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)