Thursday, September 23, 2010

My wifes lightsaber.

I was sitting at my workbench the other day and my wife, who is very blog savvy walks past me, stops, turns to me and says, "You should write a blog about this stuff you make.  I bet people would be interested in what you make and some of the ideas you have when making them."  As I had no idea where to even start, I asked her since she knows all about blogs, why not set that up for me.  I was then informed that she could not do this as, in her eyes, I perform some kind of voodoo magic that she does not understand to make these props and collectables I make.  After laughing for about 5 mins, I figured, why not.  This could be a lot of fun. the very least could be just a new experience.

So here is the basis for my new blog.  I make sci-fi (mainly Star Wars) props and custom designed collectables.  I started out by wanting a lightsaber.  Since Master Replicas was not in that line yet, and even if they were I could not have afforded them, I took it upon myself to make one.  I looked at my finished product and was very the time. lol.  It was a very rough designed that resembled a lightsaber and yet just didn't have enough of that proper look to it yet.  But now, 10 years later, I've gotten to the point where I can make a very respectable replica lightsaber that anyone can afford.  I don't believe in things of this nature being priced out of peoples price range.  Even the replica blasters I make are very, very affordable (about $50.00 for my blasters as compared to about $200 min for a master replicas blasters).

One of my creations was a lightsaber with a luxeon blade.  But not just any lightsaber, but one for my wife.  She is not really that big in to Star Wars, but does like it.  After watching me make lightsaber after lightsaber, she asked one day if I could make her one since she thought they looked cool.  I jumped on that full force!  I showed her a few different lightsaber design pictures to get an idea of what she liked in a design.  So after getting ideas, I sat down and made a shopping list of what I was gonna need and where to get it.  My lightsabers are all primarily made of parts you can get almost anywhere.  I use hardware store parts for the body (metal pipe for the body, PVC for any raised areas, knobs and what not for added features), and the LEDs on the outside of looks from places like Radio Shack.  I took the pipe I bought at the local hardware store and cut it to length and then took some thin walled PvC pipe and cut it in to strips for grips and a larger area for a nice upper grip.  I affixed all the PVC grips with a high strength 5 min epoxy and drilled holes toward the top for the LEDs to fit in to.  To add a touch of flare, in the upper half of the pipe, I took my Dremel and a sanding drum and sanded off the chrome finish to show the brass underneath.  The I took the larger piece of PVC and with a cutting disc, cut in some slots, sanded them and placed it over the brass area of the pipe so that you would see a brass look through the slots of the plastic.  I found some Darth Vader shrouds on ebay that someone was selling for a very cheap price, so I picked 2 of them up for $10 for both and added one to her lightsaber.

Now that the body was made, I needed to give it life!  I picked up a luxeon III white LED and all the electronics I needed from, mounted in the light, focusing lense and switch as well as added the battery pack.  I made it so that a simple pipe cap covered the bottom of the lightsaber and could be pulled off to get to the batteries.  With the lightsaber now having the look and power, I went to my wife and asked her about a color for it.  I was very surprised to find she had put a lot of thought in to this.  She wanted a nice orange colored blade for her lightsaber.  So I took 1 yellow and amber color disc and placed them in front of the white LED, it was perfect.  When I handed her her lightsaber, she was very happy with it.

Total cost was about $60.00 for complete lightsaber and blade.  If you have any questions about what I did or would like more information, please leave a comment and I will reply to them as quickly as possible.

Feel free to check out a short video of it I posted on youtube.

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