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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

How to Make a Collapsible LED Light-up Bo Staff for under $30

*****UPDATE: 3/5/2013******
I've dramatically improved the strength and sleekness of the design, and I also made the staff compatible with the $1 finger LEDs from Amazon.
See a new video here.

And you can now buy yours (DIY kit or full staff) directly on my site, techneesh!
**************************

I had about 15 people come up to me over the weekend (at Electric Forest // Rothbury) and ask me where I got my LED staff and how much I paid for it. It seems I'm not the only one frustrated that there's only really one LED staff on the market and it costs about $180!

So, here are instructions to make your own collapsible LED bo staff for about $25!

Building requires about 15 minutes time, a trip to Home Depot, and the custom translucent pieces I made (you can buy them with the button below and you will get them in 2-3 days).

1. Gather the following supplies:


(from top to bottom, left to right)
  • 2x 2' long 3/4" thick PVC pipe (pre-cut at Home Depot) - $1.39 ea/
  • 3x Glow Wands (can find at Sears, Home Depot, Amazon, etc) - $2-5 ea/
  • Electrical tape (whatever colors you prefer) - $3 ea/
  • Translucent endcaps, middle, & connectors - $19 - I made these myself, click the button below to buy them and I will ship out USPS priority (so you will get them in 2-3 days :)
2. Remove the LED + battery assembly from the glow wands, and secure the batteries in place with electrical tape:

3. Place the LED inside my translucent connector pieces and assemble them like this:

4. Wrap the PVC in whatever tape you'd like, or paint it whatever color(s) you wish:

5. Now pop in the endcaps and connect the two PVC pieces with the middle piece!


6. Congratulations! You now have a lightweight, collapsible, awesome-looking LED staff you made yourself for under $30 :)

Here's what it looks like in the dark:




For extra stability, you can use some extra electrical tape to secure the middle piece to the PVC. Most glow wand LED lights will last 60+ hours with continuous (and bright!) lighting :)

Please let me know what you think in the comments!

If you'd like me to make the entire staff for you, fill out this form and I'll ship it out within 48 hours!

Color Scheme
Base Color
Middle LED Color
Endcap LED Color (for both tips)

36 comments:

  1. This is awesome! This is on par in quality and 1/3 the price of most other LED Bo Staff.

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  2. Paypal for the connectors doesn't seem to be working... Also, do you have a link to the updated LEDs from Amazon?

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    1. I just tested and it seemed to work for me?
      Here you go! http://www.amazon.com/LED-Finger-Lights-40-pcs/dp/B0045H0L1W/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1347846613&sr=8-2&keywords=led+finger+lights

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  3. How do you switch the LED on and off? Do you caps integrate a button or do you have to disassemble every time you use it?

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    1. In the newest design (that uses the LED finger lights) I included a slot so that you can access the switch after assembly - and I include a set of 'keys' you need to get in there - see my youtube :)
      http://www.youtube.com/user/Triskite

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  4. Could u do a custom order? I was hoping fir an extra 2 connector pieces for a little more light. How well do u think that would hold togethr? & how much would it cost?

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Sry, nt connectors the middle piece (and the appropriate number of connectors) also what r the visible dimensions of the middle pieces?

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  5. Hey, Steve!

    I'm happy to do a custom order. I assume you're asking to connect 3 middle pieces together, is that right?

    It will hold together well, but I haven't tested how durable that configuration is for hard falls/drops. The good news is even if you do break it, you will be able to reassemble into the regular configuration (or with 2 middle pieces, etc). Further, if you send me a picture I will replace the broken piece half off.

    To do a custom order:
    Send a payment to willstone@gmail.com,
    $3 per connector (you'll want 6) = 18
    $8 per middle piece (you'll want 3) = 24
    $4 per end piece (you'll want 2) = 8
    $5 2-day shipping.
    $55 total (or modify quantities as needed :)
    This goes for anyone else, too!

    Feel free to email me directly if you want to discuss further first.

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  6. Hey I just purchased one to be made for me today. I am really excited to see how my newly aquired staff spinning skills. I know it will be AWESOME!

    -Tomas

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    Replies
    1. :) got the order - plan to ship tomorrow!

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  7. Do you ship overseas? I'm in South Africa and would like to order the translucent endcaps and centre piece if possible.

    Thanks
    Steeven

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    1. Sorry for the delay! Was out of town for a wedding :)

      I do USPS Priority International shipping for $18 more - if you want to do it - just use techneesh.com to check out then send a second payment with the extra - my email is my name at gmail (willstone)

      best,
      will

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  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  9. How do you make the middle and end pieces. I like the project but wish to make a staff similar to the one used by Kyra in dragons fire and ice. PLEASE REPLY!!!!!!!!

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    1. Hi, Andrew.

      I designed them using 3D CAD software, then 3D printed them... Send me an STL file and I'll see if I can print it - otherwise shoot me a link to a photo of what you'd like the end caps to look like and I'll see what I can do. Note that I have changed the design since posting these photos.
      http://techneesh.com/#bovinci

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    2. the middle third of the staff normal but the other thirds are fishtailed I couldn't find a picture but if you look up fishtail pommels it looks really similar but the staff is stretched and doesn't flare out till the last six inches

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    3. I remember that it gets snapped in half in the movie so she use the two halves as escrima sticks.

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  10. Is that one ok staff the one made by flow toys???

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  11. Do you sell the center piece and the end caps separately.

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  12. Can you buy the middle connecting piece and the ends cap separately.?

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  13. I bought mine this weekend (as n100smith)! when can i expect mine?

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    Replies
    1. thanks for your order! I dropped it in the mail today, it should arrive Sat or Mon :)

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  14. is there any way i could go about making the connector pieces my self cause i would like to make this this week and wouldnt have type to buy them online

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    1. Not that I have figured out, sorry. I have an inventory and ship via 2-day so if you ordered today you'd have them by Thursday.

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  15. Hey how much do those end caps weigh. Is enough to do contact?

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  16. Do you ship internationally? I live in the UK at the moment.

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    Replies
    1. Yes I can do usps priority international it's an additional $20 if you want to do it you can check out normally on my site then send a second payment to the same paypal email address

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  17. hey! I noticed the past comments have been years and years ago, but are you still currently selling this product? I'm curious about making my own and possible having to buy the connectors, I might just get lazy and want to just buy the whole thing already made!

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    Replies
    1. Hey; yeah i still sell them on my site, techneesh!

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  18. Any ideas where to get translucent end caps, middle and connectors? I would like to make this for my 25 year old son for Christmas

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    Replies
    1. Yes I sell them on my website, techneesh.com

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  19. Hi. I really like this idea, and would like to purchase a fully made one from. However, it's a bit short for me, would it be possible for you to make me a 6 foot long version? I'd be willing to pay a bit extra for it. Please let me know!

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    1. Hey, Shonie, np! Same price and you can order on my website techneesh.com. If you want 3 pieces instead of 2 (still 6' total) it will be more collapsible and portable with more leds and will save me a trip to the store but it will be $20 more. If u want to do it just add the full staff and DIY staff to your shopping cart then checkout

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