The blade for the light saber was quite a challenge. In Japan it’s not like in the US where there are several stores specialised in selling parts for custom made lightsabers, there’s simply nothing here – well, to be honest if you go to Akihabara there probably is, but that alone would take the better part of a day, so I didn’t want to go the Otaku pit there.
So once I finally got a polycarbonate pipe, it turned out to be not as wide as what most other people use for blade, but it was the only one I could find that would somehow fit inside the kitchen sink pipe. For the lid I got a nice rounded piece of polycarbonate onto which I stuck a piece of silver tape, so it would reflect some of the light coming from the LED.
The tube was entirely transparent, so I also needed a diffuser. Finding large enough diffuser film for that proved to be quite difficult since most film you can normally buy is only sold in max. sizes of A3 sheets – too short for a lightsaber blade.
I finally found a vendor on Amazon that would sell film by the meter, ordered it and the first one came in folded. Can you believe that? I’m buying film by the meter and they just fold it in half – Argh! I got another film from a different vendor, and that one produced a much brighter blade.
With the tube being so narrow in width, rolling up the stiff film inside turned out to be very difficult. I used a wooden stick that fits inside the pipe and rolled the film around the stick which I then used to insert the film inside the pipe, but it took me forever to roll the damn thing so tightly. Once the film is inside the pipe and you let go, the film will slightly unroll holding it in place inside the tube.
I also needed to have something to hold the blade in place horizontally, because it is not as wide as the hole in the sink pipe, also it needed to be held in place vertically so as not to drop out of the shaft at the 1st occasion. The best solution was actually wrapping pipe-sealing tape around the end of the blade and then inserting it with a litte force (the force was strong in this one!). It holds the blade quite well, even rotating the lighstaber in quick motion (see outdoor movie), would only make the blade come out slightly. I’ll probably add a screw to completely fix it in place, though.
Lightsaber in Motion (indoors)
Lightsaber in Motion (outdoors)
Update Oct. 1st
I modified the lightsaber to fix some of its deficiencies:
- Since the blade was only hold in place by the tape being squished inside the tube it sometimes simply popped off when doing some more energetic swings, so I put a holding screw through the shaft and blade to hold it in place.
- The “hole” in the shaft wouldn’t let the saber light shine through because of the tape holding the blade in place, I replaced this by using a larger tube forcedly inserted into the same place (which promptly cracked, but it still holds…) and added only some red tape at the top, so when the blade is switched on you don’t notice the red tape
- After practising some Obi/Annie swings I found the grip to be too thick on the upper end for handling, so I removed the rubber string and put on vinyl “leather” instead. This also lets the brass underneath shine through (was invisible before)