***NOTE:: I do not claim to even be knowledgeable much less an expert on the steampunk and cyberpunk styles . . . I'm merely an intrigued outsider. I've always been interested in this type of stuff but in reality there are people much more in tune to this universe than me. If you're one of those people please feel free to critique my design and terminology but please remember to be constructive and follow the "be nice" policy!
***Safety Note/Disclaimer*** I've been around power tools since I could walk and so there's a lot of safety issues that are innate to me that I probably will fail to mention. These powerful devices are extremely dangerous so extreme caution is required if you plan to follow these instructions. Never operate any of these tools without someone else present or at least within earshot. Hearing and Eye protection are a must and for heaven's sake keep your fingers away from anything sharp and/or moving!
Also, the finished product will be dangerous as it IS functional and it is up to YOU to make sure you're being safe with it.
Step 1: The Bowels of the Beast
and unleashed its swift and horrible fury
Okay so the guts of this thing are really straightforward: it's basically a spud gun and there's a lot of instructables and other online resources that tell you how to make this so for mine I will be very brief and quite vague . . . this part of the instructable is not sufficient for a first timer to create a spud gun but should be enough for someone who's got a little experience.
- 2" PVC end cap
- two 2" PVC couplings
- a section of 2" PVC for attaching the above
- 2" to 3/4" PVC reducer
- 3/4 PVC nipple
- 3/4" Solenoid Automatic Sprinkler Valve
- 3/4" PVC Male to female threaded 90 degree elbow (both ends threaded)
- 3/4" PVC Male to female threaded 90 degree elbow (only male end threaded)
- 2 foot 3/4" PVC Pipe(longer is possible but I liked the look of the 2 footer)
- PVC primer and Cement (yes of course it has to be PVC cement not ABS)
- a roll of teflon tape
- brass 1/4" shraeder valve (home depot failed here but ace had this)
- Two brass 1/4" hose barbs (one end barbed the other threaded)
- A Blowgun (the compressor type not the Amazonian)
- small hose clamps
- 2' section of pressure rated 1/4" Inside Diameter Hose (Homedepot failed again but ace had this)
- a vise is useful for holding things still
- a hand saw
- Cresent wrenches the right size to turn the barbs and shraeder valve
- a tap set (optional but really useful)
- a drill and assorted bits
- screwdriver (though a screwgun is quicker)
While that's drying go ahead and unscrew the solenoid from your sprinkler valve, unscrew the top and open the valve up. Inside you'll see a rubber diaphragm. Off to one side of it you should see a little plastic spike with a hole in it. carefully remove the valve and take this spike out from the other side. If you're inquisitive like me go ahead and play around with the valve to make sure you fully understand how it works.
Now there's 2 types of valves out there: one type has a guide rod in the middle of the diaphragm and one does not. If yours does then you'll need to drill off to one side. Mine did not so now I drilled a hole through the middle of the top and tapped it for one of the barbs. Wrap a barb's threads in teflon tape and screw it into the hole with the wrench. Don't screw it in so far that it interferes with the diaphragm or you'll get a weird honking noise every time you fire it. I sorta liked this accidental honking so I left it in (see video). Now your sprinkler is modded. You can also buy a pre-modded one from a couple of online stores but where's the fun and learning in that!?
Take your modded valve and screw it onto the other end of the nipple (with teflon tape) making sure the arrows on the valve point FROM the tank TO the other side(barrel) screw your elbows together and into the other end of the valve and then insert your barrel. I had an iron sight from an airsoft sniper rifle but since the rifle has a scope I never put the sight on. I applied this now for aiming and coolnes' sake. Remember steampunk modding is all about found objects! But making a sight from scratch is possible too with a bit of effort.
The other barb goes into the back end of the blow gun(more teflon).
The NEXT DAY (pleas DO wait for your cement to dry completely) I put the hose onto my valve and blowgun to test the thing out and you can see the completed but unpainted assembly in the pictures.
If this is your first spud gun these instructions are certainly inadequate but fear not! Spudfiles has a good tutorial on the valve mod with discussion and troubleshooting and this site has plenty of other tuts on the subject.
