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TOPIC: US Apprentice Overhaul

US Apprentice Overhaul 2 months 6 days ago #86788

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I posted about this in DIY Electronics, but I figured I would make a post about the hilt itself as well. I'm looking to completely overhaul my old Ultrasabers Apprentice. I plan to gut the saber and redo the internals, and the hilt itself is going to get some weathering and shattering done to it.

Quick question before I start: what size allen wrenches do I need to unscrew the blade screw and Covertech screw? I lost the wrench that came with this saber a long time ago, and between that and being unable to find replacements for either screw in my dad's toolbox (or online for the Covertech screw), it seems like Ultrasabers doesn't want me changing this saber at all!

Once I get some help on things, I'll post a better itinerary and start dropping some WIP pictures. All advice is appreciated!

US Blade Retention: 5/64 allen wrench
US Covertech Screw: 9/64 allen wrench
SF Blade Retention:
SF Covertech Screw:


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Last Edit: 2 months 6 days ago by Eddlyss64.
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US Apprentice Overhaul 2 months 6 days ago #86807

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UltraSabers uses 5/64 for the blade retention screw in that hilt and 9/64 is what they use for Covertec wheels.

I have one of these in my toolbox:

https://www.amazon.com/Stanley-Tools-STHT71800-8-Piece-Folding/dp/B00D4C189S
Last Edit: 2 months 6 days ago by scifidude79.
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US Apprentice Overhaul 2 months 6 days ago #86821

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scifidude79 wrote:
UltraSabers uses 5/64 for the blade retention screw in that hilt and 9/64 is what they use for Covertec wheels.

I have one of these in my toolbox:

https://www.amazon.com/Stanley-Tools-STHT71800-8-Piece-Folding/dp/B00D4C189S

Of course they're some kind of screwy size! Criminy... :dry:

While we're on the subject, what size do I need for Saberforge's screws? Same size? I'd like to know to be able to get an all purpose tool so I don't have to keep going out to get new allen wrenches.


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US Apprentice Overhaul 2 months 6 days ago #86832

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Also, I'm looking to start gutting this saber so that I can start doing weathering. If I can, I plan to make a trip to Menards after classes if I can today to pick up some supplies. Anyone got any tips for removing the latching switch inside the saber, and will I be able to keep all of the connections intact?


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US Apprentice Overhaul 2 months 5 days ago #86860

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So I went to Menards today after school with forty bucks and a mission. When I left the store 45 minutes later, I had bought myself a dremel, the necessary allen keys (props to scifidude79 for the multipurpose key tool idea), and two sanding sponges of different grits for sanding my hilt. All for under that $40 price point. Go me.

Anyway, I got home and tried the 5/64 key, and the blade slid out on a quarter turn.



Anyway, I then unscrewed the Covertech wheel from the hilt. Unfortunately, that sucker leaves behind a pretty nasty looking hole, which I'm going to need to plug at some point with a set screw or something. Perhaps I'll add a D-Ring to be different? Who knows.

The LED and it's focusing lens appear to be held in solely by the...length of the wires? Yikes. I haven't started dismantling the hilt yet, but from poking around it seems that the LED is held in by its wires, but doesn't fall to the bottom thanks to the switch. A new set screw will need to be drilled for that.

I'll be adding pictures of the hilt shortly because my phone is acting up. Still don't know how I'm going to yank out the internals, help on that subject would be very much appreciated.


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US Apprentice Overhaul 2 months 5 days ago #86865

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Yup, good 'ol Ultrasabers and their "let's just jam the LED between the blade and switch" method.

Here's an Apprentice V4 that I weathered via Birchwood Casey Aluminum Black, if you need some ideas on how to dirty yours up lol.


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US Apprentice Overhaul 2 months 5 days ago #86871

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Eddlyss64 wrote:
scifidude79 wrote:
UltraSabers uses 5/64 for the blade retention screw in that hilt and 9/64 is what they use for Covertec wheels.

