This project began as an attempt to make a steampunk-inspired ( perhaps more cyber-punk?) mechanical hand and arm using principally brass and copper from scrap metal recycling plants. Along the way I decided to make it more functional as a lighting unit and as my teenage son had written a short story about A.T.A.C. ( a futuristic Sci-Fi world in which a combination of genetic engineering and advanced technology has allowed the development of military transport and weapons systems that resemble electro-mechanical, but highly armed and dangerous dinosaurs, in which the pilot, placed in a "cockpit" within the pseudo-organic construct, controls, by direct neuro-integration, the higher functions of the construct (boy was he steamed when Avatar came out a few months after he'd written the story!).
Imagine very large sauropods and the like, driven by an indwelling human pilot and apart from the natural agility and weapons of the animal ( jaws, claws, mass), also capable of deploying everything from plasma cannons to missiles (Think shark armed with a laser). Good fun and pretty awesome for a fifteen year old, I thought. Anyway, my project grew out of a hankering to do something which might not be out of place in that fantasy world, but which also subscribed to a steampunk aesthetic; also, it had to be functional, so I decided to make it a lighting unit for his room.It currently hangs on his wall and he's well pleased with the result.
Unfortunately, I only thought of this as an Instructable, long after I'd started, so this is just an example of an "I made it" project.The basic idea is pretty simple, but the details will be determined by what materials you have available and your imagination. My main tools were a power drill, a metal grinder, a brazing and soldering system using tin/lead solder and lots of elbow-grease.