HOW IT WORKS:
If you're curious, the valve has 2 chambers in it . . .one above the diaphragm and one below. The diaphragm has a hole that lets both chambers share equal pressure and so the center of the diaphragm (held by a spring) presses on the outlet keeping it sealed. when the blowgun is released the pressure from the top half exits faster than the small hole in the diaphragm will allow the tank pressure through and so we end up with a massive pressure difference very quickly. this pulls the diaphragm up and the pressure exits through the previously blocked hole and out the barrel. this all happens faster than greased lightening and so much more energy is conserved than if you use a simple, slow ball valve. This conservation leads directly to superior performance.
Step 2: Design and Drafting
far too late for the petty attempts at subverting them
Ok here's where it (hopefully) gets interesting.
- scrap paper . .I use old tests and homework for this since the backs are almost always blank
- large wide paper , we've got a roll of butcher paper that's come in handy for a huge number of projects
- Rulers, a short one and a really long one . . .for me a 15inch art ruler and a 48 inch drafting one were crucial
- Calculator and google (for scaling)
- A good eraser
- drafters brush for sweeping aside eraser bits without smearing pencil
- Black sharpie(or other permanant marker)
- completed barrel and compression chamber assembly
- calipers for measuring pipe thicknesses and the thickness of other round objects
I knew that I wanted it to sit on top of the shoulder rather than only in front of it, I wanted the design to be sleek and flowing but not convoluted like that one by weta. So with these ideas in mind I grabbed a sheet of 8.5X11 paper and drew a scale drawing of my inner parts (not intestines but the gun part). With this on paper I placed the trigger(blowgun) so that it would be pressed from above (kind of like the guns in Mononoke Hime) behind the chamber and then began sketching possible stock designs. I think doing a scaled down illustration is crucial to the design phase so don't neglect this part or your final project will look rather disjoint and unplanned unless you're insanely lucky. Once I had a good idea of what I wanted to to look like I took it to the next level and rolled out some butcher paper and drew a full size copy of the inner workings again and then drew the design onto that. Make sure at this point that everything is comfortable and within reach(like the trigger) and erase and redraw until you're completely satisfied with it. Then go over your lines with Sharpie(or other black permanent marker) but only the outside lines of the stock. This full scale draft is going to double as a pattern for when you cut out the blank of the stock so make darn sure its EXACTLY how you want it to look!
Then being careful to follow your lines closely cut out the pattern with sissors or an exacto knife.
Let those creative juices flow! but be safe . . .remember danger makes juices flow too . . .adrenaline, tears, Hydrogen peroxide . . .
Step 3: Improvisation and Impatience
The wheels of intuition shifted from low gear into the ideal ratio
and the produce of the fields of his mind issued forth
- wood enough to fit your design and thick enough to accommodate the pipe you're using as a barrel.
- little 1" sticks if you're making the board
- spray adhesive
- your pattern
- Table saw
- Radial Saw
- C clamps ( as many as possible . . .we used 12)
My design came out to be 46inches long 2 inches thick and 8 inches wide (or tall if we're thinking about the final product) so I went out to find a board that would fit those dimensions . . .unfortunately the only lumber carrying store that was open and within driving distance was the home depot and unless you're building a house or somethig their wood selection is somewhat lacking. So with my dad and brother we dug through their paltry selection and found two pine boards free of knots(this is important since knots will make carving darn near impossible) and a couple of hard wood boards that when put together gave me the thickness I wanted. I spent somewhere in the neighborhood of $20 for these and almost surely could have found a better deal if I was patient but that is one virtue that I lost somewhere back in 1995 . . .
Back home we cut the boards to the right size and smeared glue onto one thick one, tacked the thin ones to it (they were slightly warped) and then more glue and clamped the other thick board to them. to make sure we didn't get any air pockets we made little 1" thick oak sticks that we clamped together to help make sure everything was flat. Then came the boring part . . . .waiting . . . .about 6 hours. Luckily I bought paint and other stuff while out so I worked on the barrel and compression chamber assembly finishing while I waited. More on this step later.
The pictures show us (my dad couldn't help himself . . .he's more obsessed with woodworking than even I am!) building my custom blank. His company proved very handy since the end result was heavy and the gluing rather tricky. See the pictures for details of this process.
Next I took some spray adhesive and coated the back of my pattern and stuck it to the wood. this is how I've always done this sort of work and I find it works better than just drawing lines onto the wood since your pattern is high contrast and won't smear. Let the glue dry and move onto the next step!
