Introduction: My First Steampunk Item: a Space Gun From the Past!

About: I like to invent and modify things. When i was 13 i fixed my dad's old Lancia Fulvia motor. I builded my first mod PC in 1991 using a mobo builded in a VCR box. I am first using all my inventions. I love every…

Hello world! After some time I decided to make my own space fazer gun from the steam age. I have to admit it, for months I didn’t liked all steam punk items because they are most of them only toys or just decoration elements. But I start to love them here in Instructable world. I found many ideas very useful and beautiful even as an ornament, or toy.2 years ago my first soldering iron (bought in 1987 for my first experiments in electronics and radio piracy) died and I was very sad cause was a very good and handy tool (I like pistol shaped irons). After 21 years of faithful collaboration and full service daily for 3-5 hours in plug, my beloved handy tool past away. But I keep his shell like a sacred souvenir till the day where my gun find his way to the glory again (What lyrics!)
Anyway my soldering gun was that shown in image and is came from Hong Kong and its brand name is: HDC HOMIER DISTRIBUTING- PISTOL GRIP SOLDERING GUN- 30/35 watts . 110/120 volt. The site is but I coulden’t find that model.
As you can see  in photo bellow the shape of it it like the shape of the famous STRAO RAY GUN from a toy back in 1953!!!
So I decided to make my own option of this gun using the soldering gun as base and adding some details you will find it very beautiful!
let's start

Step 1: Materials and Preparation


--The specific Soldering Gun (dead or Alive) or any other that reminds that shape.
--Some wires
--3 LEDS 1 Red bright of 2,2 V for the barrel and 2 of 1,7 small 3mm clear blue (tirquaz recommended)
-- a 150 Ohm resistor 1/4W (brown-Green-brown)
-- Some isolated tape
--3 pieces of white hot glue columns (small) or about 10cm for the barrel and 2X3,5cm for the side chargers.
--a battery (I prefer the 4,5V) as shown in image
--a micro switch as a trigger
--some copper plate of about 7cm x 1cm
--the rottor of a broken floppy disk
--some copper wire or ready saved coils
-- a highlighter marker ( actually we need it's cap and we save the body for next project)
--Some glue or silicon
-- Hot Glue
--Soldering wire and flux
-- some black mat pain (for the marker's cap) we need 2 layers.

ps you may freely use any other material to build and decorate your project. Just use your imagination!

-- + screwdriver
---Soldering Gun
--Hot Glue gun
-- any pliers
--Dremmel tool and some drills (1mm-3mm-5mm-10mm)

Some time, coffee, cigarettes, mood, good music on radio and it will takes about a day so you need quiet, please send your wife at stores and/or you mom at cinema. The experience and skills needed for the circuit is just basic knowledge or simple circuits, needs good wiring, and good skills in decoration

Step 2: Starting....

No more than unscrew the 3 Philips screws of the shell, clean the interior from wires (remains) etc. Just place the 2 faces of the shell in mirror position.

Now take the 100mm glue and with the soldering make a hall about 5mm to 10mm deep and insert the red LED in it and leave outside the pins. (test the led before do this)

Now just solder the wires for + and - (black goes to cathode and red to anode). Isolate apart the two cables in the pins area, we don't need any short circuit. Use about 10cm wire. Test now if is ok.

Now put this in the metal tube of the soldering gun, will be used as a barrel. So when press the switch/trigger the barrel will have a nice diffused red colour.

Also use 2 more white glue sticks of about 100mm each. These will present the power chargers. So we will use 2 blue Leds. Like above make a hole using the soldering gun enough deep to nest the blue led. Always we test isolation and if is working at the end before any mounting.

So the two charging led bars will be exposed at the side of the rail gun. The purpose is when you press the trigger a simple circuit with 555 triggers the blue leds and after that the relay leads the red led in the barrel and a small speaker making the laser rail sound.

Step 3: Supporting Circuits

Okay what is a pistol without sound? just nothing! So needs sound and lights....For the sound I had 2 options. Or reuse a recording sampling circuit (you may found it in cheap toys) or just build my own using the 555 IC. The fist choice gives an excellent quality of realistic sound (just download from internet any laser gun sound and record it to the sampling chip) but I observed that after many repetitions the sound quality drops to zero and from laser gun fades to something really unrefined. Ok maybe was the chip troublemaker but i had only one. So I choose the solution of the 555 supported circuit. The sound is good and it convince me that comes from a rail gun....

