|Project by rance||posted 08-30-2010 01:38 AM||4259 views||8 times favorited||18 comments|
Well, my oldest son who’s already grown and out of the nest asked me to help him with a project for a friend of his who was going to college. He wanted to make his friend a Light Saber. Yeah, from Star Wars. I watched most of the movies, but I couldn’t tell you who’s LS is whos. Both my son and his friend can tell you more SW facts than you’d ever need to know. My son also still owns several swords. While he was a teenager, I still remember him pretend sword fighting in the back yard. He can STILL swing a mean sword. All self taught.
I jumped at the chance since it meant spending some good memorable time with him in the shop. This LS was to resemble Obi Wan’s weapon of choice. Seems like the roman numeral “III” also comes into play, but how, is beyond me.
To sortof mimic the real one, uh, I mean the one from the move(there’s no such thing as a real light saber folks, or santa), we used similar woods for ‘like’ parts. Therefore, the Pommel, switch section, and the emitter are from Maple. For the part just behind the emitter, we used Yellowheart. The grenade and frog are Walnut. And the ribbed part between the switch and the pommel is from the scrap bin, close to Walnut, but not Walnut. Oh, and I think we used Bloodwood for the ribs on the switch.
I got some direction from my son for the shaping of the emitter, grenade, and the pommel and pretty much got those fashioned to shape before he arrived. He got some tool-time on the lathe while we were turning the Yellowheart. I had never turned YH before, it turns very nicely. I had him practice the steps that the final shape would have but for final size, he asked that I finish it out since this was sortof a one-shot deal. We didn’t have time to deal with a blowout.
I gave him the emitter to drill the 8 small holes in the end. I showed him how to lay it out using the index on the lathe, then it was removed from the pen mandrel and he did the rest of the work on the drill press. I also put him in charge of installing & gluing in the T-nuts in the emitter and the pommel.
The remainder of work of cutting of the threaded rod to length, final assembly, and lacquer finishing was assigned to him when he got home, again, due to time constraints. He is very conciencious with all the work that he does, and I thought he did an excellent job with his assignments. Looking at the pictures he sent me, I now see a circular scratch I left in the YH. All good projects need a flaw or two, right? :) Yeah, and I didn’t do a great job turning the tip of the emitter either. On another note, the screw holding the frog on is the only visible hardware. The next one will not have that design flaw.
We found some rough drawings online to use as a guide. Yeah, we took a little liberty with some of the parts so its not to exact scale. Mostly by choice, but at least two due to errors. :O) I look forward to many more of these and other projects we can do together in the shop. I had a BLAST!!! My younger son will be moving back home for a very short stint soon, it would be nice to spend some time with him in the shop too.
I welcome any and all comments, and also any constructive criticism.
-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--