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How to Build your own Lightsaber

Ever wanted to have your very own replica Lightsaber but just never had
the money to buy a commercial or custom made one. Did you ever think
about building a lightsaber out of every day bits and pieces.. Well maybe
its not as difficult as you think, as long as you are able to cut some pipe,
drill some holes and have a good imagination when it comes to design
the dream of wielding and displaying your own hand built lightsaber could
become reality before you know it. Below are some idea's, pictures and
links that can help you on your way..

What parts can i use to build my lightsaber

Your Lightsaber can be constructed from really any rigid type of materials,
it should be rigid and not something that is going to break easily. Many
obtainable materials include all these things below, some may be even
junk items laying about your own homes and garages.

chromed plumbing tube
conduit connectors
PVC Tubing
copper pipe
Radio knobs
Faucet Handles
Windshield Wipers
Belt Clips
Chrome tape
Calculator digit displays
Colored push buttons
brass knobs & Screws
Light Fixtures & Fittings
washers ( Flat & Domed )

Electronic sound effects from old toys, especially old plastic Lightsabers,
Small torch fittings and especially the globe housings if you want your
Lightsaber to really light up. LED's ( Light emitting Diodes ) are a good
strong light source and they consume less energy than standard bulbs.

Most of the lightsabers used in Star Wars were made from flash handles,
these are devices used to supply power to the flash bulbs in vintage 1940's
cameras. The cameras used had a Graflex or Heiland Synchronar flash
handle attached. The flash handle is the long tube that holds the flash bulb
and reflector and it is also used as the handle for the camera. They have all
kinds of buttons, clamps and terminal points already protruding which
makes them ideally suited as a lightsaber handle.

Common Saber Parts Common Saber Parts

Above you can see a selection of useful parts, left we have chromed or
stainless tubing with an insert cut away, this allows a rubber grip handle
to be inserted inside which shows through the insert. Notice the black
faucet handle in the upper corner which will be used to cover the end.
In the picture on the right you can see a belt loop which is fastened via
rivets or small bolts, the black strips will serve as grips along the handle.

Common Saber Parts Common Saber Parts

On the left is a flash handle used on most of the Lightsaber props and
on the right an example of various sized tubes which may come together
finally to form a basic handle.

What designs are there

The best thing to do is have a look at what other people have designed
and see what you like or what would be easiest for you to construct.
Below are some examples built from common parts..

Lightsaber Built from common Parts Lightsaber Built from common Parts

The more details you add the better it will look and feel, think about these
things when you begin designing your lightsaber..

Lightsaber Built from common Parts

1. How long and how wide should the handle be..

Lightsaber Built from common Parts

2. Should it have electronic components, a standard bulb or just plain.

Lightsaber Built from common Parts

3. How heavy will it be and will it have some kind of blade attached..

Lightsaber Built from common Parts

4. And if so how long should the blade be and what can it be made of..

What about the blade

The blade can be the tricky part and this is why some will stick with just
building the handle, but if you intend to have a blade you will need to
decide how the blade will attach and will it be permanent or removable.

Lightsaber Blades Lightsaber Blades

The above images are supplied by this website:

But i don't want to discourage you by showing a commercially made Lightsaber
so lets look at what they are using, polycarbonite tubing which glows via
a luminescent indiglo lamp. The Blade itself is 40'inches long or around 100cm
in length, the ploycarbonite is very strong and comes in different colors.

The blades used on the toy replica's have a traditional telescopic blade, these
are very wide at the hilt and a narrow blade looks much nicer with the custom
built handles. I've seen painted PVC Tubing used as blades which will work
quite well if you don't intend to have the blade light up. PVC is strong also
which will stand up to allot of impact but its not usually transparent.

I would suggest having a look in a plastics department for various useful
tubing, you may even find something from your local hardware or junk
dealers. Of course it depends on how good you are with your hands and
how much you want to spend. A solid transparent tube around 18mm
thick or more depending on the size of your hilt would be nice, it may be
a good idea to leave the size of the blade attachment until you have found
the ideal diameter for your blade. The best thing to do is ask, others will
often point you in the right direction, there are many options available
and a good place to start is via the internet.

Links to other Lightsaber building sites

Need to know more?

If you build a lightsaber based on what you have learnt here drop me a line
and let me know, better still send a photo and i will post it on site for others to
be inspired by. For more idea's and construction help take a look at my project
guide on "How to make a lightsaber from a vacuum cleaner".

Continue with "The Vacuum-Saber" > >

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