Recently ( see by example: Easy $5 Lightsabers by seamster on October 23, 2015. Instructive and beautiful, congratulations to the author! ) many instructables about DIY lightsabers show us how to make them for children. I said me that I will first construct a prototype to see if I can find the material and how much time It will take me to make four sabers for my four youngest grandchildren just a few days before Christmas. After the purchase of the luminous part ( 4 ' clear tube guard for fluorescent bulb) I had difficulties to colourize my prototype with a sharpie highliner after a light sanding and the diffuse color was easily erase with the hands, bad perspectives for the chidren's mothers! Also I thought that my objective was not to have perfect beautiful lightsabers to give like gifts but to try to construct something that a children between six and twelve years old can build by himself, like a kit with many options. For me that will be less time to construct but more time to elaborate this concept. I said me, I will make an example and the children will use their imagination to create something different. They will have all the materials to make one lightsaber with a choice of colors and it will be possible for them to make successively many models with the same light tube protector. A good example of recycling and their will be no discussion like this during the night of Christmas : " Hey you, this one,the Dark Vader model, was my first choice ....you are a girl, take de Leia model.....". Also this supplement of material if they construct just one lightsaber is always appreciated by children for many other activities. And what a good timing with the arrival of the last Star War episode !
Step 1: Materials and Tools
- one 4 ' clear tube guard for T 8 fluorescent bulbs (Lithonia lightning), one tube for one lightsaber) (Photo 1)
- 1 flashlight ( aluminum and super bright 14 LEDs with 3 aaa batteries included, Voltax) (Photo 2)
- Play- Dow, one color (Photo 2)
- 4 Highliners (Sharpie) Photo 2)
- 3 pieces of foam 5 inches x 3 inches (malleable lining in box packaging) (Photo 2)
- 4 colored translucid presentation covers 8.5 inches X 11 inches ( school material in many colors, take different colors) (Photo 2)
- 6 rolls of vinyl electrical tape 66 ' (many colors assorted to the translucid covers, Xtricity by Jasar) about 85 inches of each color for one lightsaber (Photo 3)
- 1 roll of aluminum paper ( 2 inches x 70 inches by saber) (Photo 3)
- Scotch tape ( invisible tape)
- 1 cardboard roll about 1" diameter x 8 " length ( recycled from cardboard roll of paper gift ) (Photo 3)
- rule, scissors, precision knife set ( used with supervision of parents)
Step 2: Build the Model
1- Fix the flashlight to the light tube
-Make your choice of the dominant color of your lightsaber, which one you want to imit? See many models on the web for your inspirations to create your personal one.
- Take one flashlight and insert one plastic lightning tube around the front (at least 0.5 inch). Make some little cuts at the end of the tube to flare it because the diameter is bigger than the diameter of the front of the flashlight. Take about 4 inches of vinyl tape of your choice of color and tape all around the tube to fix it to the flashlight. To reinforce you can add many turns of tape and go until 3/4 inch near the beginning of the oval part of the flashlight.
- At the other end of the tube, put the black cap and plug the hole with a piece of aluminum tape in a manner to have a mirror inside the tube. Adjust and cut with a hobby knife.
2- Fix the presentation cover to the tube
- Take a presentation cover 8 1/2 x 11 inches (photo 2) of your choice of color for the light and cut exactly a band of 3 7/8 inches ( 10 cm) width x 11 inches. (28 mm) length. Place this first band around the upper end of the tube and use little pieces of scotch tape to hold around the tube. Then cut two other bands of the same dimensions and add it to the first one. Near the side of the flashlight you can fix more strongly the tube with many turns of vinyl tape around the tube. If it's your choice of model you can do like me by putting a long piece of vinyl tape in the lenght direction to make a good joint between the colored sheets around the tube.
If you prefer you can easily paint the transparent scotch tape with a Sharpie of the same color that your colored sheets.
3- Now it's time to wake up the artist in you! By example put some tape on the cap for the insertion of the batteries. Don't block it, you will have to change the batteries some day. After that take some pieces of foam to make relief for the construction of rings and cover them with vinyl tape (photo 3). Cut with a hobby knife to make net and precise demarcations. Put some little rings of aluminum paper ( undercoated with peeling adhesive) in between the big rings etc.
4- You can write your name or your avatar on the base of the tube forming letters with PlayDoh and fixing them with a piece of plastic sheet like my Luke model ( photo 3 again).
5- If you put some vinyl tape on the handle don't forget to extricate the flashlight switch.
Step 3: Prepare the Kits for the Children
Like you can see on the photos in my introduction, prepare all the materials for each kid. They don't need a complete roll of any vinyl tape, so like you can see on the photos I have prepared all the lengths of different colors of tape by using pieces of recycled cardboard roll. Suppose you purchase like me 6 colors of vinyl tape and one roll of aluminum tape. You unroll two lengths of the tube plus 10 turns to make other decorations like rings and you roll around the cardboard, that make near 130 inches for each vinyl roll. For the aluminum you can give less, like 50 inches. Then this cardboard with all the rolls of tape serves as the handle of the lightsaber and help to have a good presentation.
Step 4: Give the Kits With Some Explanations and Instructions
When you present your gifts to the children, explain them the different steps by showing your model . May be they will want to begin immediately this project and you can help them. May be they will want to work in team. Ask them to take care and to respect the different skills of the others, each children have a different tempo and a unique imagination! Explain them that the lightsabers are not enough strong to give big strikes and let the laser light to make the job, what a big job to dream to star war. Explain how to repair and how to change their model. Have fun, contribute to the expansion of the creativity of the children.
Go immediately at the stores, Christmas in two days! But you can wait for the new year with a new light from your lightsaber. Be on the good side of the force!