OK, I now have all my ducks in a row wrt the sabres.
The one thing I was dithering about with regard to parts has been figured out. The "emitter" on both sabres will be flashlight reflector units, scavenged from two 99 Cents Only store flashlights. It looks perfect, and it also has a bit of meaning having to do with my status as one of the first wave of SW fans.
I am not a pimply-faced youth, mind you. I am 42 years old. I saw Star Wars before it was retitled Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. In fact, I saw Star Wars the first day it came out, at what was then called the Mann's Chinese Theatre but which has now reverted back to Grauman's Chinese Theatre but is still owned by the Mann's theatre chain. If I still had my May The Force Be With You button I received that day, I would have been able to pay for my return to College without taking out student loans. (Maybe that's an exaggeration, but those are rare little puppies.)
I was 13 1/2 years old. The story spoke to me, big time. It's a classic coming of age myth, expertly crafted using Jungian principles by a guy who believed in them big time. It's also a fun adventure tale. It created a believable world that didn't glimmer and gleam, but was scuffed up, battle scarred and lived-in.
The next day after I saw the movie, I grabbed an old flashlight from the garage. It was one of those neat metal ones that look like they could double as a lightsabre anyway, complete with the O-ring on the bottom that folds down against it when not hanging from something. I went to an aquarium shop on Ventura Blvd. and bought a nice big piece of clear plastic tubing. I brought it home. Presto! Well, not exactly Presto...I didn't have a gel to put over the lens to give the beam color, nor did I have a way of capping the end except for a liberal application of Scotch tape, so there was light leaking out the top. Still, I had built my first lightsabre, the day after the first public showings.
About a month later, the plastic-bladed lightsabres made from flashlight parts started arriving from Taiwan or South Korea or wherever. I got one. By comparison to modern-day sabres it sucked, but it certainly sucked less than my homebrewed one. No, I don't have it anymore.
Anyway, I might do some build stuff today. Stay tuned.
PS: the 99 Cent Only store is a great source for inexpensive stuff to cannibalize for your sabre. If you have one out your way, you are in luck.