Custom FX Dream Light
As some of you might know around three months ago I started a series called “The Airgun Survival Challenge” where I took three high end Airguns and put them through a series of torture test. In the end only two out of the three guns still functioned. If you have not familiarized yourself with this series I highly suggest checking it out to bring you up to pace with where we are today. My plan was to restore these three rifles back to, or as close to original as possible. Cosmetically all three guns suffered severe damage as well as some broken, bent or missing parts. One of the guns I used in this challenge was the FX Dreamlite, a neat gun but was unfortunately one that didn’t function in the end. After this challenge I disassembled each gun and documented to the best of my ability the damage, and made a list of any broken parts that needed to be replaced.
The Dreamlite had extensive cosmetic damage and some missing/broken parts such as the shroud, gauges, power wheel, sidelever, fill port cap, barrel liner, knob that holds stock on as well as a few miscellaneous parts. The total estimate for parts to restore the gun to working order was near $400 plus my time to do the work. I had gone into this project knowing I would suffer a big loss but even then had to consider the cost and the $400 to me just didn’t seem worth it. Aside from the money I had to look at the nightmare it would be to get this back together, the amount of tiny little orings, set screws and pins was a bit overwhelming.
Beyond just replacing parts, the functioning components still needed a ton of cleaning and polishing to bring them back to working condition. Rather than spend the money I decided to repurpose the gun into something I would use and enjoy for a whole lot less money. I was in need of some light in my office so I decided to convert what was left of the Dreamlite and turn it into an actual custom “Light”. I made a stop to my local good will store and ended up purchasing two very old floor lamps for $7 that I could salvage for the wiring and base to mount the gun to. The first thing I did was to lay out all the parts and to assemble most of the gun back together.
I planned on keeping things pretty simple and didn’t plan to even bother with the trigger group or broken sidelever. Now looking back, I probably could have figured out how to make the trigger the actual on/off switch to the light.
I found out that JB weld was my best friend during this project, it really is wonderful stuff for a variety of different applications. I used it to get the stock back on as the threaded knob had broken off during a nasty tumble off the cliff.
While the JB Weld was drying I started work on the base I would use to mount the gun to, unfortunately the two lamps I bought didn’t have bases that would work. I did have several scrap pieces of redwood with one that was just big enough to use as a base.
I used my jigsaw to cut the redwood into a shape that I thought would complement the design of the Dream light and to be honest it turned out much better than the metal base I had originally planned on.
I spent some time shaping and rounding over the edges, then sanding the best I could because it would ultimately be receiving some nice wood stain.
After the JB weld dried I did have to modify the stock, by modify I mean sawing it so that it would have a nice flat mounting surface to screw onto the redwood base.
Once the gun was mounted to the base I took the parts salvaged from one of the old lamps, mostly just the wiring and parts that lampshade would mount to. The wiring was able to slide right through the barrel and a bit more JB weld took care of the rest.
After getting the gun mounted to the base and getting everything wired and working I moved outside where I masked off the base and used some black spray paint to cover the majority of the gun.
After spraying everything down and covering up the scratches I let the gun dry for a few hours before the final work on the base. The redwood base as is was beautiful but I wanted it to be a bit darker and to bring out some of the wood grain.
I settled on a dark walnut stain that I have been really pleased with on a few past projects around the house. The stuff is really easy to work with and dries fairy quickly leaving a beautiful and even finished look.
After letting everything dry it was tome to mount the shade and get a bulb in for the moment of truth.
We have light, a Dream Light!!
This works absolutely fantastic in my home office and definitely adds some much needed nostalgia to my work environment. I totally anticipated a few people to be angry at what I did but the reality is I was not going to spend $400+ to fix this, it simply wasn’t worth it. Rather than throw it away or Frankenstein it into some other gun, I figured why not repurpose it into something I would actually use and enjoy for years to come. I think it turned out really nice and I had a fun time putting it all together. Hopefully at the very least some may find this entertaining and I welcome you to check out the time lapsed version of this build in video form. Cheers
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