Introduction: PVC Dueling Lightsaber
I’ve wanted a light saber ever since I saw Star Wars,
episode 4, when I was 9. My children and I destroyed all the ones we purchased at the toy store and the ones on line are just to expensive so I decided to make us some out of PVC pipe. These three sabers are all put together using either threaded pvc parts or self-taping screws, no glue. All three together cost less than $50 to make. I’m going to use the white and red saber for this DIY but the methods are the same for any saber. I’ll also add instructions for a double bladed saber but no pictures.
Step 1: Tools
The only tools you will need for this project are:
a. Hack saw
b. Drill and drill bits
c. Screw driver or screw bit for drill
d. Sand paper: 120 grit to 400 grit
f. Two pipe wrenches or channel lock plies
Step 2: Measure for Blade
You need to decide if you are going to make a single or double bladed saber. How you measure for the blades will differ depending on which you chose.
a. For a single bladed saber, hold the end of a tape measure or ruler measure from your palm to the middle of your chest. This is the length of the blade for your saber.
b. For a double bladed saber decided how tall you want it to be. Most staves are from eye level to just over head height. With a tape measure determine that height. Once you create your handle you will measure it and subtract that number form the height you want, divide that by two and that is how long each blade will be.
Step 3: Get the Parts
Go to the local hardware store’s plumbing section. I used ¾ inch Pex line for the blades, it comes in red or blue. The first piece you will need to get is the mounting for the Pex line to fit into. The pex line will need to be sanded down to fit into it snuggly, more on that later. The rest of the handle will be built off of the mounting. All the other parts should screw together so you won’t need to glue anything.
Here are the parts I chose to make this saber. You can use whatever you would like. Be creative and make it your own.
a. One length of ¾ Pex line – 24 inches Pick your blade color; blue, red, or white. (both my kids decided to be Sith)
b. One length of 1/2pvc pipe – 24 inches (this is for inside the pex line to stiffing it for dueling.)
c. One ¾ to ½ reducer, this is the mounting for the blade.
d. Two 1 inch to ½ inch reducers
e. One 1/2 inch male to female coupler
f. One 1/2 x 6 inch grey pvc pipe
g. One 1inch plug
h. Ten 1/8 x 3/4 screws (not shown)
Step 4: Clean and Assemble the Handle
1. Sand off any rough spots, labels, or high spots on all the pieces.
2. Assemble the handle. Once your happy with the way you have the handle assembled tighten all the parts. If you are making a double saber that you want to divide into two single bladed sabers decide where you want them to unscrew and don’t over tighten that connection. At this point I have not used any glue or screws on this project.
Step 5: Mount the Blade
Assemble the blade to its mounting. The blade should be very snug inside the mount. I shaved a small bevel on the tip of the blade so it would start into the mounting, sanded it down a bit, and then used a rubber mallet to drive them together. Slide the white pvc pipe into the pex line until about ½ inch is left below the mounting, this will leave a one or one and a half recess on the tip to the blade. (Sorry, I forgot to get a picture of this.)
Step 6: Attach the Blade Onto the Handle
Place the mounting into the handle and drill two or three holes to hold the blade mounting onto the handle. Screw the mounting onto the handle. I used two screws across from each other on this one and three evenly spaced on the blue bladed one. Doing it this way you can make different colored blades and change them out fairly easily, just unscrew, remove one blade, attach another and screw back together.
Step 7: Handle Finishing Touches
Now paint it as desired. The blue bladed saber in pic 2 is painted in three layers and then distressed to show age. The white handled one is not painted at all, using the white pvc pipe.
On the double bladed and blue bladed sabers I added a hanger loop. (again no pic, sorry) I picked it up in the hardware dept. at Walmart. Just screw it on where ever you want.
The last step is to wrap the handle if you wish. You could just paint it and go with that, but I wanted mine wrapped. I used a piece of red leather I had from another project and did a circular wrap around the handle. I cut two slots towards the end and passed the tip or the leather trough those and tightened it down. You could use duct tape, electrical tape, cord, para-cord, or any other type of material to use as a handle wrap.
Step 8: Your Skills Are Complete
That is it. A couple words of warning. I have not done any type of stress test on these so I don’t know what type of force it will take to break them. I do know that my 13 year old son and I have dueled with them and they have held up to a lot of abuse. Also they DO HURT when you get hit so ware protective clothing and head gear to avoid injury.
Lastly, use the power of the force and have fun.