So you have decided to take the final step to embracing the force. Does your path follow the Light or the Dark side? (I hear the dark side has cookies).

What ever side you are on, what follows is how to make a Duel-Worthy Lightsabre. That means, you should be able to wield this sword and bash it against things and other lightsabers with little fear of actually breaking the lightsaber. You may end up breaking other things, but the lightsaber will remain intact.*

Total cost of this project is $60 to $1,000 USD. The wide range in cost all depends of how crazy you get with your design. The cost of lightsaber I built for this instructable is about $160.

The Video:

NOTE 1: This Instructable is very TEXT intensive.

NOTE 2: Most of the parts used in this tutorial came from The Custom Saber Shop (TCSS). I am not affiliated or employed with them. I am just a customer.

* The author of this instructable is not responsible for property damage, personal injury, amputation of limbs, decapitation, and/or death resulting from the building and use of the lightsaber prop. All legal responsibility or resulting civil action due to said property damage, personal injury, amputation of limbs, decapitation, and or death belongs solely to the builder. The author is also not responsible for anyone falling into the Dark Side. The author will also not be held responsible if an agent of the Dark side decides to fry you with lightning coming out of his/her fingertips*

Step 1: Gallery - My Past Creations

These were my past creations and experiments.
I used to own a 7x12 metal lathe. 
I sold the lathe
<p>Would there be a way to create a vibration function? Such as a very low power oscillating motor, like this one?<a href="https://www.adafruit.com/products/1201?gclid=Cj0KEQiA4JnCBRDQ5be3nKCPhpwBEiQAjwN1bkzSwaXOh0xdtQWuiGYG8ta7MccNfkFiEwX6fyMr4LsaAl5G8P8HAQ" rel="nofollow">https://www.adafruit.com/products/1201?gclid=Cj0KE...</a></p><p>Maybe hooked up to a contact sensor, instead of a speaker. That way, you could get a more real hand feel? Idk</p>
<p>Actually, some of the boards have a flash on clash function. It would be possible to connect the flash output to a motor driver instead of an LED so instead of flashing when the blade hits something, the lightsaber vibrates.</p>
where did you find the cap for the blade tube? I'm having trouble finding a caps
<p>hi guys just wanna ask your opinion about my LSB i made that 1 year ago </p><p>its made of brass pbc, and i made the blade out of fiber mat, since my country don't have much of materials to sell, can you share me some of your layouts regarding wiring and hilts. </p>
<p>The blade looks nice and bright. Can you share a picture of the hilt? What kind of wiring scheme are you asking about?</p>
&nbsp;You should use Electro Luminescent wire (<a href="http://www.elbestbuy.com/" rel="nofollow">www.elbestbuy.com/</a>)
While Electroluminescent (EL)&nbsp;wire can provide an even light distribution for the length of the blade, the light output is dim compared to LED. If you look at the very&nbsp;first picture, you will see that the two shades of &quot;Blue&quot; are actually EL.<br /> I started making EL lightsabers in 2001. I switched to LED a couple of years later.&nbsp; EL&nbsp;wire has a lifespan far shorter than LED. My first EL&nbsp;blade was half brightness after only 1 year of use. LED takes 50,000 hours before diminishing in brightness. EL is an old technology that is cool, but the future is LED and OLED.
im new to the lightsaber design idea myself. ive designed a few nice hilts out of pvc pipe since i don't have money or materials to buy aluminum ready built stuff and want to take them to the next level. My question is about the blade however. i know polycarbonate is typically the way to go but is a bit expensive on my budget. what is your take on using 3/4 clear furniture grade pvc pipe for a blade and cellophane wrapping paper as a diffuser? Would it work the same?
<p>Can you give a link for the clear PVC pipe you have in mind. I am not familiar with it. I have banged around schedule 40 pvc pipes before. The plastic does have a good bit of flex. However, hit it hard enough and it does shatter. Now, if you are just building a show piece instead of a dueling saber, that should be fine. But if you plan to duel with the blade, polycarbonate is the only safe clear material that I know of.</p>
<p>Side emitting fibre, see </p><p><a href="https://www.aliexpress.com/item/2014-newly-2mm-small-size-soft-side-glowing-optic-fibre-lighting-led-light-tree-fibre-optic/32246973235.html?spm=2114.30010308.3.1.U6mvej&ws_ab_test=searchweb201556_7,searchweb201602_4_10065_10044_10069_10043_10017_10041_10060_10042_10061_10062_10057_10056_10037_10055_10054_301_10033_10059_10032_10058_10070_10052_10053_10050_9963_10051,searchweb201603_1&btsid=e86cefec-ab3d-4d90-96eb-8feeb6776920" rel="nofollow">https://www.aliexpress.com/item/2014-newly-2mm-sma...</a></p><p>only 2mm OD, but others available.</p><p></p>
