Blade Plugs

Of my projects I had planned for my 3-day weekend, I had planned 2 lightsaber builds or rebuilds. Well, that turned into 3 lightsabers when my Ultrasabers Prophecy didn’t quite go as planned.

Another project I had was to finally shorten some of my blades. In the early days, I bought 36″ heavy grade blades. I thought the heavy blades would be good, because I might want to duel. Well, I don’t. Aside from collecting and building sabers, I manly play around with them and spin them. I don’t know a lot of spin moves, but I do want to improve. Balance is important in spinning, more so than having the longest blade with the longest reach. A 36″ heavy blade will spin. In fact, once it gets going it’s hard to stop due to it being blade heavy. So controlling and changing directions is more difficult without a well balanced weapon. Also, I’m fairly tall, so I hit the ceiling a lot with longer blades.

More recently, I’ve been buying sabers with 32″ blades. For some hilts, a 32″ heavy grade blade is good for balance. For others, even that is too heavy. My most recent saber purchase was a green bladed Prophecy V3 from Ultrasabers. Already owning one of those, I know a 32″ heavy grade is too heavy for that hilt. So, I ordered that saber with a 32″ midgrade blade, which is well balanced for that hilt, and it makes a great spinner.

So, the question is: what do I do with all those long, heavy blades? Well, cut ’em down, of course. I bought a little pipe cutter on Amazon, which was a little under $20 and can take up to a 1″ tube. That’s perfect, as the blades are 1″ wide. I also bought a hot glue gun at work, to glue the film back inside the blade after I cut it. So, I set about cutting down some of those blades. I’ve cut them down to 29″, 31″ and 32″. That leaves behind some blade pieces. Another thing I’ve wanted to do is make some blade plugs. Plugs can be used when a blade isn’t inside the saber. In the case of an LED being loose, it can hold the LED in place, and also stop someone from doing one of these and hurting themselves:

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(I love that meme)

 
Anyway, it really won’t be that bad. However, the LEDs used in these things are incredibly bright. You could damage your retina if you look directly at it while it’s one. (I’ve seen a surprising number of people do this in videos.) The blade plugs, also known as safety plugs, stop you from damaging your eyes by doing this. Obviously, pieces of blade stock won’t do this alone, as you can see straight down that. So, I needed something to cap them. I rummaged around an found some old toys, nothing really fit what I needed it for. Then I thought of coins. A US quarter would be the right size, but that’s not a good idea. Not only do I not have that many on hand (I typically don’t carry cash) but I’m fairly certain it’s actually illegal to use US currency in this way. However, I was rummaging around some coins and I found some old arcade tokens amongst them. Eureka!

Now, for the kids reading this, a video arcade was a place where you could go and play video games. They started long before video games in the home, much less mobile ones. (crazy, I know) Anyway, some of these arcades had change machines, others were more of a pain and had token machines. The video game cabinets were modified to take the tokens instead of quarters. Why I have some of these is beyond me. Most are from ages ago. Some are from a family trip to Reno, NV when I was a teenager. My mom is a bowler, and she went out there for a national tournament. I didn’t want to sit and watch, and I was a teenager and couldn’t gamble (I don’t gamble anyway) so I hit some of the arcades. This was in the ’90s, before smart phones and when arcades were still really hot. I also have one from Chuck E. Cheese. Why? I don’t know. I probably just didn’t use them 20+ years ago. Though, the Chuck E. Cheese one is from 1999, it has a year on it. Anyway, these aren’t money, in fact most say on the back that they don’t have a cash value. Two are silver from the Silver Legacy casino arcade in Reno, the others are brass. I didn’t bother cleaning them up, as I really like how brass ages, I just hot glued them onto the ends of my plugs. I’m really happy with the results:

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The metal will definitely stop light from shining through, and keep people from hurting themselves should they pick up a hilt and look down the emitter with it on. Most of them are slightly under 1″, others are right at 1″.

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Anyway, this was a lot of fun, and was a good way to make use of those blade scraps.

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