Are you a true star wars fan but also a maker and cat lover? I may have the purrrfect project for you!
This instructable is about making a wooden lightsaber scratching post for your cat friend. I started this project because i didn’t like the look of any of the scratching post you can buy and wanted to make something myself.
The lightsaber is made of solid wood, plywood, sisal rope and some metal fasteners.
Follow along with this Instructable and see how you could make your own.
This instructable is made for the Fandom contest. Please consider voting for me.
To make this project i used a wood turning lathe for the handle, but i’m sure there are plenty of different ways to make something similar if you don’t have access to one or maybe your local makerspace has one.
You will need:
1 40cm*40cm*1.2cm plywood board 1 solid pine beam approximately 63mm*63mm*350mm long. I cut mine to be a octagonal shaped beam to make it easier to turn on the lathe.
1 90cm long wooden broomstick. My broomstick was 22mm in diameter but yours might not be.
10 meters of 8mm thick sisal rope.
synthetic fabric dye
1 M5 threaded insert for wood
1 M5 round head bolt 15mm long
1 M8 bolt 60mm long
5 long metal staples
clear wood oil or stain
black wood oil of stain
40mm drill bit
22mm drill bit (diameter of your broomstick)
5mm drill bit
Step 1: Step 1: Prepare Handle Blanks
For the handle i made some 63mm*63mm*350mm solid pine blanks. These were just some scrap pieces from a slatted base from an old bed glued together and cut into an octagon.
The next step was drilling 2 different size holes in the top. One 40mm wide 60mm into the wood. And one 22mm (diameter of my broomstick) 110mm into the wood counting from the top of the material. Last i drilled a 5mm hole into the side of the handle 90mm from the top of the material. this hole will later house a small M5 bolt. The drawing above should simplify my explanation i hope. It a side view with the 5mm hole on the right side.
After drilling these holes mark the center on the bottom with a pencil or a small hole to later center it on the lathe.
Step 2: Step 2: Turning the Handle
For this step i unfortunately haven’t taken any pictures while turning but luckily it's all very freehanding work. There are just some small things to take into consideration while turning.
The widest part of the handle should be at least around the same length as the depth of the 40mm hole. in our case that's 60mm deep. after that i made a bevil inwards till 75mm to make sure the small 5mm hole on the side had a flat place to fall on in to. After that everything was freeforming. Because of the way i held the wood in the lathe i couldn’t use the bottom 60mm of the wood but this was a good thing and made sure the handle wasn’t too long. You can also see this in the pictures above here.
Step 3: Step 3: Finishing the Handle
After you are all done on the lathe take off your piece and head to the saw. I used a chop saw for this, but you could easily use a table saw or handsaw. Here we are going to cut the end to a 30 degree angle with the 5mm hole on the front. This gives it the iconic lightsaber look. Cut the bottom end off to have a nice and flat bottom.
In here you do still have to drill one hole 7.5mm diameter and 50mm deep to later accept a M8 bolt. Drilling this can be done back on the lathe of with a hand drill.
Now after a bit of extra sanding you can apply a finish to the wood and the handle part is done.
Step 4: Step 4: Making the Lightsaber Blade. the Rope
To make the blade of the lightsaber i used a 90cm long broomstick. Mine was 22mm in diameter so with the 8mm thick sisal rope we are going to add now the stick has a thickness of 38mm. Just about enough room inside the 40mm diameter hole we made earlier.
For the blade we are using about 9.5-10 meters of sisal rope 8mm diameter but it all depends on how tight you can twist it onto the broomstick. The rope does have to be colored before attaching so that’s is what we are doing first. For my rope i bought 2 different color fabric dye. Blue and red of course. The brand i used is called “Dylon”. To color the rope i first cut it approximately to size, a bit more. and tightly twisted some duct tape around the ends to stop them from untwisting. After this i fist let them soak in some warm water for about 10 minutes, this loosens the fibers a bit and lets the dye penetrate better. It also cleanse the rope a bit. After these 10 minutes i dumped the water out and filled the bucket again but this time with added dye. I just guess the amount i needed. I think i used around 50 to 75 grams of powder on 5L of water. You will need some gloves for this tough. I let the rope now soaked for 1 hour 15 min but checked regularly to see if everything was still submerged as should.
After this i just took everything out and cleaned the remaining dye of with some cold water and let them dry for a while.
Step 5: Step 5: Making the Lightsaber Blade. Finishing the Blade
The last steps for the blade are attaching the dyed rope using 5 long metal staples and drilling and screwing in a threaded insert to make sure everything can be taken apart.
First the rope. I started twisting the rope 57mm from one end of the broomstick by attaching it with a metal staple. I used 2 on the beginning and 3 on the end. these 3 are visible when the lightsaber is finished. The rope should be wound as tight as possible. After winding the rope and attaching it with the staples the last thing to do is to drill a hole which housed the threaded insert. For this you need to insert the blade into the handle and drill a pilot hole into the broomstick. Now take out the blade en widen the hole to fit the threaded insert. Make sure to insert the insert deep enough so that the blade can still fit into the handle and be fastened by a small M5 bolt.
Step 6: Step 6: the Base Plate
For the base plate i used a 40cm*40cm*1.2cm plywood board which i stained black with wood stain and drilled a countersunk hole into in the center. This hole will be used to attach the rest of the lightsaber onto using a M8x60mm bolt. I bolted right into the bottom of the handle which seem to be strong enough. If it isn’t you could always use a threaded insert here too.
Step 7: Step 7: Final Assembly and Finish
Now you finally have all the parts it’s time to put them together. the base plate and handle are bolted together using the M8x60 bold and the handle and blade are connected using a small M5 bolt.
And now it’s play time! I hope your cat likes it as much as mine does and i hope you liked this project and found it useful and easy to follow.
Thank you very much for reading till the end! This instructable is made for the Fandom contest. Please consider voting for me!