Lightsaber from trash! (and less than $20.00 worth of hardware)

Picture of Lightsaber from trash! (and less than $20.00 worth of hardware)
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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!

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Step 1:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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.
Noirkrahe10 months ago

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 (author)  Noirkrahe10 months ago
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.

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.

ademouy1 year ago
I don't understand, what makes it light up like that?
monkeywork (author)  ademouy1 year ago
The Force. (of Photoshop.)
jgderuvo2 years ago
Nice project. Great detail. Just wish your tutorial was more clear.
monkeywork (author)  jgderuvo2 years ago
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.

Jakwiebus2 years ago
I like it :D
monkeywork (author)  Jakwiebus2 years ago
Thank you! It came out really well and inspired me to make more prop pieces from scrap objects.
Nice job, using the drawer mat for the grip was inspired and really makes it look professional.
monkeywork (author)  Covert Koala2 years ago
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.
MaskMarvl2 years ago
Cool... :D
darman122 years ago
Sweet! Now I have a use for some of the hard drives I cannibalized...thanks :)
Advar2 years ago
"The Force is strong with this one!"
-Darth Vader
monkeywork (author)  Advar2 years ago
and now my Raygun is complete... I have my shield, lightsaber, and now raygun, I should be ready for the zombies.

wsetzer2 years ago
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 (author)  wsetzer2 years ago
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! :)
Thank you!
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 (author)  Dream Dragon2 years ago
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...
Good job padiwan.
-Obi Wan
Nice! Does it make a suitable "Vrrrrrrtz" sound when waved about?
monkeywork (author)  BrianHuntley2 years ago
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)
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 (author)  The Green Gentleman2 years ago
do not stare into lightsaber with remaining eye... fair warning.

Thank you!
Xolin2 years ago
A good job you have done; great skills do you have.
monkeywork (author)  Xolin2 years ago
an honor it is
That lightsaber is pretty amazing! I can't believe that you were able to create it with trash :)
Kiteman2 years ago
Well done, youngling!