Step 2: Parts and tools

You need PARTS.

Go to your local hardware store and buy parts (some parts will not be available at your local hardware store and must be special ordered). If you have a local Surplus Electronics Recycling store near you (Weirdstuff, Electronics Goldmine), go there and rummage around at the old electronics. Gather anything that looks "cool", geeky, futuristic, funky, hi-tech, or would seem useful later on.

Go to The Custom Saber Shop to buy specialty parts:

OR Ultrasabers

Also go to

If the parts do not make sense now, don't worry, I will explain each section of the lightsaber in detail in the steps to follow.

The Blade:
1 x 30-36 inch long Polycarbonate (pc) tube, thick wall 1 inch outside diameter (OD). Wall thickness should be 1/8 inch. This is the blade.
1 x end cap for the pc tube (blade tip)
1 x blade film ("corbin" film is great)
1 x reflective material with a diameter smaller than the inner diameter of the PC tube.

The Hilt:
1 x blade/LED holder (aka the emitter)
1 x 1.5 inch chrome sink tube. 12 inch long
1 or 2 x sink tube adapter. 1 to attach the blade holder to sink tube and 2 if you have opted for a machined pommel.
1 x switch or button
1 x pomel or end cap

What ever else parts you want to attach to the hilt body - grooved section, plates, gold trim, jewels, tapered section, leather. BE IMAGINATIVE. MAKE IT DISTINCTIVELY YOUR OWN.

The Electronic Guts:
1 x High power LED (luxeon III, K2, V, Rebel; seoul P4, or any LED with a lumen output above 60). Decide if you want to buy an LED emitting a certain color or a white LED and use color filters. The lightsaber I built for this instructable in theory should be pumping out over 300 lumen... In theory. You will see later how I accomplished this.

1 x compatible optical lense to focus the LED to 10 degrees or less.

1 x method to control the current going into the LED - for the example a BuckPuck was used. A Resistor can be used but that method is less efficient.

Sound: Optional, but without it you just have a stick that lights up. At the very least consider pulling the board out of a Hasbro toy.

Batteries, battery holder, speakers, sound board, lots of screws, vibration motor, crystal chamber, and wires.

Solder iron 45 watt or higher and some good quality solder.
Hack saw
Rotary tool (Dremel) with sanding drum, cut-off wheels, grinding and shaping tools.
Drill and drill bits
Jeweler's files
a screw tap set
screw drivers
allen wrenches
Glue for metal or epoxy
Elmers glue
Graph paper
Sand paper, course and fine assortment
<p>I built a Lightsaber out of an old Motorcycle Front Fork. (it has no sound board)</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>so cool man</p>
<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>so cool i love it so much</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?
An RGB LED 1 watt. I believe it was Cree. I was trying to make purple, so I only drove the red and blue LEDs. I used different resistors for each LED so that I could get the shade of purple I wanted. <br><br>I don't think they make them anymore. Most LEDs we use now are 3 watt (Luxeon Rebel, and Cree XP 2).
<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>Hi,</p><p>if you've got problems with the Hasbro soundboard, I think it would be better to take a higher sophisticated one - if it's not too expensive.</p><p>Have a look at <a href="http://thecustomsabershop.com" rel="nofollow">http://thecustomsabershop.com</a> (mentioned in the articel), or <a href="http://sabertec.net" rel="nofollow">http://sabertec.net</a> (a European source).</p>
I agree with MathJoker. A Nano Biscotte cost me $67. Now there is even a less expensive one, for $57 (I have not tried it). I have fried two Hasbro boards even when I was supplying power from 3 AA batteries. I believe the reason why they fried was because of the current draw of the LED for the blade. The mid-range sound boards (from $50-$80) are better at handling voltage and current.
<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>
<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>

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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