Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Star Wars Cosplay: Lightsaber Prop

Since I wasn't planning to do a specific character from the movies I had a lot more freedom in the design of my lightsaber prop, and hey. . .Jedi are SUPPOSED to build their own lightsaber from scrounged parts, right? Well, that's exactly what I did. I went down in my basement and found pretty much everything I needed to build the lightsaber you see pictured above.

Here are the parts I used to build the lightsaber:
A. Thumb-tighten set screw knob, I think it came off of a broken camera tripod but I'm not sure. I found it in a box of junk.
B. Chrome plastic knob off of a broken desk lamp (obstructed in view)
C. Hardened steel chrome pipe from a grab-bar (like used in bathrooms for disabled people).
D. Green LED bar graph left over from an electronics kit.
E. Metal shroud from around a connector inside a dead iMac G3
F. Faucet aerator
G. Chrome plastic Revlon lipstick tube
H. Extension tube from a broken vacuum cleaner
I. Scrap PVC plumbing pipe (cut and carved to shape with a Dremel moto-tool)
J. Flexible hose from the aforementioned broken vacuum cleaner
K. Sink drain basket (there are 2 of them, one is inside the PVC pipe)
L. "D-Ring" strap is a bent and drilled scrap of metal. I actually had to buy the D-ring though. It was the ONLY thing I bought.

As you can see above I also scavenged some screws and a microswitch from a broken DVD player. The metal shield not only protects the LED bar from damage, it actually is what's holding it onto the lightsaber hilt. The funky hex bolts were discards from a manufacturing company and cost me nothing.

The "Emitter" end has an orange LED taken from an old ATX computer tower (it was the hard-drive activity light). There was also a green "power" LED, but the bar graph on top is green so I decided the emitter should be orange. There is a reflector behind the LED taken from a broken flashlight which was a promotional give-away item.

Changing the batteries can be a bit of a chore. The four hex bolts need to be loosened, and the two knobs near the emitter removed. Then the metal tube has to slide out until you can get at the 3-wire connector and disconnect it. Only then can the battery holder (a tube out of a toy telescope) be pulled out the front. The "Emitter Assembly" is shown disconnected here, though technically it doesn't have to be. The wiring and connectors came out of the aforementioned dead iMac G3. The positive and negative contacts for the battery holder were taken from the aforementioned broken flashlight. Below you can see a nice schematic of the wiring of my glorified flashlight:

Jedi Costume
Utility Belt

Jedi Pouches

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