Custom Hasbro Signature Series Darth Vader Black Bars Lightsaber

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WyoWilliam

Member
Recently I decided to make a "Black Bars" ANH lightsaber. I've never liked the "Hero" prop, with it's off-center clamp, half-way up the hilt, and with the monkeyed-with clamp lever. I like the ESB saber, but always thought the wires sticking out of it seemed... impractical. (Was Vader hot-wiring his saber?? Imagine if one of those pulled loose during the Bespin fight - maybe Luke would have never lost his hand.) The Black Bars saber is the perfect marriage of both. So, here's how I made mine, using what I had available...
 
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WyoWilliam

Member
First step was to take the lightsaber apart. It's pretty easy, especially the removable blade version. First, remove all the screws that you can see on the outside. There's one opposite the clamp lever. which will give you access inside the "clamp".
 

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WyoWilliam

Member
Now the only thing to do is unsolder the switch, push the wires inside the tube, and push out this pin... (Might need a hammer and a small punch or nail.)
 

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WyoWilliam

Member
Here's where it can be a little tricky. You need to drill some new holes. Strictly speaking, you would not have to remove the electronics because the new holes avoid them, but if you drill too far, you will damage the circuit board and wires, so never go too deep. The hole on the bottom and top need to be pretty precise as the top one needs to be tapped for the existing screw, and the bottom aligns and hold everything in place. The middle hole is just to grab the switch wires and pull them back through.
 

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WyoWilliam

Member
Here's where the fun begins. To "fix" the nail/ bent clamp rod you need to punch out another couple pins. These are a pain. I needed to make a small pry-tool with a nail to push the pin out the side of the bar holding it in place.
 

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WyoWilliam

Member
Next, to remove the pin holding the lever to the rod - careful here, too, as it will only easily come out in one direction. It's also soldered in place, but a small chisel will pop it off fairly easily.
 

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WyoWilliam

Member
The rod needs to be cut (It can NOT be straightened.) but once it is, the lever can be re-attached with the pin.
 

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WyoWilliam

Member
I decided that the circuit board used on the prop, which is rare, hard to find, and expensive to get a replica of (No one is 100% certain of the color, even.) I could make, close enough, using what I had laying around. First, I used dots of white glue to make "solder points" and glued floss to the existing chrome switch plate to make "circuit traces". I used clear blue spray paint over the top, then soaked it in water and a light scrubbing left me with this...
 

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WyoWilliam

Member
Next, I drilled holes in the plate, and in some 1x1 clear red LEGO bricks, then attached them together with twist-tie wires to simulate the calculator LEDS. (If you bend the wires front to back, they won't interfere with the switch.) Doesn't look nearly as neat as the actual LED board, but the price was right.
 

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WyoWilliam

Member
Next, put everything back together in reverse. I replaced the screw for the clamp lever with a shorter hex-head, and added a washer on the back side to look more like the vintage clamp/lever would have. (Of course, I also painted the "bars" black, hence the name.)
 

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WyoWilliam

Member
I bought the saber used and because it had a bad LED (It was soldered backwards at the factory - was able to fix that, too) I was able to make this for under $100.
 

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WyoWilliam

Member
Wow, you definitely went on your sabersmithing journey, and earned your badge. It all looks good to me. Please do include the Lego brick kit. Thank you.
Hey! Just saw this message. Thanks! If I didn't send it to you before, there's a great thread on here all about the film prop. I'd be curious to know how yours turns out.
 

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