Step 4: Removing Wood Surplus (or Cutting Out Your Blank)
The mechanical monstrosity's squeal
The ripping tearing rending violence of the carpenter's manic zeal
- your blank with design pasted on
- band saw
I used a band saw and I'm sure it's probably the easiest tool to use . . .others will work and are less dangerous but remember the tool is only as dangerous as the user allows it to be. . .
Very carefully cut the excess wood off, following your lines to a T. When you encounter a curve, cut triangular sections out (relief cuts they're called) or you risk breaking a blade which is scary, dangerous, and expensive. Take your time with this and get it right the first time . . .no second chances with this part. If your blade is thinner than your lines then pick a side (inside, outside, or middle) of your line and stick with it . . .if you don't you'll end up with a wobbly cut and way more finishing work later.
Step 5: Slotting Your Cut Blank
it fit perfectly and soon a whir and buzz filled their ears
from the workings of many tiny gears
This is possibly the most tedious part(unless you hate sanding like my friend does . . .) and the one with the most need of precision.
- your cut out blank
- various spade style drill bits (or the kind seen in my pictures work really well too) that match the size you need for your slot (not a coin slot thankfully)
- mallet for chiseling
- electrical or masking tape
- drill press with hobby vise
- rotary tool and sanding bit
- safety glasses (I use paintball goggles since they also keep dust out of my eyes)
After this place marks along the top where depth differences occur for the trigger slot and where it begins and ends. then connect these vertical lines with horizontal ones centered over the middle line and equal to the width of your blowgun.
Darken the resulting box and get a drill bit the right diameter to match the width of your slot. Take your tape and wrap it around the bit to mark the depth you want so that while drilling you can stop when the correct depth is reached. Clamp the stock in the drill press and line up the bit and drill a line of connected holes at the right deptsh to make your slot. Then don some goggles instead of safety glasses (to keep dust out of your eyes) and whip out the ole demmel tool and take out the little ridges left by the roundness of the drill.
The fit can easily be checked by inserting the blowgun . . .if it's too tight sand out some more!
My design included holes for the tubes to run through the gun so I drilled these by hand at this point.
After this slot was finished it was time to cut the little cubbies for my little gizmos and fiddly bits. I used a huge bit to get most of it out and then consecutively smaller ones to go out to the sides (round would have been easier but I wanted a shape that complimented the shape of the gun) and dremmel out the new resulting ridges and smooth the sides . . .this will take a long time so be patient and get it right!
Step 6: Cutting Your Barrel Channel
erm not that kind of channel . . .a barrel channel to be precise!
Tools and Materials:
- Round bottomed chisels]
- 80 grit sandpaper
- A dowel or other round stick the same size as your barrel
- Rotary tool
First I sanded in a line with the rotary tool so that I could use the groove to line up my barrel but then I was left scratching my head as to how to carve the rest in . . .I eventually bit the bullet and took out the old chisels and mallet and lo and behold . . .someone had damaged the chisels so badly (seriously the edges were shaped like extreme W's) that I wouldn't trust them to cut butter . . .I gave them a new edge on the grinder and went at it. . . You have to be extra careful here and make sure you are completely aware. . . this is not a job you should do when tired since a razor sharp chisel is no joke and one wrong angle will send it skipping off the piece. Bit by bit take out the extra wood and occasionally check the depth and width (as well as roundness) when you get pretty close wrap some 80 grit sandpaper around the stick and push it along the chanel over and over until it's nice and smooth as well as being the right depth . . .this step took me about 2 hours including the sharpening so it's quite a commitment! This will really show errors so make sure you work slowly and carefully.
Step 7: Shaping and Sanding
Tools and Materials:
- Sandpaper 80 grit and up
- Orbital Sander w/ a range of 100 to 180 grit sandpaper
- Your stock
The first thing you wan to do is take the rasps (a file will work too but will take much longer) and bevel all of the edges and give the underside of where your barrel channel will be a round edge. Remember that the rasp will tear the living daylights out of your wood but this is OK since we'll fix that by sanding. Also bear in mind that you want this to be comfortable. I cut into the round edges a bit to make it fit my shoulder well and narrowed out the area under the trigger where my hand is going to be. It's hard to be too specific since the actual shaping of the stock will depend very much on the design you've made . . .If you need pointers then I'd suggest looking at real gun stocks(if you don't have an old fashioned rifle then google should come to the rescue) and imitating their edges etc. Remember . . .when using rasps, files, sandpaper, and the like always (as much as possible) go with the lines of the grain!
