"That's no Moon!" The annual ornament pressure is on...this year the Things wanted a Death Star ornament.

I went for interior LED highlighting again this year, a) because I wanted the Death Star look inhabited, and b) because sometimes I just don't know when to stop.

Somewhere on the ornament I always write Thing name, a short message, and year of manufacture. I do it at the end, after all pics are taken so they can be added to their collection of one-of-a-kind ornaments. They are also named so there is no bickering over whose is whose or which is which, because boys will be boys and we like to keep the peace.

  • 100mm Clear Acrylic ornaments (sourced from http://factorydirectcraft.com/catalog/products/1302_1039-10569-100mm_clear_acrylic_fillable_ball_ornament.html) They are a nice heavy grade, and come in two halves that snap together which would also create the perfect Equator on the Death Star. They were $1.99 each.
  • Drill press with hole cutter bit (there are probably more refined options out there, but go with what you have available)
  • 400 grit wet/dry sandpaper
  • Rubbing Alcohol (to clean surfaces prior to painting)
  • Epoxy putty (the other mans-best-friend)
  • Lumps of clay (to keep the globes from rolling about during construction)
  • Painters masking tape
  • Xacto knife
  • Straight Edge ruler
  • Spray paint (I used Testors flat aircraft light and dark gray for models from Michaels), plus some darker flat gray primer I already had lying around)
  • LED tealights/small flashlights to take apart repurpose.
  • Old phone cable (for harvesting thin black wire)
  • Soldering iron, solder
  • Additional supplies from Radioshack: White LEDs, small grommets, small electronics board with straight through holes, etc. Just don't get distracted by all the other shiny in there :)

Let's get started...

Step 1: Cut Out the Superlaser Dish

1. To cut out the dish, I used a drill press with a cut-out drill bit. Not sure of the size, probably around 1 1/4"...I just sort of eyeballed it with the drillbits I had.

2. Set the orb onto something stable - I used a lump of pottery clay. You will need to hold the orb with a vice-like grip to keep it steady during drilling, and also hold it shut so that the two halves don't pop open and ruin everything.

3. Drill the pilot hole, and then keep going to cut out the disc. Use a slower drill speed to minimize friction-melting the acrylic, but there will always be melted burrs to remove

4. Take the disc plug out of the drill bit, and then clean up the edges - I used a box-cutter knife and then sanded with 150 grit until they were smooth.

5. Under running water, sand both halves and disc, inside and out, with the 400 grit paper. Sanding privides some 'tooth' for the epoxy putty and primer so that they stick, and on thie inside the sanding will help diffuse the white LED light when we put it in later.
<p>That looks great! Will give this a go.</p><p>Regarding the diffuser, if I don't have one, will it still work? </p>
<p>I think it would be just fine. I used the diffuser because I had it lying around :)</p>
I keep getting leaking under the painters tape when trying to spray paint the shielding at the end. I have the tape pressed firmly against the ball and it looks smooth
<p>What worked for me was to firmly press the tape with thumbnail, followed by very light coats of spray paint, letting it dry between coats. Took a few coats to get good coverage, but there was no leaking due to wet paint buildup.</p><p>Hope you get it sorted, and please post a pic of your version!</p>
Coolest ornament ever.!! I'm taking on this project. One question... how did you find the center of each globe half? Really super job with this. Very impressive.
<p>Thanks! I just eyeballed it for finding the center, and it worked just fine. Would love to see yours when finished...this was a prototype, so plenty of room for improvement.</p>
Hey craftycounterpart how did you stop your paint from bleeding under the tape?
I don't know about the room for improvement part. You've set the bar pretty high! I'll be satisfied with getting close to your finished product. I will send a picture of my completed product. Any tips or tricks you learned after posting this instructable?
<p>I would have preferred a way to somehow get the light from the existing tree lights, but didn't want the thick twisted wire changing the look of the whole thing. LED batteries do need to be changed periodically, even if they last a long time - would be great not to have to fool with it. I did just read that a company has developed wireless LED tree lights which look really cool...they work off a magnetic field that you set up on the tree - a bit like how the charger works on a toothbrush without direct contact. Will be watching that and maybe someone on Instructables will show us crafters how to DIY it :)</p>
<p>May the force be with you!<br>Great instructable!</p>
<p>That is badass!!</p>
Looks great, did you ever consider using a tree light to provide the lighting instead of an LED? <br>
<p>I thought the same thing. I'm sure you could secure a light bulb from the strand into the back of the globe. Out of sight. Of course it wouldn't be able to spin. Oh, what about fiber optic filaments? Over the top! Alright, i'll shut up now. </p>
Thanks...I did think about it, but our tree lights have pretty thick wires and twisted etc - plus they are yellow and I wanted white. It's definitely doable, but I do like that the thin black phone wire kind of fades into the background.
This is so cool. If I only had seen it some days ago, our christmas tree would have broken under the weight of thousands of Death Stars.
WTG Great Job....
Cool! As a shortcut, I wonder if you could recycle some of the two piece lego star wars planets or death-star globes that are out there (about 3-4&quot; dia IIRC)? Might have to give this a try!
Thanks, I bet you could although I haven't seen them. Post a pic when you do!
Great looking non-moon! <br>What about using fluorescent strings to simulate the firing action, using the combined beam as the hanging method for the ball?
Thanks! I did think about somehow doing this but didn't investigate further (is there mini EL wire or somesuch?) because it would hang with the super laser dish right at the top instead of the traditional placing just above the equator/main trench. Thought it would look odd. Now it could be a separate feature...but the strings/wire would have to be stiff and self supported...
Great stuff, thanks for posting, I'm off to make one.
Thanks - please post a pic of yours and any improvements...
Killing it my dear! Our Things are getting very spoiled.. :)
Thanks darling!
Nice job!!&nbsp; Absolutely gorgeous.<br> <br> Perhaps the tealight battery pack would make a good body for a Millenium Falcon :-)
Thanks - great idea! gets me thinking...
Really Great!!!
So Cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
btw...very cool project.
As a NY Mets fan we and BoSox fans refer to the Death Star as the New Fake Yankee Stadium and vice versa :)
This is really cool! Who needs a store bought &quot;collectible&quot; Enterprise ornament when you can have a DEATH STAR hanging on your tree! Great!
Very cool, turned out great!
This is perfect for any Star Wars fan! Very cool.
You're always preparing... just bond!
thats cool nice job
I was surprised. It looks really good. Good job
10x better than any moon! Awesome.
This is excellent!

About This Instructable




Bio: Kiwi transplant living in the US.
More by craftycounterpart:How to Make a Downdraft Kiln Vent How to Make a Pair of Modern Brass Pendant Lamps How to Make a Kitchen Sized Immersion Chiller to Radiply chill Tea (for Iced Tea), Stocks, Broths, and Brines  
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