<p>The ID of a 1&quot; PC battle blade is 3/4&quot; or 19.05mm. can you provide link for fiber optic that would properly fit into a blade and we would want to avoid the fiber optic rattling inside the blade.</p>
<p>You can get side emitting fibre optic tubes, they sell them for swimming pool lighting.</p><p>Plug your light source on the hilt end, with a mirror on the tip end, all the light should be evenly emitted.</p><p>If this fitted snuggly inside the PC tube, it should all look good!!</p>
Yes, i have often thought about using side emitting fibre optics, but cost has been prohibitive in the past. perhaps prices have gone down since last I checked. Can you provide a link to a source of side emitting fibre optics that is the right diameter?
<p>Way cool dude. <br>But for a cheap version would something work with an LED laser. plasctic tubing and some kind is glass or plastic beads ? </p><p>Maybe those ones they use for plant watering (gel?)<br><br>Make It SO ! - oops sorry wrong movie ;-) </p>
<p>this is really cool, although it's way out of my price range. well done!</p>
<p>Finished! Thank you</p>
<p>Wonderful work. I love the color. Thank you so much for sharing.</p>
<p>Such an amazing tutorial... I'd love ta' go buy the electronic toy one, then rig it up from there... Make a new blade and handle, and junk the rest. ;) </p>
<p>Thank you.</p>
<p>Step #5 Blade holder... Can I make my own blade holder that won't break my Saber? I don;t wanna spend $2318423403240 on one from a web page... </p>
<p>Yes, it is possible. I have made many blade holders of my own. The only thing is, i have had access to a lathe and other heavy duty type tools. It would also be possible to 3D print a blade holder, but again, you have to be fortunate enough to have access to that.</p><p>The issue is that most blades are 1&quot; diameter and boring out a hole that size accurately and properly into metal is not easy. Perhaps if you make your blade holder out of some sort of high density plastic light Delrin or HDPE rod...</p>
<p>Another stupid question; What sort of cap do you recommend?</p>
<p>Hi, I was wondering what changes would need to made, to make a lightsaber cane ? (with light and just the sound of warming up..no fighting sounds needed for a cane). Thanks</p>
I need help. I am trying to build my own heatsink. I found a brass coupler that fits perfectly with my cree led and optics. The problem is that the coupler is too small to fit snugly in the hilt. I think pvc is a bad idea but I'm not sure. Thoughts?
<p>Hi I am new at building lightsabers. The only one that I have made is a style four lightsaber from http://bigyellowbox.tripod.com. This may be stupid questions. Is it possible for me to put wiring inside my lightsaber and battle with it? If so, what would you recommend I do? Should I take a toy lightsaber and transfer the wiring into mine? I want to make my lightsaber green. What parts do I need?</p>
hello,<br>The Big Yellow box is a great website. It is great that you went there to build a lightsaber.<br><br>There are no stupid questions.<br>However, i may sometimes give a stupid answer, haha. <br><br>Yes, buy a toy lightsaber, take it apart, put all the electronics into your style 4 saber. Make sure you are using a polycarbonate blade if you are dueling with it. Use the LEDs I recommend in my instructable. <br>Good luck. Share pictures.
<p>Hi MrTinkerer,</p><p>Thank you so much. I really appreciate it. I definitely share my pic when I have it all set up.</p>
<p>Here it is guys! Tell me what you think. Thankyou very much Mr Tinkerer</p>
<p>That looks great. Looks bright too. Awesome work.</p>
<p>Thanks! And thank your for this very inspiring and helpful tutorial!</p>
<p>Sorry for posting my comment twice.</p>
<p>Hi I am new at building lightsabers. The only one that I have made is a style four lightsaber from http://bigyellowbox.tripod.com. This may be stupid questions. Is it possible for me to put wiring inside my lightsaber and battle with it? If so, what would you recommend I do? Should I take a toy lightsaber and transfer the wiring into mine? I want to make my lightsaber green. What parts do I need?</p>
Hi, great article. I've done a lot of research and I'm stuck on how to supply power to my hasbro soundboard without frying it. It takes 3 AAA batteries and supplies the soundboard, led and speakers. I know I want to get a high powered speaker, preferably one that uses 3 volts. Now If the battery has 4.5 volts total would it have enough power to power the soundboard and speakers after powering the new led? Thanks
Also, what kind of LED did you use for step 12?
<p>I used an RGB star. I think it was a Cree star. I did not use the green LED on the star.</p>
<p>Hell Mr Tinkerer,</p><p>I have a question I have a Cree LED and Lens and lens holder but I do not have a copper heatsink. Is there any other part that can replace this? IF so how should i attach it to my sink tube hilt?</p><p>Thanks</p><p>Here is one of my old builds:</p>
