Introduction: Giant Lightsaber Floor Lamp
Do you have fear?
Are you afraid it will lead to anger?
Has your anger led to hate?
Have you skipped straight on to suffering?
Do you find yourself feeling seduced by the dark side?
If you answered “YES” to any of these questions, then you need some light side in your life! Well, Instructables community, have I got a deal for you!
By following my easy 9 step program you too can have the light side in your life. I will show you how to make your very own super-sized, lightsaber floor lamp! This immense Instructable will illuminate any room with the power of the light side!
The best part is, you may already have all the materials you need to find the light!
NOTE: This project does include some very mild electrical work.
Step 1: Gather Your Materials
Many of the parts I used to create my floor lamp were items I had already around the house or out in my "not-quite-trash-yet" pile.
- A lamp – I had a desk lamp with a broken base
- About 2 feet of 4 inch PVC drain pipe - Mine was used as a conduit to bury hoses and lines.
- A 4 inch PVC drain pipe coupler
- A 4 inch PVC threaded drain adapter
- On/Off switch – find one that is at least 20 AMP
- A plastic outlet wall box
- 6 feet of 7/8 inch inside diameter, self-adhesive, foam pipe insulation.
- 7 empty plastic 2-liter bottles
- An LED light bulb – LED because it puts out almost no heat
- A 5 gallon bucket
- About 15 inches length of 2X4 lumber
- 4 – 3.5 inch wood screws
- Wire cutters
- Jig saw with plastic cutting blade and wood cutting blade
- Drill with small drill bit and a large drill bit
- Sharp blade
- Screw driver for wood screws
- Tape measure
- Safety glasses
- A 4 inch ring clamp - optional
- Black spray paint
- Silver spray paint
- Clear adhesive
- Silicon caulk (with caulking gun)
- Electrical tape
Step 2: Hilt Construction - Part 1
The Jedi lightsaber (and Sith lightsaber for that matter) generally consists of two main pain components:
- The hilt, or handle
- The blade
The hilt is unique to each wielder, so it is important that you make your hilt personal to your own will.
The blade, though not exactly unique is significant because of the color! Chose your color wisely!
This step will guide you in your hilt construction!
- Measure off about 24 inches of the pipe. (To make an easy to follow line to cut straight, I suggest tightening the ring clamp around the pipe. Trace it with your pencil. Remove the clamp and see you have a straight line around your pipe.)
- With the saw and plastic cutting blade, cut off the pipe at the line.
- Slide the threaded adapter over the cut end of the pipe. (Threaded side away from the pipe.) If it feels loose, add some clear adhesive to the inside of the adapter.
- Lay down the pipe with the adapter and place the plastic wall box a couple inches from the adapter.
- Lay the 4 inch pipe coupler another couple inches after the plastic wall box.
- Again, with the ring clamp, draw a line at the middle of the coupler.
- With the saw and plastic cutting blade cut the new line.
- Press the coupler into the shorted section of pipe with the adapter. Again, if it feels loose, add some clear adhesive to the inside of the coupler.
- Lay the plastic wall box on the pipe and trace around it.
- Once again, with the saw, cut out the lines for the wall box.
- From inside the tube, push the wall box through the hole and insure a tight fit. This is the upper half of your hilt.
- Remove the box.
- Using the drill and large bit, drill a hole in the center of the wall box. Just large enough for the switch to fit through.
- In a well ventilated area, paint the box, and both pipe sections with the silver spray paint.
TIP: Remove any sticker from all the parts prior to painting
Step 3: Harvest Your Diatium Power Cell
Lightsabers are powered with a diatium power cell. Since I didn't have a spare power cell laying in my "not-quite-trash-yet" pile, I decided to use an old desk lamp. These steps may vary for the lamp you are using, or if you purchase a socket and plug this step can be skipped altogether.
- Remove the bottom of the lamp exposing the wires. My lamp had an inline outlet. This was where I made the cut. (An issue can be the wire may not color coded after the socket. So once they are cut, it may be difficult to determine the negative and positive wires. A tip or trick is the wire insulation is textured. One of the two wires will be smooth and the other will be grooved. It is difficult to see but drag your finger nail over the wire to feel the difference!)
- Remove the threaded lock ring from the rear of the lamp shade to remove the socket from the shade. Keep this, you will need it to re-attach the socket later.
