Lightsabers & Blasters Jedi-Loreen's EL Lightsaber Blade Tutorial

Discussion in 'Costuming and Props' started by Jedi-Loreen, May 6, 2004.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Jedi-Loreen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 2, 2002
    star 4
    Where the heck would you get 1/4" walled tubing? I've never heard of it.

    If you are going by the dimensions of the tube, .750" OD and .500" ID you only have 1/8" walls. Divide that number by 2 and that's how much wall you have on each "side" of the tube, if you were looking at a cross section.

    I don't even know it that makes any sense. I'm not usually up this early since I work nights, and I haven't had any coffee yet! :p


  2. RedHeadKevin Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2004
    star 2
    http://polycarbonate-tubes-rods.com/polycarbonate-tubes.htm

    KM-2100P...$4.20 a foot

    .750" OD, .25" ID, 1/4" thick walls. It's a real product.

    So... could it work?


    oh, and could you keep us posted if you find cheap 1/8" wall tubing? thanks.
  3. Strydur Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 9, 2005
    star 2
    Got the 2nd saber working today. Here is some pictures of it and blade design.The blue blade is 3 strands at 12volts the yellow is 4 strands at 9volts


    [image=http://home.comcast.net/~compunerdy/1.jpg][image=http://home.comcast.net/~compunerdy/2.jpg]
    [image=http://home.comcast.net/~compunerdy/3.jpg][image=http://home.comcast.net/~compunerdy/4.jpg]
    [image=http://home.comcast.net/~compunerdy/5.jpg][image=http://home.comcast.net/~compunerdy/6.jpg]
    [image=http://home.comcast.net/~compunerdy/7.jpg]

    Strydur
  4. sporty Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2005
    star 1
    awesome pictures, and kewl jedi lightsaber.

    I cant wait for my stuff to show up in the mail. Still gotta order my polycarbante tho, but good pic's. The end of the lightsaber give me a clue as how to do the end.

    thanks

    sporty
  5. sporty Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2005
    star 1
    I got to thinking and had some questions and thoughts.

    On making the lightsaber's with El.

    If we or someone can find a good site on the polycarbonate in the size we all are using. I didnt know how easy this is 2 cut. But I cant imagine shipping be that much really. a couple of bucks a tube. meaning like for 24 inches or a 36 inches. typical male is done buy weight.

    I wonder if we found a good site. we got together and did a bulk order or something. I know once i make my first one. Im gonna wanna make a few more.

    also the end pieces, like where the female end goes into what are ya all using aluminum machined or plastic ? or some odd piece ya found to work.

    It a thought of getting a machine shop to zip a few dozen pieces off and then use them for our swords. Bulk is cheaper. I mean most machines, they stick the piece in it cuts and turns it down and and can do alot of it fairly fast.

    The rubber end strips, man if we could find some company that makes something like it. I was thinking about when i owned my harley and i had these hand grips that had rubber on them in strips. they would be perfect. Just cant recall who made them, I would try and contact them for where they got them.

    I saw some guy selling $30 kits for lightsabers. I thought that was very high, cuz it really was not much more than the rubber, d ring and door bell piece with a led strip of 6 led's from a old calculater.

    ill have maybe $40 into my whole el lightsaber.

    In my town there is a builder discount store, tons of stuff. Not everything tho. But I get the 1 1/4 chrome sink pipe 12 inches long from 2 to 3 dollars and a d ring for 35 cents. I got my wipe blade pieces from big lots , they were celling wiper blades for $1.

    I got 5 led's from radio shack, ouch they charge 2 much. but had chrome threaded holder incert. I got 4 green and 1 red one. mounted them and got from the dollar tree store for a dollar a $1 flaslight that takes 2 aa batteries in a little box. I mounted it on my tube to run a colored flashlight end and the led's.

    I did this all for under $12.00, the most exspensive being 2 led's for $2.49 each.

    Just saome thoughts anyhow.

    I called a few of the El sells, that u mentioned or I found on line. Most didnt know anything about making a lightsaber with them. I quess i was thinking if we or someone could get some deal going with them to offer or cell a kit for what we need.

