Instructables

Slothfurnace.com presents: The ROTJ Luke Skywalker Lightsaber

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A Return Of The Jedi Luke Saber, with crystal chamber, thin neck, and detachable blade.  Normally this kind of thing takes me about 4 to 6 months, this one took four, as I was under a deadline for Christmas.  This instructable was written based on my step by step photodocumentary at  http://www.slothfurnace.com .  You can see more prop builds and more description there.
 
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Step 1: Initial Sketch

Picture of Initial Sketch
My initial sketch of the project, I *think* I can get it all in there.  This will have a springloaded expandable crystal chamber reveal, and a detachable blade.  As well as a thin neck, and as close to "movie accurate" dimensions as I can get.  I usually start with a sketch, trying to visualize all the parts I will need to machine, the way they go together, the way they will move or work, etc.  The challenge of these projects is to "hide my work" within the confines of the original dimensions of the prop.  I will use the ribbed pommel as my chamber release knob, and attempt to hide the rest of the details inside the saber.

Step 2: Grip and chamber cover

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For the ribbed grip section, I start with a 1.5 inch outside diameter tube of 6061 aircraft aluminum, with a one inch inside bore.  With it chucked up in my lathe, I mark light tooling marks on the outside at 0.32 inch intervals so I know where my grooves will go.

When my marks are done, I begin to cut grooves.  

I also leave a bit of material on the rear, so when I drill my template through that section, and cut it off, I will be left with proper holes in the grip section, and a piece of aluminum with corresponding holes I can use as a hole transfer template.
junebuggy441 month ago
cool
starwarsgeek19 months ago
could I possibly put alittle bit of blue and a little bit of yellow In between the green
I would just put a laser pointer behind the crystal, and put a telescoping, very solid!, tube with something at the top so that i could whack stuff with it.
Zed471 year ago
Great tutorial! I'm currently following along to make a custom orange saber. May I ask what power source you used to power the string for testing? What voltage did you use?
pegasos2 years ago
that is awesom!!! 1 question how did you make the crystal??
mcortese812 years ago
I'm assuming the wiring for the LED strip goes through the sound board. What are the LED output specs of the sound board? Did you put any resistors on the LEDs? It seems they are wired in parallel, did you use only 1 resistor?
Snappy832 years ago
This is a great tutorial! but for those that dont know, the starwars light sabres in the first three movies where build from the Graflex 3 cell camera flash handles. (the ones made in the 40's that used replaceable bulbs after each picture was taken)

Ref: http://www.light-sabers.net/lightsaber-luke-props-origin01.html

but awesome tute dude!
Slothfurnace (author)  Snappy832 years ago
Actually, Luke's sabers from New Hope and ESB were graflex flash gun handles. The Vader sabers from ANH and ESB were made from an MPP Flashgun, and Obi Wan's was made from a demilled WW1 british rifle grenade, an interconnect from a derwent jet engine, a graflex flash clamp, two unknown motorola military transistors, a machine gun muzzle booster from an ANM2 30 cal, and an armitage shanks sink knob. Also whatever mysterious hardware that was used to combine all those parts together.

The Return of the Jedi sabers were cobbled together from the sabers from the previous movies, or completely made from scratch.

I wish I had the prop guy's job back in the day, I bet that was lots of fun.
Yur totally right that would be awsome ill send u a photo of my rahm kota lightsabre hilt replica! :D
drmustang682 years ago
YEEEAAAAHHHH!!!! :)))
i luke this
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Superb. The farce is strong with this young jedi..
LOL
AustinL972 years ago
WOW
superken2 years ago
thats amazing ur really talented
fuddle2 years ago
Very cool. Your knowledge of Star Wars is impressive.
I believe John Mollo and Ivo Coveney were behind the props.
You may be interested in:
http://theswca.com/index.php?action=disp_item&item_id=47482
chyrio2 years ago
Dude that is fantastic wish i had the machinery to build one. I hope someday we will have real lightsabers (i know that would be bad in the hands of the public and i can guarantee i would eventually maim myself or something else :P) buttt still total awesomeness
5hockwave2 years ago
That is epic I've made replica lightsabers before but there is no comparison to yours. Nice Job
Beautiful workmanship! Fantastic Job!
Slothfurnace (author)  burntapplepie2 years ago
Thanks!
kurtnotkirk2 years ago
Impressive...
smcdonnell2 years ago
GORGEOUS
lford42 years ago
This is great. Great drawing, and great finished finished product. Now someone just needs to work on the laser light so that you dont need the tube. Maybe one of the decades right?
wanamoka2 years ago
Amazing!
davidgun2 years ago
Dammit I got drool all over my keyboard. Awesome project.
bluesroyals2 years ago
Awesome sabre! Please post a link for where to buy your nixie clocks.
Slothfurnace (author)  bluesroyals2 years ago
The nixie stuff is at www.arduinix.com

Thanks!
tdahmen2 years ago
what were the approximate cost for all the materials?
Slothfurnace (author)  tdahmen2 years ago
I usually get my materials from onlinemetals.com, and I usually work in 6061 aircraft grade aluminum in either bar or tube at one and a half inch outside diameter. The aluminum is pretty cheap compared to the copper I used for the neck, that got expensive, but so worth it.

The rechargeable batteries, soundcard, wiring, plugs and LEDs probably topped out around 200 bucks. The LEDs for the blade and chamber were around a buck a piece, and I used 94 of them in the saber.
jamesona2 years ago
Glad to finally see you on here sloth!!!
I see your Jedi skills are complete.
dwigth2 years ago
so you have completed your training as a padawan, now you are a JEDI MASTER!!!
SenTora2 years ago
To say that this is awesome is a total and complete understatement.
Puff2 years ago
Wow! You're machining skills are insane! This and your other builds are astounding. I love the idea of actually using a crystal in the lightsaber. I love these kinds of projects but I don't have the skill or resources to machine things like that. I want to make a full metal suit of Halo armor personally but not sure how I would go about that at the present moment. I guess I'll just wait until I get my materials engineering degree and I'll just patent a new metal alloy and build my suit. That seems like a life goal there...
Slothfurnace (author)  Puff2 years ago
Thanks, Puff!

It's been a fun hobby. I will try and put more sabers on instructables, as well as some Nixie tube stuff.

Brad
That is crazy awesome! Wonderful job!