[2005-05-01] Ray gun number one

My first home-built ray gun.  Right click for larger image.

I've loved toy guns since I was a kid. I think they have positive aesthetic qualities. You could argue all day about the questionable taste of regarding a gun as an art object, but the fact of the market is that sexier-looking guns sell better, and besides, archaic weapons such as swords are commonly regarded and traded as art objects today, despite the fact that their purpose, in their day, was no less abhorrent than that of a shotgun. One could even argue that a sword is morally uglier than a shotgun; after all, no one hunts with a sword. Ray guns, in particular, are highly fanciful. Their purpose is to stimulate the imagination. It is perhaps unfortunate that real firearms are looking more and more like ray guns every day, but I'm not going to lose my interest in ray guns and what they represent because of it.

This gun is made from several dozen found objects.  Right click for larger image. Front view, showing inner barrel detail.  Right click for larger image. Back view.  Right click for larger image.

I tried collecting ray guns for awhile, but soon discovered that buying, as usual, is an inadequate mode of self-expression, so I decided to try my hand at making one. What you see on this page is the result. It is made entirely from found objects, mostly odds and ends from my junk box. Some of the bits deserve special mention, if only because they illustrate what a crazy pack-rat I can be.

The pattern used for shaping the handle.  Dull router bits and poor operator technique are responsible for descrepancies with the finished product.  Right click for larger image.

Cost to manufacture: $0.00. Overall length: 10.5". Total weight: 1.5 lbs. All parts are wood, metal, or synthetic rubber.

Top view.  Right click for larger image.

Bottom view.  Right click for larger image.

last modified 2005-05-01