Introduction: Lightsaber From Trash! (and Less Than $20.00 Worth of Hardware)

Ok, someone on this forum gave me some sage advice.  Each Jedi had to build their own Lightsaber.

DOH!  I didn't have to copy ANYONE!  I could make my own!

Step 1:

So, here's how it all started.  I found a camera lens in the garbage, and I'm going to apologize right away for not taking a picture of it BEFORE I took it apart.  I thought I was going to fix it.

But upon dis-assembly, the inner lens was cracked.

Step 2:

So the idea hit upon me to build my own Lightsaber.  I completely dis-assembled the lens and started fiddling with how each piece could be spun or fit onto another.  Basically I just played around.

For example, this is how I figured the pommel would look.

Step 3:

For the emitter end, I toyed with a knob that I had picked up for a dollar at Ocean State Job Lot.  but it really didn't seem to be the solution.  So I had some old hard drive bits from drives that I have taken apart. (for security reasons....)

using a drift and  a hammer, the drive parts come apart.  They're only press fit.

I did sand down the drive motor so it would fit in the same spot as the old lens.  Thank goodness for a belt sander!

Step 4:

And then that piece was screwed onto the larger lens piece!  OOOooooo we were excited!

That was the end of day 1.  I was surprised I slept that night as I couldn't wait to get back and finish it!

Step 5:

as for the pommel end, I ran a screw into the old lens cap to hold the D-ring on.  then that got screwed to a secondary piece.

Step 6:

Now the next step took some fussing.  The pommel pieces were all about the same size, and larger than the 8" chrome pipe extension as far as the Outside Diameter was concerned.

Digging around I found a microphone piece from Shure that fit inside the pipe and took up most of the room of the inside of the lens pieces.

I created a drawing to show how it all fit together as it's a little confusing.  I also used a film canister to fit inside the pipe, the screw screws into the bottom of it, there's some JB Weld to hold it there, then everything is glued together.

Step 7:

Back to the emitter end.  I drilled a 1/2" hole to hold the indicator lamp and installed that.  Then screwed the 8" pipe extension into the lens body.  It actually tightened up!

Luck.  Pure luck.

The rubber gaskets are then slid on.

Step 8:

So with everything just roughed together, here is where I was at.

Not bad.

But what to do about grips?

Step 9:

I toyed with strips cut from a rubber mat from the bottom of the tool drawer...

And then I flipped that mat over and found a cool pattern!

BINGO! So we cut a piece and glued it on and let it dry overnight.

Step 10:

I then added a few screws that went through the outside of the pommel to the inside to catch the film canister and that pommel is all tied together as a unit.

A few rivets to hold the grip on... and VOILA!

Total cost for the build was well under $20.00 as I only bought the pipe extension, the lndicator lamp, a couple of gaskets and the D-ring.

My Jedi skills are now complete...


suyashtheman made it!(author)2016-02-16

is that just the hilt

monkeywork made it!(author)2016-02-16

Correct. Just to hang off the belt or to display in the office. No blade or internal lighting, although that could be figured out I'm sure.

Iki53 made it!(author)2015-06-29

Where's the Jedi/lightsaber Crystal

monkeywork made it!(author)2015-06-29

removed for safety purposes. Wouldn't want to put an eye out.

thedarklordsauron made it!(author)2014-03-15

Cool! :D something u can do is add a small switch and bulb in it to make the lights and if you had some really thin plastic you could make an extending blade. still looks great.

JohnnyP2 made it!(author)2015-06-19

yeah the battery (9v) can be installed in the can add LEDs to the blue indicator light and perhaps install a series of LEDs up and down the hilt! Awesome job!

JohnnyP2 made it!(author)2015-06-19

Noirkrahe made it!(author)2014-05-17

you mentioned in your parts list that you used an old camera lens and a hard drive, may I ask what kind/ size was that lens and hard drive. By the way, awesome job, looks just like the real thing.

monkeywork made it!(author)2014-05-19

The camera lens, just says "made in Germany" and had a zoom feature and has markings from 5 to INF. So not much help there. It was in the trash, so who knows what it went to.

As far as the hard drive pieces, all the hard drive parts come from the 5.5" hard drive from a desktop machine. I destroy hundreds of them a year and save various bits. The end of the lightsaber consists of a motor with spindle and one of the spacers.

