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Gadgets

Make your own 'Doctor Who' sonic screwdriver on the cheap

YouTube show DIY Prop Shop returns with a how-to for making your very own Time Lord sonic screwdriver before the new season starts.

The sonic screwdriver lights up behind blue glass. Video screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

We can't all have access to big-budget BBC prop shops. There are a lot of plastic "Doctor Who" sonic screwdriver replicas out there, but sometimes it's more fun to make your own.

DIY Prop Shop, a YouTube show dedicated to cheap make-it-yourself props, took on the challenge of building the Doctor's iconic tool.

The screwdriver under construction in Monday's episode is based on the one used by the 10th Doctor, played by David Tennant. The pieces used in the project are unexpected, including pen parts, glass baubles and wire from an old telephone.

Host Dustin McLean has quite a few handy tools available. His hacksaw, drill, craft files, sandpaper and soldering iron get a good workout throughout the course of the build.

The project took over eight hours to complete. All that time paid off, as the finished product is faithful to the features of the original. The top part slides out and the blue light at the top gives off an impressive glow. The guts of a small LED flashlight are hidden inside.

The beauty of the DIY Prop Shop builds is in how everyday supplies like popsicle sticks and marker caps can be combined with superglue and rattle-can paint to create something you'd be proud to wield at your local sci-fi convention.

The total build price for the sonic screwdriver was a mere $12 (£8, AU$17), though McLean used a lot of materials he already had on hand.

The new season of "Doctor Who" starring Peter Capaldi as the 12th Doctor starts on September 19. You might want to practice your maker skills on Tennant's screwdriver before attempting Capaldi's more complex, spring-loaded device.