A New Hope Darth Vader Lightsaber - Part 1 - The initial sketch and battery case test
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The first thing I started doing was sketching out the moving parts, trying to come up with a good way to open and close the saber, which meant a reliable and durable locking mechanism. Naturally, before I had my head wrapped around the way this needed to work, I drew it backwards; as is evidenced by the annotation.

Correcting that, and sketching out the rest of the insides, I realized this wasn't far off from my ANH Graflex in terms of layout. (battery can, crystal chamber, plug into blade adapter) One thing that annoyed me about the ANH graflex was the fact that the crystal chamber itself was obscured by the top half of the graflex when the chassis was engaged into the blade adapter. Now I know the MPP based Vader sabers don't seperate in the middle like the graflex based sabers. I'll have to cut it just under the clamp, and machine a few parts to ensure than when it's closed, it will be sturdy.

Designing in a double springloaded reveal would solve that, and allow me some extra "cool factor" upon completion.

To put the rear mechanism to the test, I machined the appropriate (yet backwards, dangit) slots into a scrap piece of aluminum tubing. This piece is JUST as a test of the concept. The final version will be correct diameter, length, etc. and I'll make sure my edges aren't too sharp.

The size of the endmill I used is the same as this small rollerbearing I salvaged out of something. I could just use a static pin, but it wouldn't be as smooth an operation, and the wider surface area of the roller bearing will mean less stress on the attachment point at the flash wall.

Seen here, how the rear flash will fit over the battery can, slide forward...

...with the bearing moving in the groove of the can...

...till it hits a stop. The rear flash body will rotate to allow the bearing to engage the main slot...

...at which point, spring pressure will push the camera flash body back into "locked open" position. To close the saber, you'll push the rear body forward...

... then rotate closed.


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