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Thread: Kreyhn's Saber

  1. #1

    Default Kreyhn's Saber

    Hello all,

    I've been building a lightsaber since about 2014, which started off as carving a 2" wooden dowel. That design has evolved greatly and taken many iterations as I have gotten physical parts in hand and have made some movie prop replica sabers from the kits out there + TCSS components. Probably the most difficult part was designing a system to hold crystals in place and position LEDs to illuminate them, all in a 1.14" ID MHS/Grenade section.

    I finally have all parts in hand and can begin construction.

    The main body will be MHS parts, brass sink tube, and 1-1/2" copper plumbing pipe (L-type, I believe).
    The chassis will be chassis discs and custom chassis parts which integrate with the chassis system (thanks, Tim! beautiful work!), and some 3D printed parts from elsewhere (TCSS doesn't have acrylic discs for all parts in 1.14").
    The guts will be a CFX and neopixel setup.

  2. #2

    Default First, The Blade

    The first piece I made was the blade. It's got 33" of blade tube. I'm not sure I have pics of this process, but I followed Madcow's blade tutorial pretty closely.
    My parts from inside to out are:
    APA105 strips (5050 LEDs on an 8mm strip), back to back
    Thin diffusion foam
    Corbin blade film
    Thin diffusion tube for thick walled blades
    Trans white, thin-walled 7/8" blade, sanded down to fit within:
    Trans white, thin-walled 1" blade, sanded for texture

    I may have gone overboard with the diffusion.

    The reason I started with the blade is because how low I can get the pixels in the blade will determine how deep I can cut slits in the blade-holder (I don't want the dark space showing).

    While I was building the blade, I used a PRIZM 5.1 to make a test rig:

    I built this adapter to spin the blade with a drill. I believe Jay-Gon Jinn is the inventor of such a thing:

    Hole cutter to brass tube to sink tube adapter to blade plug.
    Last edited by Kreyhn; 04-22-2022 at 07:27 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Second, The Emitter. But first, practice!

    Next comes the emitter section. I chose to make this one next because the internals/wiring cannot be completed without the switches in place.

    The design idea:

    Inspired by the short lightsabers in KotOR. Since I have 3 layers of material, I chose to use these in an interesting fashion. You'll see.

    I used my blade-building test rig MHS parts as method-testing pieces. I want to get some practice with technique before I start cutting on the shiny stuff.
    Remember, safety first as Madcow always reminds us:

    (DISCLAIMER: N95 mask is a few years old, and did not contribute to current shortages)

    Anywho, here's my practice pieces:

    I used a dremel for rough cutting (mostly cutting wheels and sanding drums) followed by various hand-files for the finer work.
    Last edited by Kreyhn; 05-05-2020 at 04:13 PM.

  4. #4

    Default Mapping with Vinyl

    Next, time for the shinies. This is where it counts. Hopefully Greenie approves of this level of shiny-ness.

    I used a 1.25" hole cutter for a drill which after sanding, fits within sink tube fairly snugly. I fitted the brass sink tube onto this so I could turn it to sand it. I fit another piece of sink tube onto it and fit my copper pipe on that to sand it. MHS is perfect and requires no sanding (thanks, Tim!).

    I also used this rig to turn the blade tubes for sanding, which I mentioned in the 2nd post. To do this, I put a sink-tube to MHS adapter in the sink tube and screwed Blade Holder #2 to it (prior to practicing cutting slits out of it as shown above). This adapter/attachment in the end of a drill makes it look like a Jawa ion gun. Then blade tube can be fit into it and spun for sanding. The adapter is reminiscent of Jay-Gon Ginn's drill bit for turning parts.

    I designed the sleeve outlines on Illustrator and printed them off on 8.5x11" printable vinyl sticker pages. Cutting out the stickers was much easier to do accurately after I got a grippy cutting ruler and a self-healing cutting mat:

    Then I had to carefully wrap each piece in the vinyl, getting it to line up on the back-side/seam as closely as possible. This took an hour to sticker up all 3 pieces.

