Sunday, August 26, 2007


Making progress on the new raygun.

The weather yesterday was really warm, so, I primed and started painting the body of the raygun while I was still torching the bits onto the old barrel stump. I chose a burgundy this time (since the other three rayguns I'll have for DragonCon run in blues and greens).

Julie needed to fire the kiln (glazing yard dragon parts, cone six) yesterday evening, so I had to work at getting the soldering of all the raygun bits done quick, then clean up my workspace, which has typically been the top of the kiln. The great thing about using a torch on the top of a kiln is that you know that you can't set it on fire accidentally. I still put down a fire resistant pad, and do everything on top of kiln bricks.

The raygun bits to be soldered to the old barrel stump, in this case, became a threaded piece from the old candlestick base, that I hacksawed off, then filed to fit. I had to do it a couple of times, again. The first time, I got a strong connection, but the candlestick has a hole in the side, and I needed to have the hole either running vertically or horizontally, and I forgot to check the alignment before soldering. The barrel stumps are made from potmetal, and start to melt if they get too much heat, so I am paranoid about heating them any more than I need to, like when I have to torch them back apart because I've made a mistake.

Today, I've fabricated the new trigger, and cleared a workspace on top of the workbench in the garage to do my soldering. As always, the hardest part of making the trigger is drilling the tiny hole through the curved trigger that the pivot goes through. I have inadequate tools to do it right, and make do starting with a countersink punch, and a drill driving through a jig that I've cobbled together and duct tape. If I get much more serious about my rayguns, I'll need to buy the right tools, especially a drill press.

I'm starting to think about the final steps for this raygun, specifically the display box. I think I have a wooden cigar box that a neighbor gave me that might work without any changes, but I'll need to partially assemble the raygun and try out the fit.


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