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No Aim Required: Building the Z6 Riot Control Baton from Episode VII

When I saw the previews for the new Star Wars, I got pumped for several reasons. Obviously, the whole thing just looked kick ass, but there was one specific stormtrooper that caught my eye.

zUUY3HV - Imgur

In the preview we see one of our main characters unleash a lighsaber while looking at a stormtrooper. What does the stormtrooper do? Does he cower in fear and run away? Nope, he snaps out his trusty z6 riot baton and goes toe to toe with Finn!

The baton just looked really cool. I loved how it snaps out before use, and of course I enjoyed those crackly bits of plasma you see around the end of it. After eyeballing it a bit, I thought that I could probably build one out of PVC.

The most difficult aspect of this was going to be the hinge. I couldn’t find any existing hinge at the hardware store that would allow the large rotating end of this thing to snap into place. I was going to have to create something from scratch. As you see in the video, I pulled it off with a strong spring and a little extra strapping.

If you’re interested in my thought process behind the whole construction, you can check out the brainstorming session I had over this project.

I knew, going into this project, that I would have to take some shortcuts. Its fun to see what changed from the initial concept to the final result.


Senior Editor for Make: I get ridiculously excited seeing people make things. I just want to revel in the creativity of the masses! My favorite thing in the world is sharing the hard work of a maker.

I'd always love to hear about what you're making, so send me an email any time at

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