Battle Worn Lightsabers: An Interview with DCSabers
Want a lightsaber that looks like it’s traveled around the galaxy, earning scrapes, tarnish and scratches from years of hard-fought battles? DCSabers [AFFILIATE LINK], a United Kingdom based custom saber company, specializes in weathered, Old Republic-style lightsaber hilts. The company offers some polished finish hilts as well. All of his lightsabers are empty or installed with the SaberTec Golden Harvest V3 soundboard or Proffieboard.
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SaberSourcing interviewed DCSabers about his custom saber company.
DCSabers started by creating lightsaber blade plugs. How did you decide to start accepting commissions?
Commissions were the natural progression really, we started taking simple installs from friends and doing basic set ups to hone our craft.
As the work kept coming we just naturally grew, we treated becoming a saber smith as a slow burning project because we felt it was important to create the correct foundation to A, understand thoroughly what we were doing and B, create a good reputation for a brand people can trust. When we first started, the term ‘insta Smith’ was being thrown around quite wildly, especially by those that had been in the industry longest.
Can you describe your creative process behind designing a new lightsaber, from concept to completion?
I usually have a character in mind, and as I develop the character I slowly conjour up the saber, how it looks, how it’s used etc. Most of the DCSabers line up has its own character and back story attached. I then take the machines and cut a prototype of what I see in my mind, and there it is.
How do DCSabers lightsabers differ from other custom sabers?
We have quite an eclectic taste when it comes to sabers but our little corner of the saber world is predominantly: Old Republic-esque, weathered, and usually well used looking units.
If there was something that we’re known for I’d say its our weathering, we get a lot of messages asking how we achieve that kind of look.
Can you describe your approach to weathering?
Our approach to weathering is a secret. It’s hand painted and involves several separate processes.
How did you decide to partner with SaberTec and use their Golden Harvest board in your lightsabers?
It’s no secret that this year we had a major issue with supply of sound cards and it nearly finished us one point. We decided to change because we never wanted that to happen again and although the original supplier managed to finally get boards available we lost a lot of faith.
We tried almost every new board on the market in finding a replacement that was suitable and maintained the same if not better level of quality at a price point that benefits all parties involved.
We chose SaberTec because they are communicative, constantly listening and applying feedback to their products and we are extremely happy with the product and what it can do, they are a dream to install and have amazing attributes. It was a no brainer, really.
How does DCSabers plan to address the neopixel lightsaber trend?
Next year DCSabers will be offering full Neopixel set ups and Neopixel blades for sale, we’re late to the party on this because didn’t want to bandwagon with the neo pioneers, now its proven and becoming popular we’re happy to offer it out.
If you could give someone one piece of advice about buying a lightsaber, what would it be?
Understand the terms especially surrounding time frames, but vet who you’re buying from thoroughly it’s your money at the end of the day.
Can you describe the most challenging and rewarding part about running DCSabers?
The most challenging part, hands down, is time frames and managing expectations. We have some AMAZINGLY patient customers but on the flip side we have incredibly demanding ones too.
Very demanding customers tend to want everything done to their exact spec, for free and delivered yesterday and are happy to get personal and tell you how to do your job at the drop of a hat. While we desperately try and accommodate everyone we won’t allow people to be rude to us.
Even with all the component shortages, we’ve taken massive steps in cutting wait times in building and communication and next year with new plans in action our sabers will have a 7 day lead time not a 10+ week lead time.
We currently looking for an experienced UK installer to come on board to take on our install commissions which will increase the productivity massively in this area too.
Until all this comes to fruition, it’s 12 hour days and weekends to fit it all in.
The most rewarding part is people’s reaction when they finally receive their hilt, that never gets old.
What’s the most unexpected or memorable request you’ve gotten from a customer?Easily a custom brass blade plug flogger with leather straps. We didn’t ask too many questions but hey, who are we to judge. 😉
What’s your favorite lightsaber from Star Wars Canon or Legends and why?
Ahsokas twin sabers those are tidy, the Solo’s Hold variants look great.
What’s next for you?
It’s been a very difficult year but moving forward we have a great line up of sabers on the horizon, moving into technical areas we haven’t done before in style and design.
All sabers will have a 7 day lead time, with a host of customisation options with no more paying long in advance.
We will be ditching the predatory Etsy platform and upping sales through our website and other outlets and mediums, this allows us to keep our prices reasonable.
DCSabers Etsy Store [AFFILIATE LINK]
DCSabers Facebook page
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COVER IMAGE CREDIT: DCSabers
John and I chitchatted so much regarding my saber and I appreciate it.
He must be really exhausted but yeah since they offer a ton of customization, which you cant select on etsy, it’s not that easy.. I hope they will move the shop over to their page, thus they can let the customer select a ton of variations, which probably reduces the communication process.
It’s not their fault that they had this “big soundcard issue” so I decided to be patient.
I think they are still improving on everything because they probably got a lot more orders than they thought they would get lol.