Lightsabers & Blasters Official Lightsaber Tips and Tricks Thread

Discussion in 'Costuming and Props' started by surlygirlie, Sep 15, 2004.

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Moderators: Briannakin
  1. Sister_Sola Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2002
    star 4
    Thanks for the suggestion JediGaven, but I've found that stickies seem to get ignored just as much as text in the last half of an email....
  2. Khol Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jul 5, 2005
    Does anyone know how to set up the led blades so that they light up properly (hilt to tip)? I've looked everywhere and can't find circuitry diagrams to do this.
  3. Koohii Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    ebay has lots of flash tubes in different styles. You can get those for $20-120 and modify them. Some people sell ones they've already converted.

    I got a lot of 20 flashtubes for $300. Cool set. One was a Heiland 5-cell which I have dubbed "Wookie Saber". Some others were just plain cool. Also got some presents in that lot for Shudderbug traditional photographer friends.

    Now, if I could just find a cheap source of Flash Reflector Bases (Blastech has them for $25, and Parksaber for $40).

  4. master_ghost Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    May 29, 2005
    star 1
    This is a great thread surlygirle. You should keep it sticky.
  5. Jedi-Loreen Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Dec 2, 2002
    star 4
    surlygirlie as stepped down as Moderator. We are now in the capable hands of Sister_Sola and she has her reasons why she doesn't want to make this a Sticky anymore.

    Besides, this is in the Master List in the one Sticky in this forum.
  6. Sister_Sola Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2002
    star 4
    Bumping to keep unlocked.
  7. KodaVonnor Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 10, 2006
    I thought I'd post some tips for creating a lightsaber. I have just completed mine after almost 5 years of planning (and budget issues), and if I knew then what I know now, probably would have done it differently. :oops:

    First, let's assume you want your saber to be unique. I for one could not see carrying a hilt that looked like some other famous jedi's saber (or like ANYBODY else's for that matter). I limit my discussion to the hilt, as that's what I ended up creating. If you want to have a blade, either attached or detachable, you need to plan ahead for that.

    Let's also assume you're willing to spend the resources (time is money) needed to create the saber that's uniquely yours and perfect for you. It took me almost 5 years and over $500 total by the time I was through. You can make/get one LOTS better that mine for LOTS less money, a LOT faster (again, if I only knew then.../sigh).

    OK. What's it going to look like?

    Draw pictures. Think. Imagine. Look at other pictures of sabers. Redraw the pictures. Doesn't really matter at this stage what you draw it on, it's just so you get the concept down in your mind. Use google. Cruise the forums. Draw inspiration from other people's designs. Take your time and look.

    I found my emitter style from a Sluis Van saber contest a few years ago (can't find the site anymore).

    What's it going to be made out of?

    Metal (aluminum, brass, copper)? Plastic (google 'delrin')? Rubber grips? A combination of stuff?

    What's the design?

    Is it one solid piece, or a bunch of pieces that fit together like a cool puzzle? How do they fit together (screws, rivets, glue)? How heavy will this sucker be when it's done? If you want a blade, you have to leave part of it hollow inside (the guts need to go somewhere).

    How about blueprints? What does the saber (or all the cool saber puzzle-pieces) look like from the top? From the front? From the side? What would the cross-section look like at different spots along the hilt? Exactly how long are the parts in cm or inches? How wide? How far is it from that control knob to the activator doo-hicky? You get the idea. These are things you should think about and sketch if possible.

    Make the blueprints.

    There are cool CAD software packages out there that won't break the bank and will help you turn out fully detailed engineering drawings. Search on eBay for 'CAD Software'. I found some full featured CAD packages for under $10.00. Do the tutorials (they're quite fun actually). Learn how to draw with it. Be sure to put dimensions on all your drawings. CAD skills can go on your resume too. I made up 2D drawings, rather than full 3-dimensional models, because that was all that was needed for the next step. Plus, blueprints are cool for showing your friends EXACTLY what your saber is going to look like.

    Make the parts.

    Admittedly, this step is the most challenging and resource intensive (remember that 'time is money' thing?), but is infinitely easier if you have the engineering drawings from the last step. I searched all over for a metal machinist to cut&mill the parts for me. I found someone through a local machinist's club. You can sometimes find a trade school or machine-shop class that will use your idea for a shop project. An easier (but granted, a bit more costly) way might be to contact Random Sabers with your blueprints. I have not used them personally (nor am I affiliated with them in any way), but my 17 year-old nephew has an order in with them. Their work looks very professional, but they sometimes have a back-log of work so you may have to be patient for your order. As I understand, they can make any saber you have blueprints for. Also, they have a TON of designs to draw inspiration from.

    Again, I have nothing against a professionally crafted production-line saber such as Parks Sabers makes, but this post assumes you want a one-of-a-kind.

    I also have nothing against a hardware-store saber. I h
  8. KodaVonnor Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 10, 2006
    Oh yeah, Here is a good place to buy metal tubes, bars, etc...

    Online Metals

    They will cut pieces to length for you too.

    Here are some other links to parts sources: (email him 1st to check stock) This is where I got my grips, the thinner, flatter, softer kind.

    Another tip for the grips, if you plan on using rubber-strip type grips, cut shallow channels into the handle for the grips to fit down into. It reduces the shear (sideways force) on the rubber which can tend to make the adhesive come loose, and makes them easier to glue on.

    Also, does anybody know of a glue that will hold silicone rubber (that's those softer grips I mentioned) to metal? I have scuffed up the back of the rubber real good as well as the aluminum, but haven't found the perfect glue yet.

    Cyanoacrylics (super glue) - didn't stick to the rubber.
    100% silicone glue/sealant - pulled right off.
    Contact cement (apply to 2 sides) - pulled right off.
    Trying welder glue (got at walmart) - decent, but already pulling loose.

    Will try liquid nails next I think. Anybody try that?
    Also have 2-part epoxy but haven't tried that yet.

    ~ Koda

  9. Miana Kenobi Admin Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 5, 2000
    star 8
    Unlocked and upped by request.
  10. rehtul-minnau Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2010
    star 1
    I want to make Luke's lightsaber from ROTJ out of wood, but I'm not sure about the dimensions. Can someone help me with this?
  11. Evil-Henchman Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 17, 2004
    star 4
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