scratch build a lightsaber? worth it?


Well-Known Member
Hi All -
I never got any of the lic. replica sabers.. but now I kind of want one.. Not a lic. persey, but a 1:1 replica...

Sometimes I think finding the best parts (or best repro parts) would be fun, but it also seems like more expensive to find and assemble than a lot of the nice sabers I see for sale here -

Wondering who has built one from scratch and can tell me if in the end after all the cost and time they thought it was worth it, or they wished they just bought on that was "turn-key."
PS - Im not an accuracy schtickler - I like accurate, but 100% screen matched accurate isnt my biggest concern.. IE: if a screen accurate one was 500$, and an 80% accurate one was 200, I would take the $200 .. So Im at "that" level :)
You can't imagine the pride and joy you'll feel when someone holds the custom made saber you toiled over and asks "This is what, exactly?"

But seriously... I've got an Obi ANH saber I started in 2002, hand fabricating every single part. As my skills grew, I updated the saber until this year, when I think it's finally done. Worth it? Absolutley.

In fact, all the sabers I've built hold more value to me than anything I could have bought. Anyone can buy a replica. Not that I'm touting my own work (which definitely isn't top notch), but I'm always far more impressed by someone who scratch builds a replica rather than buying one or assembling the latest run of super accurate parts.
What he said ^ :D

Which saber did you want to make exactly? have you checked out the custom saber shop forums? If not that would definitely be worth it

I have a Luke ANH and a Luke ESB that I put together from real graflexes and I love them, but I'm in the middle of a custom starkiller right now and I already know this one's gonna be my pride and joy
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Well, you realize that your skills as a Jedi are not yet complete until you construct your own lightsaber... I suggest you find the nearest cave and get started!

In all seriousness, I suggest building your own if you can spare the time. I have repainted and repaired some of my statues myself over the years and I can definitely say that I really take more pride in the pieces I've been able to work on myself.
I have a slightly different take. Unless you really have the time to devote to building a saber, I wouldn't get into it. Yes, there is a sense of pride and accomplishment once you've done it, but depending on how into saber building you get, the costs slowly creep up on you.

If you have the time and funds, it's definitely fun. If not, it can be an aggravating, although addictive hobby. It also depends on the skills you already have going into it. Soldering knowledge and understanding ohms law is a must. The custom saber shop eliminates the need for a cnc machine or lathe (thank god). Read up on what's involved here and on saber boards, and you'll get a sense of how involved you want to get.
A cheaper and less fulfilling way to get one is from ParkSabers dot com for $150 to $250 for non-working and working. I bought two from him in the 90's and they still light up today. Built tough. His latest are the next best thing to Master Replicas. You'll spend double that trying it yourself and it still won't look as good as his.
My favorite lightsaber has always been Obi-Wan "Ben" Kenobi's from the original trilogy. Several years ago I started looking around the 'Net for ideas because I couldn't afford any of the licensed (or non-licensed) replicas, and came across Lightsabers from the Big Yellow Box. After reviewing his instructions for "Style V" I thought, "I can do that." After a trip to the hardware store and a few hours of labor, I had a hardware store lightsaber that looked...well, like a hardware store lightsaber. :unsure After replacing the emitter, clamp, and pommel with some semi-accurate replicas, I had a lightsaber that I was satisfied with.


It's simple, it isn't flashy, it isn't perfect (I wanted it to have a somewhat used look), it doesn't light up or hold a blade (strictly a "belt hanger"), but I assembled it myself and had more fun doing it than I expected. Total cost (after the replica parts) was under $100, but that was about 10 years ago.

If I can do it, anybody can. Go for it!
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Obviously an original design, but here's a scratch build I made in 1997:

I'm fairly certain I have templates on how to cut a sinktube into a graflex body. If you can't find it in any searches, let me know and I can email you the file. All you'd need is a 1 1/2" sink tube, a little piece of aluminum sheet 1/32" to 1/16" is as thick as you wanna get unless you have good metal working tools (you can also heat bend and paint styrene if you want), a dremel, grips, d-ring, and bubble strip. Put those together and you have a near perfect Luke saber.
I've been working on a kyle katarn dark forces 2 lightsaber, mainly out of 3D printed pieces, and it does feel amazing seeing the thing coming together. I'll post pictures sometime soon. I say: go for it!
Thanks everyone for the insite - When I first posted, I was kind of thinking about how little time I already have for the projects Im already in progress with (As I am sure we can all relate!) But reading this really made me sort of feel like it would be a fun project, and true, it would be very rewarding. My favorite sabers are the Vader ANH and Luke ROTJ - Maybe Ill start with the Vader ANH and see how that takes me :) Thank you all really!!! Looking forward to joining the club..

PS - The comment above about people saying "What is this" made me laugh out loud!
I feel its just a matter of personal preference. I built many hardware store sabers. My fave was the esb luke saber. With each one i got better and better at it. Mainly used chrome sink tubes but the went to aluminum tubing. Theres a limit to how close you can get with hardware store though but thats also the challenge.:cool
I feel its just a matter of personal preference. I built many hardware store sabers. My fave was the esb luke saber. With each one i got better and better at it. Mainly used chrome sink tubes but the went to aluminum tubing. Theres a limit to how close you can get with hardware store though but thats also the challenge.:cool
I prefer the term artifical person myself
I did a scratchbuild of a DH-17 Blaster and I always wonder how ******* expensive some pieces of tubing and stuff like that is in the end!
I argee with most people on here. I'm not a schtickler for accuracy either - back when i had the time I built things from the bigyellowbox, and it was a blast. Now? I'm busy and broke, so I've been finding accurate pieces that take less work. Found a great-priced 3 cell flash gun, and glued/drilled everything together. Now i'm searching for parts for a not 100% accurate Obi ANH and the search is fun. I also dont have a dremel anymore so that has halted my progress

so yea, if you have time and money go for it! If you don't, don't give up the hobby! Try to find things that cost more for less time, or take more time with less money! I've been able to do it!
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