How To Build A Lightsaber Prop
Your Lightsaber, want to know how to make it
Three things about Lightsabers before we start.
- Lightsabers do not truly exist, therefore there are
no rules about building Lightsabers.
- Any Lightsaber that you can build will never cut
anything using light.
- You cannot make a visable beam of light 3 feet
There are a few things that you need to consider
when designing a Lightsaber.
A Lightsaber's construction reflects the mood and
character of the person who builds it.
A Lightsaber Hilt (handle) is nothing more than a
container for the essential Lightsaber components such as:
Power Cell (there are as many sizes and shapes of
SW power cells as there are Batteries)
The Crystals needed to generate and focus the
A switch to turn the Lightsaber on and off.
There is no right or wrong way to build a
It's your Lightsaber, have FUN with
Now, keeping the above in mind, let's have a
little history lesson.
For those who know all about the items
used to make the prop Lightsabers used in the original Trilogy,
skip ahead, as for the rest of you...
Luke Skywalker's first
Lightsaber (given to him by Obi-Wan) was built out of an old
1940's Graflex Camera Flash.The middle section clamp holds the
flash to the camera. The Emitter is the clamp that holds the flash
After adding windshield wiper
blades for the grips and sliding the bubble display from an old
calculator into the clamp the Lightsaber was born. Add a D-ring to
the end so you can hang it from a belt and there you
The same was the case for Darth Vader's
Lightsaber. It was constructed from a Heiland Flash, wiper blades
and a few other add-ons. Since then Lightsabers have pretty much
been made out of Aluminum, turned on a lathe (Luke's ROTJ saber
and most of the EP1 sabers)
So, now that you know what it took to make
the original Lightsabers, you can see that it is really easy to
make one of your own.
What stuff could I use for a Lightsaber Body:
- You can try to get a Graflex or Heiland but you will pay a fortune on
- There are some other Flashes that work, newer Graflex
(Graflite), Peak, King Sol
- I like using the Chrome Plated plumbing pipe available at any
home improvement store.
- An old metal flashlight
- A new Aluminum flashlight
- PVC pipe
- Aluminium Tube
- Wooden Dowel (Closet Rod)
What stuff could I use for Lightsaber Grips:
- Order Grip material from Blast-Tech (aka Yoda's House)
- Rubber Strips
- Large O Rings
- Rubber Plumbing Seals
- Wire or Cord wrapped around the handle (like Darsha Assant's
in Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter)
- Rubber Grips from Tools
- Rubber Floor Mat (cut and rolled around the tube)
- Non-Slip material (for ramps, running boards)
How do you design one?
I don't know, that's up to you. A Lightsaber should have the
- A Place for the Light Blade to come out.
- A switch that would turn it on and off.
That's really the only things that you would need if you were
building a real Lightsaber.
Other things that you could add
- Grips to hold it well
- Knob's to control Blade Length and Intensity
- A method of attaching it to your belt (clip, ring, hook)
Now if you want to be "Authentic" then you need to make sure
your saber is the right size and shape to hold a power cell and
the Crystal's needed to make the blade. Again, in the Star Wars
Universe there seems to be as many sizes and shapes of power cells
as there are different types of batteries here in this
Take a hike to Home Depot, Lowes or your favorite Home
Improvement store and wander around the plumbing section.
walk around your backyard (or your friend's!) and see what's
laying around. You never know what you might find.
this piece onto that one, What if you used one of those and two of
those. See what you can create.
There are numerous Websites out there with terrific
instructions on how to build replica's of Luke's ANH and ESB saber
as well as good looking replica's of Obi-Wan's EP1 saber from
pieces you get at the hardware store. These are commonly referred
to as Hardware Store Lightsabers and some look really, really
good. Please refer to our Links
Page for those sites.