Once you're happy with the way it feels(ignoring the fact that it's rough) it's time to whip out the orbital sander. Put a 100 grit piece of paper on it and clamp the stock in a vise (unless it's already in one) and carefully smooth out all the unevenness. Every once in a while check the paper . . .it will fill up with sawdust and needs to be taken off and whacked against something hard to clear it out. After a while, the paper is useless even after whacking so simply slap a new one on. Keep sanding until all the gouges from the rasping are gone and then move to a higher grit paper and repeat. Once you've worked your way up to 180 then you can probably call it quits but if you'd like to go higher then feel free. A thing to notice is that after you start smoothing the thing out your vise will begin to leave ugly marks. At this point it's advisable to get a thick towel or other cloth to wrap the piece in before clamping it.
A friend of mine absolutely hates this sort of work(sanding and whatnot) for some reason or another . . .probably finds it tedious but for me it's the best! You can take that ugly hunk of wood and give it a nice shape and really transform the way it looks! Whether you love it or hate it keep chugging along (and keep an ice cold beverage in a resealable bottle handy . . .that dust dries you out like no other!)
Step 8: Finishing the Stock and a Bit of Paint
Now the project is really starting to come together but who wants a bare piece of wood?
Tools and Materials:
- Lots of paper towels
- Flat black brush on Paint
- Heavy duty hand cleaner
- Wood filler
- Paint thinner
- Some sort of sandable wood sealer
- Your choice of stain . . .I used a minwax mahogony stain
- Your choice of finish . . .I chose minwax Polyurethane
- Paint brushes
- A standard screwdriver for prying open cans of stain and finish
- A rubber or rawhide mallet for closing them without damaging the lids
- A piece of soft cloth and a plastic bag for polishing the finish
After all that sanding and carving there's going to be a TON of sawdust in your stock even if it doesn't look or feel like it so the first thing you do is spray it off with a compressor hose if you've got one or at least blow it off and then moisten a clean rag in mineral spirits and wipe it down to remove the rest. Let the Mineral Spirits evaporate and then open your can of stain . . .stir it well and dip a folded paper towel in it, let the dripping stop and wipe the stain onto the wood following the grain pattern. Wipe off any excess and let it dry (shouldn't take too long as the wood soaks a lot of it up). If you'd like it darker/richer give it another coat at this point.
Now open the can of sealer, stir it, and apply it evenly like you did with the stain but with a new paper towel of course. This takes a while to dry so I'd work on something else for a while and come back. Once it's dry give it a light sanding with high grit sandpaper, dust it off with a cloth and give it another coat. Do this at least a couple of times.
Once the last coat is completely dry and sanded and wiped then open up the Poly(or whatever finish you chose) and stir it as well. Apply it just like the other two. After the second coat instead of sanding take an old tshirt or other soft cloth and buff the finish until it's shiny (after it's dry of course). After the third coat use the plastic bag. You can keep applying coats until it looks how you want. I used 2 coats of stain, 2 coats of sealer, and 3 coats of poly.
Now open the paint can and brush a coat of black into the cubbies you made earlier if you made any. make sure you get all of it. Once it's all dry and good then you can start assembling the rifle!
Step 9: Painting the Plastic
With each swipe with the polishing cloth the metal begins to show through the years of grime and neglect
- Black Flat Spraypaint
- Clear Matte UV protectant spray acrylic (glossy finish will also look nice for metallic surfaces since it's shiny)
- Black flat brush on paint (for tiny places that refuse to be sprayed)
- Electrical Tape(or painters if you like it better)
- Fine Sandpaper
- cardboard and sticks to paint on
- rub N buff or other gilding stuff . . .I used antique gold and Pewter colors
- Paint thinner
- Plastic bag
Take your plastic parts apart (except where glued or tefloned of course) and put tape over anything you don't want painted. This includes any brass parts, any exposed threads that are still needed, things like that. I used to use painter's tape but it always falls off and I end up painting something I would rather not. Electrical tape works way better for me but use what you know and love!
