I've been looking from the edges at steampunk subculture for some time now. For the uninitiated, steampunk is the the idea of trying to imagine what the things we have today or may have in the future might look and be like if they were made with the style and technology available during the Victorian era. If you've seen the movie Wild Wild West or watched the Firefly TV series, these could be concidered steampunk in some ways. I highly recommend watching Firefly by the way.
I love this a la carte re-imagining of the past/future, and decided to make something from this world which never was. I decided that a "Pulse Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Collected Aether" (PASECA) device (A ray gun) would be just the ticket.
Since I don't have many gears (a common theme in steampunk design) laying around, I decided to go more for the look of coils and linkages in my design. I use the term design loosely though since there wasn't any real design. I started by going to Lowes, grabbing an armful of copper and brass odds and ends, going back for a shopping cart, then setting peices around one another until I saw something I liked. I think it turned out quite nicely since I've had no real experience working with copper/brass soldering. I'll have to write up a nice product/spec sheet on some tea-aged paper with a nice pen to go with it. This is what the PASECA device looked like part-way through construction. The hissing sound of quenching hot metal is very satisfying.
Since I wanted the guage on the back to be at some value, I made the tank it's attached to air tight and added a tire valve to it so I can have it really hold pressure. I've also added some leather to the front of the handle as a better grip. Without further Adieu, here it is:
Next time I make something steampunk-like I'd like to make it with more brass, which is a much easier metal to solder to than copper, but they're both expensive as heck right now so I'll also be putting off the next project until I get enough scrapped dodads together for at least most of it.
And Here's a photo of myself with the ray gun in somewhat Victorian garb. I need to finish my goggles....