<p>That's awesome! How did you manage the crossbeams?! Are they split from the main led?</p>
Thanks!<br>No it is not split from the main led. I just used two other led for the cross-guard/cross-beams.<br>Here is another couple photos for your interest.
<p>on an old build prior to having access to a lathe, i took a heatsink from an old computer. it had really tall fins and was about 1.25&quot; square. I cut the corners with a hacksaw then used a dremmel drum sander and sanded the edge until the heatsink was round, or a close approximation of round. I then drilled and tapped the sides and held it in place with screws.</p>
<p>hi im just starting out, and I have a few questions about the inner workings.</p><p>I've looked online, but luxeon seems to be out of stock of their main 140lm rebel leds. are their 420lm tri star led's too bright for a lightsaber, and do they require more power? if so, where else can i buy star leds?</p><p>Also, I'm very confused about how to wire a soundboard into the system. I have one of those sound-effects toy lightsabers from hasbro, but it seems that either the speaker or battery pack inside is fried and wont work. I know you gave a diagram on the connections of a hasbro soundboard, but i am still REALLY confused on specifically where i need to wire one thing to another. </p><p>Additionally, i've looked in the comments and have seen multiple posts about having both a lithium-ion rechargeable battery AND a AA or AAA battery case in the same saber. Do you need to have both in order for this to work?</p><p>Finally, do you have any specific way to keep all the parts inside the hilt from banging around when you twirl and swing the finished saber?</p><p>Thanks.</p>
<p>Hi,</p><p>Lots of questions. Many of these questions have probably been answered on the many forum dedicated to lightsaber creation. Places like FX-sabers, thecsutomsabershop, rebellegion, and ultrasabers just to name a few. With the upcoming Star Wars movie(s), these forums have become very active again. Become part of those communities. In addition, i highly recommend that you also learn as much about electronics as time will allow.</p><p>If you are using a hasbro board (that works) and a single High power LED, you can get away with a single power supply. Just run the sound board and the LED in parallel. You probably want to keep your voltage below 5 volts. A single li-ion puts out 3.7 volts, so that should be good. </p><p>For purchasing an LED, I am not affiliated with any store so I cannot tell you when inventory becomes available. I highly recommend that you contact the vendor and find out when they will get more.</p><p>On tri-rebels... Too bright??? no such thing. The green lightsaber I built for this instructable is tri-Rebel. 420 lumens was easily achieved. I found myself in the Grand Canyon one evening without any gear (tent, sleeping bag, flashlight.. weird back story). BUT I had my green lightsaber. I used it to light my way. Kept me from falling off the edge... True story.</p><p>On too much room inside the hilt, banging around and all that. Nope... If you built a lightsaber of the proper diameter and length (no wookie sabers) with sound board, batteries, speaker, switches, charging port, accent LEDS, heatsink, and yards of wire... and you have room in it for the parts to bang around, then you are a very gifted sabersmith.</p>
<p>Ok thanks. I have found a good site that has the parts in stock. However, I am still wondering something. If I choose to use a tri-led, do i have to buy a special optical lense for the lights to fit? If so, where? Also, how much power will i need with a tri-led compared to a single led?</p>
<p>Oh wait forget about that last part. I would need around 9.7 volts for the tri-led.</p>
<p>You will need a special lense. They sell optics for tri-rebel that are same dimensions as single LED lense.</p><p>On wiring it up, you can go series or parallel on the LED. In series, you will need to add up the forward voltage of each diode. That is roughly the voltage you will want out of your power source. If using a resistor to limit the current, a single resistor in series with the LEDs is all you need. In parallel, the diode forward voltage would be the same as a single but each diode needs its own resistor to limit the current. In parallel, you can get away with a single li-ion for example. Of course, there is always the trade-off, which is a shorter operational time since. Plus make sure the battery can put out a lot of current.</p><p>I recommend you google LED resistor calculator. Find a calculator that handles multiple LEDs. This will verify what I am telling you as accurate or not.</p><p>In series you will need three li-ion batteries or 11.1v. In Parallel, you will need a single 3.7v li-ion battery with a high discharge rate and a high mAh. Someone has asked this before and I did some research. The Panasonic 18650 seems to match the required specs.</p>