Experiment with parts, and create your own design, as any Jedi would have to.

ademouy made it!(author)2013-11-29

I don't understand, what makes it light up like that?

monkeywork made it!(author)2013-11-29

The Force. (of Photoshop.)

jgderuvo made it!(author)2013-02-26

Nice project. Great detail. Just wish your tutorial was more clear.

monkeywork made it!(author)2013-02-27

How so? If you have any questions on any of the steps, I'll gladly go into more detail.

I didn't intend to gloss over anything, help me clarify.

Jakwiebus made it!(author)2012-12-13

I like it :D

monkeywork made it!(author)2012-12-13

Thank you! It came out really well and inspired me to make more prop pieces from scrap objects.

Covert+Koala made it!(author)2012-12-13

Nice job, using the drawer mat for the grip was inspired and really makes it look professional.

monkeywork made it!(author)2012-12-13

Initially I was going to use the ribbed side and cut strips like Luke's lightsaber, but when I flipped the material over and saw the pattern... I was hooked.

MaskMarvl made it!(author)2012-12-13

Cool... :D

darman12 made it!(author)2012-09-20

Sweet! Now I have a use for some of the hard drives I cannibalized...thanks :)

Advar made it!(author)2012-07-23

"The Force is strong with this one!"
-Darth Vader

monkeywork made it!(author)2012-07-24

and now my Raygun is complete... I have my shield, lightsaber, and now raygun, I should be ready for the zombies.

wsetzer made it!(author)2012-07-05

Great 'ible, but a parts list in step one would be nice. Just to give a general idea of what is possible to be used.

monkeywork made it!(author)2012-07-06

Sure thing!

1. old camera lens
2. 8" chrome plumbing pipe extension
3. indicator lamp
4. film canister
5. assorted screws
6. mirror hanging hardware or D-ring
7. rivets
8. bit of rubber mat for a grip
9. old hard drive motor
10. imagination!

Number 10 is the most important. I basically look around at stuff people throw away and my brain clicks over into sculpture mode. What can I make out of that!? Right now I'm building a Raygun over at and once it's done, I'll create an instructable about that as well. There's a lot of cool stuff hidden inside an old printer, or oscilloscope... take things apart, fiddle with them, build cool stuff! :)

wsetzer made it!(author)2012-07-06

Thank you!

Dream+Dragon made it!(author)2012-06-08

Some say "Imitation is the sincerest form of Flattery" but I think Inspiration is much more important. You took an original idea, used yourown skills and creativity to make something that is inspired by someone else but still uniquely YOURS. Well done indeed, and congratulations on documenting the process to share with the rest of us too.

monkeywork made it!(author)2012-06-09

Thank you very much! My projects are usually inspired by finding something that someone else has discarded and seeing the possibilities.

I can't wait to see what I find next... (I have an old oscilloscope with tubes and cool knobs that was on the curbside.) We'll see...

RocketPenguin made it!(author)2012-06-06

Good job padiwan.
-Obi Wan

BrianHuntley made it!(author)2012-06-05

Nice! Does it make a suitable "Vrrrrrrtz" sound when waved about?

monkeywork made it!(author)2012-06-06

so far behind closed doors I've made all sorts of Vrrrrrtz sound effects! There's enough room inside it, and it's easily taken apart, that I could get a toy lightsaber with all the electronics and stuff it inside to get the noises. But for now it will remain a static hero prop to be properly displayed in my studio. (next to my Captain America WWII shield)

The+Green+Gentleman made it!(author)2012-06-06

I think some sort of warning about the inherent dangers of light sabers is in order. I have LITERALLY seen one of these take a dude's arm off.

Otherwise, this is an AWESOME instructable!

monkeywork made it!(author)2012-06-06

do not stare into lightsaber with remaining eye... fair warning.

Thank you!

Xolin made it!(author)2012-06-05

A good job you have done; great skills do you have.

monkeywork made it!(author)2012-06-06

an honor it is

Penolopy+Bulnick made it!(author)2012-06-05

That lightsaber is pretty amazing! I can't believe that you were able to create it with trash :)

Kiteman made it!(author)2012-06-05

Well done, youngling!

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm an actor/tech/IT/graphics/editor/writer kind of guy. I do a fair share of voice over work and have the full ... More »
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