Introduction: Easy Steam Punk Laser Pistol That Lights Up
Runner Up in the
Halloween Props Contest
This Steam Punk Laser Pistol is easily made from cardboard, felt, paper fasteners, a LED, and a plastic straw. We made these for the Steam Punk World Faire. They look fantastic and are easy to build. You can build this in a short evening and have it ready for any costume. It makes a perfect companion to any sci-fi or steampunk costume and will only cost you a few bucks.
What you will need:
- 1/4"x12"x12" flat cardboard - recycled is great
- 2 felt sheets from a local craft store. Sizes vary, usually 8x10.
- 25 Brass Plated Paper Fasteners 1-inch in length
- Milkshake or large (10mm inner diameter) straw
- 10mm LED - color of your choice. Slow blinking/fade looks very nice.
- 3v 2032 Watch Battery
- Hobby knife
- Ruler / straight edge
- Optional: Laser cutter (saves time but not required)ff
- Optional: Substitute 1/4inch wood for the cardboard
- Optional: White or clear hobby glue.
Step 1: Cut Out the Pieces
I found that cardboard boxes from my online shopping worked perfect. This project is a great way to turn trash into treasure. My nickname for this laser blaster is the "The Recycler."
You will need at least one sheet of 1/4"x12"x12" cardboard. I laser cut my pieces at my makerspace, FUBAR Labs, but you can easily cut this pattern out with a hobby knife.
Print out the attached SVG pattern and tape to your cardboard, or use it as your pattern in your laser cutter. If you are handy with wood or do have a laser cutter you can substitute 1/4" light plywood for the cardboard.
Essentially we are making a sandwich. There is a center frame, left and right frames, and then left and right handle grips.
We will repeat cutting out this pattern with the felt. If you have different colors or patterns of felt you can swap the handles. For example, I made a tan blaster with black handles and a black blaster with tan handles. Looks sharp.
Step 2: Assemble the Center Frame
Clean up your parts with the hobby knife.
The center piece has no spiral and has the largest cutout for the straw. Insert the 10mm LED as shown with a lead on each side of the cardboard. Then carefully bend the anode and cathode leads up to the the half circle cutout. This is where you will later insert the 3v 2032 battery. Pinch the leads a little to hold the battery in place.
Slide the straw down the center. It should fit snugly over the 10mm LED. I used no glue in the assembly of my blasters, but if you like you could use a little clear hobby glue. I like the idea of no glue for this build, it feels more authentic to me, more mechanical. The paper fasteners hold very well.
Step 3: Assemble the Left / Right Frames
Layer cardboard, then felt, then the cardboard grip, then the felt grip. Attach the grip with the paper fasteners. Repeat for the left and right side. Again, no need for glue under the felt, but feel free to use some clear hobby glue if you like. Attach the trigger to one side.
Step 4: Complete Assembly
All that is left is to put the three layers together and fasten with the paper fasteners. Since the fasteners are 1-inch and we have three 1/4" layers, plus the felt, they should just have enough. Alternate the fasteners from one side to the next to complete the look.
Try variations. I did some with no felt and just the cardboard. It looked great. Add some gears or other steam punk embellishments.
Step 5: Add Battery & Blast Away!
The battery goes in the slot in the top. If it does not light, turn the battery around. It is essentially a LED Throwie inside a Steam Punk Blaster. Have Fun!
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