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

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

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  1. Jedi-Loreen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 2, 2002
    star 4
    Hmm, turning on all my EL sabers at the same time. [face_thinking] I've never thought about doing that myself. o_O I don't think I have 5 9V batteries right now though. [face_worried]

    Should I put my LED saber in there that UltraSWG sent me as a gift? ;)

    Nah, that would make the others look kinda dim by comparison.
    :p
  2. XGundam05 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2006
    star 1
    Sorry, but nope.

    On a different note, anyone know the luminous output of EL wire?
  3. VillieGee Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 30, 2002
    star 3
  4. Jedi-Loreen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 2, 2002
    star 4
    Hmm, they used to give the dimensions of that inverter on that site. [face_thinking]

    The one I just pulled out of the drawer of one of my projects cabinets measures 1"x7/8"x3/4". Yes, it is one of the ones they are now calling the "Classic Pipsqueak". :rolleyes: Hope that helps!
    :)
  5. VillieGee Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 30, 2002
    star 3
    Thanks Loreen!! :)

    Hey, has anyone taken the casing off their inverter in an attempt to make it smaller?
  6. Jedi-Loreen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 2, 2002
    star 4
    Why would you want to make that one smaller? It's already pretty small! I wouldn't suggest trying to remove the cover. These inverters are usually filled with a potting material, it's not just a circuit board sitting in a case. I've heard of people shaving off the corners a bit on larger ones though.

    Sometimes they go too far and end up damaging one of the components though.

    If you want a really small or narrow inverter, a company in the UK sells this:
    [image=http://www.mutr.co.uk/images/products/main/DSCN0715.jpg]
    As you can see, there's really not a whole lot to a basic inverter. I don't know how well this one works though. Someone else found it. It's says it's for use for an EL panel, so you'd have to find out if it would work for EL wire, too.

    Here's the link, if you want to check it out:

    EL Inverter
  7. VillieGee Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 30, 2002
    star 3
    I'm trying to fit an inverter into a 1" PVC pipe. That Pipsqueak one won't quite fit. I'm still trying to figure out how I'm going to do this.
  8. Darth_Adderall Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 9, 2006
    star 1
    Hey, Loreen. Something no one's really addressed before, I guess because it's never been an issue. How "floppy" is EL wire? Is it fairly loose and pliable on it's own, or does it give considerable resistance to movement? I know it has varying flexibilities depending on diameter, but max angle of bend doesn't tell me much about how much effort I have to put into say, winding it around a pencil. If I hold the pencil level and just turn it, will it wind itself, or do I have to actually force it to wrap? Are there any video resources for just loose EL wire waving around?
  9. Jedi_Ranger_007 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 15, 2004
    star 4
    EL wire has a solid core, but it is not as stiff as solid-core electrical wiring. Short lengths (a few inches) are relatively stiff, but lengths of several feet (and longer) are flexible, but not nearly like stranded electrical wiring. The stiffness also depends greatly on the diameter of the wire you are using. Obviously the thinner wire will be much more flexible. To wrap the standard 3.2mm high-bright el wire around a small diameter, of say a pencil, you would have to work it.

    A foot of wire, if held horizontally, will droop slightly, and therefore, the longer the wire, the more droop it will have.

    I hope this helps.
  10. Jedi-Loreen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 2, 2002
    star 4
    Well, actually, that Pipsqueak inverter will fit inside a 1" PVC pipe. I had the idea to use one to make a lightwhip a few years back and tried it, because I wanted to make the handle out of a piece of 1" PVC (and I just tried it again, to make sure the newer one I got most recently would still fit). What won't fit, is the darned 9V battery, without removing some of the material inside the pipe.
  11. VillieGee Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 30, 2002
    star 3
    Really??? Sa-WEET!! The grip for this particular sword is very long, so I can actually fit 6 AAs in there end-to-end with room to spare. You just made my day, Loreen. [face_dancing]

    That face is great. lol
  12. Jedi-Loreen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 2, 2002
    star 4
    Always glad to be of help. :D

