The Return Of The Jedi Luke Skywalker Lightsaber - Part Five - More Necks, Pommel Latch, Etc.
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And here is the other emitter, the one that is cut to BARELY fit the blade. I'll get the blade anchor plug machined tomorrow, and the rest of the neck. This will be the two versions of the neck, and how I am solving the detachable blade with such a short emitter.

Today's work involved the blade anchor plug that will serve as the inside of the emitter, holding the blade secure against the emitter shell. It was kind of dark in my office, so not so great a picture, let me turn on a light so you can see it better...

Oh yeah, we have ignition! The small bit of blade tube visible behind the emitter shell is very much like my Obi. I do this because it looks cool, and it gives me the most surface area inside the shell to anchor the blade.

It was so bright, it was messing with my camera, so the pic doesn't quite do it justice. I'll be finishing off the blade shortly, and beginning my wiring harnesses once I finish the two neck sections.

getting the wiring all threaded through my tubing, I have three wires running through the copper to the recharge port. In the brass tube just behind the threaded support rod, I have a single white wire for the positive feed for the blade, surrounded by seven smaller ribbon cable wires to handle the grounding sections and the clash sensor. The wires for the crystal chamber are already threaded through the base.

LOTS of wiring going on this week. Carefully and meticulously measuring, trimming fitting all the wiring and electronic components into the handle. Lots of tedious back and forth, measure twice, cut once, solder, heatshrink, sew the wires into place, etc. Also, got both neck pieces machined, and painted, once the enamel is cured, I'll sand off what needs to be silver, and drill for the setscrews that secure each neck piece into the hilt.

Here I mark each section with hash marks, easier to keep track of what section goes where.

The wiring of the blade is pretty small work, this is before heatshrinking the wires and stuffing them into the blade neck.

So here is what I am thinking for the pommel latch. I think I might lose some of the springwork in there, but for the most part it should go like this.

Here I am threading down through the template so all my bolt holes line up after I slice off my retainer plates.

The template fits fine, and everything lines up. The latch twists clockwise to lock, letting the larger diameter plug pull against the slot to close it.

Here's the front retaining plate on the template after turning. I'll do the same for the back retainer plate.

Here you see the final front retainer plate.. This method works pretty well as long as the threads all line up vertically enough to keep the work plate snug and tight to the template. I used some masking tape between the two while turning on the lathe to get the final smooth finish.

Well, this is as good a project as any to break in my new milling machine! Here I am milling out slots in the locking fins to allow the retainer bolts to go between fins.

Fin slots cut, now I countersink the screw holes so everything is flush. I do this by hand, as my drill press chatters when I attempt it, I just use the MT2 chuck with the countersink bit chucked in and press down and turn... .over and over again.

Screws countersunk, spacers machined, rod entry points countersunk so the support rods are fed into the lock instead of banging on the face of it.

Here it is locked, with the rods in it. I'll fine tune this a bit so that when it's all together, everything is flush and smooth.

It works BEAUTIFULLY. A nice snap open, and closed. The rods move through the lock smoothly, and without rattle or wobble. I need to machine a collar to fit this protrusion and the pommel, and drill a hole through the lock for the speaker wire.

Here is the lock knob with the collar on. You can see the slot I milled out to allow for plenty of room for the speaker connections. I don't want to risk shorting here, as main power goes to the speaker. I also had to shorten the lock knob a bit and hollow it out for wiring.

The pommel attaches to the lock with a single 6-32 set screw going from the surface of the pommel through the collar, and into the lock knob.


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