This is the second lightsaber I have made, and is mine, or perhaps I should say the first lightsaber owned
by my fictional Jedi Knight Don Jarr. I wanted it to reflect the person who would have built it, as every Jedi is suppose to build
there own. It is what I would consider a carefully crafted unit, paying attention to finer detail, but not getting to the stage where
it is an over the top eccentric model.
There was never any real plans drawn up for this, it was crafted again
on my lathe, but this time each cut was just if it looked and felt right. The only criteria was, as my fictional character was from
the time just before Episode 1 was set in, I wanted it to reflect the lightsabers in episode 1, rather than the lightsabers used in
the original trilogy.
One of the things I did fancy was a shrouded blade emitter, preferable in two different metals so they would
be distinguishable from each other. This did require far more work, but I settled for the main body if the saber in aluminium, with
brass for the extra bits. This gave me to very bright, but different colour metals which work well together.
I planned on having holes in the emitter shroud so the emitter could be seen behind it. I first set about the pattern on the emitter,
which is a simple but pleasant V ring pattern round it. I left a short section just plain as this is where the brass shroud would
fit on. The simplest way to join to different metal is machine a hole through the middle of the brass section a fraction smaller than
the alloy rod it was going to fit over. Then just heat the brass till almost red hot, and it drops onto the alloy easily, but once
it cools it shrink fits onto the alloy rod and is a very tight secure fit. With the brass section fitted on, the saber went back in
the lathe for detailing to be added.
With the blade emitter and shroud done, I turned the next section down. I wanted a thinner neck on it, but
also wanted to retain the half inch diameter hole running through it for a wooden dowel to be inserted, so I could duel with it. This
meant the neck had to be thick enough to not break if I got carried away while fighting, but thin enough so it looked narrower than
the rest when finished. After much careful lathe work I got it down to a diameter I was happy with. The rest of the main body down
to the handle, was just done as I went. With no real plans or thoughts for this bit, it was simply lathed down till I though it looked
The power level indicator wanted to be recessed into the body a fraction, so I put it on the milling machine
and took a shallow cut out of the side, just enough to make the power indicator look recessed, but not sunken and lost in a huge deep
As with my other saber the little brass knob with green centre is the screw knob that holds the wooden
dowel in place when inserted. Quite simply slide the dowel into the saber, and screw this up nice and tight. Its positioned to be
the blade activation button, but cunningly doubles as the wooden dowel blade securing screw.
Next was the handle. I had thought of using highly grained wood for this, but then came across plastic imitation
horn. (Sorry, but I don’t agree with killing animal to use bits of them for decoration.) This gave me a lovely finish while being
very good to work with.
First off the alloy body was machined down to around three quarters of an inch,
then a section of brass was machined to fit one end, then fake horn had a hole drilled through and was fitted on, then finally another
section of brass was fitted to the end. I did on seeing it all together realise the brass and the horn were sort of the same colour,
so added a gray resin band between them, just so they were separated slightly.
When I was happy with the
position, it was just a case of turning a comfortable pattern into the horn, so it gave good grip, but also felt smooth against your
hand. Again with the brass end bits they were just turned till I was happy. At this point I received a new knurling tool so added
the fine pattern to the edge, just to finish it off.
The next picture down just shows the blade emitter from the end, so you can see where the wooden dowel goes
in. Nothing hi-tech, just simple hole the wooden dowel slides into. Being realistic it needed to be simple and take an off the shelf
bit of wooden dowel, so in the event of it being broken obtaining a replacement is as easy as driving to the local wood yard and picking
up a new three meter length. A hacksaw later and a bit of sand paper to round the end and you have a new blade. You could paint it,
but trust me, if you and a chum have a fight; these soon break when things get heated.
The second picture
shows the butt end, as I call it. With the exception of I wanted to somewhere on the saber have a recharging jack so it had all the
bits it should have, this was just turned again till it looked right. I did find my stuttering the end cutter; it gave a rather nice
swirl cut pattern to the recessed end bit.
The last two pictures are just general shots of it.
It is fairly long by saber standards, but
can easily be used with one or both hands, and either in your left or right. It is heavy’ish, but not to heavy. Once the long wooden
dowel is inserted it balances it out and it feels just right to swing around.
While I have lots of machines to make
these, you can really make one out of most things, with a bit of time and care.
Last off at shows you see people walking round in very detailed costumes they have spent ages making, but
with standard film used saber’s hanging from their belts. These are very nice to see, but if everyone tried to make
one themselves we would have a much more diverse range to look at, and I think it would enhance their costumes quite a lot, as well
as giving the general public something more to look at.