The Noodle Saber
I was disappointed with the lifespan of the blades
on the toy sabers, especially under the [ab]use pattern of typical 4- to 11-year-old boys.
I set out to create the absolutely cheapest, virtually indestructible, infinitely
whackable, extremely easy-to-build saber that would use a foam
noodle over a narrow PVC core as a permanently attached blade. Total
cost of parts: less than $10.00.
After a few weeks of rigorous product testing by
my sons Isaac and John, and some
minor tweaks to the design, Im satisfied with it. (This is where a digital camera
would come in handy.) Right now we still need to decorate the hilts, but the important
parts of the design are finished and proven. I have also built a double-sided, Maul-type
light staff using the same materials.
If you are wondering just what these
noodles aretake a look at http://www.poolproducts.com/waternoodle.html
You should be able to find noodles in a local toy, department, or swimming
pool supply store for between $2.50 and $5.00.
Parts and Materials
- (1) piece of 1.25" outside diameter electrical
PVC, 12" long
- (2) 3/4"-to-1/2" plumbing PVC
bushingsthey look like little top hats, and should fit very snugly inside
the electrical PVC
- (1) Piece of 1/2"-diameter plumbing PVC, about
- (1) Cylindrical foam noodleeasily
found in summer at department storesbe sure to get one with a hole running through
the middle. They are normally originally 5' to 6' in length, and 3" or so in diameter
- (1) 6D nail or long-but-narrow machine screw
- Duct tape
- Epoxy (optional)
- Plus whatever you want to finish/decorate the
- Hack Saw
- A C-clamp helps, but is not necessary.
- The 1/2" PVC is somewhat flexible. If you are
not concerned about injuring someone (remember that I designed these for my 4- and
11-year-old sons), you might want to put a rod of some kind into the PVC, or use a larger
diameter (like 3/4") PVC.
- The 1/2"-3/4" bushings fit very tightly
within the electrical PVC tube. You will need to file around the edges of the bushings to
get them to fit with anything using less force than a sledge hammer.
- Cut a 12" piece of electrical PVC (1 1/4"
- File the ends to remove plastic burrs.
- Hammer one PVC bushing into one end of the tube, so
that the most constricted portion faces the outside.
- Cut the other bushing in half, so that it will
slide over the 1/2" PVC.
- Slide the now-cut bushing down to about 12"
from one end of the 1/2" PVC.
- Push the 1/2" PVC down into the bushing which
has been hammered into the end of the large electrical PVC tube.
- Use the file and hammer to force the cut
PVC-bushing down into its end of the hilt. Move it down so there is about 1/4"
between it and the end of the tube.
- Be sure the 1/2" PVC is into the uncut bushing
as far as it will go, and drill a hole somewhere in the hilt completely through the hilt
and the 1/2" PVC. The hole should be slightly smaller than the nail you are going to
- Drive one 6D nail into this hole, so that it goes
all the way through.
- Use a hack saw to cut the nail off on each side so
that it is flush with the outside of the electrical PVC hilt, and file down any sharp or
protruding edges. You might want to add a dab of epoxy over each end to further secure the
- Cut the 1/2" PVC to 1" less than the
length of your foam noodle.
- Wrap duct tape around the 1/2" PVC in at least
three places. Use enough to allow the noodle to slide very tightly onto the PVC. This will
hold the noodle in place. If it still slides around during battle, remove the noodle and
wrap more tape around the 1/2" PVC.
- Decorate the hilt as you like. Most of the other
instructions on this site will also work on the noodle sabers.
La Rue was kind enough to provide some
photos of his noodle sabers.
are very similar in design to what Ive built, although mine have slightly shorter
hilts (or perhaps longer blades).
are some noodle sabers mounted on toy saber hilts. These sabers are
actually the same size. It isnt obvious from the photo, but the one on the
top is actually further away from the camera. (Several people have asked me
about the availability of the Obi-Wan saber. See the note below.)
you can see the PVC inner core.
is a close up of Pauls blade attachment assembly.
finally, an action photo of Paul and his neice.
Update: I have now seen with my own eyes and held in
my own hands both the light-up and the fully electronic (with sound)
Obi-Wan sabers. My son Isaac purchased the light-up one, and I was at
K-Mart on 7/1/2000 and they had a number of the fully electronic Obi-Wan
Note (old): The guy who built the sabers in these photos seems to be very
lucky. The Qui-Gon Jinn sabers sold out very quickly, and finding them was
extremely difficult. I have never seen
the Obi-Wan saber in stores [see note above this one], but I know it has been for sale, having seen it at an on-line
store (probably mosespa.com, but I cant
remember). Eventually, you should be able to find them anywhere, when supplies catch up
Obi-Wan Saber SightingAmost! The Obi-Wan sabers are extremely
rare. I almost saw one two days ago. I was at Toys-R-Us, shopping
with my son for a birthday present for his friend, and saw the costume kits
that have a saber with themthere were a bunch of Mauls, and one Obi-Wan.
Unfortunately, the Obi-Wan had been torn open, and the saber was missing.
They had the same problem with the
Death Star Play Set (very coolI had one) about 20 years ago. The first day they were
in the stores, places had to give up to 400 rain checks. I got mine somewhere in March
(instead of Christmas like Id hoped). Of course, now you have adult collectors
competing with the kids for their purchases (a sign we have too much money as
a nation); we didnt have that back then. You might want to hit MosEspa and E-Toys
every morning; the toys I've seen were available one day, and gone the next, apparently.
There are two versions (now) of the
Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon Jinn sabers, one fully electronic version with a blade that doesn't
completely retract; it makes sounds and lights upits just an adaptation of the
Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker sabers that have been around for a year or more. They sell
for around $23. There are newer sabers that have a fully retracting blade but no sound
effects for $10.