Steampunk Raygun Made From Found Objects

Introduction: Steampunk Raygun Made From Found Objects

This Raygun was made using objects found in my bits and bobs bin. Although I made use of a lathe, sandblasting cabinet and drill press during construction you can make something similar using basic workshop tools. Let's take a look...

Step 1: Design.

I made a few sketches to keep me focused on what i had in mind for all the pieces i found. Unfortunately i never took a photo of all the gathered bits. (since this is my first ever instructable it's a little after the fact)


* A dysfunctional butane soldering iron/blow torch

* A broken Air pistol from a compressed air system

* A wooden coat hanger

* Some off-cut pieces of copper and brass plate.

* A stereo jack

* A test tube

* Bits from an old watch

* and a fair amount of epoxy glue to hold it all together.

Step 2: The Barrel

I used this butane soldering iron for the barrel. I thought it really looked the part especially after removing the finish with a quick sandblast. Sandpaper would work equally well, but i really like the even matte look of the sandblasted aluminum.

Note:Remember to mask off all the bits you want to avoid sandblasting by covering it with tape.

Step 3: The Handle

These airgun handles are ideal. The trigger mechanism is built in and very simple. I used the overhead mill on a lathe to mill away the existing barrel and make a half round channel all the way down the top. This was to accommodate the barrel I had made from the butane torch. A half round file and a bit of filing would also work. I decided to cut the bottom (grip) off of the handle and replace it with a custom made grip.

Step 4: The Grip

There aren't many pictures of the grip during construction, but I will at least explain briefly what i did. Using a piece of paper i drew the shape of the intended grip and holding it over the handle added a bit on top. This extra bit had to slide into the hollow left in the bottom of the handle. I could have kept it simple and just glued it in place, but instead i drilled a hole on the one side and recessed a screw to hold the plate in place.

Note:You can see that i also sandblasted the handle to remove the old paint and it ended up matching the barrel perfectly. Unfortunately while I was tapping a hole and fitting the screw i broke off the trigger, something i would have to attend to further along.

Step 5: Wood for Grip

The wood for the grip was harvested off an old coat hanger. I simply cut the two ends off the hanger and used epoxy and a clamp to stick them on. Once they had dried i sawed the sides flat and filed them into shape. I used a sheet of 180 grit sandpaper to finish off the grip and then treated the wood with a liquid wax.

Step 6: Assembly

I then used epoxy to glue the handle and barrel together. I had to wait for it to dry before i could glue the trigger on.

Note:The brass bits on top of the barrel were made on a lathe, but could have been made by filing the same pieces by hand.

Step 7: Detailing

I made a decorative gauge to cover the recessed screw using the outer casing from a brass stereo jack. I had to shorten the casing a bit so it wouldn't stick out too far. For the cover glass I used the bottom of a test tube which i cut off using a dremel. I had to wear goggles and a dust mask while cutting the glass. A bit of transparent plastic would do equally well. The graphics for the gauges background was made with the "paint" program on my computer and then cut to shape. I used a dial from an old watch mechanism for the final touch and shoved it all into the casing with some glue.

Step 8: The Final Product

Finally I glued the polished piece of plate that i had made for a "sight" on the top of the barrel. I cut a gear in half and used it on either side of the sight to give it a bit more dimension. It also adds a bit more of a steampunk feel to the final piece.

Step 9: I Dub Thee the "mini-Mantis"

Footnote: I decided to call the raygun the mini-Mantis since a small yellow praying mantis visited me while working on this project.

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    7 years ago on Introduction

    This is so cool! I like that you made it using odds and ends that you found lying around. I wish I could get some of the objects that you used easily. Are there any other alteratives?


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Go down to your local charity shop/junk shop or even dump/refuse centre and look for interesting bits...doesn't matter if it doesn't immediately look like a gun with imagination!

    When you take things apart like old computers and anything electrical(look in front gardens and skips...always ask politely) they tend to give you some awesome looking bits...heatsinks always tend to look interesting!

    My brother had this piece of amazing river eroded wood from kenya that he found with a very beautiful interesting curvy form. After 5min of seeing it I was already holding it like a gun which lead to him wanting to make into one! Imagination(and maybe inspiration from many steampunk and real guns) will lead you to the parts you need!


    7 years ago

    This looks so cool. Makes me want to make one. Thanks for sharing a cool project.

    It could, but currently it doesn't. The butane is released by twisting the nozzle, but it doesn't have the means to self ignite. Usually you would use a match. There is enough space behind the trigger mechanism to embed an ignition device such as found in a cheap electric lighter and you could run the wire down the barrel to spark on the tip of the nozzle.

    Bryce B
    Bryce B

    7 years ago

    Can it actually put out a small flame by pushing the trigger