Make a Star Wars Lightsaber Hilt From a Typewriter

Introduction: Make a Star Wars Lightsaber Hilt From a Typewriter

So you have a broken typewriter in your attic, storage, grandma's house etc...

Don't just throw it out, make a lightsaber!

Not all typewriters are going to be the same but this rough guide will show you how to make something similar or give you ideas on how to make your own

Things you will need:

Typewriter (I used a jcpenny's electric typewriter, which is a knock off Smith Corona, but you can probably use any typewriter that has the same size cylinder)

cyanoacrylate (super glue, this baby is going to be entirely held together by super glue)


various screwdrivers and allen wrench (for taking apart the typewriter)

pliers, wd40 (some of the screws can be stubborn, may the force be with you)

hack saw, rotary tool

ball peen hammer

optional: paint,..anything else you want to use

Step 1: Take Apart the Typewriter

You may think, "oh that can't be too hard"

well, then you'd be wrong

it could take you a couple days to take apart the typewriter

some tips: the cylinder should pop right out without having to take apart anything, it's designed to be replaceable.

generally try work from the outside inward

try not to bend or yank anything out

you don't have to take apart the whole thing but there are some parts I suggest you use

the cylinder is going to be the main basis for the hilt but it needs to be cut down

you're also probably going to want to use the curved plate that the cylinder rests on, but take out the rollers

the bell can be used to cover the cut cylinder and curved plate at the bottom

the rubber strip that supports the key matrix can be used as that windshield wiper looking part (like on the original lightsabers)

other than that you can look at the parts and sort out what "looks cool" and what doesn't.

Step 2: Plan Out How You Want It to Look

with all the "cool parts" it may be hard to decide what parts you want to put where

I've given you the general idea as to how it should look but what you want to put on it is entirely up to you.

Use your artistic senses, try not to clutter one spot, try to imagine what might be on a lightsaber.

There will be a button to turn it on right? add something that looks like a button; my 'on button' is one of the plastic margin setters

designing what it looks like is really something that will determine if it "looks good" or not and is where artistic talent comes in handy.

Step 3: Go for It

At some point you just have to go for it and start working on it

cut the cylinder and curved plate in a length suitable for you, I cut mine for the length of my palm and a couple inches to spare

I had to bend the curved plate a little more with the ball peen hammer in order to get it how I wanted

glue that on (but remember it's hard to work backward once you glue something on)

cover the bottom with the bell, if your bell isn't shaped like mine, try using something else to cover the bottom

just start having fun and glue various parts on,..I used the little metal pieces that are on a wire (used to help the margin markers stay where they are) to cover the roller holes, I think it looks pretty cool

I also made a chain with those c-link hooks and glued the ends on the curved plate

you might think "that's not very sturdy" I know, this is more of a model to look at rather than something to play around with and drop or throw

Step 4: Other Optional Things

Most of the parts I put on were straight from the typewriter

some of them were cut with the rotary tool, or bent with the ball peen hammer

I put a little more work into this part, it's the "clear" key from the typewriter, I cut it down, rounded the bottom, made marks in it with the rotary tool, then spray painted it in green and chrome layers to give it a worn look

you can make other parts look worn too, however I won't really be going into that

Step 5: Finishing Touches

When are you done with it? it's up to you.

You can see the "back" of mine looks a little bare, I may add more to it but I thought it looked good enough for the instructable

you don't have to stick to just typewriter parts, you can add anything you want, even lights and sound, get creative

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    8 Discussions


    6 years ago

    Awesome Instructable! I'll definitely have to try it! Thanks!


    4 years ago

    Very creative. Nice idea for kids.

    May I suggest you steer people towards non-working electric typewriters for their light sabers? Electric typewriters can be bought very cheap if you don't have one ($10 at thrift stores or recycling centers) and they are easy to find in disrepair. That way, you aren't harming vintage manual typewriters which are built to last and can be restored. Most "broken" manual typewriters aren't really broken; usually the person who gives them up for lost simply doesn't know any better.

    I'd also like to point out that your example typewriter is a desktop model, not a portable. Platens (cylinders) are easy to pop out of desktop models - they were designed for easy service. Portable manual typewriters are a different story - it almost always involves tools, mechanical know-how, and a fair amount of effort. Some are downright diabolical! They were designed for the home market, where most users didn't type with enough frequency to require easier removal.

    bobafett 7
    bobafett 7

    4 years ago

    this thing is super cool


    4 years ago



    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    oh, sorry just saw this comment now,.. um i got the typewriter for free from a house that was being cleared out...It may be possible to get free broken ones by looking on craigslist,...or if you have to buy one you could probably find one for cheap,...don't spend a lot