We are getting set to go camping and the kids love playing with their flashlights when we go. They are also currently into Star Wars big time! So I thought I would try and combine the two for the upcoming trip. In order to get the project started, I set up some criteria that needed to be met. The first was cost. This needed to be a cheap project. I bought the stuff for two light sabers at a dollar store for $3, so a buck and a half per saber met my first mark. The second was durability. My kids can break a toy faster then I can read the warrenty. Our Camping trip will be three days, I am hoping they will last. I will be bringing some back up flash lights, just in case...
Step 1: Supplies
I went to a Dollar Store to purchase a noodle and a couple of flashlights. The rest of the stuff I had in the garage. Here's what I used:
1 noodle from the Dollar Store - $1
2 small flashlights - $2
Black electric tape - free
Duct Tape - free
~4 feet of wire - free
Free as in I already had it...
Tools I used:
Soldering iron and solder
Wire snip / stripper
Step 2: Getting Started
The flashlight I bought was actually great for this project. I wanted a light that had an on / off button as compared to a slide switch. I think it is just easier to use inside the noodle and it looks cleaner as well. Also the diameter needed to be smaller than the diameter of the noodle, so I could embed the lens inside the top of the noodle. I cut the noodle in half, si I got two light sabers from one noodle.
The first thing I did was remove the top part of the flaslight, so that I could cut the top part of the noodle. I used the top piece that screws into the flaslight as a template and drew a circle where I wanted to mount the light bulbs. I cut inside this line as I wanted the light to be snug in the noodle. I used an exacto knife. It made easy work of the noodle.
Step 3: Prep the Flashlight for Surgery
I seperated the lightbulb from the base by cutting those wires. I planned on re-wiring the thing anyways. Just remember where the wires go. I marked the location and the color of the wire.
The next thing I did was cut the flashlight base near the top where it flared out. The base will seat in the bottom of the noodle and the flared piece just won't fit. I used a hack saw to cut the plastic. Save the cut piece. I made one more cut to this piece. I used the threaded end to secure the lens into the cap.
Step 4: Prep the Handle
This is basically a repeat of the first step. I marked the circle on the base end and used my exacto knife to cut out the material. I made a mark to the height of the on / off button and used a drill with a 5/8 bit to carefully drill through one side of the noodle to allow access to the button.
Step 5: Re-wire
Next I re-wired the flashlight. I replaced the thin flimsy wires in the flashlight with slightly heavier duty wire and soldered it into place. I taped the connections to add a little insurance, added the batteries, and tested it out. Once I knew it worked, I put the lens in the top mount and the handle in the bottom mount. Make sure the button lines up with the hole. I didn't glue the lens in the top. It is such a snug fit that I think it should be fine.
I added some duct tape for the handle with black electric tape to trim it out. I used the exacto knife to cut out the tape covering the on / off button and that is it! This is a flashlight, not a light saber to save the galaxy with. The top end has a little bit of weight and could hurt if smacked, but it is wrapped in foam.
Anyways, we are ready for our camping trip with these "Light" Sabers and ready to take on the Dark Side... (I couldn't resist)
My first instructable... Be gentle :)