Aquarius: Zodiac 1
Around 2019, I challenged myself to machine a saber from scratch in under 24 hours. The challenge was a success, and the hilt came out great. However, that was four years of experience ago. This year, I wanted to challenge myself further, increasing the detail of the design, and installing the electronics all in under 24 hours.
In December of 2023, I attempted the challenge again, and completed The Mayfly. The owner was enthralled, and challenged me to complete one 24-hour saber build each month in 2024. This is the first of twelve, which I am calling the Zodiac Challenge.
The request for this saber was "Qui Gon". Although "Prequel" trilogy sabers have a distinct style, the aspect of Qui Gon's saber that stands out to me most is the deep grooves along the grip. Having installed many Qui Gon sabers over the years, I'm privy to the challenge that comes with fitting electronics in a deep groove saber; more challenging still was designing, engineering, and machining such a hilt in only a day. There are only two parts on this build that were not made entirely from scratch the day of the build: the covertech, and the control box.
While I had time to spare with The Mayfly, I found myself down to the wire on this build. With only 30-minutes to spare, I called this one complete. Between the brass thin neck, deep grip grooves, special grip sleeve, and clean speaker venting, I can safely say this was the most challenging Zodiac so far. Although, I suppose that's not quite a bold claim, being that this is only the first!