    And no, I'm not ignoring Darth_Adderall's question (in case anyone thought I was). He sought me out on AIM on Saturday and we had a discussion about the flexibility of EL wire. ;)
  13. UltraSWG Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 20, 2005
    star 2
    Yes... Yes you should. [face_mischief]
  14. Strydur Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 9, 2005
    star 2
    Why do you want to spend $8.50 for a 2khz inverter when you can get a 4khz for $10.50?
  15. Jedi-Loreen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 2, 2002
    star 4
    Heh, I guess I should have pointed out that your 4khz inverter was the same size as the Pipsqueak. I wasn't even thinking about that. [face_blush]

    I have a lot of those 2khz Pipsqueaks that I bought when I was told they were discontinuing them in that size, thinking that more of my friends were going to want my help building EL sabers. I need to figure out what to do with them, now.
    :p
  16. TheMuffin Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 2005
    star 2
    Good lord. I just read through about half of this thread and my head is spinning. So many people have found different items for the same application and now I've gotten a bit confused. Is there any chance at all of possibly getting a new definitive list of what the best items are for this application? I was reading and noticed some items are no longer available from certain sellers etc etc etc. I'm afraid to drop any money on anything until I'm sure of what place and what item I'm getting. I guess my question is can the original list posted by Jedi-Loreen still be followed to get the correct parts? Or have better items been found for making a blade?

    I guess I can also make note that I'm planning on machining my own Qui-Gon Jin saber replica for this endeavour and I can't really do that till I've gotten the parts in front of me so I can take measurements.
  17. Jedi-Loreen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 2, 2002
    star 4
    Well, you can save yourself some trouble, not to mention shipping charges if you buy everything separately, and just buy everything from Strydur's site, The Custom Saber Shop, he has everything you need. He wasn't around when I started this thread a few years back.

    Or, if you want to try and find things locally, you can just go to his site and look at what's in his blade and hilt kits and see what you need to get.

    I now buy my 1/8" walled polycarb tube locally, for a good price and no shipping, but they don't have a website. I still get my poly e diffuser tubing from McMaster.com and my connectors from a local electronics store. But the next time I need EL wire, switches or inverters, I'll be buying them from Strydur.
    ;)
  18. TheMuffin Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 2005
    star 2
    Wow. That site is excellent. Definitely be getting my stuff from there. Really appreciate the quick answer. Hoping to do this in the next 2 or 3 months if the weather gets decent.
  19. Secc Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 7, 2006
    Hey, is there any lightsaber fighting clubs operating anywhere? I wanna kick some Jedi ass :)
  20. Spencer_P Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2005
    star 1
    Hey Strydur, is your EL wire the same brand they sell at www.coolight.com? Also, would you happen to know how many thousands of hours the high brightness wire you sell will stay bright when you run it using 12 volts and a 4khz inverter?
  21. Jedi-Loreen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 2, 2002
    star 4
    This isn't the right thread to ask that question. Go back a page or two and find one of the Live Dueling threads, there is a poll thread and another one about it.

    This thread is about making EL sabers and blades and I don't want people responding to that here and hijacking my thread. Thanks.
  22. JediRah Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2005
    W00t! After many a month of inadvertantly destroying things, waiting for usps to get their arse into gear, and more destroying things, it is finished! (and working!)

    here

    Very plain hilt, I was more interested in the lighty-up-ness.

    Thanks everyone for their help, esp. Jedi Loreen and Stryder.

    Edit: Come to think of it, this probably would have been better off in the Your lightsabers thread. D'oh.
  23. Jedi-Loreen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 2, 2002
    star 4
    Nah, this is a good thread to post in, since it's got the EL "lighty-up-ness". ;) I like seeing that people are still getting use out of my thread, now that LED sabers are more the rage. :)

    You can also put it in the other thread if you want more exposure.

    Although the saber1 pic is a pretty strange looking saber. Where do you put the blade?
    [face_thinking] :eek: :p
  24. Hack Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 10, 2006
    star 1
    I bet that's what he wants you to think. Then suprise blade in your face.[face_beatup] LOL
  25. Jedi-Loreen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 2, 2002
    star 4
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