Intro: Steampunk Lamp Raygun
Industrial steampunk lamp raygun. This gun/lamp will differ each time it is built, depending on the Maker. But with a stock toy gun, light bulb socket with switch, and a few gadgets added to make it look cool, you can have your own.
If you prefer to purchase, this fine weapon can be bought at my Etsy store:
This is my first instructable in my series, "The Way Women reMake Masculine Images in the Maker Movement," in which I am exploring the ways in which females take a feminine object (like a dress) and make it into something else with a masculine image (raygun) or a masculine object and make it into something else with a feminine image or object.
Specifically, I am exploring the feminizing of the masculine technology within the Steampunk genre of the Maker movement.
Step 1: Gather Supplies; Choose Weapon Style; Base Coat
Buy a stock toy weapon. I got mine at the Dollar Tree. It was one dollar. However, you can purchase any type of weapon, for any amount of money, ranging from 1 dollar at the Goodwill, to who-knows-how-much at the Wal*Mart or toy store.
I chose this particular stock weapon because it has three large holes, two of which (front and back) include screw threads.
Paint the gun with a base coat. I used flat black with splashes of metallic and stone texture to give it a gritty, urban look. If you like a more retro, sci-fi look, keep your colors neat and the edges clean.
Good colors to use for retro are black, red, and yellow. Good colors for the industrial, gritty look are black, gold, copper, silver and stone texture. For the urban look, there is no need to be neat, over-spray from one color to another is good.
Use your imagination. Imagine a particular use for your weapon.
Step 2: Bulb Socket; Clamp
You will need a bulb socket with switch. I got mine from a place called The Scrap Exchange, a store in Durham, North Carolina that sells junk for next to nothing. It was a dollar.
You can also take one out of an old lamp. Just take the lamp apart, leaving the cord attached to the socket. You will end up with a socket, a switch, and a wire to plug it in.
You can also buy sockets with switches at Home Depot for about two bucks, but you will need to attach a plug to these.
Attach a clamp on top of the gun to hold the bulb socket. I got some clamp-thing at the Scrap Exchange. I have no idea what its original use was. It was .50 cents. I left it in the rain to get rusty. I attached it with electrical tape and then painted the tape.
There are a multitude of metal holders and clamps at Home Depot, just go wander around for an hour or so and choose one you like.
Step 3: Tubing and Wire
You will need some kind of hose and tubing and wire to mimic a steam-powered look.
I used an old tube from a spa/bubble maker that I got from the Goodwill.
The red cable I used on the nose is telephone cable. Computer cables and internet cables also work well. I get these at the PTA thrift store in my town for .50 cents each.
Attach the tubing and cables with screws, stick them into holes, make them look like they are exiting and entering.
Step 4: Pressure Guage
You will need some sort of pressure gauge.
I got mine from The Scrap Exchange. It was two dollars. I actually found a bag of them for 15 dollars so I can make other guns, but if you only want one and have no junk shop, you can find one at Home Depot from 5 to 8 bucks.
Drill a hole into the plastic and screw in the gauge.
It's better to use a smaller drill bit than you need and keep trying to crew the gauge in until it fits tightly.
Step 5: Attaching the Doo-dads That Make It Look Steam Punk
Now you are ready to attach the various rusty parts and gadgets that make the gun look steam punk.
I used CO2 cartridges, old screws, nuts, and bolts, old wire, an old yellow flow control handle, an old drill bit and some brass thing-a-ma-bobs, all of which I got at The Scrap Exchange.
I attached all the doo-dads with either screws, electrical tape, or super glue. If your gun take a hard tumble and anything pops off, just glue, tape or crew it back on.
Remember, this gun has been through multiple time-shifts so it is expected to have a few scrapes.
Step 6: Light Bulb; Clamp; Wire; Paint
Choose a light bulb. Something with low wattage.
I bought a pack of two ceiling fan light bulbs.
I chose a style that looked like the pointed end of a sci-fi gun. Choose one that suits your tastes.
You will need a clamp to hold the bulb. I chose something I got from The Scrap Exchange in Durham, North Carolina, But any clamp that is used to hang pipe will work, so long as it has a base you can attach to the gun, or, so long as it will fit over your socket and hold it on place.
You will need some sort of U-shaped clamp to hold the lamp wire. I used a Split Ring Pipe Hanger. Please see photo. These come in steel and copper-plated. Mine was steel but I have also used copper-plated.
Wrap the lamp wire around the gun and use the split ring pipe hanger to hold the lamp wire around the gun.
This will allow you to use the gun both as a lamp and a hand-held weapon.
After everything is attached you will need to give it some dashes of paint to make everything look cohesive.
I sprayed the lamp wire on my gun gold to give it a metal pipe look.
To give my gun a finished look, I took spray paint, held it back about three feet, and just lightly hit the gun with paint in different areas to make an industrial look. Remember, messy is good.
Step 7: Stand.
You'll need some kid of a stand for your gun. I used an old paper holder. It was free. It used to hold prescriptions. I wrapped some shiny yarn around it to hold the gun in place.
Step 8: Functional. Hand-held.
Make sure you are able to hold your gun with the palm of your hand, while it is either plugged or unplugged. This makes for a multifunctional, more fun, and better pictures, should.