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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:
http://www.thecustomsabershop.com/

OR Ultrasabers
http://www.ultrasabers.com/

Also go to
http://www.onlinemetals.com/
http://tapplastics.com/
http://www.mcmaster.com/

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.

Tools.
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
hammer
Glue for metal or epoxy
Elmers glue
Graph paper
Pencil
Sharpie
Sand paper, course and fine assortment
<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>
<p>Thank you for telling me this. I have chosen a 700mA buckpuck (the one you used) because the LED said maximum mA is 1000. I chose to play it safe so i don't overload the led. However, if you think it would be ok to use 1000, then i might go with that.</p><p>So basically, is this how you think i should wire this? (very rough idea)</p>
<p>Here:</p>
<p>Hi I'm back! </p><p>I've taken a break to really consider the parts I'm gonna use, and I have decided to spend the extra dollar and use Ultrasaber's Obsidian sound board. I've found the Hasbro too cumbersome and honestly has a really bad sound effect for the lightsaber.</p><p>I found a great diagram for wiring an Obsidian 2.0 and a Tri-Rebel Star LED, but some of the parts are hard to make sense of. For example, why are there two different wires for the negative output of the LED (green and grey wires)?</p><p>Also, do you know what the little red boxes located near the battery pack and speaker are? Keep in mind that I am not using the multicolor setup this person is using; rather I am three amber LEDs on the star.</p><p>Thanks!</p>
<p>Hi,</p><p>Obsidian - great choice. I just acquired a Nano Biscotti myself so i can updating this instructable with the latest info. If you wouldn't mind, perhaps you can give me your feedback on the Obsidian so I can write up better step for that sound board.</p><p>As for your question - this is my guess. It looks like two colors are wired in parallel and the grey wire could be a flash-on-clash setup. The red boxe near battery could be battery protection circuit and the speaker could be volume control (variable resistor). again, all just guesses.</p>
<p>ohhh ok I see that now. Thanks for the drawing, im a very visual guy. </p>
<p>Hey I was wondering abut mounting a blade. My issue is that my hilt is 1'' with a 1 1/4 shroud and I want to be able to duel with the blade so I need a 1'' blade but I don't know how to mount it. I followed the instructions from</p><p><a href="https://thecreativesideoftheforce.wordpress.com/2012/03/21/how-i-build-a-pvc-lightsaber/" rel="nofollow">https://thecreativesideoftheforce.wordpress.com/2012/03/21/how-i-build-a-pvc-lightsaber/</a> but his blade is 1'' as well as the hilt. so here is my issue how do I mount the blade without messing up the look of my lightsaber?</p>
<p>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!</p>
<p>Hi,</p><p>On optics, use narrow or medium. I prefer narrow.</p><p>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.</p>
<p>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! </p>
<p>Hey saber, i have a question about that lightsaber.</p><p>Did you put aluminum foil in the tip? If you did, how did you make the tip light up as well? Wouldn't the foil just reflect and not illuminate at the tip?</p>
<p>WOW!!! I mean... WOW!!!</p><p>Great lightsaber. So bright. Is that yellow or amber? What ever color it is, i really like it. Great craftsmanship. Thank you for sharing.</p>
<p>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! </p>
<p>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.</p>
<p>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.</p><p>I'm thinking I need to redo my green lightsaber...</p>
<p>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!</p>
<p>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. </p><p>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. </p><p>Here is the datasheet link.</p><p><a href="http://www.cree.com/~/media/Files/Cree/LED%20Components%20and%20Modules/XLamp/Data%20and%20Binning/XLampXPE2.pdf" rel="nofollow">http://www.cree.com/~/media/Files/Cree/LED%20Compo...</a></p>
<p>Is one 3.7v 18650 2600 mAh good enough to power a white tri-cree?</p>
<p>OK, this one will be long...</p><p>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.</p><p>I pulled the specs of a 18650 Li-Ion battery from batteryspace.com. One of their generic ones.</p><p>Battery: 3.7 v with a capacity of 2200 mAh, max discharge of 4.3 Amps.</p><p>I then pulled the specs of a neutral white Luxeon Rebel from LEDSupply.com</p><p>One Rebel LED: Forward current of 700 mA, forward voltage of 3.51 volts max.</p><p>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.</p><p>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.</p><p>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. </p><p>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.</p>
<p>OOPS! i just caught that you said &quot;TRI-CREE&quot;. 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.</p>
And is thermal grease enough to hold the led on the heatsink or do i need to put some screw in as well.
<p>These are mine handmade and homemade lightsabers. I am really proud of them. The handle is build from aluminium pipes. It was a real challenge to make these.</p><p>Thank you MrTinkerer for this guide. It helped a lot.</p>
<p>They look awesome! I love how bright they are. What brand LED did you use and how many in each lightsaber? I see why you are proud of them. Great craftsmanship.</p>
<p>I used 1 Led in each Lightsaber. It is no name brand 3w Led with 120-130 lm. It is powered by two alkaline AAA batteries. I tested batteries and they lasted for 6 hours (I think the can last more but I didnt test more). I used 140 cm cellophane, transparent 3mm thick tube (25 mm diameter) for blade and transparent rubber cap with aluminium foil glued to it.</p>

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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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