Brittni: And you did a great job. Very clean.
Odin: Thank you. And now that we’ve made the cuts on all of these, the edges are actually kind of sharp, and you can feel that, especially on the inside, you get these little burrs. So, I’ve got a sanding block and emery board, and all we want to do is, especially on this one, we really want to round this off a little bit, and focus on the inside because we don’t want to scratch the plastic up too much.
Odin: So, to remove the writing, we either use a solvent, or we just sand it off. And with the sanding, it comes right off, but you can see that it starts to polish it up a little bit.
Odin: The blade can vary in length a little bit. Yoda’s was only 32 inches, most of the others seem to be about 39 inches, a lot of things that I read online say 36, on down to 24.
Brittni: So it’s really up to you.
Odin: It’s really up to you. And since it’s kind of up to you, what would you like?
Brittni: I’d like a standard level one blade.
Odin: Level one blade, alright. Let’s go ahead and do 36. So, I don’t just want to cut it 36, because if I want to have 36 inches exposed, I have to be able to put some inside. 37 would probably be good.
Brittni: So, 1-2 inches give beyond what you want. Odin: so you have something to actually put into it.
Odin: Something kind of like that, so there’s kind of the beginning of the light saber.
Odin: What we want to do next is go ahead and drill this out and tap it so we can put screws in it. One thing I want to do first is add some 5-minute epoxy. That will add some strength all the way around it, and the screw will just really make it secure.
Odin: So this is just a two-part 5-minute epoxy. All I want to do is put about an inch or so into this, so I’m going to put just a little bit on the bottom
Brittni: But it doesn’t need to be exact?
Odin: It doesn’t need to be exact, and I’m putting just a little bit on the bottom because when I put them together it’s going to smear it. You see I’ve got a lot of the excess coming out? I’m gonna go ahead and just wipe it off.
Odin: So we got it set in, and while it’s setting up, we’ll go ahead and start putting some of the O-rings on, and then we can mix up some more epoxy and glue the second ring on top of it. I was thinking we could do three.
Odin: And there it is.
Odin: So what I want to do is, we’re going to use a drill press, and the idea with this is, this particular drill bit is the right size to put in an 8/32 screw. Then we can come back with the tap, which is a fancy drill bit, to actually put the threads into the pipe that the screw will grip to.
Odin: What I want to do is, I’ve got the vice set up to help hold it in place for us.
Odin: So yeah, turn it on, and slow and steady wins the race.
Brittni: Got it.
Brittni: Boom goes the dynamite.
Odin: This is a heat sink out of electronics. This came out of a power supply.
Odin: This could theoretically be the housing for the crystal for the saber.
Odin: What I wanted to do was to attach this to the top. We’ll just put a set screw, the thing that holds the blade in place, all the way through this and all the way through the hilt in order to hold the blade and it’ll hold this in place, and then later on we’ll actually put epoxy on this as well.
Odin: Artistically speaking, this is where we want it to go, and when this goes down, it will go through the hole that we’ve already got.
Odin: What we want to do now is go ahead and tap out the holes that we drilled, and to do that we use a tap which is a specialized drill bit. The tap has go the threads built in, and is able to chew and make the thread pattern inside the hole.
Brittni: Okay, so into each one?
Odin: So into each one.
Odin: Alright, what we want to do is take the set screws and put those in the bottom, and then you just thread that right in there, and go ahead and just screw it all the way in until the top is flush with the saber.
Odin: So that way, if you look inside, they kind of come through a little bit, and the blade will actually hit that and stop, and that will keep it free from actually hitting the optics, the LED, when we put it in there.
Odin: So, to clean this up, that’s a nail buffer. Brittni: Okay.
Odin: As it cleans off, you can get a really good chrome shine out of it.
Odin: So that was part of the aesthetic I was thinking, having this be a little more shiny than the rest. Brittni: Yeah, I love that.
Odin: To complete the hilt, we’re going to put the grips on it, and just like the original sabers, I’m going to use windshield wiper blades.
Odin: And I just pulled the windshield wiper blades off my truck because it’s time to change them, anyway.
Odin: Now, we can use, either the actual blade on the bottom, but that’s really thin, so I thought if we just used this side, instead, which is also rubber, it would actually have a better look.
