How to build lightsabers

18 Jun

Sometimes I’ll find directions so good that they don’t need improving. The curator of The Big Yellow Box provides detailed, step-by-step instructions for building eight different types of lightsabers that look just like the “real” thing (minus the blade). I’ve made four different models. Any Star Wars fan who picks one up immediately starts making lightsaber noises and swinging them around the room.

They make great props for Halloween costumes as well as excellent mantle decorations. When given in pairs, they also make the nerdiest wedding presents anyone could ask for. Of course, since few people actually ask for lightsabers, even if they’re Star Wars fans, you might as well just surprise some happy couple and enjoy their looks of bewilderment.

The pictures show the four types I’ve made, all by following The Big Yellow Box’s instructions (with occasional improvisation). Some of these will take many hours of careful work to get them right. If you’re giving them as gifts, I suggest making a prototype first and then making a second, perfect version for your gift. You can build each one for under $30 in parts. That beats the pants off of the Master Replica versions that cost $100 and up; then again, the expensive versions come with light-up blades and real sounds. Of course, the real thrill is building it yourself, the old-fashioned way.

Check out The Big Yellow Box if you’re interested in making one.

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