Why settle for an approximation when you can have a real soldering gun?! Bring this little baby to bear on your next PCB. Point, pull, and let the heater rip.
It's not so far fetched: A steady hand, a careful aim, an unsafe quantities of lead...soldering and firing a gun have an awful lot in common. Making your own is easy, all you need is an air pistol and a hand-held, battery powered soldering iron and you can make your own soldering gun.
Here's what I used to make mine:
Step 1: Disassemble Soldering Gun
I used a small Phillips screwdriver to open the plastic housing of the soldering iron and pry it apart. The circuit inside has a 51Ω resister, one small white LED and a socket for the heating element.
After sketching the circuit onto paper I desoldered the components and set them aside.
Step 2: Disassemble Air Pistol
Inside the slide are several smaller components which make up the firing pathway, each of these can be carefully removed which will allow you to feed electrical leads to the tip. You may need to use small screwdriver to pry apart the air pistol insides.
With our airsoft pistol and soldering iron disassembled we're ready to plan our the wiring schematic.
Step 3: Planning and Wiring
The wiring will stay mostly the same as it was originally in the soldering iron, but with the addition of a second LED (to have one on each side of the slide) and a momentary switch to operate the soldering gun instead of the manufacturers' toggle switch.
Step 4: Wiring Solder Tip
Using two long electrical leads feed the wires through the firing array, I enclosed the leads nearest to the soldering tip in heat-resistant tubing which was connected to the wires using heat-shrink tubing. The soldering socket from the soldering iron was attached and heat-shrink tubing was added to prevent any short circuits.
The wired were weaved through the firing array and the barrel was reassembled, leaving the two electrical leads trailing. Two small holes were drilled where red painted divots were located on the airsoft pistol. I installed two 3mm red LED's inside these openings and hot-glued them in place. The positive lead from the soldering tip was cut and soldered to the anode (positive) side of the two LED's. The negative lead was cut next and the 51Ω resistor was soldered to it, the other end of the resistor was soldered to the cathode (negative) of the LED's.
The negative wire will next be attached to a momentary switch behind the trigger.
Step 5: Trigger
Step 6: Milling Magazine
Using a rotary tool with a large milling bit I carefully removed the pellet guideway, making sure to leave the plastic posts which protected the screws that hold the magazine together in tact. Make sure to wear goggle or a face mask as this part can get very messy, with removed plastic flying all over the place.
Once your magazine is gutted take the 4 AA batteries and fit them inside, you want the fit to be snug, but not to inhibit the magazine from closing properly. I added a small 3mm scrap piece of foam inside the magazine housing to hold my batteries in place and prevent them from knocking around.
Step 7: Magazine Contacts
The leads that were exposed at the top of the magazine needed a way to make contact to the rest of the circuit inside the pistol, but could not be hard wired because I wanted the magazine to be removable. To solve this I used springs from junk electronic battery holders. After stretching the springs to create an elongated contact they were hot-glued in place, making the positive and negative ends of the battery array poking out th etop of the magazine, ready for contact with the circuit when inserted into the body of the gun.
Step 8: Completing the Circuit
The positive connection from the barrel and the negative connection from the trigger can now be soldered to this connection plate.
The profile place can now be placed inside and above the handle of the pistol between the slide, the profile of the plastic piece will need to be carved down to fit. Do not glue in place yet! Next, install the modified battery magazine and align the contact plate to meet with the battery magazine springs. There will probably be some modification required to both the battery magazine and the contact plate to ensure a secure connection. Test your circuit before gluing in place!!
When you are satisfied that you have a solid connection with the plastic connection plate and battery magazing springs the plastic contact plate can be epoxied in place.
Step 9: Epoxy Pistol Action + Close Assembly
Make sure your soldering gun works correctly before epoxy sets, this is your last chance to make any final corrections to your circuit. After this, you may need to remake some of the circuitry of you have to pull it apart after the epoxy dries.
Step 10: Shoot Some Lead
While not very practical it's a fun twist to my regular soldering iron and sure gets people talking!
This idea modifies an already realistic pistol and makes it look even more menacing. This project, while fun, can easily be mistaken for a real firearm and get you in trouble. Have fun with this project, but be smart.