Found Parts Style Lightsabers: An Interview with Salt Lake Saber Co
Blair Maynes never thought he’d be designing and selling lightsabers for a living, but as the founder and owner of the Salt Lake Saber Co, that’s exactly what he does. The Salt Lake Saber Co Etsy store [AFFILIATE LINK], which Maynes started in 2014, sells ‘found parts’ style lightsaber hilts, made mostly out of hardware parts.
In addition to handmade empty hilts and stunt sabers (no sound), the custom saber company also sells accessories like blade plugs, stands and even a Lightsaber Bridal Bouquet Holder and Lightsaber Cake Knife set for Star Wars-themed weddings.
SaberSourcing interviewed Salt Lake Saber Co founder Blair Maynes about his custom saber company.
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Etsy custom sabers, stands, accessories
Entertainment Earth Force FX Elite Obi-Wan Kenobi Lightsaber
Amazon Hasbro Darth Vader Force FX Elite Lightsaber
You started making lightsaber hilts at age 10. Can you describe your first lightsaber or some of the early lightsabers you constructed?
The original lightsaber I made was destroyed in a flood many years ago. I’ve included a picture of some of my early builds from over ten years ago though. Made from anything I could get my hands on like hardware parts and even bmx bike pegs.
This July, Salt Lake Saber Co celebrated its 4th year in business (congrats, by the way!). How has Salt Lake Saber Co evolved over the years? What’s changed and what hasn’t?
Thanks! When I first started, I was just selling empty hilts. About a year into it I added white lights with color discs and blades. Awhile after that, I added brighter, dedicated color lights. I still use mostly hardware parts to make the hilts.
Can you describe your creative process behind one of your new lightsaber hilt design?
Once in awhile I get feeling creative. I play around with various parts until I see something I like. Some only get half built before I decide I don’t care for the design and I scrap them.
What’s the most important piece of advice you would give to a first-time lightsaber buyer?
I would say get something that looks pretty, but also looks like it will feel comfortable in your hands.
Can you describe the most unexpected request or interaction you’ve had with a lightsaber buyer?
I’ve had some people ask if they will actually cut through things, and even had customers return sabers because they didn’t realize that lightsabers aren’t real.
Salt Lake Saber Co currently offers empty hilts, stunt sabers, but no sound sabers. Any plans to offer sound sabers in the future?
Yes, hopefully soon. The trouble is finding guts that fit in the steel stock I use. It’s 1mm too skinny to fit the speakers I’ve come across.
Which lightsaber designs are considering making next?
I’d like to get a dueling Kanan model out. Right now, the big ring on it that I have access to could potentially get damaged in a battle if hit directly. I need a way to make my own metal parts.
What’s your favorite lightsaber from Star Wars Canon or Legends and why?
I would say the Luke V2 from ROTJ. It was the first toy lightsaber I ever had. And I still have it today!
What’s next for you?
I’m considering buying a metal lathe and some aluminum stock pretty soon to get some new designs out.
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Salt Lake Saber Co on Etsy [AFFILIATE LINK]
Salt Lake Saber Co Facebook Page
Salt Lake Saber Co on Instagram
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COVER IMAGE CREDIT: Salt Lake Saber Co
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