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Graflex ANH & ESB


This is something I started just before I moved, and now I'm packing for FACTS2008 in Gent, Belgium, and important EU convention and I wanted all my recent gear to be finished to display things at the rebel legion booth.

Some of you might know I've finally sold my ANH graflex + crystal chamber (with no real "regrets" but a little pinch to my heart). Even before that I've stocked a spare graflex hilt and some parts thinking that one days I'll build something even more ultimate.
The following work as also been inspired by a Graflex suitcase with a combo set of parts to make either an ANH or a ESB. I think it's been an ebay auction one of my customer pointed out, and I won't be surprised it was Master Yoda's work (I don't know if there was a sound board in it).
My lathe being down for now, until the mechanical workshop is done in the basement, that was the perfect moment to ask for a graflex chassis from someone who masters this and I've been lucky to get one of Meridian's piece of art.

The chassis came in a mostly assembled form, like I requested, since I wanted to modify it a bit. The possibility to disassemble it was really great to install my own crystal chamber. The chassis is made of plastic disk professionnally cut and very accurate.
The blade mount is black anodized aluminium, hence very durable color. Details of the blade mount even go to the point the kit has the brass foil part that is secured in the emitter thru the graflex pins in the recharge ports.

The blade mount came with the 2 teeny tiny momentary switch glued in place under the main red button aperture, and under the glass eye / second red button.

I installed the crystal focus myself, I got additionnal wires running into the wire path (where the 2 AA coupler wires run too) to go back to the crystal chamber. I took the luxeon output to power a 5mm HB white LED thru a chromed bezel.
I also wired a rumbling motor (aka the "gyroscope stabilizer" in my previous work) the same way I wired the crystal chamber LED. I glued the motor between the chassis and the trimming potentiometer that fine tunes the speed of the motor.

The crystal chamber : I wanted to customize it. Getting a piece of work from someone else doesn't mean you have to be lazy, and I wanted to recreate of bit of the spirit of my previous graflex (sigh...)
I removed the stock blinking crystal from the chassis and glued instead one my acrylic blue crystals. The kit I got could host either a CF board or a Ultrasound, I got a spare disc with a framed blue swarosky crystal I glued with ultra clear epoxy on to of the acrylic crystal.
With that, I get something close to the SW visual dictionnary, accordingly a "Primary Crystal" and a "Focusing Crystal" (smaller).
Stock Graflex pins hold the brass cage I've soldered to make the assembly more robust and it gives it also a vintage look

I love aluminium cases. Great to transport my gear, good looking, sturdy... ok this one I got from my chinese dremel clone that went with a ton of tools and the flexible neck for $20. I wish I had a more professionnal looking case, like the ones used to AV equipement, but most of the time they are quite thick and I loved the slim look of this one.
Like I often quote, "Small is beautiful and comes in nice packages". Note the stainless steel rebel laser cut logo I got prototyped a while ago (aluminium expoxy glued).
But... what's in there ?

Here we go. Please DON'T adress any comments about the foam cutting job. I wished we could source easier PE foam but most of the time we get polyurethane foam, and I hate it cause you can't cut it properly unless you have a foam saw (sort of elevated jigsaw that cuts very fast). I tried long sharp knives, hobby knives, whatever, the foam moves when you cut it with such a tool and you get waves. I'll try to improve that in the future.

The case contains parts for a swapable ANH or ESB version, from top to bottom, L/R, the ESB version assembled, the ANH bottom + clamp, a double stand (Fx-sabers) for display the beast and my Telum infensus during conventions, Allen keys for blade lock and dissassembly, display ring (when displaying the graflex open to show the crystal chamber), spare energy cells, emitter safety plug, and ANH Glass Eye.
A descriptive plastified paper board will soon join the rebellion logo inside the case.

The emitter safety plug hides the luxeon (light) while showing a real graflex socket, with light diffusion, fantastic for display. That's ALL those little details that make the kit awesome ++, lots of very smart ideas in there.

Another view of the crystal chamber, the graflex being opened and locked with the display ring (a piece of it is visible at the bottom of the picture)

ESB display. Of course the second red button is functionnal.

ANH display. I believe in the past Master Yoda made the ANH only with the Ultrasound board since there's no need of an auxiliary switch / button. Me, I modified a bit the clear plastic part of the glass eye to get it moving in the glass eye, and using the spring effect of the momentary switch under. The glass eye becomes a functionnal AUX button !!!!

Family picture, one from the early days, the other more contemporary

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