Brittni: Okay, great.
Odin: These are a little wider than the originals, but it’ll work. all I want to get off is is this back piece.
Brittni: So, we’re just peeling them off right now.
Odin: Just peeling them off right now.
Odin: We could try actually just cutting them down, making them lower.
Odin: I also have a piece that I wanted to put on the bottom to help hold the speaker in.
Odin: What I had picked up was an in-sink strainer, this is one and three-eighths, you just drop it into your sink, and then this rubber grommet, this is a piece to a garbage disposal. Those two things fit together. This is the speaker and battery unit all in one. This is the speaker down here, put our AAA batteries here, and then that will be epoxied to keep that in place.
Odin: So, one final round of epoxying. Just make sure it’s as straight as you can be, up and down. Now, it’s not super glue, so it doesn’t just stick and hold.
Brittni: Gotcha, so you have hold it for a little while.
Odin: You do, or we can put some blue tape on it.
Brittni: Oh! Let’s do that!
Odin: Set it down to where it feels like it wants to go.
Odin: Just set that in there as centered as it can be.
Odin: So, we’ll let all that set up, and we can start putting the electronics together.
Odin: This is my soundboard. This has all the same type of gizmos you cell phone does to know how it’s moved so it can tell when you’re swinging the saber around. This is the little driver unit. This helps regulate the power coming from the battery to the LEDs. The big benefit of this is, as your batteries are losing power, the LED gets a consistent amount of power and it remains a bright glow.
Brittni: Now, where did you get these at?
Odin: This I got online from LED Supply, and this was a custom made board. Brittni: So you didn’t make this on your own. Someone made this?
Odin: Someone made this. And there are multiple styles of boards available. This just happens to be the one that I picked up.
Brittni: What would you search for?
Odin: I would search for a light saber sound board.
Odin: So, searching online I found a wiring diagram, so this will help me actually set the board up because each wire does something specific.
Brittni: Okay, what should we start soldering first?
Odin: Let’s solder the battery leads on, and then we can solder the speaker on because that’s all one unit.
Brittni: Now how do I heat it up?
Odin: You just touch it with the tip, and then you’re actually adding solder to the wire.
Brittni: Like that?
Odin: Yeah. Odin: Okay, just lay shrink tubing over it. I can feel the solder is in the center, and then the heat gun, just bring that up and apply a little bit of heat to the shrink tubing, and it shrinks down and creates a seal, keeps it from shorting itself out.
Odin: This is the super bright LED that we’re going to use. This is actually a blue LED, and on the sides, you see, it has little squares marked positive and negative, and there’s two of them on there? We only have to use one side. And we’re just going to put a little bit of solder on the wire and set it in place and make a positive and negative connection.
Odin: Now, since I’m doing this myself as a DIY and I’m not getting super specialized parts to begin with, there’s two different LEDs, one that causes the beam glow, and then the LED that causes the flash, I’m going to try and stack the two LEDs next to each other, but the star is a little too big, so we’re going to need to cut one side off. So, we’re can take the wire cutters, because all this is is a little piece of aluminum with a printed circuit board on top and as long as I only cut off one half we’ll be able to connect to the other half and the light should still light up.
Odin: So I’m trying to get it in one motion as much as I can and I’m getting as close to the LED as I can, but I don’t want to be right up against it. I am actually a little concerned about unseating the LED. There we are. I have a secondary battery here so we can test it to make sure it still works.
Brittni: Oh, there you go!
Odin: Good, that lived.
Odin: Now, all of this spaghetti mess of wires we need to put inside of our lightsaber hilt.
Odin: But that’s going to be a bit of a challenge. A bit of a ship in a bottle. If we cut it in half, we can put all of the lights in one side, we can have the batteries in the other side, make it a little bit easier, and then to hide it, or to accentuate it, whichever way you want to look at it, we can add more of the O-rings to it.
Odin: It’ll also give you a little more of a grip up here.
Brittni: Yeah, that’s great.
Odin: So, we want the button to go here, so we’re going to drill a pilot hole with this size and then I’ll trade out bits and then use the other one to drill the bigger hole, and I made a notch so it’ll come back apart leaving the activation switch back in place. There we go.
