Hello, I’m Odin, and today I’m gonna finish something I started in Dallas, Texas. I was in Texas the first week of December in 2019 and I was visiting Dallas Makerspace. Max Kirkland suggested we make two projects: a Gonk Droid and a Darksaber. He wanted this dark saber to be milled from a block of aluminum, which we asked Luke to help us with. Max would laser cut plastic to make the blade, and we can add LED light effects following Bob’s idea from his channel ‘I Like to Make Stuff’. While Max and I focused on making the Gonk droid, Luke Androske handled the milling machine work. [Luke] I’ve been a member of the makerspace for almost a year now. I actually moved down here from Wisconsin. I had training in machining, fabrication, welding, whole nine yards back in high school so I’ve been doing this kind of stuff for about eight years now on and off. Just started with a piece of, you know, bar stock, a little bit over a foot, and this was just a scrap piece of aluminum and just a little piece of plate. You know, this is more of an artistic thing, I’m not designing it completely in CAD software or anything it’s just rough estimates, essentially. First things first is we machine all the faces smooth so we have a nice clean piece of metal and then I figured out what the spacing would be on the grooves and then as soon as I had one face done I flipped it and used this previous groove I cut to start cutting these grooves and then I could flip it again around these grooves and then finish it up on the last side. And then after that, just drilled some pockets in there, guess we need to get wiring, put a battery pack out through the front and then a little piece of aluminum, cut it out on the bandsaw, this angle here sanded it out, same thing with this, just cut it the rough shape on the bandsaw I actually put a score on the bandsaw bringing it into the blade, kind of like that and then bent it, and then I actually welded the backside, reground it flush. Same thing with that, you know, you start with a chunk of aluminum, set it up, mill the correct angles out do the pockets on that, and then I actually put this in the the Sherline, we have a micro mill here. I did that really thin nice kind of engraving work here for the small details there And then finishing up we’ll be able to insert the electronics up from the front and then insert the blade and lock the blade in with a screw I’ll have this screw on to the back instead of welded, that way you’ll be able to access it from here. [Odin] What little bit I’ve done with aluminum it’s always really shiny and this is not [Luke] This is not, no. We actually put this in vapor hone which is essentially a media blaster it propels a bunch of abrasive, you know, water jet [Odin] Oh, okay. [Luke] and it just gives us this nice kind of satin finish [Odin] I’m very excited about this, and thank you, I really appreciate your help with this, there’s no way I could do this. [Luke] This is a really, really fun project.
[Odin] Nice. Thank you very much. Now, we weren’t able to get the saber done before I had to catch a flight and go back to California. My checked luggage was searched, of course. There was a metal Darksaber handle in my travel case! Now, I did get it home safe, but while I was traveling and sitting in airports I also knew that all of my online personal data was safe because I was using Dashlane. Dashlane is known for their excellent security with password management and the intuitive Dashlane app is available across all platforms and devices. It can automatically fill in and store passwords, personal data, and payment details. all with a master password that only you know. It’s never stored anywhere else. You can even keep digital copies of sensitive documents secured with patented security architecture including dark web and credit monitoring, a built in VPN, and up to a million dollars an identity theft insurance. Dashlane is the only app that both prevents and protects you from the risks of digitally storing and sharing your data. I want to thank Dashlane for supporting my channel, and you can too. Download Dashlane for free on your first device by clicking on the link below and automatically get a 30-day free trial of premium. No credit cards required at sign up.
Thank you. visiting Dallas Makerspace was awesome! I really enjoyed working with Max on the Gonk Droid and I really enjoyed working with Luke on the Darksaber handle. Luke’s Darksaber. That’s that’s fun to say. I gotta say I’m excited to actually hold a aluminum-milled Darksaber handle. I never expected to actually get to do that, that’s very cool. While we were there we were trying to make the blade because the idea was to get it all done at the Makerspace. Well, the two things that ran against us: one, acrylic plastic breaks, and two, I ran out of time and had to catch a plane to fly back to Sacramento. So, while we successfully cut a blade in Dallas, we broke it. So now that I’m back here, I’ve bought a piece of 3/8 inch polycarbonate because the LEDs I want to use actually don’t require the full half-inch of plastic, they’ll fit within 3/8 so the blade can be a little bit thinner I’m going to use polycarbonate because that won’t break, at least not as easily as acrylic and I’m gonna make the blade out of that. Before I cut my only piece of plastic, I make a cardboard pattern. Wookiepedia specifically says that blade is 90 cm, so I mark my blade length and cut it out. Then I adjust the shoulder of the blade to fit the angles for the aluminum. Sheets of plastic come with a protective film of plastic or paper to protect them from getting scratched It also allows you to draw your cut lines on them. I can use my fine tooth wood blades on both acrylic and polycarbonate plastics, it just leaves a rough cut edge. Now, you can get saw blades and drill bits that are made to cut plastic. They’re safer to use, and you get a nicer, smoother cut. I need to cut out the middle of the blade so the LED strip can fit inside. I make a single cut on the tang of the blade. the wires will feed through here and I keep cutting up the blade until