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)
THE MAIN INGREDIENTS:
* 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.