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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*
 
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Step 1: Gallery - My Past Creations

Picture of Gallery - My Past Creations
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These were my past creations and experiments.
I used to own a 7x12 metal lathe. 
I sold the lathe
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SaberScorch22 days ago

It has always been my childhood dream to construct a lightsaber. I am glad you can help me achieve this dream of mine. I have found all the parts I need online, but I have a few questions that I would love your help answering. Firstly, I am getting a Luxeon Rebel Tri-Star LED from http://www.luxeonstar.com/SinkPAD_c_4699-1-1.html. I found a 20mm Triple Optics For Rebel LEDs, but I do not know what beam I should choose (Narrow, Wide, Medium, or Elliptical). On to my next question: I am planning on getting a Canadian TrustFire Protected 3.7V 900mAh 14500 Lithium Battery with a Nitecore D2 universal smart charger, and was wondering if it was a good choice. And if so, what should I use to encompass the batteries inside of the lightsaber hilt. I was thinking of using a 4AA Battery Holder with a JST connector to hold three of the batteries which power each of the three LEDS, and just to negelect the 4th slot. Thank you so much for your time, I really appreciate it!

MrTinkerer (author)  SaberScorch20 days ago

Hi,

On optics, use narrow or medium. I prefer narrow.

On power supply, a protected lithium battery is a perfect choice. I use the same. As for holding the battery, i use AA battery holders as well. It's a good fit. Are you going to charge the batteries through a charging port? None of my hilts have charging ports, but I think it is a great idea and would be really convenient. I'm hoping to find time to make a new lightsaber for the upcoming Star Wars moving coming out December 18, 2015. If I find the time to make one, i will install a charging port and update this instructable with lots of pictures.

I finally finished my Lightsaber! It is powered by four 1.5v AAA batteries, a 2.7 Ohm 10 Watt resistor, an amber Luxeon Rebel, and PLENTY of wires! I thought you might like to see some pictures!

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MrTinkerer (author)  SaberScorch4 days ago

WOW!!! I mean... WOW!!!

Great lightsaber. So bright. Is that yellow or amber? What ever color it is, i really like it. Great craftsmanship. Thank you for sharing.

Thanks! It is an Amber rebel. I plan on making a second saber as well! This one will have 3 or 4 white LEDs on a single star. But I can't figure out how to wire the tri-star LEDs. Could you please advise? Thanks again so much for your help, I could have never done it without your aid and inspiration!

MrTinkerer (author)  SaberScorch3 days ago

My green one is tri-rebel on a star. It is wired in series which means I needed 10 volts. This was the reason why I used a buck puck. I connected 3 li-ion batteries in series which gives just over 12v when fully charged. the buck takes care of voltage and amperage regulation. You don't have to do it that way though, it is also possible to wire them in series and just supply 3.7 volts with a resistor on each led. But you will need a battery that can put out a lot of current that way.

MrTinkerer (author)  MrTinkereryesterday

I meant in PARALLEL. Wire three Cree or Rebels in parallel and use one 18650 li-ion to power all three at 3.7 volts with a 1 ohm 1 watt resistor on each LED.

I'm thinking I need to redo my green lightsaber...

Thanks for all the help and information! I will be using this specific LED from TCSS. http://www.thecustomsabershop.com/Custom-Tri-Cree-LED-P1035.aspx If I am correct, I believe each white LED puts out 266 lumens at 1000mA. When you multiply this by 3 you get 798 lumens. Just below 800! Any recommendations to specifically run this LED (Battery choices, wiring tips, etc.) would be greatly appreciated!

MrTinkerer (author)  SaberScorchyesterday

I would wire them in parallel. 1 ohm 1 watt resistor one each LED. According to the LED calculator I found on line that will run each LED at 700 mA. This is important since drawing too much power from the battery may cause it to burst. Three LEDs parallel equals 2100 mA draw on the battery. That should last 1 hour for a good 18650.

Now, at 700 mA, the LED will be emiting 209 lumen based on the Cree XP datasheet. So, three LEDS would be 627 lumens. that's still dangerously bright to look at directly.

Here is the datasheet link.

http://www.cree.com/~/media/Files/Cree/LED%20Compo...