- Pull the socket and wire through the neck of the lamp.
- Strip about ½ an inch of plastic insulation from each end of the wire.
- Repeat with the cut end of the cord.
- Twist the black wires (or the black and the appropriate negative wire) together and wrap with electrical tape.
- Attach one white wire to one terminal on the switch. Secure with the electrical tape.
- Attach the other white wire (or appropriate positive wire) to the other terminal on the switch. Secure it with the electrical tape.
- Remove the threaded locking ring from the switch.
- Insert the LED bulb into the socket.
- CAREFULLY plug the cord into the wall.
- CAREFULLY turn on the lamp with the switch. You should have light. (My lamp had a power knob on the bottom of the socket. I had to turn this on and leave it in the on position.)
Step 4: Primary Crystal Installation
The energy from the diatium power cell flows through the primary crystal to create the light. For our giant lightsaber floor lamp, we will use a standard LED light bulb.
This step will demonstrate how I installed the lamp parts harvested from the previous step into the upper hilt unit. The socket of my lamp attached to a structure inside the lamp shade. I used the shade to secure the socket to the inside of my lamp, but I had to cut it to fit.
- Place the shade in the pipe.
- With the pencil, trace around the shade where the pipe and shade meet.
- Cut the shade at the line.
- Check the shade to make sure it fits into the hilt. Trim as needed.
- Remove the shade from inside the hilt.
- Paint the inside of the shade with the silver spray paint.
- Insert the painted wall box back inside the upper half of the hilt.
- With the caulk, fill in any gaps around the outside of the box where it lines up with the pipe.
- With a straight edge, scrap away any excess caulking for a smooth line.
- When it is dry, give it another coat of silver paint to over the caulking.
- Reattach the socket to the shade with the same threaded locking ring.
- Feed the cord and switch down the top of the hilt at the adapter.
- Gently work the shade past the adapter and down into the hilt.
- Work the new switch into the inside of the switch box from the bottom the hilt.
- Secure the switch to the box by reattaching the threaded locking ring to the switch on the outside of the box.
- Apply caulking to the edge of the shade to secure it about 3 to 4 inches from the top inside of the hilt
- Set aside to dry.
- Insert a bulb, plug it in and try it out again
Step 5: Need a Secure Base
The hilt looks great, but it will not stand on its own. It needs a secure base.
The base will use the bottom of a bucket and a couple pieces of 2X4.
- Measure the inside of your hilt. It will be just under 4 inches.
- Cut that length from the 2X4.
- Carefully round off the edges of the cuts to fit inside the hilt.
- Check the wood on the inside of the hilt.
- Measure the bottom of the bucket. (Inside the edges.)
- Cut the same length from the 2X4.
- Measure off about 2 inches from the bottom of the bucket.
- Cut off the bottom of the bucket at this mark.
- In a well ventilated area, paint the bucket black.
- Lay the longer cut of wood inside the bucket.
- With two of the 3 1/2 inch wood screws, drill into the wood inside the bucket. They will be about an inch from the center of the board.
- Place the shorter piece of wood in the center of the bucket on top of the exposed screws.
- Carefully turn the whole assembly over.
- Back out the screws until the shorter board is flush with the bucket surface.
- Run the screws all the way back in and into the shorter board.
- Dry fit the lower hilt section over the board.
- With the larger drill bit drill into the bucket next to the board. This is where the cord will feed through the base.
- Cut a small notch out of the side of the base to allow the cord to pass.
OPTIONAL: The bottom of my bucket had raised words on it. With the caulking I coated the bottom of the bucket and smoothed over it with a putty knife, and hit it with another coat of the black paint. This made for a better looking base.
Step 6: Hilt Construction - Part 2
Alright, you have the light assembly created, but it still does not look like a lightsaber. You are not going to battle the dark side with just that, so it is time to make the lower part of the hilt.
- Measure the other part of the painted 4 inch hilt.
- Measure and cut the foam pipe insulation into sections 4 inches shorter than this length of the hilt.
- With the sharp blade cut down the length of each foam section splitting it in half creating two equal lengths.
- Repeat this until you have 8 equal foam pieces.
- In a well-ventilated area, paint the outside of the foam pieces with the black paint to darken the surface and cover any marks and stamps.
