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Project by rance posted 08-30-2010 01:38 AM 5266 views 8 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well, my oldest son who’s already grown and out of the nest asked me to help him with a project for a friend of his who was going to college. He wanted to make his friend a Light Saber. Yeah, from Star Wars. I watched most of the movies, but I couldn’t tell you who’s LS is whos. Both my son and his friend can tell you more SW facts than you’d ever need to know. My son also still owns several swords. While he was a teenager, I still remember him pretend sword fighting in the back yard. He can STILL swing a mean sword. All self taught.

I jumped at the chance since it meant spending some good memorable time with him in the shop. This LS was to resemble Obi Wan’s weapon of choice. Seems like the roman numeral “III” also comes into play, but how, is beyond me.

To sortof mimic the real one, uh, I mean the one from the move(there’s no such thing as a real light saber folks, or santa), we used similar woods for ‘like’ parts. Therefore, the Pommel, switch section, and the emitter are from Maple. For the part just behind the emitter, we used Yellowheart. The grenade and frog are Walnut. And the ribbed part between the switch and the pommel is from the scrap bin, close to Walnut, but not Walnut. Oh, and I think we used Bloodwood for the ribs on the switch.

I got some direction from my son for the shaping of the emitter, grenade, and the pommel and pretty much got those fashioned to shape before he arrived. He got some tool-time on the lathe while we were turning the Yellowheart. I had never turned YH before, it turns very nicely. I had him practice the steps that the final shape would have but for final size, he asked that I finish it out since this was sortof a one-shot deal. We didn’t have time to deal with a blowout.

I gave him the emitter to drill the 8 small holes in the end. I showed him how to lay it out using the index on the lathe, then it was removed from the pen mandrel and he did the rest of the work on the drill press. I also put him in charge of installing & gluing in the T-nuts in the emitter and the pommel.

The remainder of work of cutting of the threaded rod to length, final assembly, and lacquer finishing was assigned to him when he got home, again, due to time constraints. He is very conciencious with all the work that he does, and I thought he did an excellent job with his assignments. Looking at the pictures he sent me, I now see a circular scratch I left in the YH. All good projects need a flaw or two, right? :) Yeah, and I didn’t do a great job turning the tip of the emitter either. On another note, the screw holding the frog on is the only visible hardware. The next one will not have that design flaw.

We found some rough drawings online to use as a guide. Yeah, we took a little liberty with some of the parts so its not to exact scale. Mostly by choice, but at least two due to errors. :O) I look forward to many more of these and other projects we can do together in the shop. I had a BLAST!!! My younger son will be moving back home for a very short stint soon, it would be nice to spend some time with him in the shop too.

I welcome any and all comments, and also any constructive criticism.


-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

18 comments so far

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6855 posts in 3978 days

#1 posted 08-30-2010 02:20 AM

Hey Buddy,

While I have no idea what this is, it is very nicely done!


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View cutmantom's profile


405 posts in 3033 days

#2 posted 08-30-2010 02:20 AM

looks very well done, don’t remember exactly what it is supposed to look like but the quality of finish looks so good that anybody would be glad to own it

View Woodbutcher3's profile


403 posts in 2885 days

#3 posted 08-30-2010 02:28 AM

Don’t let him play with that – HE”LL POKE HIS EYE OUT!!!

Nice job – wish I’d seen it before it left your place…..

Did you use that awesome milling machine?

-- Rod ~ There's never enough time to finish a project, but there's always time to start another one.

View jim1953's profile


2735 posts in 3840 days

#4 posted 08-30-2010 02:33 AM


-- Jim, Kentucky

View Manitario's profile


2630 posts in 2882 days

#5 posted 08-30-2010 02:38 AM

very nice, Obi Wan would be proud.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View rance's profile


4258 posts in 3159 days

#6 posted 08-30-2010 02:43 AM

Thanks guys. Naw Rod, just the wood lathe and table saw. I didn’t even see final assembly myself. He took the pics of it fully assembled.

I’ll add a pic of the one I tried to mimic.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View SPalm's profile


5320 posts in 3881 days

#7 posted 08-30-2010 04:04 AM

That’s cool.
What fun.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4245 days

#8 posted 08-30-2010 12:34 PM

Sounds like a fun project to do with your son. Good show.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View Bullet's profile


150 posts in 3328 days

#9 posted 08-30-2010 02:11 PM

Hey – that sabre will be really handy when you’re out in the woods and you see a nice cherry burl or something – and it’s so much quieter than a chainsaw!

-- Anything is possible when you have no idea what you're talking about.

View JJohnston's profile


1622 posts in 3290 days

#10 posted 08-30-2010 02:13 PM

Here’s a bit of movie trivia: the pommel of the original movie prop was a shower knob, and once you know, you can’t help but see it.

-- "A man may conduct himself well in both adversity and good fortune, but if you want to test his character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln

View WoodenFrog's profile


2737 posts in 2912 days

#11 posted 08-30-2010 02:54 PM

I happen to be a star wars fan and this is just Awesome!
Great Project! Great Build, and great story about spending time with your son.
Thanks for sharing.

-- Robert B. Sabina, Ohio.....

View mcoyfrog's profile


4145 posts in 3593 days

#12 posted 08-30-2010 06:52 PM

The force is defiantly with you, great job

-- Wood and Glass they kick (well you know) Have a great day - Dug

View BobLoblaw's profile


13 posts in 2911 days

#13 posted 08-30-2010 07:06 PM

You have constructed your own lightsaber- your training is now complete. Nice work!

View HighRockWoodworking's profile


182 posts in 2978 days

#14 posted 08-31-2010 02:26 AM

The force is strong in you….. sorry I just had to. Look great! Thanks for sharing.

-- Chris Adkins,

View WistysWoodWorkingWonders's profile


12758 posts in 3155 days

#15 posted 08-31-2010 06:48 AM

Looks like you used the force to help build this one.. well done young Jedi…

-- New Project = New Tool... it's just the way it is, don't fight it... :)

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