Black Mamba

Spine assembly: 

You need the left and right stainless steel spine halves, 6 brass spine parts, three 4-40 nuts and three 4-40 x 3/8″ bolts (you will need to supply these if you want to take the spine apart), and a tool to tighten the 4-40 screws and nuts.

Place the six brass parts on on of the stainless steel halves, making sure all the holes in the brass parts align with the pins on the stainless steel part.  Note the two brass parts near the emitter end are placed so that the longer edge would be towards the blade holder (you will see they align with the notches in the stainless part.

 

Place the other half of the stainless steel spine on top of the lower half (with brass parts).  Note the curvature caused from the stress released in machining – lesson learned for next time)

Carefully squeeze the halves together, sandwiching the brass parts and a vise really helps to hold parts while you add the 4-40 screws.  The 4-40 screws will hold the whole spine together so you can add the 0-80 screws without destroying them.

Remove the spine from the vise when you have the 4-40 screws tightened.

Now you will add six 0-80 screws and nuts.  You will need a .035″ hex head socket for these.

Tighten all six screws, not too much, as you run the risk of stripping the hex out (trust me, it is easy to do), but enough that they are snug.

Back to your vise to remove the 4-40 screws (you can toss them, they are only for holding the spine together to get the o-80 screws in and out.

Once you remove the 4-40 screws, do not touch the 0-80 screws, if you try to tighten, or loosen them without the 4-40 screws in place, you WILL strip out the hex on the screw head.

Assembled spine.

Open the brass D-ring to insert into the hole.

Close up the brass D-ring to finish up the assembly of the spine.

Pommel section:

Gather up the front and rear pommel cans, brass center spacer, two 4-40 threaded rods, speaker, four red anodized sleeve connectors, four red anodized Gpin connectors, four brass Gpins, two 6-32 screws, and you will need a 7/64 allen wrench and something to help screw the small parts together.  I used a couple small needle files to screw in the sleeve connectors (small enough to lodge in the center hole, but not so large as to damage to interior of the sleeve) and a piece of wire insulation to hold the Gpins.

Screw the sleeve connectors in the front pommel can.  Screw the brass Gpins in to the red Gpin connectors, and screw those in to the read pommel can.  screw the two 4-40 threaded rods into the brass center spacer.

Insert speaker into brass center spacer.

Assemble three components to form the speaker can assembly.

Now the hard part, it helps to hold the spine in a vise, but do not squeeze to hard, or it makes it way more difficult to get the pommel assembly onto the spine.  I find it helped to angle the pommel can assembly and get it started, then I was able to push it the rest of the way down over the spine (tight tolerances – with the bending issue and anodizing).  I also found it helped once I got things going, to use a plastic mallet with the spine on a wooden surface to help coerce the can into place.

Before you try and screw in the two 6-32 screws (be very careful, they are anodized aluminum so threads strip easily).  I verified I had one hole as close as I could then started the screw.  I made small adjustments by wiggling the pommel can part back and forth till the screw went in easy.  I snugged up the screw then backed it off a quarter turn.  Then I made sure the second hole was close and repeated the process to ensure the screw went in without interference.  Once both screws were in, I gave them a little turn of the wrench to tighten them up (again, be careful to make sure they turn easily and do not over-tighten).

All screwed together.

Side view.

 

Ribbed Section:

Gather up the six rib rings, two ring channels, 16 ‘tall’ brass fins, 8 ‘short’ brass fins (the flat side opposite of the point is slightly shorter), brass RICE cap, Brass recharge port cap, two brass end caps, recharge port, RICE port, six 6-32×3/8″ brass socket cap screws, six 2-56×3/16″ brass socket cap screw, eight sleeve connectors, 16 ‘long’ stainless steel fin spacer, and 16 ‘short’ stainless steel fin spacer and eight stainless steel fin mount tubes.  You will also need the 7/64 allen wrench, a 5/64″ allen wrench, and the needle files would help.

set aside 2 ‘tall’ fins, one ‘short’ fin, one stainless steel fin mount tube and two ‘short’ stainless steel fin spacers.

Slide the ‘shirt’ fin onto the stainless steel fin mount tube, roughly in the center.

Add a ‘short’ stainless steel fin spacer on either side of the ‘short’ fin (onto the stainless steel fin mount tube).

