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TOPIC: Metal Lathe

Metal Lathe 3 weeks 19 hours ago #88956

  • Shai Kah
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So I have an idea for a saber I want to get someday, but it is nothing like what Saber Forge, Ultra Sabers, Kyber Light, Vader's Vault, or any of the other websites I have looked on have available, including Saber Forge's ASP system. That said, I have used a wood lathe at a friends home to turn pieces of wood we had cut from trees into random items. I would imagine that turning aluminum such as what SF uses would not be that different, but I may be mistaken. If anyone would be able to help that'd be great, as I do have a few questions.

1) I know I would need a metal lathe rather than a wood lathe. Is there any specific aspects I would need in order to turn aluminum over other metals? And how expensive are these lathes generally?

2) The difference between a wood and metal lathe, how much is there exactly?

3) Where could I get the material to make my own parts?

4) how can I make the parts hallow with the 1in ID? just a 1in diameter drill?

5) I obviously will be making the saber in 4 parts, emitter, switch, body, pommel. How can I make threading for the parts?

if I come up with other questions I'll be sure to drop them here. Otherwise if anyone can answer these that'd be awesome. I would like to make this saber If I can all by scratch, 100% my own, including making the wiring and learning soldering, so if I ever do take on this project I will be sure to post my progress on the forums.
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Metal Lathe 3 weeks 18 hours ago #88959

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Im thinking realistically, the machinery needed, like a metal lathe, large drill press, grinder, etc isnt gonna work for the average person.

The machinery alone would cost you a Cadillac.

My recomendation is to take something pre existing and mod it the closest you can.

To either make it yourself or commish someone otherwise will cost a small fortune.

I saw a vid a little while back about how to give sabers a customised look on the cheap.

Youd start with a saber of your liking from SF or the like and add onto it.
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Metal Lathe 3 weeks 13 hours ago #88971

  • Magnar
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Vaders vault can do custom designs (EDIT: Per the below comment it seems I was mistaken on the Vaders Vault aspect) as can a couple other saber houses. These will be very pricey but will all come in cheaper than buying all those machines yourself and the Trial and error you will have in self teaching many things about them. (Thread pacing is fairly easy, but requires auto feed on the cutter and a matched rotation rpm to get the correct threads per inch)

There are many community colleges out there with machine classes, I would recommend attending a course getting the skills and then looking to see if you want to start a machine shop for personal or future businesses.
Last Edit: 3 weeks 6 hours ago by Magnar. Reason: Corrections
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Metal Lathe 3 weeks 12 hours ago #88975

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Magnar wrote:
Vaders vault can do custom designs as can a couple other saber houses. These will be very pricey but will all come in cheaper than buying all those machines yourself and the Trial and error you will have in self teaching many things about them.

Vader's Vault has not taken custom commissions for several years. They stopped shortly after launching production run sabers, as custom lead times were getting into the "years" long wait.

Should also note that Genesis Custom Sabers has announced that he is no longer taking full custom commissions. Instead he's focusing on making whatever he wants and putting it up for auction. You can still get customized versions of his production sabers though.

Some true custom smiths that do great work are Black North Arms, Arm on Fire Custom Sabers, Solid Sabers, Jevaho Creations, Cargill Custom Sabers, and Grif's Custom Lightsabers. All of these guys have all the tools and equipment to do the work; it is VERY expensive to get setup for a metal fab shop on your own. Unless you plan on getting into business as a machinist yourself, or have enough spare cash to drop on all the tools needed, you're better off contacting one of these guys.
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Metal Lathe 3 weeks 1 hour ago #89003

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Can hold up to 1.9in parts which I think should be enough for lightsabers.

OR

https://www.harborfreight.com/7-inch-x-10-inch-precision-mini-lathe-93212.html
Last Edit: 3 weeks 1 hour ago by Danielbs80.
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Metal Lathe 3 weeks 1 hour ago #89004

  • wamphyri13
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I've done some woodwork on a lathe. (pens and such) The lathe shown above might work, but there's lots of other things that might make it (cost) prohibitive such as:
Space - the machine's foot print is small, but where are you going to put it?
Safety - you're going to need eye and ear protection, plus ventilation. Harmonics from the metal cutting can be rather loud and annoying. Aluminum is softer than steel, so it may not be as bad.
Additionals - you're going to need a drill press, center finder, bench grinder, bench vise with soft jaws, a mill, cutting oil, containment for said oil, cutting bits, drill bits, and on and on. It's not just buying one tool (the lathe) and you're good to go. There are tons of incidentals. But, if you've got the room and the disposable income, go for it. Just don't expect it to be cheap.
"Hold on to 16 as long as you can, changes come around real soon make us women and men." - John Mellencamp
Last Edit: 3 weeks 1 hour ago by wamphyri13.
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Metal Lathe 3 weeks 58 minutes ago #89006

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As my friend I spoke of earlier lives close by, has his own forge and anvil, woodworking lathe, welder, and other tools he has to make some awesome stuff his own, it would more than likely remain in his workshop so he has it if he wants to use it for his own projects. So space and eye protection and whatnot is already covered. I just wasn't sure whether or not a lathe such as what Danielbs80 posted would work.
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Metal Lathe 2 weeks 6 days ago #89009

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Only having 1.9 inches to work with doesnt seem like much space for anything other than pommels and switches.

Emitters and bodies be damned.

Side note, I wish I had a friend with and anvil and forge..
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Metal Lathe 2 weeks 6 days ago #89010

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Danielbs80 wrote:


Can hold up to 1.9in parts which I think should be enough for lightsabers.

OR

https://www.harborfreight.com/7-inch-x-10-inch-precision-mini-lathe-93212.html

Judging by the image paired with that description it looks like the 1.9 inch is part length. Meaning thus lathe would at best make a pommel or stubby emitter. Most hiLT bodies and grips are 4, or 5 inches long
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Metal Lathe 2 weeks 6 days ago #89011

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so as long as it is made to turn metal it should work then, I'd just need to get one that takes parts that are 6+ inches? Good to know.

lol, him and his dad hand built it themselves. They recently made an anchor from scratch, heating it and beating it against the anvil to get the shape, welded some wire around it, and then hung it above their garage. he also made his own kingly crown, a sword, and is working on armor right now. Glad. I have him to help me take on crazy projects when I need it lol! he'd be more than willing to help me out if I need it!
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Metal Lathe 2 weeks 6 days ago #89013

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Just go to the site on eBay and it gives you all the details I just took a screenshot because it wouldn't let me post a link
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Metal Lathe 2 weeks 6 days ago #89025

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Consider people like starfall sabers, for a custom one of saber commision, saves you alot of money on buying a lathe unless you plan to do alot of saber builds :D
Check out my lightsaber review youtube channel:
youtube.com/rebelchumps
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