I get to the tip where I had drilled a 3/8 inch hole This hole gave me the room I needed to turn the blade around and continue cutting. I clean all the dust off the blade. I don’t want any stray dust getting into my glue seams. The black acrylic has protective paper. I cut and peel off what I need so I can apply glue. The polycarbonate has a plastic film that is paper colored. I lay the two on top of each other lining them up on the only place where the black will touch the grip and I use a glue applicator to saturate the seam between the two halves. I cut a very thin piece of polycarbonate to cover the gap on the tang. The tang is actually gonna be stronger this way. The glue sets in a few minutes and I remove the extra black acrylic. I use a long drill bit to make it easier to feed the wires through the tang. I clean off the dust again and I tape the ends of some small wire and push them into the hole of the tang. Tweezers will help pull the wires through on the inside. I desolder the wires from the battery pack on the LED strip and reconnect them with my red and black wires and then cover the connection with shrink tube. A quick test that everything works:
There it is. and I start stuffing the LEDs inside the blade. I also put a bit of foam in the middle. It’ll press the LEDs against the polycarb and they won’t rattle. and I get to put some foam into this build. I cut the extra LEDs off that I don’t need. This particular strip can be cut between any one of the LEDs, and having fewer of them, the batteries will last longer. I pull the adhesive backing off the LED strip because why not? Let’s just pretend it makes the blade lighter. I peel the paper off the other piece of black acrylic and flood it with Weld-On 4 glue. I can’t apply it from the inside this time, so I want enough glue to do the job. I set the blade on top and put some weights on it. Ten minutes later the glue should be set. Don’t forget, you got wires on this thing now. One more little piece of polycarb on the side of the tang… Oh my gosh I was an idiot! Oh! Oh, oh, oh! No! I did that?? It really helps when you peel the backing off both pieces of plastic before you try to stick them together. so uh let’s try that again. Once I have the acrylic successfully glued on, I check the lights. Thank you. I can now trim the black acrylic off the side of the blade. I remove the switch and battery connectors from the LED strip so I can use them. I use a carbide milling bit on my rotary tool to make a hole for the switch to sit in. It’ll be hidden just under the cross guard. I drill two holes into the hilt so I can use screws to hold the tang of the blade. Ignore the middle dot, I didn’t use it. I use a countersink bit on those holes to make the top wide enough for a screw to fit into. There we are, that’s what I want. So one thing I can say is, thank you to The Force Awakens for making Phillips head screws canon. Sure does make prop building a lot easier! I use my 12 inch disc sander to sand down the edges of the blade to make a kind of cutting edge. I set the guide table as low as it’ll go which is just over 45 degrees. The hardest, scariest part was not chipping the tip of the blade. The disc sander left some pretty heavy tooth marks on the plastic and I use a sanding drum to smooth out the tooth marks and then hand sand it to get a fairly smooth frosted edge. So, as I do this, it seems like it would be a good idea to just bring this to a polish. I’ve sanded it and I’ve got it to this level, just a little bit more it’ll be all shiny and perfect plastic You don’t want to do that because if it’s totally clear, you’re just gonna see the LEDs. All the scratches is gonna diffuse the light and actually help make all the plastic glow. I solder the switch to the LED wires. It’s going to interrupt the negative wire and I will simply superglue the switch to the hilt. Slip one wire through the hilt to the pommel and that’ll be the negative lead. The positive is inside, and both have that battery spring to keep the batteries in place. I marked where I needed to drill pilot holes for the set screws. I’m very careful to not drill all the way and cut the wires that are inside. And it’s tricky to get all the wires, the switch, and the tang inside the hilt because there’s not that much room. Then I can put in the set screws. Polycarbonate is softer than acrylic. If I did this to acrylic, it would break. I use some rub and buff gold to highlight the boxes and some liquid silver permanent ink in the recessed lines. The rest I leave as is. The textured surface that Luke did is perfect. I replace the batteries with fresh ones taped together. I can get three AAA batteries in the hilt and the battery leads are shrink tubed to prevent an electrical short. The little pommel piece has a set screw in it so it can be securely attached and I can remove the plastic film from both sides of the blades. Most of the items I used for this build I picked up locally. I put a part list in the description. Started in Texas, finished in California. I’ve got a Darksaber! This thing is cool! I love the fact that it’s an aluminum hilt and there’s no way that I could have done that here so HUGE thank you to Dallas Makerspace, and specifically Luke I like the fact that Luke made the Darksaber and Max for making this whole project come together. It’s very cool. The only thing that, if I could have done slightly different that I would have is include a small bit of diffusion plastic in between the LEDs and the polycarbonate because that would have hid the hot spots of each LED and it wouldn’t have looked quite so much like an LED strip But you know what? It looks just like a Darksaber and This is how Odin Makes. Alright, and is it brighter? No, it’s not brighter at all. No, that’s a lot worse actually, Damn it. I want to thank Vickie Hill, 2 Sweet, and all of my Patreon supporters. You guys really do make this show possible. If you liked the video don’t forget to subscribe! Have an idea for something for me to make? Please leave a comment below. And if you make any of these projects you can send me a picture.