Hello - So I have the V2 pixelblade from KR Sabers, and was curious about sanding.
Per the description of the product: These blades are not sanded. We found that these blades perform better in terms of even illumination without sanding. If you prefer sanding, you can sand the outside of the blade yourself with 180-240 grit sandpaper.
Does anyone have experience with sanding this particular blade, with thoughts on before/after who would recommend for/against it? If not I’ll leave well enough alone per KR’s comments. But I am curious how it would look, but don’t wanna ruin it either
Interesting. Last time I heard of sanding was for inhilt blades, and my understanding was that you were supposed to sand the inside.
However, it seems to me that sanding the inside of a pixel blade would not really do anything because there would be a diffuser right against the sanded surface, doing the same thing as the sanding anyways.
Now, sanding the outside is new to me, but I could see how it could theoretically do two things:
- make the blade less shiny, which might be more realistic
- hide minor defects in the diffuser, and possibly help diffuse the inside LEDs slightly better.
However, it doesn’t seem like a good idea, because the surface would be pretty delicate, and I think it would show smudges and scuffs fairly easily.
That said; I have no actual experience with any of this, so I have no idea how it would actually work in practice.
I imagine KR blades are the same as any other polycarbonate blade when it comes to sanding. I have occasionally been asked to do it with blades I’ve built myself with TCSS kits, but the jury is still out on whether it improves the overall look sufficiently to warrant it when the blade is lit. The theory is that it removes the shine from the polycarbonate tube, which means once the blade is lit, the illusion is less likely to be tainted by seeing a big reflection from a room light or window on the outside of the tube at the same time.
But if you’re into marginal gains, it’s simple enough to do with some very fine grit sandpaper and a little patience.
There’s two things regarding sanding…
First is that it helps with hiding scuffs and marks from using the blade. If you leave it unsanded, at some point, it will need sanding to tidy it up.
Second, there’s a trick where you can use clear blade stock for your pixel blade, and very light sanding will help make the edge glow, giving it a pseudo-effect a bit like the the white core style in the movies. It’s not perfect, but I do all my blades like that. The one trans-white blade I have just has a sort of dull colour to it. My others all have a bright edge and coloured core. It looks better in person than on camera though.
If you leave it unsanded, you can just clean it, no?
No, you get scuffs and marks if you use it for more that swinging around.
I sand all of my blades at this point. Subjectively I like the softer look I think it gives. Objectively Astromech is right, if you have more contact intensive use cases (like, your buddy smacks the thing against a desk by accident or you duel) you get scratches and even small chips you have to sand out.
The hilarious part is when if first started I sanded so well it was went full circle back to smooth. The trick is to know when to stop, and to get a uniform grain.
Wrap the sand paper around the blade entirely. The last few passes should be the entire length of the blade.
We sand nearly all our blades over here at Civilized. Diffusion is good. I find the tubes sand better than the tips, though. Best to sand before putting the tip on, or cover it.
I will say that Khal’s tubes and diffusers are different from what you get at tcss. Khal’s pixel blade foam has a 10mm internal diameter so you get better diffusion from the foam, and he uses film diffusers rather than nylon tubes. He also uses more transparent blades. For a dual strip blade those are fine and work well but they are definitely different. The tcss diffusers and tubes diffuse better for triple and quad strip blades, in my experience.
For the best diffusion I like a triple strip blade with the kr foam, a bit of the kr diffusion film, the nylon tubes from tcss, and the tcss blades with a tip from kr.