly film is just rolled up and then inserted into the tube?
Where did you pick up the mirror for the tip?
The thing I like about the fiber optics is that it's somewhat transparent, so while the light is off it just adds to the, there's nothing there feel rather than look there's a tube with a white thing in it. (shrug) I know, it's a petty thing, but hey, it could be cool right?
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Darth Lars
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2008 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TCSS sells blade tubes, mirrored tips ... and many other saber parts.

I have heard that it is important that the end of the fiber is cut super-straight.
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Jay-gon Jinn (Jason Hetherington)
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2008 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do have experience with side-glow cable and can tell you it's not anywhere near as bright as simply using a Luxeon III, K2, or V led to light the blade. The side glow blade I built used thin-walled polycarbonate, and 14mm side glow cable. I have since discarded the blade style in favor of the blade films available at Ultrasabers and TCSS. A cheaper option is to use cellophane (clear plastic gift wrap found at dollar stores and wally-world). When turned off, the rolled up cellophane makes the blade look chrome.

To use the led to light the blade, use a collimating lens and a lens holder to focus the light up the blade, and let the diffuser film do the rest.

I've also had an acrylic blade, and that shattered, literally, on the first impact when I was playing with my son with his Hasbro toy lightsaber.

I have a few pictures of the saber that used it here:
http://www.saberknights.com/jgj/LuxSaberGallery.htm
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ArkaiHalon
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2008 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yes yes, to Jay Gon you listen. Awesome sabers does he build. Hmm. Especially his PVC kiddie saber. My son STILL can't demolish it, and it uses a thin walled blade.
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Jay-gon Jinn (Jason Hetherington)
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 1:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ArkaiHalon wrote:
yes yes, to Jay Gon you listen. Awesome sabers does he build. Hmm. Especially his PVC kiddie saber. My son STILL can't demolish it, and it uses a thin walled blade.


How many times has the blade tip come off?
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ArkaiHalon
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 2:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

only twice, and it's been almost a year. He's the reason i now use the clear heatshrink i mentioned over at TCSS.
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Masterbean (Brian Bean)
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 4:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks very much for the information! I have looked at TCSS many times, but I was just wondering if there was a way to get the tip with the mirror elsewhere.
I see your pics about the sideglow cable and that whole extra glow and both ends thing is annoying, the 14mm with the polycarbonate tube was the next route I was going to go. I think you're right about just dropping fiber optics. I was tempted to try the many small strands braided together to see if they did lose as much light in the middle, but then I'd have to put something around that anyway to cover it up, since it wouldn't be a single core...which at that point, why have the fiber optic.
I think I'll stick with the polycarbonate after hearing about your acrylic incident. Thanks for the information! I actually have a roll of cellophane that was purchased on accident with no idea what to do with it, heh. I'll have to experiment now! or...well when I have time.
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Masterbean (Brian Bean)
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Jay-gon Jinn, thanks for posting the URL you have for your lightsaber work. I have a question though, in one of the videos it shows you testing out the sound board. When you were swinging the saber I noticed it bend and I was wondering, was that the thin walled polycarbonate that's bending that way or something else?
If that is the way the thin walled (1/16") poly bends, have you tried the thick? (1/8")? does it no longer bend during the swing, or is it just less?
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ArkaiHalon
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not Jay-Gon, but in general practice, the "bend" during a swing is an optical illusion. It might flex a little bit on an impact.
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Masterbean (Brian Bean)
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nice, thanks for the information. I guess I should just get TCSS's diffuser than so I can also get the mirrored tip as I can't find them anywhere else and so far no one has pointed me towards any other alternatives.

I noticed that Jay-gon put his lense in the base of the blade...I'm considering affixing the lense onto the Luxeon itself, as I picked up some of the Endor white light (it should be called bright light) LED's, then put a colored disk on the bottom of the blade, that way without the blade I have an awesome flash light...but suppose if I don't install the lense into the blade it'll be more difficult to actually seal the blade...(shrug)
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Jay-gon Jinn (Jason Hetherington)
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 10:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, there was alot of bend to that blade in the video, and it's part of the reason I got rid of the fiber optic cable. It was just too heavy for the blade, and gave it that "wet-noodle" flop seen in the video.

The only saber I have that has the lens in the blade is this one:

That is just due to the nature of the sabers design. It was the only way to get a lens in there with out totally re-doing the emitter. That is the saber that used to run the hasbro sound board, a Luxeon I cyan led, and the fiberoptic cable blade. The cable lit up best with the end of it right up against the dome of the led, so there was no space for the lens in the design. I didn't think it necessary at the time, but live and learn, I guess!

I ditched the fiberoptic cable and switched it over to the film type diffusers, but the only way to properly light one of those types of blades is with a focusing lens or reflector. And since the emitter wasn't designed for it, I had to put the lens in there somehow. The best way to do it is like this:

Take a Luxeon star III led (or whatever type you have) and combine it with one of these:

To get one of these:

The above pieces can all be picked up at TCSS, and fit in the MHS sabers perfectly.

Put the lens on the star, and install the blade holder of your choice:
[img][/img]
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Masterbean (Brian Bean)
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for those pics. So I saw on TCSS they had a pre-order going for a sound board right now, so I picked that up and just went ahead and ordered a completed blade.
I am curious and I know this sounds like there's really no way but I want to make sure I'm just not missing something: Is there a tool out there that will put threads onto a pipe, specifically aluminum? either on the inside or out...I'm trying to make sure the ideas I'm rolling around in my head for the hilt are doable without needing a machine shop Laughing
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Jay-gon Jinn (Jason Hetherington)
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Masterbean wrote:
Thanks for those pics. So I saw on TCSS they had a pre-order going for a sound board right now, so I picked that up and just went ahead and ordered a completed blade.
I am curious and I know this sounds like there's really no way but I want to make sure I'm just not missing something: Is there a tool out there that will put threads onto a pipe, specifically aluminum? either on the inside or out...I'm trying to make sure the ideas I'm rolling around in my head for the hilt are doable without needing a machine shop Laughing


There are tools out there called pipe threaders, but I think for what they cost ($3500 +!!!), you'd be better off having a machine shop make the parts you need, or contact some of the sabersmiths that are out there. One in particular that comes to mind is Acerocket of Orbitalmachining.com.
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