Introduction: How to Create a Lightsaber for a Star Wars Character for Under 40 Dollars!
This lightsaber will be made on a lathe, but instead you can use a drill press and it will look almost as good. I am creating Luke skywalkers lightsaber from episode 6, return of the Jedi. I will give the dementions of my lightsaber to help create this exact lightsaber, but you can create which ever lightsaber you want. I will also be using a saw and most kinds will work. Also one tip before we start, make the lightsaber a little longer than you think it needs to be.
Step 1: Lathe Work
This is the most crucial step so feel free to try this one or two times. My first try was not very good, but I learned from my mistakes and make it pretty good. Get a 2x2 inch piece of wood to start( mine is poplar since it's easier to work with) then chuck it up in your lathe. For the first part parental guidance will be required. Find the center of the wood.The wood will throw big chucks of wood out. Be sure to wear glasses during this step. Stop it occasionally to see if it circular yet. Once it is circular on all sides sand it down with about 100 grit sandpaper.
Step 2: Handle
You will want to make a small line where you want the handle to begin. Next leave an area of 1 3/4 inches. Then cut out another small line. Then leave two inches make a 1/8 inch deep by 1/4 inch long hole, next to it put one 1/16 inch deep by 1/8 inch wide hole. Do 1/16 deep by 1/8 wide 8 more times with 1/8 inch in between each. It should look like the pic when you finish this part (except no control box).
Step 3: Emitter
Go 1/8 inch deep by 1/2 an inch wide. Leave 1/8 inch untouched. Go 1/16 inch by 1/4 inch wide then go a little over 1/16 inch deep by 1/2 an inch wide. Go up 1/16 an inch and 1/4 an inch wide. Go 1/16 inch up and 3/4 inch wide. Leave 1/8 inch untouched. Go in 1/8 an inch by 1/4 an inch
Step 4: Control Box
I used a walnut piece for this step. I made it 1/2 an inch tall by 1 inch wide by 1 3/4 inch long. Sand it down until it Is flush with the light sabers roundness. Then, make a piece of metal the size of the top. Sand the block with 400 grit sandpaper and coat it until the wood grain is not visible. Then paint it silver. I used Rust Oleum painters touch metallic spray paint. I painted 1/8 inch stripes of black on the metal piece with a 1/8 inch gap in between each stripe. You can do any design you want to, but this is more accurate.We originally tried tv remote buttons for the side controls but they don't work. So we used extra decal paper we had to do the buttons on the side of the handle. We used red, green and black sharpies to give them color. Do not attach to the lightsaber yet.
Step 5: Painting the Saber
I primed this 4 times and sanded in between each to make sure it was smooth. For the base coat use the same metallic spray paint as before. Then I used sharpie for the two black areas( gives a worn effect instead of new effect from spray paint) for the ridges take a o-ring just smaller than the lightsaber. Put them in the ridges. Use a sharpie gold pen for the copper/bronze part. If you want to do some weathering try dry brushing or other techniques. I will be posting an instuctible soon on how to do some weathering techniques.
Step 6: Mounting the Control Box
You can skip the step if you are building a different light sabre. Pre drill holes in each where you want the screws to go. Then use a bigger drill bit to make a wider hole for the screw head. Then take your screw and use your screwdriver to put the screws in the light sabre and control box. Then I used contact cement to to glue the control box and the metal piece together.
Step 7: Finishing Touches
The step will not be necessary but it will definitely help the look of the light saber. First we are going to be adding a D ring to the bottom. Are used to some wire to bend it into the shape of a triangle. Then we welded it closed. We used a clamp to hold it in. This attaches to the bottom of the light sabre and can be attached to your belt. You can also use a cover tech clip but it will be more expensive. You can also make a blade from a dowel and screw it into the emitter if you wish. Tip: if you are going to add a special effect ( Photoshopping a lightsaber blade in) paint the dowel a bright color like orange or red to contrast the background. You can also dry brush the end of the emmiter black to add the effect of the blade burning the metal at the top. I will also show you how to make other Star Wars projects in the future, so look forward to Han Solo's DL-44, Luke episode 4 lightsaber, LED lightsaber and other things in the future.
Step 8: Put It on Your Costume
Any Star Wars fan will recognize this iconic lightsaber almost instantly. It is a great edition to any Star Wars costume. I hoped you liked my lightsaber tutorial and look forward to projects in the future.