    Intead of going here or there to gather parts.

    when i get a chance ill take a pic of my lightsaber. its nothing fancy, but I think the led might interest some of you.

    sporty
  6. Seanohue Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    May 12, 2005
    Ok, I am virgin to all electronic components. I get the soldering part, but I am baffled at: creating a switch to light the blade, creating an adapter in the blade, the inverter, and im also wondering how to connect the speaker and soundchip from a Hasbro saber into a custom one. Any info helps because I get a headache everytime i try to figure this out :p
  7. Jedi-Loreen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 2, 2002
    star 4
    You can't power a Hasbro sound chip and speaker with a 9V battery, if that's the voltage of your inverter.

    It will burn out the chip. At least, that has been my experience with them.

    What do you mean that we "create switches"? We just buy a switch and put it into the circuit.
  8. Strydur Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 9, 2005
    star 2
    Got the other tubing today..you where right loreen...much better looking now. How hard is it to get the 1/2 diffuser inside the polyc using silcone spray lubricant? With the 1/2 ID polyc and the 7/16 OD diffuser tube there really isnt any slapping around of the tubes when you wack them together but i would prefer the diffuser tube to be straighter inside the polyc.

    Strydur
  9. RedHeadKevin Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2004
    star 2
    ( which "other" tubing? the 1/8-wall stuff?)
  10. sporty Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2005
    star 1
    I ordered today from usplastics.com, 3/4 od and 5/8 id. 8 feet of it, they charge $1.00 per cut. Im getting it in 24 inch lengths. cost was $11.17 for shipping and cut. its the 1/16 th tubing.

    Ill try it out and then if I dont like it, look at getting some 1/8 th thick tubing.

    However I am curious if people are going to a smaller tube for less slop in the tubing.

    sporty
  11. Strydur Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 9, 2005
    star 2
    Well now that i got making these blades down to a art. i figured i'd help those on here that dont want to take the time to make or figure out how to make blades.
    Since you have to buy allot of this stuff in bulk someone who just wants one blade can get really screwed. So for a limited time i will make anyone who wants one for $55 per blade. There wont be no skimping on materials either. They will be whatever length you want up to 40" 3/4"OD 1/2ID polycarbonate with diffuser tubing and 4 strands of 2.5mm wire, thats around 13 feet of wire. Each blade will have a acrylic round end on it and be fully assembled with a mono connector. I have dueled with the blades i made and they hold up great, i've even smacked the end of it against metal and just got a little scuff mark on it. Anyways do the math i am not out to make money here..more to just help those having problems making their own. If you want to buy one get ahold of me at compunerdy@comcast.net

    Strydur
  12. sporty Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2005
    star 1
    Well I got my 2.3mm ultra bright today. Hmm I am wondering, if 60 inches is enough for 24 inch lightsaber blade.

    And the polyethelene tubing that I have with the 1/2 outside and 3/8 inside. Seems almost like you could add more than just 3 strips in the tube. So I ordered some 5mm today. Just have to build a few and see what i am most happy with.

    sporty


    Hmm, I wouldnt mind buying a piece of that polcarbonate 1/2 id 24 lenth to try out.

  13. Seanohue Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    May 12, 2005
    I talking about how to solder the female connector to the inverter then to the switch, a picture and diagram would really help. Also, im looking for a hilt that is easy to build and looks very nice because the one I was working on I recently found out is too small for the switch I have. Other than that, I know how to make the blade.
  14. Jedi-Loreen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 2, 2002
    star 4
    Oh, I see.

    Well, you just have to keep in mind that the female connector goes on the leads from the output of the inverter, and the switch can go on either the red or black wire between the batter clip or holder and the inverter. I usually put mine on the black wire, just my preference. You just need the switch to interrupt the flow of electricity from the battery to the inverter.

    You will likely also have to add a little wire to your switch, or shorten the other wire coming from the battery, which could be done by folding it.

    Lengths of wiring and where to put things is pretty much determined by your design and size of your saber. Just keep the few things in mind that I mentioned above ^ .
  15. Smithenguan Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 20, 2005
    star 2
    Ok, I'm a n00b at saber construction, and I'm not very crafty. I'm buying a Parks Saber, but I want to completely seal off the end where the cap would go, but I want to use something that will stay on (hot glue sounds right, never used silicone before) while dueling.