- Remove the self-adhesive strip from one piece of foam and carefully attach it about an inch from the end of the pipe along the length of the hilt.
- Repeat with another piece of foam placing it right next to the first piece.
- Continue around the handle.
- Feed the cord through the lower section of the hilt.
- Press the top lamp section of the hilt at the coupler to the foam covered lower section. Make sure you attach the coupler to the end of the lower hilt that has the more pipe exposed. If it is not a tight fit, add some clear adhesive to the inside of the coupler.
Step 7: Attach the Hilt to the Base
This step simply attaches the hilt to the base.
- Feed the plug through the hole in the base.
- Pull the cord through until the lower section of hilt rests on the base.
- With the smaller bit, drill into the pipe just under the foam.
- With another 3 1/2 inch screw secure the lower hilt to the small piece of wood on the base.
- Drill another small hole on the opposite side.
- Insert another 3 1/2 inch screw.
Step 8: The Blade
You have constructed your hilt, you have your base, now you need a length of awesomeness that is the blade!
If you have not already cleanly peeled the labels from the 2 liter beverage bottles, pop over to my Instructable demonstrating a couple of different methods to clean them up, by clicking the link Easy Label Removal From Plastic Bottles.
- First, make sure your bottles are empty and clean inside.
- Observe the bottle. Near the bottom there may be a slightly raised line. Almost like a seam. Generally, this is about 2 to 3 inches from the bottom.
- With the sharp knife, carefully cut into the plastic, just under this line.
- Continue to cut around the circumference of the bottle until the bottom is removed.
- At the top of the bottle, look for where the neck forms and begins to curve.
- Again, with the sharp knife, carefully cut into the plastic following around the neck until the top can be removed.
- Repeat the process for 4 more bottles. Leave 2 bottles whole for now.
- With one of the last 2 bottles, cut the top of the bottle off like before, but DO NOT cut off the bottom. This will be the tip of the saber blade.
- With the last bottle, cut the bottom off, just like before, but this time cut about half-way up the neck, leaving a greater amount of curve. This bottle will fit into the top of the hilt. This is the "special neck".
- Dry fit the neck of one of the bottles into the bottom of another. There should be about ½ inch overlap.
- Separate the pieces and apply a very small layer of clear adhesive around the outside of the neck bottle, just at the edge.
- Gently, insert the glued neck into the bottom of the other bottle.
- Twist to get an even coating of the adhesive.
- Lay the glued parts down against the wall and counter (or floor) and slowly roll it around against the wall. This will insure the 2 pieces make a single STRAIGHT piece.
- Repeat sub-steps 10 through 14 with the other pieces. DO NOT glue the "special neck" bottle to anything.
- After the three sections are dry, glue them together just like sub-steps 10 through 14. Again, do not glue the "special neck" to anything.
- When they are dry, dry fit the bottom of the "special neck" piece to the large blade.
- Stand it up and check out your blade!
Step 9: Attach the Blade to the Hilt
This is the step where you "extend" your lightsaber blade. By extend, I mean attaching the blade to the hilt.
- First, set your "special neck" bottle into the hilt with the narrow end first. The opening of the neck should be large enough to allow the light bulb to fit through, but small enough that it line up with the inside of the adapter. If the opening is not large enough for the bulb, carefully trim off a little.
- Next, apply a liberal amount of clear adhesive to the outside of the bottle where it will line up with the inside of the adapter.
- Set the bottle back into the hilt and twist it around to give a good coating of adhesive to the inside of the adapter. (Make sure you have it in straight and not at an angle.)
- Set aside to dry.
- Once dry, fit the long blade into the "special neck" bottle. DO NOT glue it in! It will stay on its own. This is where you can separate the lamp to change out the bulb.
Step 10: Welcome to the Light Side
Plug in your giant lightsaber floor lamp and turn it on!
PSSSSHEWW! (Admit it! You just made the sound of a lightsaber blade extending! That is perfectly acceptable!!)
I chose green for the blade because it I think it still looked impressive when not lit up. Your blade could be made with clear bottles and a colored bulb to create any effect you choose.
I swapped out the white LED bulb with purple just to see how it looked. I do like the purple better. What do you think? Let me know in the comments below which you prefer. Better yet, post pictures of YOUR giant lightsaber floor lamp with your own configuration and light choices!
And as always, thanks for checking out my Instructable!!