Saturday, January 12, 2008

Honor of Coronado Rayguns - New Finials

Here are the rayguns from the Honor of Coronado dueling set. I replaced the crystals with brass finials.

There is some mechanical work that I need to tweek on these, fabricating some washers out of shim to improve the play of the hammers, but nothing left cosmetically.

Raygun Update

My big present from Julie and Steph this holiday was a drill press. Some of the fabrication steps for the rayguns require some precision drilling, and taping stock down with duct tape and then trying to drill a hole with a hand drill was tricky, especially when it came to triggers, where I would end up tossing out two or three triggers each time when I couldn't get the pivot hole in right. Of all of the power tools that I could think of, a drill press would solve my biggest fabrication problems.

I assembled and mounted the drill press to the workbench last weekend, and got to use it for the first time this weekend. I'm working on a new raygun, a throwback to the earlier pieces that I had done. I was able to cut some of my wide brass tubing for the body of the raygun (and cutting a perpendicular line to the tubing has become my newest 'step which needs to be repeated to get it right'), and used the drill press to put some holes in it for the supports to go through (an easy job, could have done it with a bench vise and a hand drill, but wanted to break in the new tool.). I also fabricated the trigger guard, and torched it into place. There is a lot of cleanup that I need to do, both from heavy oxidation, burning painter's tape (oops....), and a few beads of solder that need to go away.

If I get time tomorrow, I will work on the trigger for this piece. Once that is complete, I will sculpt the grip, then finish the piece with cleanup and painting.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

The New Raygun

This is my preliminary sketch of the current raygun project. The yellow bits will be brass, the handle will be flexible polymer clay (for durability), and the red thing is a wooden spindle. I've done all of the work from the red spindle forward on the piece, except soldering the finial.

I'll still need to fabricate the trigger, trigger guard, and the butt plate from brass, as well as sculpting the grip. These parts will use the same technique that I used for the Cinco de Mayo and Cereza Negra rayguns. I also want a working trigger, like on the Honor of Coronado dueling set and the Isabella de La Vega. Julie and Steph bought me a drill press for Christmas this year, so I should have the means to drill the fiddly bits for the trigger pivot.

I've spent the last few weeks trying to find the tubing to go above the grip. It needs to be a cylinder with a one and a half inch diameter. I wanted brass or copper, but would have settled for aluminum, iron, or steel if I could have found it. The hardware stores in the area had what I needed, but I couldn't stand the prices that they wanted for the metal stock (especially as plumbing parts). I finally found what I was looking for at a thrift store, where I found an inexpensive headboard for a brass bed. I was able to disassemble the piece, and have a nice supply of brass tubing in two different diameters, along with all of the brass trim pieces and connectors.
I plan to work on the trigger pivot first; since my solution for that defines how long the trigger will be, and what its range of motion is. That in turn will drive the shape of the trigger guard. Once I get all of the metalwork done, I can sculpt the grip to fit.