I have one of these in my toolbox:

https://www.amazon.com/Stanley-Tools-STHT71800-8-Piece-Folding/dp/B00D4C189S

Of course they're some kind of screwy size! Criminy... :dry:

While we're on the subject, what size do I need for Saberforge's screws? Same size? I'd like to know to be able to get an all purpose tool so I don't have to keep going out to get new allen wrenches.

They’re not screwy sizes, they’re pretty common. SaberForge uses the same sizes. For blade retention, they go with small and commonly available grub screws, and the Covertec knobs are #86875
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KelbornX wrote:
Yup, good 'ol Ultrasabers and their "let's just jam the LED between the blade and switch" method.

Here's an Apprentice V4 that I weathered via Birchwood Casey Aluminum Black, if you need some ideas on how to dirty yours up lol.



Ooh, I dig that. I think I want to go for a dulled, worn out saber that's taken the brunt of plenty of blasts of Force Lightning. What I have in mind is a pitted, banged-up and generally worn out saber for most of the grip, then fade into a blackened and glossy color at the choke and emitter to emulate metal glazing under heat. The shattering effect is gonna be most prevalent up there as well, and get less so down the hilt. I'll draw something up here at some point so that I can have an idea of what I want specifically. I'm thinking about punching out a couple of those emitter windows, as well...


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US Apprentice Overhaul 2 months 5 days ago #86887

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WIP Post. I have officially resigned from my seat with the Emerald Knights of Saberforge Forums, at least for now. It was actually kind of interesting gutting this saber. I feel like it taught me a thing or two, or at the very least helped to reinforce things I already know about the hobby.



One empty Apprentice hilt, ready to be turned into a masterpiece. I'll be posting a quick sketch of what I want the saber hilt to look like in the next couple of days when I have some free time.

EDIT: By the way, drilling sound vents into this pommel is going to be a nightmare. This is a solid 7/8" block of aluminum. Unless...I get a different pommel...


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Last Edit: 2 months 5 days ago by Eddlyss64.
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US Apprentice Overhaul 2 months 5 days ago #86890

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Eddlyss64 wrote:
EDIT: By the way, drilling sound vents into this pommel is going to be a nightmare. This is a solid 7/8" block of aluminum. Unless...I get a different pommel...

I would suggest getting a different pommel. Either something from MHS or one of the pommels that US sells. (not the War Glaive though, that thing is YUGE lol)
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US Apprentice Overhaul 2 months 5 days ago #86892

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KelbornX wrote:
Eddlyss64 wrote:
EDIT: By the way, drilling sound vents into this pommel is going to be a nightmare. This is a solid 7/8" block of aluminum. Unless...I get a different pommel...

I would suggest getting a different pommel. Either something from MHS or one of the pommels that US sells. (not the War Glaive though, that thing is YUGE lol)

Yeah, I'm looking at one of the more "cone like" pommels on TCSS, along with a D-Ring cap so that I can use the Covertech screw hole for additional parts to add to the saber.


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US Apprentice Overhaul 2 months 2 days ago #87041

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UPDATE: So I've drawn up a quick schematic of what I want the final project to look like. Nothing is set in stone yet and frankly I'm more or less going to just let the Force guide me with much of the actual Dremeling. But here's an idea.



It's kind of hard to tell, but all the red lines are shattering marks (that red mark towards the choke is the approximate location of a gash) and all the blue is just general bangs and dings in the hilt. Again, there will not be that much shattering on the entire hilt, but I drew this up to emphasize that there will be more at the emitter, and only one or two blast marks will reach the undrawn pommel.

So the story here is that I'm trying to emulate the Acolyte's Lightsaber from SWTOR, of course with a blue blade rather than yellow/orange as shown here.





