Sunday, June 17, 2007

Raygun Progress

Updated photo of one of the rayguns in progress. I fabricated the new trigger, and added a bead in front of the trigger guard. I plan to paint the body of this raygun dark green. I'm examining the spring mechanism inside another one of the gun lighters to get an idea of how to make the trigger at least spring back into position when pulled.

Started a second raygun today as well. It has a fluted silver bead and a silver bell on the end. A small finial will come out of the bell. I'll fabricate a new trigger, as well as attach a bead in front of the trigger guard. I was able to cut the stock and barrel, and to file them both down. It took me four or five tries to solder the cap onto the end of the barrel stump, and attach the other parts to the end of the barrel. I'll need to strip the stock of paint, and then paint it dark blue.


For Father's Day dinner tonight, we grilled up some barbecue baby back ribs, with sliced onions and roasted red yams. We also had a greek pasta salad. For dessert, we broke out the Donvier, and made a white chocolate frozen custard.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Raygun Parts and Sapphire Plating

More raygun parts showed up today, an on-line purchase. It will give me enough to build a second raygun like the one that I'm currently working on.

I ran across the curved brass stock that I used for triggers yesterday evening. I'm still consolidating all of my raygun stuff into a single crate, which includes ziploc bags and boxes full of brass, copper, aluminum, plastic, costume jewelry, and wood that all are candidates for new rayguns. I found a partially fabricated trigger, a spare from the Cereza Negra, which I can use in the current ray gun, once I drill the right size hole for the pivot, and solder a brass ball on the end. I need to acquire a very thin drill bit for the hole.

As always, I need some type of finial for the business end of the raygun. Either that, or I could use a brass bead mounted on the end of a narrow rod or tube.

One of my co-workers is going to loan me a car battery charger, which I will use to try to anodize the stock of the current raygun. Anodizing puts a layer of aluminum oxide onto the surface of the aluminum, which uses a warm dye bath and boiling water to seal the piece. Crystalline aluminum oxide is sapphire, and saying that the raygun is plated in sapphire is way cooler than saying it has a coating of aluminum oxide. I suppose the raygun can be dyed a shade of blue or blue-green to play up the sapphire bit. There is a really intense dark blue that can be achieved on titanium at twenty volts or so that I have in mind.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Raygun Work in Progress

I was able to work on one of my rayguns this weekend. I did some soldering on the stub of the barrel, some drilling with a hand auger on some lenticular beads, and a lot of sanding.

I still need to paint the body of the gun. I was thinking of anodizing, and dying the body maroon or burgundy, but will probably stick with auto paints for this one. I want to replace the trigger, so it looks like the one from the Cinco de Mayo raygun, and I need to add a little accent trim to the gun as well.

I may start the next one before I fully complete this one, providing my parts shipment shows up in the next couple of days.

Here is a picture of what the piece currently looks like:

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Magarita Recipe

One of the few mixed drinks that I like is a margarita. I have a food allergy to most of the margarita mixes, so I tend to only order the ones made from scratch.

We were vacationing in Florida a few years ago, and I had a really good margarita at a restaurant called Shells. I got a chance to talk with the bartender, and even though it was against the rules, she gave me the recipe:

1 1/2 units gold tequila
3/4 unit Cointreau
3/4 unit Triple Sec
1 unit fresh lime juice
1 unit bar syrup

A 'unit' depends on how much you are mixing. A single drink would have units comprised of ounces, a half pitcher would have units in cups.

We usually don't have bar syrup around the house, but we have Rose's Sweet Lime Juice, so I throw in two units of that instead of the lime juice and bar syrup.

Cointreau is a kind of Triple Sec, so you could combine the two, or use Grand Marnier, which is a little sweeter than Cointreau.

If the batch is small enough, I'll throw it into a shaker with ice, then strain it into a glass. Salting the rim is optional, and is done by taking an empty glass, rubbing a wedge of lime around the rim, then dipping the rim in salt.