Odin: So I’m going to take the guts, and I’m going to feed the guts through what is going to be the battery compartment. So, everything is going to come on through first, and we have the two open wires? That’s actually for the switch.
Brittni: Is that both of them?
Odin: Yes, okay.
Brittni: Shove stuff into other stuff.
Odin: Shove stuff into other stuff.
Odin: We have to put a heatsink on the back of this because when it’s on for a prolonged period of time,
Brittni: It’ll get really hot?
Odin: It gets really hot. They’re really bright, they get really hot. And then for a heatsink, all we need is a piece of metal that can absorb the heat and take it away from.
Brittni: You don’t need to put it on the back of that guy?
Odin: No, because this one isn’t on as long. This just flashes on and off and it’s done. Set this on here, and I’m gonna put hot glue and that’ll hold it in place. I don’t believe that the LED will ever warm up enough to melt the hot glue. Just do a little bit on the side there. So I can actually stack it real good and have them both face up toward the blade.
Odin: We have a lens to put on this to help focus it because, you know, it’s not bright enough all on its own. Now, this is designed to fit on one LED, we’ve got two, so I’m going to cut a couple of the legs off and we’re just going to hot glue it in place. So just give me some hot glue across the bottom and across the top.
Odin: I want to make sure that the focal point of the lens is over the blue because that’s the one that makes the blade glow and be all happy.
Odin: Like that, right?
Odin: Alrighty. Now, we’ll need to epoxy this, we’re just going to want to put it all on the top up here.
Odin: Five-minute epoxy. Let that set up.
Brittni: Five-minute dance party?
Odin: Five minute dance party! Or what we could do is make a blade.
Brittni: Yeah, let’s do that.
Odin: All this is is the pure clear cellophane, same stuff you’d wrap up floral arrangements or an Easter basket with.
Odin: What we want to do is just roll this out to be the same length that the tube is.
Odin: Alrighty, so about there. I’m kind of eyeballing it. I might be a little bit off but that’s okay.
Odin: Now, the easiest way to do this is with a wooden dowel. Just take a wooden dowel, set it down on the side and just roll this up on the wooden dowel.
Odin: So now that we’ve got the cellophane wrapped up on the dowel, we can insert it into the tube. Then you just unwind it and the cellophane will stick to the inside, allowing us to take the dowel back out.
Odin: Now we have what is the diffusion inside. This is going to help refract the light and help light up the whole blade.
Odin: We’re going to put a tip on the end because we don’t want to hit anyone with this sharp corner, plus it’s a little rounded so it’s a little prettier. One other detail I want to do, I have heater tape. This is actually aluminum foil tape, they use it for ducting, heating inside your house, so I’m going to just adhere this to it. and what I have to glue this onto the polycarbonate is a solvent. It won’t adhere to the aluminum, so what I need to do is actually cut a ring open all the way around so I can have plastic against plastic. And all I’m trying to do with this, the whole reason for putting this, is like having a mirror on the end so when the light comes through it doesn’t just keep shining on out like a flashlight. It’ll reflect back, and it helps keep the upper portion of the lightsaber lit brighter.
Brittni: Got it.
Odin: I’m gonna hold this up vertical, so we’re just going to balance this on the top of it because we’re going to use what is called capillary action. Capillary action is when fluids want to travel between two things that are really close to each other. Since it’s water thin, that’s what it wants to do. To use this type of an applicator, which has got this little tiny syringe like needle on the end I’m actually going to squeeze some of the air out of it, that way I can tip it over and let it inhale and it doesn’t come out.
Odin: I get it close to where I want it to go, squeeze it a little bit, and, I think it’s been long enough.
Brittni: It’s probably done, yeah.
Odin: Just set that in, push it down as far as it wants to go, that’s got the thumb screw. Put that on as tight as you can.
Odin: It won’t go all the way down. And then we have our other hidden one in here.
Brittni: Look at that!
Odin: So, if you wanted to build a blade just like this one, it’s going to run about $200, but most of that is actually the sound board, so if you take that out, and you just have a blade that lights up, you can run out and beat your friends with, you’re looking at about a $50 build.
Brittni: Wow, Awesome! My very first lightsaber! I’m ready to go complete my Jedi training!
Odin: Yes you are! And may the Force be with you!
Brittni: And with you, Odin Wan Kenobi!