I'll start with the shattering effect, heavier at the emitter and slowly tapering off the effect towards the pommel; I'll add the gash here, as well. Then I'll add the scuffs and everyday bangs around that. I'll then paint over the entire hilt with a black primer followed by a gunmetal color from the saber's glory days at the side of Jsuudi Arceane. Then I'll add rust texturing and the like to make 'er look crappy and finish by sanding off the entire thing, increasing intensity at places the paint would chip naturally as well as where Jsuudi likely held it during single blade combat.


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US Apprentice Overhaul 2 months 2 days ago #87064

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Question on my LED retention. I'm going to need to drill a hole for the LED retention so we don't have a repeat of the US shove-er-in-der syndrome. Where am I going to want to drill this hole relative to the switch and blade retention?


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US Apprentice Overhaul 2 months 1 day ago #87090

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It's up to you, but in order for the hilt to have a decent blade depth, you want the LED practically "sitting" on the switch. Your retention screw will probably be in the choke section, closer to the switch, and I would personally put it on the same side as the blade retention screw.
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US Apprentice Overhaul 2 months 1 day ago #87093

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scifidude79 wrote:
It's up to you, but in order for the hilt to have a decent blade depth, you want the LED practically "sitting" on the switch. Your retention screw will probably be in the choke section, closer to the switch, and I would personally put it on the same side as the blade retention screw.

Gotcha. That's a good plan anyway, since if I'm gonna punch a shattering hole in this thing it's going to be on the same side as the switch. The blade currently goes about 2.5" into the hilt, so there's that. By that measurement, the LED is going to be almost on top of the switch, is that okay? Or should I reduce the blade depth to 2" and give the LED more space?


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US Apprentice Overhaul 1 month 2 weeks ago #87682

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Rats. It would figure that I get home from a much needed vacation, ready to start ordering parts, when I hop on TCSS and their MPS Pommel 8 is out of stock. Does anyone know how long it'll take for a restock? I want to make bulk orders and get lots of things at once to avoid to much for shipping costs.

EDIT: And their heatsink.


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Last Edit: 1 month 2 weeks ago by Eddlyss64.
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US Apprentice Overhaul 1 month 2 weeks ago #87685

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It’s hard to say with TCSS. Restock on machined parts is dependent on how many custom orders they have and what is involved in getting them done. Your best bet is to put yourself on the e-mail list to know when it’s back in stock.

I feel your pain, though. I went to order a Nano Biscotte yesterday only to find them out of stock, so I’m playing the waiting game too.
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US Apprentice Overhaul 1 month 2 weeks ago #87686

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scifidude79 wrote:
It’s hard to say with TCSS. Restock on machined parts is dependent on how many custom orders they have and what is involved in getting them done. Your best bet is to put yourself on the e-mail list to know when it’s back in stock.

I feel your pain, though. I went to order a Nano Biscotte yesterday only to find them out of stock, so I’m playing the waiting game too.

I REALLY wanted to have that pommel + D-Ring (which is in stock thank God) on-hand so I could start the shattering process as soon as they came in. And since I haven't gotten a soldering kit yet, I wouldn't be able to start the internal work.


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US Apprentice Overhaul 1 month 2 weeks ago #87701

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Eddlyss64 wrote:
I REALLY wanted to have that pommel + D-Ring (which is in stock thank God) on-hand so I could start the shattering process as soon as they came in. And since I haven't gotten a soldering kit yet, I wouldn't be able to start the internal work.

Patience my young friend, you will get the parts you desire eventually.
And I am in the same spaceship awaiting my delivery I mentioned to you...
(YAY! it's happening, slowly but it's happening!)
Now I just have to decide if I'm gonna cram a Spark2 in the thing or go the path of least resistance and add a Nano (I'd like Blaster and Lock-up FX but they're not deal breakers). I'll decide when my chassis comes in to see what space I have!

Anyway the pommel you want should help with the Apprentice's balance so the wait will be worth it and in the meantime you can always get a decent soldering station.

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US Apprentice Overhaul 1 month 2 weeks ago #87714

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Right, right, of course...

Patience. Use the Force. Think.


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