    I lined them up using the edges and the places where I had white spots which mark drill holes.

    They came out good enough for me!
    Last edited by Kreyhn; 05-05-2020 at 04:28 PM.

  5. #5

    Default Cuttin' and Drillin'

    They've been cut!

    This took me a good 12 hours or more. Dremel and hand files, baby! I learned after I finished that hand files only cut on the away stroke. Knowing that might have saved me a few hours of work and much consternation and elbow grease.

    It is terrifying to drill holes in something you've just spent 2 full days stickering and cutting. Absolutely terrifying. And, to the drill press, away!

    I drilled the holes first in the copper piece, then put the brass piece in the copper piece and re-drilled them, to make sure everything lined up nice and neat. That way even if the drill holes are off slightly from how I planned using the sticker maps, at least the parts match each other.

    Next, the hand taps. Gotta get the screws to screw at 90 degrees, and, it worked!

    It feels so good when it all comes together.
    Last edited by Kreyhn; 05-05-2020 at 04:30 PM.

  6. #6


    Dude, can you see your own reflection? .
    If you use an image hosting site, you can paste the BB code into your post. I use Imgur but there are many.

  7. #7


    Very nice Kreyhn. You’re putting a lot of work into it! I look forward to seeing the progress & the full shiny-ness!

    *EDIT* Much better with the re-sized photos. I’m digging the multi layered materials - thats going to look awesome!

    - Steve
    Last edited by null; 05-05-2020 at 05:26 PM.

  8. #8


    Thanks for the tip!

    You could see your reflection! I was surprised how pink copper is when it's that polished.

    Thanks for the encouragement. I got some pics up, and they hint at the shiny

  9. #9

    Default I love drilling holes in precious things!

    Whew! That was tense.

    I drilled holes in each layer separately so I could debur/sand the edges of the holes before sliding the sleeves on the inner pieces. This helped me avoid scratching the daylights out of them.

    Next step, endmilling. I don't have a mill, and my drill press can't take a 5/8" or 11/16" endmill (the chuck only goes to 1/2"), so I found the next best thing: a counterbore bit with a pilot (3rd pic). I don't have pictures of using that one, but it did the job well. The drill press can have some wiggle, and the pilot in the counterbore worked well. I drilled these holes with a 3/8" bit, then I used the ideal counterbore with a 3/8" pilot insert to keep it perfectly in the hole.

    Through some reading, I found it's acceptable to use an endmill in a drill press if you only use it in the single, up/down axis. Any X/Y axis, sideways motion puts force on the endmill bit and can loosen the drill press chuck enough for it to come loose and send a sharp object spinning at 1000 RPMs flying across the room. A drill press also has room for some wiggle compared to a mill. In a drill press, the piloted bit gives more accuracy compared to a non-piloted endmill bit. But for me this is all hearsay and loose conjecture. I only have a drill press.
    Last edited by Kreyhn; 05-21-2020 at 07:02 PM.

  10. #10


    I took a long break from posting, but I have been building in the meantime. Time. for. UPDATES!!

    So! I finished the shroud work, and it came out beautifully. To be honest, it is much more shiny than I would like. Time to let it tarnish! After I assembled the shroud with the switches and screws I wanted, it didn't look like I had envisioned. Too bulky and busy! I also did not like the two switches after all. I used more sink tube, designed and cut a little curved plate out of it, and covered up one of the switch holes. I think it looks rather excellent, kind of like a repair was made there, or something might be accessible from under that plate. Whatever it conjures in the imagination, I like the look. I chose a different switch, as well, and it has a much cleaner look. I am a big fan. It also has a good feel when you press it. The single switch is reminiscent of the sabers in the movies which only have one button. Thankfully, this is doable with many functions still available using the CFX!


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