The led from this circuit is actually the red Led in the barrel of the gun. The sound is only for the shooting and not for charging the rail gun. (maybe a next improvement)

The Circuit for the blue leds (chargers) is using also a 555IC. I have nothing to say more for both circuits are enough simple. Just a note....if you fill not very good with making pcb enough small to fit in the empty areas just make the circuits in small areas and then try to fit any part to the empty spaces. There's enough room anyway. An improvement of this circuit is replacing the 10uf capacitor with little bigger it make long last the laser sound (22uf)

Both circuits are charging from a 9V battery or better use 2x liOn battery of 3,6V from any old cellphone.

Please isolate and prevent any short circuit. Also be sure all electronics are well mounted in the interior of the gun.

The switch from the sound circuit is also the trigger of the gun. For trigger i used a piece of copper bended but you may use other more creative staff like a trigger from a spray bottle.

Step 4: Add the Steampunk Parts and Decols

Ok, now after all the gun is functional but isn't looking realistic. We don't want a toy but something that looks realistic. For the steampunk version I use some copper wire of about 10cm and diameter 0,2mm to wrap the chargers. An inductor from a broken TV was used at the edge of the gun (glued very carefully after the deploy of the copper wires of it.-I will explain later) and also a rotor from a broken floppy drive as the power charging unit. At the end of the barrel added a plastic cap from a marker painted satin black (metal finish) and with dremel I opened some holes using a specific vortex pattern shown in the image.

How to successfully deploy the copper wires of the tv inductor as power strings and attach them on the rottor blades.

First you will need a rotor and the specific inductor (in CRT tv is found on the base of the valve where the geometry adjusters are) but it may found also in many devices. It consists from at least 8 separated and well discreet by colours wires. We will use 4 wires. Any colour you want. First using a dremel cut a small piece from the upper corner of the gun (where hammer is in pistols). Try to fit the inductor in this small area and just use some hot glue just for now. After this put the rotor through the barrel at the end of the barrel (where the barrel touch the body of the pistol). Just glue it with hot glue just in a point.

The trick is to stretch the copper wires from the inductor and attach them on the stator blades. So rewind enough wire from the differrent colours of wires and start to wire them at the four blades of the stator. After this use some drops of strong glue to ensure them and also strech them to fix the position of the inductor coil. Also glue it to the body of the pistol (in hammer posistion) with a strong glue. Let it to dry.. The effect you take is really nice and impressive.


Also some nice stickers may appear your rail gun very realistic. Find some like the yellow caution labels. I used a High power one in the chargers and a high beam for the lazer. Also a yellowblack tape label on both sides of the gun and above the chargers. Internet has plenty of them just download, print and attache them.

Step 5: A Toy Box....

This rail gun i forgot to mention that was a promise to my little nephew. So the main purpose is for fun like any toy and as a gift need a nice decent box. The Box was created by the scratch. As a box i used my old Suse Linux 6,3 box. Is big enough to fit the gun and the battery.

The first step is to dissappear any surface covered by letters or images. The base was a white acrylic stuco dissolved with a small amount of water. The result was impressive. After any layer (of 3) I let it dry for 24 hours. So the paper can absorbe the humidity of the paint and then is resting. So the next day is ready to absorbe more paint. After this I painted all the box in a nice dark blue (mixed cobalt blue with brown and little quantity of vermillion red). So in that way i have the color of the space i want. After with cadmium yellow added many stars to fill the box. The pain job is finished. From internet and using photoshop and my creativity I made the labels for the game. One big covering all the back side of the box. Two small for the sides. For the front side i had another nice idea. All toys in super market have the "try me" and the fron side is covered by a clear plastic. So i cuted some area and i glued inside a foil of clear plastic. After i open a hole and also a try me label attached close to trigger.

To keep battery and gun in steady place I used a piece of cardboard (from pizza box) unpainted and opened some holes and through them i passed a tighter wire and i tighted the parts of the gun (barrel, body etc) So all be in one position.

This was my first attempt ever to make a rail gun toy and the enclosure box and everything. I did with a professional way and I worked about 4 days about all this. The result was impressed. Now this toy is already gifted about 2 years now. I don't know if survived from children's hands. I had a part of this instructable as a draft. But i promised to my self to publish it so after many delays and postpones iam giving it to you.

I plan to make another one this time just for me. I have some ideas and materials to start.. All i want is to tell if really worth it this effort.


PS....Please if you like it don't forget to vote!!!!

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