First off I would like to say that this is my own personal lightsaber and I am posting these instructions in order to help others build their own personal lightsabers and give ideas as to how to do it. Basing your lightsaber on my design is fine but if you make an exact and post it anywhere, I would appreciate you give credit to me and/or this site. Also, the materials and tools I used were for my own preferences and can be substituted. On another note, I take no responsibility in any bills or injuries that occur when building this lightsaber. As always when working with tools, where the proper saftey gear and be cautious.
All tools and materials can be found at any hardware store. Home Depot is where I got the chrome pipe, PVC coupler, doorbell and silver knob. The rest I found at my local Tractor Supply Co. (which is where I work). You can also find the stuff at Home Depot but I get a 15% discount at TSC. :)
Tools you need:
-Hacksaw or rotary tool with cutter. (rotary tool would work better but I dont own one.)
-Rounded metal file.
-Utility knife or x-acto knife.
-Black latex paint.
-Screw drivers of various sizes. (I have a tool set with one driver and a bunch of interchangable tips.)
-Drill with various drill bits. (again, a rotary tool would work just as good.)
-Needle nose pliers.
Materials you need:
-1 chrome drain pipe aprox. 13" long and 1" in diameter (on the inside). (mine was threaded on both ends.)
-1 PVC coupler aprox. 1 1/4" in diameter (on the inside) so it just fits over the pipe.
-1 wooden dowel aprox. 1" in diameter so it just fits inside the pipe.
-1 old computer board with gold connectors.
-1 washer a little less than 1" in diameter so it almost covers the end of the dowel.
-Several rubber o-rings in various sizes. (sizes will be explained in tutorial.)
-1 Toggle bolt anchor.
-Several screws of various sizes. (sizes depend on use, I found all of mine in my workshop.)
-1 D-ring assembly.
-1 Tee nut. (can be found in the fastener isle in most hardware stores.)
-The end cap I'm not sure where to get. I took that off of a cheap PVC lightsaber I bought off of ebay. I asked the maker where they got it, but I never got a response so use your imaginations.
-1 roll of car side body molding. (This was most expensive at $9.99 and can be found at Pep Boys.)
-1 screw lock for ceiling lights. (its a silver knob and can be found at home depot in the lighting section.)
Ok, now for the tutorial, the steps I took are probably not the easiest or fastest as I did what I had the materials for and was continually running out for more parts since I was making it up as I went...
I started off with taking the doorbell assembly and ripped out the button. I sawed off the gold connectors from the computer board so it would fit inside the doorbell and cover the hole completely. I put a small ring of super glue around the hole in the doorbell and glued the connector in. Then I globbed in plenty of hot glue to make sure it stayed. Then I dismantled the toggle anchor so that I had the smaller piece. I found a small bolt and nut that would fit and drilled a hole the size of the bolt into the side of the doorbell. Then I just screwed the toggle bolt into the doorbell. After all that, I took the rounded file and rounded the bottom of the box so it fit snuggly over the pipe. This is the finished activator box.
After that I took 3 o-rings that just fit over the pipe and glued them against each other with super glue over the threads on one end of the pipe. Next I took the end cap from the old lightsaber and an o-ring that just fit over the o-rings already glued to the pipe. I situated the o-ring in the little gap/dent between two of the existing o-rings, put lots of super glue on the edge of the end cap and inside. The cap had a lip that would fit perfectly over the first o-ring on the pipe and the larger o-ring covered the lip for a better look. I pushed down the cap onto the end so it fit snug. The larger o-ring moved slightly to accomodate it but the super glue held everything in place just right. The end cap already had holes drilled and the D-ring assembly already on.
The next thing I did was cut the pipe and the coupler at an angle. I used a hacksaw to do this. First I cut the coupler, I stuck it in a vise at an angle and kept the saw straight. Then I put the coupler down the pipe to the position that I wanted the end of my lightsaber. A small bit of shaving of the small lip on the inside was required for the coupler to go down all the way. Then I just angled the pipe in the vise and cut along the edge of the coupler so that both would be the same. Once both were cut I used the file to smooth the edges. After that I dipped the coupler into the black latex paint but you should prolly skip that till after you do your drilling but it's not that big of a deal since there isnt much of a mess from the drilling. It took about 3 coats with several hours of drying and 24 hours for the last coat. It's best to dip the whole thing into the paint.
As the paint is drying you can go ahead and work on the inside emitter. First off, take the dowel and cut it down so it fits down inside the pipe and is about half an inch lower than the lowest end of the cut on the end of the pipe. Then you want to take the washer, center it on the dowel and super glue that to the end of the dowel. After that you want to take an o-ring, roughly the size of the washer (you wont be able to find a size that will fit perfectly around so it will have to stretch), put a ring of glue just around the edge of the washer and stretch the o-ring around and hold it there till the glue bonds. This is to hide any wood since you probably wont be able to find a washer that covers the whole dowel without being too big. Next you want to take the tee nut and glue that, centered, onto the washer. You will probably want to take your utility or x-acto knife to shave a bit of the rubber off to allow the dowel to fit inside the pipe. This method creates a nice looking emitter and serves as an extra hold for the screws on the activator and BLA knob.
Now for the drilling. I can't stress this enough, be sure to check and double check everything so it's where you want it before drilling. You don't want things to look screwed up or not how you wanted it and be stuck with the hole. Anyway, you will want to situate the activator to where you want it and mark the holes. Take a drill bit the same size as the screws and with the pipe in the vise (you might want to wrap some cloth on parts of the pipe so it doesnt scratch from the vise) and drill the holes. I put a small piece of scrap wood inside the pipe so the bit didnt go through and screw up the other side. Then you can do the same for the PVC coupler. Find the right size screw to fit into the ceiling screw lock knob and then drill a hole the same size as the screw. Mark the hole on the pipe and drill through that too. You will also want to find drill bits one size smaller than your screws and drill pilot holes into the dowel (long enough for the whole screw), I stripped a screw because I had trouble screwing it through the wood without a pilot hole.
Your almost done. Now take two o-rings, same size as the ones that went over the threads in the beginning so they fit snuggly on the pipe. Slide them down towards the bottom. Slide the dowel down so the holes all match up and Screw the activator on. Slide the two o-rings up against the activator and slide two more o-rings down against the other side of the activator. Put some glue in between each set of o-rings and hold them together so they look straight and stay in place. Slide the coupler down so the holes match up (and on mine was snug against the top o-rings) and screw in the screw for the BLA knob. Take the silver knob, glue a small o-ring on the bottom at the opening with super glue and then put lots of super glue inside and on the other side of the o-ring so it bonds to the screw and the coupler. The screw will also keep the coupler in place. The last step is take the roll of side body molding and cut out strips that fit nicely at the bottom between the o-rings at the bottom and at the activator. I used only four but you can use as many as you want. It's self adhesive and is designed to bond to metal so you probably wont have to worry about it coming off. And THATS IT!!! Your lightsaber is complete.