Is one 3.7v 18650 2600 mAh good enough to power a white tri-cree?

MrTinkerer (author)  SaberScorchyesterday

OK, this one will be long...

I spoke to the head of engineering about this. He has over 3 decades experience in electronics engineering, so i hold him in good authority to know these things. But we can do the math ourselves just to see how it will work.

I pulled the specs of a 18650 Li-Ion battery from batteryspace.com. One of their generic ones.

Battery: 3.7 v with a capacity of 2200 mAh, max discharge of 4.3 Amps.

I then pulled the specs of a neutral white Luxeon Rebel from LEDSupply.com

One Rebel LED: Forward current of 700 mA, forward voltage of 3.51 volts max.

In parallel, the three Rebels will draw 2.1 Amps. Compare this to the batteries max of 4.3 Amps and we see that the battery will not explode when you turn the saber on.

Since the Rebels will be wired in parallel, voltage will be at the LED's forward voltage of 3.51 max, just below the batteries 3.7 v nominal voltage. So again, we are good there.

Next question is capacity and run time. The battery's nominal capacity is 2200 mAh, which means in one hour the battery can put out 2.2 amps before it is totally drained. It just so happens our three LEDS in parallel will consume 2.1 amps. So your lightsaber can stay continuously ON for 1 hour before the battery is exhausted.

The head of engineering I consulted confirmed the math above is correct. Basically, it's almost like the 18650 and tri-Rebels were made for each other.

MrTinkerer (author)  MrTinkereryesterday

OOPS! i just caught that you said "TRI-CREE". My mistake. The math still holds IF you current limit the CREE LEDs to 700 mA. Drive the Cree LEDS to it's full 1000 mA and your run time will be about 40 minutes if your lucky.

GastonR15 days ago
MrTinkerer (author)  GastonR13 days ago

Hilt dimensions really depends on what you are trying to make, what you have available to you, what you are willing to order, and from where you are planning to order from. The first big question is where are you? - for example, if you are in Europe or Asia, i cannot recommend for you to drop by Home Depot and purchase a 1.5 inch chrome sink tube for $9.97. That advise would not make sense to you. There have been a multitude of websites created that sell ready made lightsaber parts since this Instructable was created six years ago. My go-to place is still The Custom Saber Shop though. There and my local hardware store.

Other resources include: http://www.ultrasabers.com/
https://www.saberforge.com/
http://www.ledsupply.com/

I am not affiliated with any of the above companies. I may have just purchased something from them in the past or have seen their products somewhere.

Feel free to ask more questions.

GastonR15 days ago

I wanted to congratulate you and ask that diameter, section and tube thickness is asked because I want to buy and have no idea of the diameter measurements and stuff

I have a few questions about this. Firstly, would you recommend having just one LED for the light source or multiple LEDs? And second, where can you purchase the "Corbin film"?

Actually, scratch the Corbin film question, (just looked a second time) but my other question was what exactly is the heat sink used for?
I meant Buck puck not heatsink...
MrTinkerer (author)  Kamikazepigeon01 18 days ago

the buck puck is not totally necessary if you are properly match the battery pack, a resistor and the LED. In my application the buck puck is just a more reliable, more stable LED driver since it uses electronics to feed just the right amount of current into the LED compared to a resistor which is passively limiting current. LEDs are very current sensitive. Even if you give the LED the exact voltage it needs, if not enough current, it will be dim or if the voltage is low, but the supply can pump out a lot of current, the LED will fry. The buck puck regulates all of this.

But again, not necessary. Today's Li-Ion batteries, paired with the latest sound module like the Petit Crouton, Nano Biscotti, Obsidian USB, Prism, Naigon's Igniter, and a proper resistor should prevent your LED from giving up the magic smoke.

Thanks for the great question.

Oh, i know you figured out the answer to the original question, BUT...
I am a GUY. 1 LED vs multiple LEDs? I only put 3 in mine because that is all I can cram in there. If I can cram a dozen in the hilt, trust me, I would. and my blade would blaze like a green supernova.