    I don't quite know what the diffuser is. Isn't that the tubing? Your tutorial confused me, I'm not a very mechanical person.

    Is there any laymen's(sp?) way to describe how to seal off the end? Like a "Saber Sealing for Dummies"?
  16. Jedi-Loreen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 2, 2002
    star 4
    These EL blades consist of 2 tubes. There is the outer, clear polycarbonate tube, and inside that goes the polyethylene diffuser tube (which is kind of white), which diffuses the light from the EL wire to make a nice, even glow inside the tube and also hides the wires.

    You can seal the end with hot glue, but I've seen some of my glue tips get kind of soft and threaten to pop out when kept somewhere hot, so now I don't trust it at much anymore. I'm now using silicone to seal mine.

    You can use that on your Parks blades, too. I would gently bend the end of the plastic holding the EL paper, to the inside, briefly, so that you can get a little of the silicone between it and the inside of the tube, then just squeeze enough into the center to fill at least 1/2" of the end, smooth it off (I use my finger :p ) and set it down to cure for a few hours.
  17. Smithenguan Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 20, 2005
    star 2
    Thanks. Where do you get silicone at? Do you have to heat it or anything to be able to old it or whatever?

    Edit: Is this the right stuff?

    Damnit, I can't get linking to work right.

    http://www.homedepot.com/prel80/HDUS/EN_US/diy_main/pg_diy.jsp?CNTTYPE=PROD_META&CNTKEY=misc%2fsearchResults.jsp&BV_SessionID=@@@@2044914049.1116124291@@@@&BV_EngineID=ccfhaddejdmlfmicgelceffdfgidgkk.0&MID=9876
  18. Seanohue Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    May 12, 2005
    Wish I had the inverter in front of me so I can see what your saying. I bought the inverter u recommended for the blade (the one from Coolight.com, 9V, cant remember #). Does that one come with a battery pack? The picture on it wasnt large enought to show if it did or did not.
  19. Jedi-Loreen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 2, 2002
    star 4
    Silicone comes in a tube and has a thick, liquid consistancy. You squeeze the amount you want through the tip on the end of the tube. It air cures into a rubbery textured material.
  20. RedHeadKevin Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2004
    star 2
    look for silicone in the caulking department of a hardware store.

    Well, I'm getting my hilt just about done, and psyching myself up to order the EL stuff and tubes. It's looking good for a bunch of toilet parts and some weatherstripping.
  21. sporty Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2005
    star 1
    Well I got a few photos for of the plasma saber and my home built saber, no blade, just led's.

    http://home.insightbb.com/~jedijohnson/wsb/html/view.cgi-photos.html-.html


  22. LukeSkiewalker Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2003
    star 4
    Seanohue: For the hasbro sound board you will want to use two AAA. I have gotten good results from that. If you have ANY advice on how to get a speaker to fit inside a hilt PLEASE let me know. I have been trying to find one for 2 years with no luck.
  23. sporty Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2005
    star 1
    Jedi loreen,

    I have a question, when you worked on a parks was it el wire or el flat ?

    I found a web site that sells el flat and they also sell el flat lightsaber kits, kind of pricey. But it did make me think. If el flat may be the way 2 go.

    here is link -

    http://www.beingseen.com/flatlite.html
  24. Jedi-Loreen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 2, 2002
    star 4
    Parks uses the flat EL sheet.

    A couple years ago I heard some bad things about that website. People were ordering blades made from the flat sheet and receiving ones made with EL wire. I also hear that customer service can be slow and sorely lacking.

    And it bothers me that they aren't showing what comes in the kit.

    So I would say, order at your own risk.
  25. LukeSkiewalker Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2003
    star 4
    I knew this was an option for sabers but was never able to find any place that sold it. Unfortunately, the seem awfully "proud" of their products. At those prices you might as well just by one from ligtech.

    But I agree, this would be the way to go. MR used EL sheet in their orignal Anakin FX back in 2002 and I think those looked great. Using the sheet means you wouldn't have to make a diffuser either. At least I don't think you would need to...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.