Sand everything that's shiny with fin sand paper to give it a matte finish. This is really important as paint refuses to stick to shiny things . . .some paints boast that they can but they're too expesive for my tastes. Dust it all off before you actually paint or you'll have more problems.
Give everything a nice thin coat of flat black paint. Do the whole depress nozzle, sweep across piece and off other side, release nozzle trick or you'll get drips and those are nasty. It's ok if your part shows through a bit, you'll take care of that in subsequent coats. Give it enough of these thin coats to make sure it's fully covered. I like taking sticks and pushing them into the grass to hold tubes and stuff but this only works for light weight things and I'm stuck with cardboard for the rest. Make sure each coat is dried properly before re-coating or you'll get "crazing" (little warped crackely bits in the paint) Once you're sure its completely dry then you can pick bugs and grass out of the thing and it won't leave much of a mark. Do this when it's wet and you'll foul the whole thing up.
Once you're done the undercoat whip out your embellishing stuffs. . . for me this is "Rub N Buff" metallic finishes. Try Michael's or other craft stores before real art stores . . .the real stores carry real leaf and that stuff won't work for our purposes. there are also other products that will probably work as well but I've not tried any . . .Stole the idea of this product from TribalDancer's tutorial.
I can't replicate her instructions as well as she did so I'll refer you to her instructable for the use of the rub n buff with a couple of tips that I discovered through using the stuff.
- Rub N Buff is soluble in paint thinner! it will help you clean brushes, hands and stuff and it's great for thinning the rub n buff for large areas if you want a dull look.
- Plastic bag works wonders for burnishing the dried wax gilding . . .learned this trick in ceramics with terra sigilatta!
- paper towel will spread and even dull the rub n buff
- a little gilding goes a LONG! way . . .she mentions this but it can't be stressed enough
- less is more . . .who wants a gun that looks too fake due to way too much gilding. . .go easy on the stuff!
Post pictures!!! I wanna see all the cool antiquing!
Step 10: Trouver Les Gizmos Et Arrangement
slowly and with an almost reverent air they removed the screws from the aluminum box,
pried the lid off and were met with the most dazzling cache of useful devices imaginable
- old mechanically operated devices. . .broken computer equipment is perfect!
- electric motors that don't work
- some lego sets have great gears
- flat black spray paint
- flat black brush on paint
- soapy water to get grease off of things
- philips screwdrivers in a variety of sizes for all the various screws
- standard screwdriver for prying
- adventurous, inquisitive, and imaginative mind . . .you've got to picture how parts will look stuck together and painted . . .
Be careful! the casings are almost always sharp and it only takes one slip with the screwdriver to give you half of a stigmata.
Don't use good working parts since they're useful to someone . . .there's plenty of people in need . . .
Some of my favorite items that can be found:
- Electromagnetic armatures(they're those flowery things with tons of copper wire wrapped around little arms) from any motors . . .floppy drives are really great since theirs are huge and have many arms!! but there's one in nearly every electric motor!
- copper shims and spacers present all through motors and stuff
- springs if tightly coiled and flexible make great little cooling type coils when bent into a 'U' shape!
- plastic gears can be painted up and look great cdrom drives have a bunch of these
- steel rails from cd rom drives are great as is but can be heated and bent into nice shapes
- ribbon cable looks great with a black undercoat and copper dry brushing . .some are already coppery!
- hex nuts are awesome when jb welded to other pieces and there's tons of those to be found
- I'm a big fan of the little optical pieces of cd rom drives as is . . .the make great little assemblies but they can be disassembled too and often you'll find things like mini mirrors and prisms!
Try a few different arrangements and see what you like . . .this is probably the second most artistic part of the whole process (second to the initial overall design) so make it count!
Take pictures of each arrangement so that after you're done you can compare them all and re assemble the best one!
I used the shapes drawn on my gun design to help guide the design of the gizmos . . .it's limiting but it gets the creative juices flowing!
Hoses can be difficult if you don't want to buy anything but coated wires are serviceable you don't strip them and connect them to logical places
this step can be done at any time after the initial design so if you're bored waiting for something to dry or don't want to work on another part this is always a great way to work the both sides of your brain at the same time!
Step 11: Installation of the Inner "workings"
like ponderous music which filled the ears
but alas it is music only for the creator
for forever motionless they shall be throughout the years
Not the true workings just yet but the other stuff.