<p>oh, I don't think you specified the color of your lightsaber build. But based on the voltage you mentioned I am thinking it will either be green, some shade off light blue, or white. It can't be a deep blue or purple because you mentioned lumens and those shades are measured in mW. Red, orange, yellow and amber tends to have a lower forward voltage.</p>
<p>Yeah sorry i didn't mention that. I am planning on using an amber Tri rebel led, which happens to have a specially made narrow optic for it :). One final question: (sorry, i just really need to know all there is to know), with the Li-ion batteries, are you able to use, say, a AA battery holder with them? In other words, just replace a AA setup with some Li-ion batteries and just hook them up to a buckpluck? I would very much like to know how to handle and use these things without making them explode, thank you very much.</p>
<p>li-ion tend to be a little larger if they have a protection circuit. it's what i used and they made the AA battery holder crack. Maybe cut the springs shorter.</p>
<p>So I've pretty much figured out what I have and what i need to do and get. There's just one more thing I'm trying to figure out, and that's the soundboard. Again, for the reason of budget, I am using the board from a hasbro toy, which includes hit and swing detection. </p><p>I've chosen, due to my setup, to run in series, however I don't know how much voltage I can put through the soundboard. </p><p>Since I'm using 4 Li-ion batteries in the same holder, do you know if there is any way to split the power going from the buckpuck to have some go through the soundboard and then to the led and the rest just go directly to the led? Or would that not work?</p>
<p>the sound hasbro board can handle 5v max probably. ideally, you would want to run it at 4.5v since I have fried my fair share of hasbro boards using just 4 AA batteries. </p><p>My suggestion and the cleanest setup would be to make a 5V regulator. All the 5v voltage regulators I have built output around 4.8v for some reason. I can drop the voltage even lower by adding a small 5mm LED on the output side of the regulator. The easiest way to make a 5V voltage reg is to us a L7805 and a couple of capacitors. They don't take up much room and they will regulate your power supply to something the hasbro board can handle. It will also limit the current to around 1.5 A max. If you want to play it even safer, build a 3V regulator using using a L7803. This will limit the current to an even safer 800 mA max. There are plenty of instructables on making both regulators. Split your power source + line two ways - one going to the buck puck, one going to the voltage regulator. Buck puck goes to LED, voltage regulator goes to sound board.</p><p>Learn as much electronics as you can and learn to read the datasheet of the parts you are dealing with. I cannot stress this enough. The buck puck you are using should have a data sheet. It would have told you if it outputs a lower voltage for other uses like microprocessors. Since I don't know what buck puck you are using, i cannot tell you what it can and cannot do. But my GUESS is that no, it will not. But if you want an informed answer on the component you are using, get your answer from the manufacturer who often is nice enough to provide a data sheet on their products.</p><p> I also bring up data sheets because you said you needed 9.7 volts, which made me guess a green, blue, white or purple lightsaber. You then surprised me with &quot;amber&quot; as your blade color. as as I mentioned in my guess of color, Amber, red, and yellow tend to have a lower voltage. If you read the data sheet carefully you will find that the typical amber forward voltage is 2.9v, so your voltage requirements is actually 8.7 volts.</p><p>Something about electronics I have been told many times by &quot;experts&quot; and pass on to you, it is not the voltage that will kill your parts, it the current. If you hook up your sound board in series with your LEDs, it will not be the 16v that will fry it, it will be the 2.1 Amps that surge through it the moment you turn it on that will make it go poof and release the magic smoke.</p><p>Last thing, because this is getting long. Why 4 Li-ion batteries. If you buy the kind that put out 3.6v, that's 14.4v. A fully charged Li-ion is typically above 4v which means at full charge, your power source is 16v. I think that is over-kill. Three Li-ion will get you 10.8v, fully charged more like 12v. I mentioned before that space inside a hilt is a premium. That extra battery is going eat that space. Also, if you're LED needs 8.7v and your hasbro board needs 4.5 v, what do you think happens to all that extra voltage? It gets turned to heat. This is especially true for voltage regulators. Just something else to think about.</p>

About This Instructable




Bio: I like to tinker and create things. When I have time, i make stuff. The stuff could be as simple as my patent pending spoon-on-a-stick ... More »
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