PiotrK3 made it!1 month ago

Thanks alot for the guide, it was very helpful! Had fun building my first lightsaber and I'm sure there will be more ;)

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MrTinkerer (author)  PiotrK31 month ago

That looks beautiful. Great workmanship. Truly a work of art.

Rashid Pasha3 months ago

hi man nice i love it but i dont get the LED where to get and what is that can u help me with that LED cuz i dont know where to get them so can u tell which one did u use for the red colour lightsaber LED and from where did u get it

Awesome instructable! I wonder, can this be done to make a curved-hilt lightsaber..
RMP20034 months ago

OH MY GOSH THAT IS THE COOLEST LIGHTSABER EVER! YOU SHOULD PUT THOSE IN STORES! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

MrTinkerer (author)  RMP20034 months ago

Thanks.

You're welcome. I was serious about the store thing, but now I'm not so sure the screaming was necessary.... :)

JiggsUp4 months ago

This sure has been fun! I completed the outside of my saber. Im happy with the over all design, but I want to install a push button switch instead of the toggle I currently have installed. The current switch just gets in the way too much and its not as esthetically pleasing as Id like. I dont have any of the electronics installed yet. I have a 700mA buckpuck. Will that work with one of those fancy push button switches that have a LED ring that lights up on it? Or does the fact that the button has a built in LED create problems? Ive uploaded a pic of the type of switch Im talking about. Look forward to your response :)

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MrTinkerer (author)  JiggsUp4 months ago

That is a beautiful hilt. WOW!!! Great craftsmanship. I love the brass and chrome combo.

I have the same push button switches. I am working on a hilt where the button is mounted in the pommel. Kind of like those flashlights where you press a button on the bottom end to turn it on.

The LED ring on the switch may have to be wired in on a parallel circuit to the buck. Just put a resistor on it appropriate to your voltage source.

MatthewS174 months ago

This is very helpful, but I am curious as to what LED you used in the crystal chamber? I would also love to see a picture layout or diagram of how all of that was powered together along with the crystal chamber.

Also, how did you fry the battery?

Luziviech1 year ago

hey, dude,
(can't get rid off this ible, one of my faves for years now) - Any recommendations for lenghts of hilt and blade for a double-bladed light-sabre?

MrTinkerer (author)  Luziviech5 months ago

Hey man, You are too kind. Thank you for chiming in and helping people out in here with this instructable. Sorry I have been away.

no prob dude. My actual problem with the lightsaber is findin someone who can drill me some inch-fitting into an alu-tube. But if i ever get it managed, i'll let you know.
MrTinkerer (author)  Luziviech4 months ago

can you send me a picture of what you need done? I'm not sure I understand.

SantaB1 year ago

I have two soundboards currently. I have one from a 1995 Luke Skywalker and one from a 2008? Obi-wan (actually the exact one in your picture). They worked great when inside the hilts. They even worked when I got the cases half way off. But as soon as I got the boards, and other parts, out and wired to a AA battery holder, neither work.

I am really only after the sound and could care less about the light (which both wired to a standard flash light bulb socket, no LEDs in these cheapy things). Seeing this and other Forum posts about this shows me I am wiring the correct wires to the battery holder. Ideas why the boards are dead now and what I can test?

MrTinkerer (author)  SantaB5 months ago

Either something shorted out or you over-powered it. I killed a Hasbro board by overpowering it. The either put a resistor between your battery and your sound board or buy a voltage regulator that will drop the voltage down to 5 volts. Also, route the electricity going to your LED parallel to your sound board. Do not connect your LED in series with your sound board. The LED draws too much current and can overload the sound board.

Roland S10 months ago

where do you buy the crystals

MrTinkerer (author)  Roland S5 months ago

ebay. i purchased a bunch of quartz with "points". people sell them in lots. You want to get a bunch because out of a handful only several are the corect size and shape.

Roland S7 months ago

I am getting a lathe and what kind of metal did you use for the hilt.

MrTinkerer (author)  Roland S5 months ago

Sorry for late reply. 3 feet (36 inches) was ideal for me.

MrTinkerer (author) 5 months ago

Hi everyone. Sorry, i have been away. Life has been very hectic. I'll try to check in more.

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