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 Post subject: Homemade ESB DarthVader belt boxes
PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 3:30 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 02, 2017 11:05 pm
Posts: 32
Location: Queretaro, Mexico
Well, belt boxes are not cheap, and I can understand why, circuit making is delicate and time consuming. So I thought I could put together my own, but after looking for all the components, I only found them online all around the world, and shipping and taxes, it’s basically all the same as if I bought them for $200-300 usdlls
 
So I decided to make them as accurate as possible but at a 10th of the cost. This means I will have to put in 10x as much effort, but as a maker, 10x as fun.
 
My halloween boxes I made out of cardboard and resin, but they were quite rough looking , fragile and not accurate dimensions. So the new ones I’m making out of wood.

The wood are 3mm mdf/wood maquette boards for kids projects, $0.99 per foot sheet, and plain old PVA glue. I used the Hammond 1550C spec sheet and the template on the Sith forum for dimensions, though I did tapered them about 1mm more and enlarged them about 3mm because cutting & gluing tolerances. On +6’2” Vader Im sure 1/8” is imperceptible.

The green light borders and diffuser I made with wooden tongue depressors, again, from the kids projects supplies for $3 usd/pack and some aluminum tape.

Next step are the knobs which I will cut from $3 usd drawer hardware pull-bars and the pilot covers which I’m not sure if i will cast them on epoxy or vacuform them in PPL.

ImageImageImageImageImage
They’re almost done. I still have to bondo and sand the corners so they get that nice round filleted look of the hammond’s.
 
I also found out a real cheap easy way to get the buckle done with a couple of blind outlet covers. So I will show you once i get to it.
 
Cheers!


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 Post subject: Re: Homemade ESB DarthVader belt boxes
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:56 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 02, 2017 11:05 pm
Posts: 32
Location: Queretaro, Mexico
Here they are with “bondoed” corners and a first coat of primer. So far, so good.ImageImageImage


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 Post subject: Re: Homemade ESB DarthVader belt boxes
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 3:31 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2007 6:21 am
Posts: 623
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Those are coming along great! Something to be said for making them yourself :thumbsup

Dave


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 Post subject: Re: Homemade ESB DarthVader belt boxes
PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:04 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 02, 2017 11:05 pm
Posts: 32
Location: Queretaro, Mexico
So, I tried to vacuform the button covers with no luck at all. I need a better heat source that is more evenly...
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So in the meantime, I’ll do the knobs, but not sure if I should go with the wide ones or the thinner ones. I probably go with the thinner ones since they are easier to assemble. Feedback? ImageImageImage


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 Post subject: Re: Homemade ESB DarthVader belt boxes
PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 2:08 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 02, 2017 11:05 pm
Posts: 32
Location: Queretaro, Mexico
So Knobs time. So the knobs are commonly made out of an aluminum bar, but I could not find a supplier that sells just a few inches, and getting the whole 3 meter bar is not cost effective. So ended up using a pair of tire pressure gauges for $3 dlls, that had just the right diameter (9.5mm)and and sliced them up into 11mm long tubes.ImageImage
For the top I used 1” chicago screws, but because they are a lot thinner than the gauge tubes I had to find something to center the screw. I found a hard vinyl hose I had lying around and cut the centering sleeves and a back spacers.
I had to polish the top of the screw to erase the brand off. Then I assembled the tube with the sleeve and the screw and glued them with locktite to avoid any wobling.Image I widened the holes to fit the chicago screw through, then slipped on the vinyl sleeves, and that’s it!. ImageImageImage I think they turned out quite OK.


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 Post subject: Re: Homemade ESB DarthVader belt boxes
PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 10:28 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 02, 2017 11:05 pm
Posts: 32
Location: Queretaro, Mexico
Well I still cannot seem to have a working affordable solution for the led covers. So I tackled the breathing sound. Yup, my belt will do the breathing for me.
 So I hacked a $12 Bluetooth speaker to fit it inside of the right belt box. This speaker has a micro SD card reader, which I loaded with the breathing sound. So just as I turn it on, it kicks in.
It may not be as loud as an Acker, but quite loud enough to hear it clearly next to a running food processor (they were cooking hummus, lol)
ImageImageImageImage
Here’s a little demo:https://youtu.be/VPBxejtH_mU


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 Post subject: Re: Homemade ESB DarthVader belt boxes
PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:59 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 02, 2017 11:05 pm
Posts: 32
Location: Queretaro, Mexico
Update. So happy how these are coming along.
Time for paint and weathering. I’m going for the Bespin duel look, but I will dial it down a bit, because quite frankly after the duel they look like they mopped the floor with them!.ImageAnd a little goes a long way. I used some tooth paste and toothpick to put mask small areas that would be weathered. Definitely the 4 corners and tried to do half about half the weathering.Image
Then applied 2 coats of black matte paint, then 1 coat of black gloss. Waited 15 minutes for them to dry enough to handle and removed the toothpaste with my fingernail and a damp cloth. The last touches were some very slightly dry brush weathering with chrome (silver) paint to get a little bit of fading and very tiny speckles and that’s it.
I put on the knobs and hose, electronics, and I’m just missing the light covers and Im done! Im so pumped!ImageImageImage
https://www.youtube.com/embed/dOi0kb4r-xc?feature=oembed


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 Post subject: Homemade ESB DarthVader belt boxes
PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:40 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 02, 2017 11:05 pm
Posts: 32
Location: Queretaro, Mexico
Well many have liked the bezels on these boxes, so I decided to make a little template about them.
<p>It does affect the lights spacing because the bezel walls are a little thicker, so you may want to revise that.
<p> I also made a 3D file if anyone wants to try and 3D print them. (It is provided as is).
<p>Image
<p>Download PDF
<p>Download 3d .STL file
<p> Cheers!


<p> Gardea Vader OVDs in Tapatalk


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 Post subject: Re: Homemade ESB DarthVader belt boxes
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 8:09 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 02, 2017 11:05 pm
Posts: 32
Location: Queretaro, Mexico
Update. Looks like I finally found away to do the light covers in the cheapest way possible: with CD jewel cases. I used the clear acrylic from them, traced my pieces, sanded the interior of the parts for the green push buttons, glued them with super glue, painted the red with some transparent red paint. And painted the green with oil designer markers (I’ve much rather used Tamiya paint but I got too desperate, so I used what I had), a coat of clear acrylic and Im just waiting for it to dry to glue them on. Cost $1 for the red paint, the rest already had. :D
Image
Image
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Put in some acetate for diffusion, and these babies are DONE!!!
Image


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