Saturday, July 14, 2007

Losing E-Clips

I spent a half day at work today, doing Stuff. I get up early to go into work on a weekend, but the one advantage is that I can scout for garage sales to hit on the way in (if I'm running late enough for the sales to be open) or on the way home (if I leave early enough).

I was able to hit four sales today, and at one I scored a pair of wooden wine boxes. One of the boxes held three bottles of Campo Viejo, a Spanish wine. I need to sand the face of the box, or cover up the logo somehow, and there was a large label ripped out of the inside of the lid, but it will make a nice presentation box for at least one raygun. It has an rustic metal hasp, concealed hinges, and some decorative, faux wrought nails in it.

After getting home from work, I was able to work on the rayguns. I have had to triage out one of the partially finished guns for now, and focus on the three that are almost done.

After a lot of thought, I figured out how to add springs inside the body of the guns to allow the trigger to be pulled, and the hammer to be pulled back. They aren't connected, but at least they are not glued or soldered in place. I was able to scrounge enough odds and ends together, some little levers and tiny e-clips to hold things together internally. I've learned from working with all of the little parts and tiny screws holding the guts of the rayguns together, that when I drop something I listen very carefully, to determine which way the piece is bouncing, and where it ends up. Unfortunately, I ended up losing one of the e-clips, and will have to go to an auto parts or hobby store to see if they have any sixteenth inch e-clips. I carefully swept the kitchen floor, and then went through the sweepings with a magnet looking for the clip. It went left and behind me, which means it took an odd bounce, and went down into the basement, or down two steps into the family room.

I had to completely disassemble the guns, modify the triggers, and bend some scrap springs into the right form for the new mechanism. Running the springs through hollow tubing allowed me to keep them tight, but not pull the trigger too far forward and out of position. The spring for the hammer runs towards the barrel of the gun, and the trickiest bit was finding a good anchor point.

I scraped some paint off of the guns, mostly where no one will see, which I have touched up. I'll reassemble tomorrow, and then my rayguns are finally finished for the San Diego Comic-Con.

I plan to work on raygun boxes, rocket stands, and to fire the raku kiln tomorrow. Julie also has to fire a glaze kiln in the garage for a new yard dragon for Comic-con, and plans to start a second this week for DragonCon in Atlanta.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


Haven't had the time to dedicate to the rayguns that I wanted, but progress is being made.

I cut metal on a new project last week, and have the major filing and soldering complete. Its comes from a different starting point, so every step has to be thought through. We bought some copper mesh for some flash on the piece, and Julie is helping me with the fabrication on that.

I started painting three of the rayguns on Sunday. I primed them, then put on the first layer of paint. Two of them are dark green, and the third is aqua. Still looking for small brass beads for the business end. We also bought some boxes at our local Ragshop, a craft store that is going out of business.

I'm thinking I'll have four rayguns for Comic-con, and and four or five rockets. Julie has a yard dragon in the works, and once she clears the slab roller in the garage, I can try to cut some wooden bases for the rockets.