Padawan Tutorials

This page will give you all the basics to learn how to build your own saber.
From the required tooling to detailed videos, you should find here the best starting point and all the needed answers to dive into this addictive hobby.


Minimum tooling requirements

A Soldering Iron is the obvious first pick when it comes to install electronics.
It must be ESD safe to prevent damage to your soundboard.
Hakko brand is highly recommended, for example this FX-888D model.

A Rotary Tool such as Dremel is a must have when it come to building props.
When space is limited and won’t allow access to larger tools, a Dremel will cover many needs.
From drilling, cutting metal tubes, deburring metal chassis parts, polishing… etc,
here are the most common bit we use:
– Metal cutting wheels
– Sand drums
– Flat wheels
– Polishing wheels
– Deburring bits
– Drill bits

Other basic tools will be required, such as:
Hand drill (or drill press if you have the space for it), with drill and tap sets.
Most common sizes used are 4-40, 6-32, 8-32, M2, M3 and M4.
This will allow to drill screw holes in your hilt or chassis where needed.
Screwdriver Kit, including a large choice of bits.
Tweezers, including self plying ones.
Electrical Scissors and cutting pliers.
Helping Hands will be almost mandatory when soldering electronic components.
Hand Files Set are most often required for small filling on hilt or chassis parts.
Calipers, while not strictly mandatory, will be very handy when it comes to cutting rods and tubes at the right length.

Finally, basic consumables for electronic installs are:
– Thin Rosin Core solder wire.
– Heatshrink tubing to protect solder joint.
– PTFE Wires in various AWG size (most common 22, 24, 28 and 30).
PVC Electrical tape (we use the brand Nitto).
Loctite Glue (E6000) is used to attach components on the chassis or other chassis parts together.
Loctite Glue Remover will be a good association in case unwanted glue mark occurred.
Other Glues such as Epoxy will be needed (to build blades for example)
Double sided foam tape could be of use as well (in rare cases).

Example of components involved in a Lightsaber FX Install

1 – Empty Prop. Most of Lightsabers and Props today are made FX install ready to be easily installable with electronic components, with minimal mod required.
2 – 3D Printed Chassis. It can be simple printed on desktop printer (FDM) or high quality nylon (SLS) including metal Crystal Chamber (2′ in the picture).
3 – Soundboard. There are various kind for entry to high end levels. Most common are ProffieBoard (KR-Sabers) and CFX (Plecter Labs).
4 – Battery. Most used are 18650 Li-ion batteries, either removable to allow quick change, or wired with a recharge port.
5 – Kill Switch. It is most often used to shut off the prop.
6 – Speaker. Its size can vary according to the space available in the prop. Most common are 22mm, 24mm and 28mm.
7 – NPXL Connector. Used to connect the blade made with a Neopixel LED strip.
7′ – High powered LED. Blade lighting can also be achaived with a “flashlight” type of install (Tri-Cree) used with a hollow blade.
8 – Switches. They can be of various type, most often small tactile switches installed directly ont he chassis, up to 12mm AV switches installed on the hilt.
9 – Accent LEDs. They are most often simple 3mm or 5mm LEDs, or addressable single Pixels to light up the chassis and Crystal Chamber.
10 – Resistors. They are needed according to the LEDs voltage or Neopixel Data line.
11 – OLED Screen (optional). It can be installed on the chassis to give additional effects, information and animations.
12 – Bluetooth Board (optional). Far from mandatory, it can give control or the prop through mobile devices.
13 – Connectors. According to the chassis build, additional connectors can be needed. They are most often using pogo-pins.
14 – Motor. Some high end chassis use a motor for a spinning Crystal Chamber.
15 – Magnets. They are now commonly used on chassis with Crystal Chamber and allow for removable covers to access the soundboard or other components.