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Sorontar's WIP steampunkish lightsaber

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Sorontar ()
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Joined: 11 Nov 2014
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 11:16 am    Post subject: Sorontar's WIP steampunkish lightsaber Reply with quote


As indicated in my Generic Jedi WIP thread (, I want to make a steampunk-inspired lightsaber hilt. I am not caring about fancy electronics or sound at this stage. I am just trying to make one that is primarily brown wood and bronze/copper/brass. I am trying to avoid aluminium.

I am after advice on my design ideas and components.

Star Wars lightsaber - unfinished by Sorontar, on Flickr

So far I have various components but I haven't constructed anything. The above photo gives the idea of how those components might be combined. The base of the hilt is two hourglass sand timers. I intend to use a number of bronze pieces from a garden watering system to add a bit of metal to it. The crenelated piece is the bottom of the hilt and will have a D-ring attached to it so I can hang it off my Jedi belt. At least one of the other two cylindrical pieces will divide the wooden parts. I may add a thin cylindrical piece (not shown) at the "blade" end.

What I am finding hard is
1) how to arrange the internals
2) how to keep it all together

As shown in the photo, I have a brass hose connector that will fit nicely inside one of the wooden bits. I intend to replace one of the hourglasses with this connector and at its end add something to represent a focusing crystal. I am sure that I can get them to fit rather snuggly in there.

Replacing the other hourglass is a bit more troublesome. I have found a thin (but allegedly powerful) aluminium torch that can replace the hourglass. It is turned on and off by rotating the head so hopefully I would not have to rig up any electronic switch as an alternative. This would give me a beam of light which could then be used to illuminate a blade if I a) drilled a large hole at the end of the wood so it could shine through 2) attached a plastic blade and filter to the end of the hilt (using the bronze component the photo doesn't show). I would also paint the torch to make it less aluminium.

The problem with these two designs is that they don't seem to work well together. My research has shown me that normally the crystal will be in the middle or the blade end of the hilt. However, for the torch design to work, it needs to be closest to the blade end. Do you have any suggestions how to get around this problem?

One suggestion I was given at a Build Day was to not use the torch at all and set up bright leds in the metal middle section, shining through a hole in the wooden ends in both directions. That would allow me to illuminate a crystal and shine a blade, without have visible electronics. While I do have some basic skill at electronics, I would rather avoid having to go this far.

Another suggestion was to surround one of both "hourglass sections" with metal sheeting or cylinders, showing only some of the internals. This will help make it less skeletal and easier to hold, both of which are another concern of mine. The problem is that I haven't been able to find such items in any hardware stores or hobby shops in Melbourne, Australia without it being the wrong metal (aluminium or iron) or too heavy or thick. If I had, I would not have needed the hourglasses at all and would have designed this another way.

The second issue is how to connect it all together. One suggestion was to use a long screw and screw the wooden ends together. Glue is always an option but the bronze cylindrical pieces don't have many flat surfaces to stick to. Any other suggestions?

How can you fit both a light source and a crystal in a steampunk lightsaber without having to do electronics?
Do you know where to get lightweight, thin copper/brass/bronze sheeting or cylinders in Melbourne, Australia ?
How would you connect together the componts shown in the above photo?


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Sorontar ()
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Joined: 11 Nov 2014
Posts: 31

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2016 2:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some progress. We had just finished trooping and found a charity op-shop. There I bought a couple of containers made of mesh.

golden mesh by Sorontar, on Flickr

Initially I hoped to remove the stars and butterflies, but it seems that the force is strong for them. However, I will work with the edge of the lid and the base of the container. Not sure exactly how, but that is the next part of the design process.

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LadyofTime ()

Joined: 10 May 2015
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was thinking you could try using a cheap torch (you know the key ring led one) and you can get glass pebbles that go in vases. To act as colour filter. Well it worked for my diy sonic screwdriver.
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