This project was in essence I wanted to create something. I had been browsing steampunk galleries of firearms and was impressed and wanted to again make my mark. Of course I feel I completely missed the mark, even though I have been told "Steampunk is what you make of it" I fail to achieve any features distinct to the genre. None the less I'm satisfied for the time being.
Step 1: Selection and Breakdown
I hope this goes without saying, but DO NOT have this plugged in.
The case had 3 screws in it, although the fact that it was a glue gun made it a little harder to crack open than just that. Undo the screws, and take a razer, I used an xacto knife, and work along the seem. Cut any glue that may be holding it shut and you might have to work it a little to get it to pop open.
Once I got it open I took a chance to pull everything out and get a look at it. First thing I did was take off the yellow caps and disconnect the cord. The wires were just twisted together and caps like that only screw on so it wasn't difficult. The tip screwed in, and had the glue holding it in, but some work with a wrench got it loose. The rubber sleeve and spring, probably a heatsink, probably didn't need to come off, but it made the next step a little easier.
Step 2: Cleaning out the heating element
Never interact with the wires once they are connected and plugged in.
Have an apparatus set up so you don't have to handle the heating element once you plug it back in.
Make sure you have a window open. I know glue guns generally operate under safe parameters, but in this step you aren't playing by the rules. When you plug this thing in it will go, and I had some smoke coming off of mine. Make sure the area you're working in is properly ventilated.
Now all I did here, was I stood up the heating element in a little glass candle holder I had laying around. After that I reconnected the wires to the ones on the plug. Then I had it set up by a window, and made sure it was stable and not going to rock or fall over. Then I plugged in the cord. Same as always the metal heated up, only now the glue drained out of the case, leaving it clear all the way through. Aside from the leads that melted the glue itself. An unanticipated obstacle that was dealt with later.
Step 3: Bodywork
In my usual fashion I clove something important off before taking a picture to explain it later. If you recall from earlier pages there was a nub near the front that originally had a wire stand going through it so that the hot tip would not come into contact with things while the gun was active. That went away. I used my trusty xacto knife, although I'm sure a dremel or small saw would work just as well if not better. Sand smooth.
In addition, there is a small ring at the base of the handle. I'm not sure what purpose it served, but it went away as well. Once again just slice it off in your preferred method and sand it down.
I would advise not using my method. I use xacto because I don't have a dremel or some type of craft saw. They are very sharp and I have been known to nick myself from time to time. I do not recommend them unless you have a more stable and safe environment.
Step 4: Adding some heft
Step 5: Trigger guard
I got a small bracket for modular shelving at the hardware store. I measured it against the handle some, then cut a piece off. From there I curled the edges in. I didn't want to have the corners where my finger would be, comfort is part of the design. Then I added two notches so it would bent more easily where I needed it, and curled it into the correct shape.
To attach it to the gun, I carved a notch in the underside, and along the handle so it would rest more easily.
Step 6: Putting it together
Just go ahead and knead the putty till it becomes a uniform color and just press it in where you need it. Don't worry about having a little excess. It will allow you to sand and shape and smooth later.
Step 7: Filling in the blanks
When I cut off the length I wanted I glued a screw into the hole so it wouldn't just be open. Then I took a sleeve and slid it around the tube so that it would fit better inside the slider.
I originally had it cut down to be flush with the back of the slider when I had it inserted, but when I put the sleeve on it to make it fit better, it wouldn't go in all the way, just about halfway up the sleeve. You could always file down the inside of the slider, but I liked how it looked better this way so I left it as a pleasant surprise.
Step 8: Decor
Step 9: Touch Up
Step 10: Completion
I plan on making a case for it, inspired by one of the finer pieces I saw in my traveling, but that will be another project for another time. Until then farewell, have fun, make something special, and be safe about it.
(edit): Case has been made, following my same found material and improvised design strategy.