Slide on a ‘tall’ fin onto each end of the stainless steel fin mounting tube.  Make sure you get all three fins oriented so the curve is on the same side.

You will have two taller fins with a shorter fin in the middle.

Do that 7 more times.

Find the RICE port ring and the recharge port ring.  They will be threaded for those fittings (the Rice port ring will have two ‘ears, and the recharge port ring will have 1 ‘ear’)

Screw the ports in their respective rings. and gather up the caps for them.

Screw on the caps.

Gather up the two end cap rings (threaded the same, but one has two ‘ears, the other has one ‘ear’.

Screw in the end caps.

You should have this much completed now.

Screw in the eight sleeve connectors into the four capped rings.

 

Take the 16 ‘long’ stainless steel fin spacers and fit them into the counterbores of the rings.  Four in each of the center ring, and two in each of the end rings.  They should press in enough to stay put.  Add you spine to the pile of parts.

Insert a ring channel into each one the center rings (you may need to squeeze it a hair to get it to slide in easily).

With the saber spine facing you like in this picture, screw the single ear center ring to the saber spine with a 6-32 screw.  Leave the screw a 1/2 turn or so loose for now.

Turn the spine over and add the two ‘ear’ center ring to the spine.  Again, leave the 6-32 screw about a 1/2 turn loose.

 

Screw in a 2-56 screw on each side of the center ring halves.  Leave these loose a bit also.

Screw two 2-56 screws into each of the other pairs of rings.  Leave the screws a little loose for now.  The two end cap rings go together and the RICE and recharge port rings go together.

Slip four fin assemblies into the four ‘long’ stainless steel fin spacers on the center ring.  (I am starting with the RICE and recharge port end first).

Slide the RICE and recharge port ring assembly over the spine.

Begin sliding the ring assembly forward.  I find it helps to move it just up the point when the rear ring spacers are almost touching the stainless steel fin mount tube, then one by one slide the fin assemblies into the stainless steel spacers.  This way everything can be lined up without trying to line up four fin assemblies at once.

Fully slide the ring assemebly into position and make sure the holes in the spine align with the ring holes. (camera angle tricks, they are aligned)

Screw int two 6-32 screws (again leave them about 1/2 a turn loose) into each side of the ring assembly.

Repeat for the other ring assembly.  Add the four fin assemblies into the middle ring stainless steel spacers.

Slide the ring assembly onto the spine.

Again, I work the fin assemblies one at a time into the ring assemebly to line them up.

Slide the ring assmebly all the way on and check for hole alignment (camera angle issues again, they are aligned)

Screw two 6-32 screws in to each side of the ring assembly and leave a little loose.  If all is correct, you will notice the ‘up and down’ pattern of the fins against the spine above and below the channel, and all the radiused fin edges should be against the channel tube itself.

Tighten all the screws.  Start with the 2-56 screws int he ring connections.  Squeeze the ring halves together as you tighten them (but don’t over-tighten them – brass is soft).  Then tighten the 6-32 screws until snug (again, brass is soft, so not too tight)

Crystal Chamber section:

Gather up all the parts for the crystal chamber section. Front ring, center ring, rear ring, two brass thin ring, knurled fitting, red anodized crystal ‘band’, red anodized crystal ‘mount’, six red anodized sleeve connector, two short red anodized sleeve connector (shorter threading), two long stainless steel tubing, four mid-length stainless steel tubing spacers, and eight short stainless steel tubing spacers, piece of stainless steel conduit, and six 2-56 X 3/16″ brass socket cap screw.  You will also need the 5/64″ allen wrench, and the needle files would help.

Screw the knurled fitting into the rear ring.

Screw four red anodized sleeve connectors into the rear ring (again, here is where the needle files can come in handy).

Screw two red anodized sleeve connectors into the holes near the center of the front ring.  Screw two short red anodized sleeve connectors into the middle holes of the three on each side of the front ring. (you can screw the short ones into the lower holes, but you will not be able to get the longer ones into the middle holes).

Set the red anodized crystal ‘band’ near the rear ring, and the red anodized crystal ‘mount’ near the front ring.

This step is permanent so you may opt to wait until you are ready for near final assembly.  You will need to glue, epoxy, or otherwise mount the red anodized crystal ‘band’ into the counterbore on the rear ring, and the red anodized crystal ‘mount’ into the counterbore of the front ring.