Tools and Materials:
- all those little found objects from last step (or whenever you did it)
- extra wires and parts just in case
- soldering iron and solder
- JB weld or some other good strong cement (can be used instead of solder since actual connectivity doesn't matter)
- paint for scuffs
- hot glue and gun
- CD cases that aren't being used or any other source of clear plastic
- cardboard for building up ridges around cubbies
- some small screws with interesting heads
Now cut a piece out of the cd case that fits over the hole with a bit of room to spare. It's probably been scratched in this process so break out the polishing compound and give it a good rub down to let you see through it easily. touch up and scuffs in the paint/finish and then glue the plastic down. You've got two options here for the plate around the edge . . .hot glue and cardboard. . .cardboard is easier to make perfect but hot glue can look really nice with a smooth finish. The goal here is to make a retaining plate(or the appearance of one) so do whatever is comfortable to you. Paint this a contrasting color from the screws. Now take those screws and cut the heads off (don't loose them!) and glue them around the retaining plate in a logical fashion (ie evenly) but don't use so many that they overwhelm the project. Give them a paint wash if they're too shiny.
Step 12: Insertion of the Differential Pressure-Actuated Projectile Expellation Assembly
In simpler terms . . .put the barrel in place now. I used some liquid nails but I'm sure other adhesives would do as well. Clamp it in for a good bond! One idea would be to use some ribbon cable for looks. . .cut an appropriate section of that and you've got a tie down! Again with a bit of paint no one will know! What I ended up doing was wrapping electrical tape very tightly and rub n buffing it. Make sure it's in real tight and won't wobble. If it needs any filling around gaps fill those in now with Spackle or epoxy putty and paint.
Step 13: Finishing Touches
It seems that a project sometimes is never quite complete . . .but if you're this far there isn't much further to go. Look over the whole thing, step back from it, turn it around . . .really attack it visually . . .and fix anything that doesn't look right. I've seen what seems like an infinite amount of projects (largely due to my involvement in the fine arts at school) whose creators got the work "far enough" and then simply quit . . .this is almost more sad than watching all the people who have only heard of the word "art". The finishing touches are the single most important part of almost any undertaking(heh like the word choice? UNDERTAKING!!! get it!?! I know, I know my raw and blinding wit is too much).
Now you're done! post some pictures! show it off! and if you want move onto the next step for a quick discussion on ammunition and the general working of the gun as well as things I've noticed about it's performance.
Step 14: The Operation and Features of the Hirsch Angocellum Rifle
A growing sense of terror grew within her only strengthened
by the information each additional paragraph emparted to her inquisitive mind
A note on the name . . .Abstraction Abstraction Abstraction! the Hirsch part is an alteration of my own name and the Angocellum is a corrupted combination of Latin words roughly meaning to compress or squeeze together and sky/air. I hope this has a sort of victorian/steampunk sound to it but I'd be more than open to hear what you think of it!
ok to operate this thing you simply place your projectile into the muzzle and ram it down to just before the first elbow (not inside the elbow or you could get it stuck: this can be remedied by driving a thin screw into the barrel just in front of the elbow to stop the loaded item from traveling too far) then hook a bike pump up to it (one with a pressure gauge is convenient but not necessary) and put something in the neighborhood of 70-75 PSI into it (yes you can go higher but this pressure is just fine performance wise and I don't want to go much higher) making sure your valve is closed (if yours has the manual override like mine). Then take aim at something that will not be damaged and pull on the blowgun's lever and hold it down.
Open your valve to release any remaining pressure (sometimes the projectile leaves the gun before all the pressure is released). and retrieve your projectile if it's not biodegradable.
I've used mine to launch the following effectively:
- Paintballs (fit nicely but you have to wad it a little bit with tissue paper)
- pieces of potato (use another piece of pvc as a bullet maker and then load the slugs as any other projectile)
- dirty wadded up tissues and paper towels (great for testing the gun since they aren't hard and won't go too far once they open up)
- the above wrapped in electrical tape to form a ball shape that fits perfectly into the barrel make great reusable ammo
- a sharpened 4inch piece of coat hanger with a cone wrapped tightly around the back (like a blowgun(amazonian this time) dart) works wonders and will bury itself in a tree)
- Confetti makes a great scattershot!