Torch lighters are handy, cheap, and easy to find. They come in a wide variety of shapes and styles, so there’s room for customizing to your personal taste.
I normally modify mine with antique parts, but here I chose parts that you can get in most hardware and home stores. The finished raygun works well as a prop; simply pull the “trigger,” and an inch or so of fire shoots out the barrel!
This project uses a $10 Dodo brand lighter. If you use a different lighter, you may need to change the size of the pattern to accommodate it. You need to use a lighter that, when installed into the barrel of the raygun, will shoot forward.
Some point in other directions — obviously, avoid these, unless you specifically want a booby-trapped gun!
You might try a different ornate coat hook for a different-looking handle. The handle can also be mounted forward or backward.
The lamp parts are easy to customize — you can change the look just by using different finials and other decorative elements — and the design on the front of the barrel can be almost any shape you want.
This project is fairly easy to do, takes a few hours, and costs about $30–$40 in parts (less if you have some stuff already on hand).
Set the metal shapes on a scrap of wood and use a hammer and hole punch to punch holes where marked. For larger holes, do a few punches and then cut the hole with snips. If the metal deforms as you cut, use your pliers to flatten it out afterward.
Bend both pieces on the dashed lines. Bend the rounded tabs away from the marks on the barrel piece, and bend the long sides and the back in toward the marks on the body piece.
Bend both parts over to round them into tubular shapes as shown. Insert the rivets into the holes of the matched-up ends of the barrel piece. Don’t forget the single rivet that goes through 3 holes on the backside of the body piece.
To pound the rivets into the barrel piece, you’ll need a metal rod. Slip the piece over the rod and hammer the rivets. Use the rivet setting tool to reach the inside of the single rivet on the body piece.
Slide the open end of the body piece over the end of the barrel at the rounded tabs. The holes from the folded sides of the body should line up with the holes in the rounded tabs on the barrel. From the inside, insert a 4-40×2" slotted round machine bolt through each set of lined-up holes.
Put the hex nuts on one end of the 1" lamp nipple, tightening them against each other so they don’t slide around.
Slide the other end of the nipple through the large hole on the back of the body. Add the 3/8" to 1/8IPS reducer, the nickel-finish washer, and the 1" lamp knob finial. The center of my washer was too small for the nipple, so I used the metal snips to cut the hole a little larger.