Saber for the Dark Side

Page Four


Dismantle the calculator and pull out the bubble display. This may take a little work, prying it off carefully with a small flathead screwdriver. You may need to use an X-acto knife to clean the tiny connecting rods on the back of the bubble off so the bubble will slide easily into the clamp. Now loosen the clamp enough to slide the bubble into the jaws and then tighten down the clamp again. The tension of the clamp should keep the bubble in place.

( Fig. 11 - Assembled clamp with calculator bubble and vinyl cloth)




Making the handle grips

Now let's concentrate on making the handle grips. If you decided to take the easy way out and buy handle rubber grips from someone that makes them, you can skip this section. The handle grips, if you are looking at them from the end, look like an upside-down T. The grips measure 3" long by 1/2" wide by 9/32" tall.

( Fig. 12 - Side and end view of grip with measurements)

In order to make the handle grips, we will first need to fabricate a simple one-part mold. We will use the smooth plywood as a base and glue the basswood pieces (cut to the right size) to the base to form the mold. Here is a schematic of the mold you need to build.

                                                                                                 ( Fig. 13 - Mold schematic for handle grips)

Use the template above as a guide to gluing the basswood to the plywood base. Be sure that you make basswood strips at least 4" long to accommodate a 3" grip. The extra inch gives you a little margin for error.

Cut the 3/16" basswood sheet into two pieces that are 4" long. It doesn't really matter how wide you cut them. To get the angle on the edge you will need to lightly sand the edge. Using wood glue, affix the 3/16" sheets onto the base, making sure they are placed correctly (1/16" apart from each other). This will result in a 4" long V-shaped channel.

Next you need to cut the 3/32" basswood into two more pieces, also 4" long. Make sure they aren't wider than your 3/16" sheets that have already been glued to the base. Glue the 3/32" sheets onto the 3/16" basswood sheets, making sure the placement is correct. Let the mold dry for an hour before you try to cast your grips.

Once the mold is dry, you need to wax and buff it using car paste wax. You should put at least 3 coats of wax on the mold. You might try using a Q-tip to get into the crevices. You don't want the putty to stick to the mold since this will not only ruin the grip, but your mold as well.

Once the mold has been sufficiently waxed, you need to spray the 1/4" PVC pipe with Pam or some other non-stick spray. This makes an excellent mold release. Set the pipe aside.


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