 

A word of not, you will need to obtain a crystal suitable for your desired finish and most liekly need to modify it to fit the band and mount.  On the one saber I fully assembled (the crystal is seen in later pictures) I had to cut the crystal shorter, add more of a point to the nose, and remove some of the ‘high’ points of the hex to make it round to fit into the band. I also had to add a slight chamfer (with a chamfer deburr tool) to open the hole a bit more in the mount  You will also need to plan ahead if you are going to put LEDs under the crystal.  You will want to add those (originally designed with SMD LEDs glued into the rear and front rings).

“press fit’ the eight short stainless steel spacers into the bores on the inside of the front and rear rings.

Here you can see the crystal I modified to fit the chamber – it is not that long, maybe .9″ I think by less than /25″ diameter.

It helps to modify the stainless steel conduit slightly to fit into the hole in the front of the spine.  I just used a dremel tool to make the diameter a little less.  Insert the un-modified end into the knurled fitting.

Back to our vise.  It is almost imperative to use a vise or something since you really need to make sure the spine is fully squeezed together to make the crystal chamber easy to install.

You need to get the end of the stainless steel conduit into the hole on the spine and bring the rear ring down onto the spine and over the mounting holes.  While the vise is holding things tight, make sure you have the ring lined up with the holes.  I found that it helped to actually start the 2-56 screws while in this position.

leave the screws a hair loose for the time being.

Back to the vise, and add the first of the brass thin ring and make sure the stainless steel spacers go into the counterbores on the brass ring.

Add the middle ring and once again line up the holes and if you can, start the screws.

As before, leave these screws a hair loos.

Back to the vise once more and add the four mid-length stainless steel spacers and make sure they get into the counterbores of the brass thin ring.

Add the second brass thin ring and make sure the stainless steel spacers are in the counterbores.  You need to make sure all the spacers get into the counterbores, or you won’t be able to get the holes int eh rings to line up with the threaded holes in the spine.

Go ahead and add your crystal into the red anodized crystal ‘band’ and add the two long stainless steel spacers – making sure they get all the way into their counterbores.

Star the front ring onto the spine a bit off from the holes so you can slide it back into place.

Slide the front ring back onto the whole assemebly and make sure the holes line up.  Start the 2-56 screws if you can.

Make sure all the spacers and crystal are in their bores/counterbores and that everything looks to line up.  Then tighten all six of the 2-56 screws.

Blade holder section:

Gather up the parts for the blade holder section.  Blade holder, two switch doors, two switch hats, two switches, two 0-80 x 1/8″ socket screw, heatsink can, heatsink, two claws (one left, one right handed), six 2-56 x 1/8″ socket screws, three brass cup base, three brass cup top, three 2-56 x 3/16″ socket cap screw, 4-40 x 3/64″ set screw, one ‘long’ 6-32 anodized socket cap screw, and two ‘short’ anodized 6-32 anodized socket cap screw.  You will also need the 7/64 allen wrench (not shown – I forgot to have it in the picture), a .05″ allen wrench, a .035″ hex driver or allen wrench, and a pair of tweezers would help.

You will start by adding one switch into one of the switch pockets.  I find it best to use some double sided tape to hold it in place.

Gather up a switch hat and switch door.

Set the switch hat into the hole on the switch door from the underside.

set the tab on the switch door into the slot in the blade holder and ‘close’ the door.  It helps to keep the switch door/hat upside down so the hat does not want to keep falling out and then position the blade holder and roll it down to close the door.

Get one of the 0-80x 1/8″ screws and the .035 hex driver.

Screw in the 0-80 screw – but not too tight as they are very fragile and if you break one, it’s a lot of trouble to get it out.

Repeat for the second switch.

Gather up the 4-40 set screw, heatsink and heatsink can.

Screw the heatsink int o the can (assemble your LED module).

Slide to module into the blade holder.

Insert the 4-40 set screw and tighten it down (not too tight).  (Yes, I know there is a number, but it only means something to me for when the parts went to anodizing)

Gather a brass cup base, brass cup top and one 2-56 X 3/16″ socket cap screw.

Drop the brass cup base over the boss.

Drop the brass cup top over the base on the boss.

Insert the 2-56 socket cap screw – do not over tighten.

