This Instructable shows how to make a prop lightsaber hilt only. It can be used for display or for carrying on your belt. I haven't progressed to the point of making a "working" lightsaber yet (i.e. lights, sound, blade, etc). This style of lightsaber construction is typically referred to as a "sink tube lightsaber" and is not really the most professional looking version, but if you want a fairly cheap way to have a fun prop than this is an excellent way to go. There are plenty of instructions for variations of this build style already on the internet (and on instructables for that matter) but I was pretty happy with mine and thought I would share.
Step 1: Design
I went with a fairly basic design. Based on what you want you may have to comb the hardware store aisles looking for something you can use to turn your vision into a reality. All I really wanted was a slimmer handle area with a thicker pommel and blade emitter area. I also wanted some sort of design on the handle to make it less plain, some sort of shape for the blade emitter, and various buttons to make it look like it really did something.
I went through a lot of various ideas before I found one to settle on.
Step 2: Tools and Supplies
Chrome sink pipes
- Poly Washers
- Rubber O-rings
A Brass Adaptor
A Chrome pipe cap
A Cell phone clip
Bits and Bobs for Buttons
Dremel w/various attachments
Super professional safety equipment (okay so I used a bandana and a pair of sunglasses)
Step 3: Cutting Your Pipe
I got two different pieces of chrome pipe; one of them with a wider diameter than the other. I designed a pattern on paper using "MATHS" cut it out and taped it around the pipes. The skinnier piece got some long oval-ish shapes cut out of it. These run horizontally along the handle. I cut a small plain cylinder for the butt of the lightsaber and did another small cylinder, this one with a curved top, for the "blade shroud". I used a cutting wheel on my dremel and then cleaned it up with a cylindrical grinding bit.
The chrome pipe is actually brass (I think? The color is right at least) so when you cut it the brass color shines through. Rather than freak out about this or try to cover it up I sanded around each cut so that it shone through uniformly and looked kind of like a border.
Step 4: Attaching Accesories/Filling It With Greeblies
To connect the two wider diameter pipes to the skinnier one I used these plastic gasket pieces called "poly washers" that I found in the plumbing section of Home Depot. They were almost the perfect thickness so I sanded then down just a hair, placed them on the skinnier pipe and then shimmied (that's the technical term) the wider pipes into place over them. With a little bit of black paint the same poly washers were used to cover up the gaps left around the edges of those wider pieces. The butt end was closed up using some sort of faucet repair stopper I found. I drilled a couple of holes for some "buttons" and "switches". One was made of an LED and a little black rubber mounting ...thingie... another was a little metal peg from Tandy Leather. I also lucked out and found a cell phone belt clip at the dollar store and was able to attach the cell phone side of the clip with a screw. The other side just clips onto your belt and it slides into it.
The holes I cut into the handle needed something to back fill them so I used black rubber o-rings. The initial plan was to put them around a PVC pipe to keep them together but the pipe was too big so I just shoved them all down into the pipe and that worked just fine. You could also use one of those plastic cord hider tubes if you don't want to go with O-rings.
The blade emitter needed to have something that looked like it would actually emit something so I used something called a "male solder adaptor". I put some o-rings around it so it would fit correctly (since the pipe had a wider diameter) and pushed it into the top opening.
Everything can be secured in place with glue, though I will admit that I didn't because I want to be able to convert this into a "functional" lightsaber in the future. Even without gluing everything together it fits together tight enough that it holds together well enough to carry around and handle, though I would glue it together before doing anything too rambunctious with it for fear that a piece of it would go flying.
Step 5: Wearing It Like You're Too Cool for School
Now that it's all together you can slide in it into it's place on your belt and walk around like you own the galaxy. Or pair it with a costume and mind trick people into giving you candy. Or wear it to the premier of the new movie! Or anything you want because you have a lightsaber!