Lightsaber Walking Staffs

18th March, 2013

My father rang me yesterday out of the blue, and asked me if I had my lathe set up in the new workshop yet. I said yes, and he said, "Excellent, well, there are three of us going for a walk on the 4th of May..."

I know my dad quite well, so I cut in with, "You want me to make some lightsaber walking staffs for it, don't you?" He said yes. For those of you who may somehow not be aware of it already, May the 4th is Star Wars Day (May the 4th Be With You...), so lightsaber walking staffs are a necessary part of any walk due to take place then.

The Plan so far is to turn up some lightsaber hilts from some cheap pine, and fit them to appropriately sized broom stails, finishing up with a good coat of some kind of resilient paint. Today, I cut the three lengths of timber, marked the centres and roughed them down to cylinders with a drawknife. I then got as far as turning the first two to roughly resemble Lukes saber and Vaders saber, sanding smooth and boring the centre holes with a suitably sized brace and bit. I'm planning on doing the third tomorrow, when I have decided whose saber it should be modelled after. I'm currently edging towards Obi Wan Kenobis, but I shall see how the mood takes me. Pictures to follow shortly!

It is probably worth pointing out that the lathe I am using, an ancient Faircut Senior, is in fact a metal lathe, and is therefore not ideal for wood turning. My current method is chucking up a pronged centre drive I found, and mounting an improvised tool rest on the cross slide. It works adequately, but the rest has a tendency to twist freely that could do with being addressed.

19th March, 2013

Right, so, I had a spare hour or so this morning so I finished up yesterdays two sabers, and made the third (I did go with Obi Wans in the end). I even remembered to take a picture, so here you go:


I've consulted my father about the finish, and he mentioned something about a black stain. I'm not wholly convinced by that, and may try and convince him to go with either a full enamel paint job or a natural varnished wood colour...I suppose it all depends on whether he intends to paint the broom stails neon colours or leave them wood coloured. I can't see any more to this being done until I get hold of the stails, so more photos then!

22nd March, 2013

I had a rush of blood to the head this morning and started giving the handles a lick of paint. Just for my own satisfaction more than anything!

1st May, 2013

Finished! Handed over to my father, who took them away gleefully to present to my uncle and aunt who, by all accounts, loved them. There are various pictures of them having mock battles on the walk, but I haven't got around to asking them if they mind being posted on here yet. Perhaps later. In the meantime...look! Lightsabers!