Make sure the two pocket holes line up like shown below.

Do that two more times.

Grab the rest of the saber.

You need to ‘rotate’ the blade holder p onto the spine to make sure the bladeholder rear stays in the front ring of the crystal mount.

Rotate up into position.  Care must be taken to not force this or you can damage the bosses on top of the blade holder and it makes it that much harder to get them into the counterbores on the spine.

You now need the two short and one long 6-32 anodizied screws.  The short screws go in each of the end holes, and the long screw (blade retention screw) goes in the middle hole.

Tighten them up, but not too tight as they are aluminum screws.

Gather up the left hand and right hand claw and six 2-56 x 1/8″ socket screws.

Slide one of the ears into position and screw in the three 2-56 screws.

Repeat for the opposite side.

When you have a blade in, you will notice the middle screw is raised – this is the blade retention screw and should not be shortened.

Beauty shot!

As I neared wrapping up, I realized I really needed a blade plug.  And what better choice than brass?

This is as far as I assembled your saber.  You will receive a parts bag with a bunch of parts and pieces to flesh out the rest of your saber.  I will conclude the instructions with what I did on the sample install.  It will be up to you to decide how best to finish the saber as your install may mean you need to change some of these features.  When I designed the BM, it was going to use an old school string blade so wire sizes were figured smaller.  With NeoPixel tech, some of the braided lines and fittings may no longer work.  All I can say is make sure you plan accordingly.

Extra parts install.

Gather two red anozided GPin2 spacer and two Gpins.

Screw them together

These can be glued/epoxied into the holes on the blade holder as shown below.

Gather two switch port connector.  These will also glue/epoxy in to the holes above the GPin2/Gpin connector.  I must not have taken a picture of this step, but you can see them in a later picture and I will make note of that then.

Gather two red anodized Gpin3 spacers and two Gpins.

Screw them together.

These will glue/epoxy into the bottom brass cup assembly.  I left holes to pass all the way through the red anodized spacer.  My thought was to epoxy a wire or something into them to help keep them from ever working loose once inserted into the cup.  Be careful not to tighten the 2-56 screw to much in an effort to hold these pieces in tight – you WILL break the screw off.

Gather up four stainless steel spacer.

Remove a brass cup assembly.  Again, I seem to be missing a picture, but the stainless steel pieces will glue/epoxy into the brass cup parts.  You could also try soldering to keep them in place.

With stainless steel spacers installed.  Be careful not to tighten the 2-56 screw to much in an effort to hold these pieces in tight – you WILL break the screw off.

You can see the red anodized switch port connector in this picture (above the Gpin2/Gpin).  You may have noticed a flat machined on the part, this flat goes into the port and is situated so that it provides clearance for the switch door to close properly.  Make sure you have this oriented correctly before your glue/epoxy sets.

Added steel braided lines and such to finish off the saber.

 

Note, I crossed the braided lines on the bottom between the pommel and rib sections .  his is how it was shown on the original renders.  You choice on how to route these.

 

I had originally planned for a stainless steel tube between the front crystal chamber ring ad the blade holder to feed switch wires, but it proved real difficult to bend that tubing so I left it with exposed wiring. You can do what you want here.

You may also notice that in this picture, I removed the stainless steel tubes from the brass cup assemblies and fed the braided line right into the cup.  I had a hard time getting the stainless steel tubes to fit over the braided line without fraying, so I went sans tubing.  Again, up to you how to proceed.

 

 

Upu will also find eight brass screens to fit into the pockets of the pommel for sound holes.  These will need to be glue/epoxied in. 

 

 

A final note, you will find a roughly 12″ section of ultra-thin wall heatshrink in your tube with the drawings.  I used this to help seal the ends of the braided lines before cuting – this helps prevent the ends from fraying.  In some cases, I was able to get the heatshrink and braided line into the red anodized sleeve connector (you might be able to see it in the longer, pommel to rib section lines).  It proved harder to make it work on the shorter sections of braided line so I only used it to cut and prep, then removed it upon assembly. 

 

You will also find a short (about 1-1/2″) piece of yellow colored heavy wire.  Strip the insulation off carefully and this really helps with installing the Gpin assemblies.  I think there was a picture of it somewhere above.

I will provide you with some contact information and will gladly help where I can if you need some advice.