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How to Build a Zapper Light Gun Chandelier

Published by: JJ Hendricks on April 09, 2019

Several years ago we built a chandelier out of Nintendo NES Zapper Light Guns. People are always asking us how we made it because they want one for their man cave, gaming collection room, bar-cade......or above the dining room table.

Below are the directions to build your own Zapper Light Gun Chandelier.

WARNING: These directions involve electrical wires and there is a risk of shock and potentially fire. Consult with an electrician and/or local building codes before installing.

Supplies & Tools Needed

You'll need these supplies and tools to build the chandelier.

Supplies

  • 12 Zapper Light Guns
  • 12 candelabra sockets with 12" leads
  • 12 candelabra light bulbs
  • Package of steel metal wire for hanging frames
  • Thin metal plate, roughly 1" wide & 12" long
  • 8 screws & bolts & washers
  • 6' of electrical wire (more depending on the height the chandelier will hang)
  • Metal chain
  • Package of wire caps
  • One metal clip

Tools

  • Metal Snips
  • Super Glue or Hot Glue
  • Philips Head Screwdriver
  • Glasses size screw driver
  • Wire Cutters
  • Drill

Overall the light gun costs about $200. The most expensive parts are the light guns.

The chandelier takes about 10-15 hours of work, which does not count glue drying times. Glue drying can be sped up if you choose a fast drying super glue.

Photo Tutorial and Directions

Click any photo to enlarge it if you need a closer view. I strongly recommend looking through the directions once before starting.

Step 1:

Start off with a Zapper Light Gun. They come in two colors, gray and orange but you can always paint them if you want.


Step 2:

Use the screw drivers to open the Light Gun to expose the pieces inside.


Step 3:

Remove the weight, circuit board, trigger mechanism, and wire. Keep the trigger mechanism, but all the other parts can be thrown away.


Step 4:

Insert the candelabra at the front on the gun with the wires inside the gun and coming out the opening at the bottom of the handle.


Step 5:

Screw the entire trigger mechanism back in place. It should tightly hold the wires underneath.


Step 6:

Use wire cutters to cut both black and white wires.
Cut off roughly 1/2" of plastic coating to expose some wire.
The exposed wire should be inside the gun so we can hide the wire caps inside the guns.


IMPORTANT: Test the wiring for each gun to make sure the light bulb turns on when plugged in.
You can use an electrical outlet cord with two ends exposed and attached to your wires.
You should do the same test whenever you attach another gun in series to make sure all previous guns light up correctly.

REPEAT above steps 4 times so you have four identical guns. These four guns will be the base units of the chandelier.


Step 7:

Cut a foot long piece of metal wire for hanging (not electrical wire).
Wrap 3" of the wire around a cylinder in the gun and twist around itself.
The remaining 9" of wire will be hanging out the gun with the electrical wire.


Step 8:

Starting with one wired gun.
Cut an 2 foot piece of electrical wire and insert it into the handle of the gun.
Expose 1/2" of the wire and place this wire near the exposed candelabra wires.
Loop the wire around the plastic cylinders in the gun to help keep the wire in place when the gun is closed.


Step 9:

Use a wire cap to connect the two white cords.
Use another cap to connect the two black cords.


REPEAT steps 7-9 above BUT use also connect the wires from gun 1 to gun 2.
Gun 2 will have three wires in the wire caps (candelabra wire, gun 1 wire coming in, and gun 2 wire going out)
All future guns will have previous gun's outgoing wire connected to the candelabra wire and the new outgoing wire.


These next three photos show the finished guns attached with thin metal bars. I'm showing the finished steps before the steps to get there so you know what you are trying to achieve with the measurements.


Two wired guns attached so the butts of the handles are touching and secured with metal bars.


Two wired guns attached so the butts of the handles ARE NOT touching and secured with a longer piece of metal bar.
The space between should be big enough to fit the two touching guns snuggly between (see photo below)


Four gun base attached together with metal bars


Step 10:

Cut the thin metal bar into two pieces
One piece should be long enough to connect two guns together so the butts touch.
Second piece should be long enough to connecto two guns together with a gap in between (I don't have exact measurements)
Drill two holes in metal bars offset to one of the long sides


Step 11:

Place two light guns so the bases are touching.
Place the shorter metal bar equally on both light guns.
Drill a hole into the base of the light gun so the metal bar hole and light gun hole line up.
IMPORTANT: The hole in the light gun should be on the side of the gun with the trigger mechanism screwed in. This allows you to access the wires until you're ready to screw the two gun halves together.


Step 12:

Use screws and bolts and washers to attach metal bar to light guns.
Screw goes on the outside. Bolt and washer are hidden inside the gun.


REPEAT STEP 11-12 BUT use the longer wire bar this time.
The longer metal bar should go over the short one before screwing.


For all four guns. Screw both halves of light guns back together.


The chandelier base should look like this before proceeding.


REPEAT STEPS 1-6 with six more guns.


Step 13:

Using steps 7-9, attach wires on 5th wired gun to the 4th gun in the base.
Screw the two halves of the 5th light gun together.
Place the 5th light gun on top of the 4th gun (as shown above).
Use glue at every point where 5th gun touches 4th gun.
Use rubber bands to hold it in place while glue dries.


Step 14:

REPEAT step 13 three more times.
6th gun sits on top of 3rd gun and is wired to 5th gun.
7th gun sits on top of 2nd gun and is wired to 6th gun.
8th gun sites on top of 1st gun and is wired to 7th gun.


Another view of the 8 zapper guns attached together.


Step 15:

Use wire snips to cut open one metal chain link at the weld joint.
Place the cut chain link under the metal bars so it forms a loop.
Glue the chain link to the metal bars (solder can be used here too).


Step 16:

Place the metal clip on the chain link
Attach the full chain to the other end of the metal clip and hang the chandelier from something so you can easily access the top of the chandelier and the chandelier hangs freely.
Use the metal hanging wires to adjust the balance of the chandelier so it hangs evenly.


Step 17:
Wire 9th gun to 8th gun.
Using rubber bands, attach 9th zapper gun in one of the corners of the chandelier base.
Repeat for gun 10, 11, and 12 in different corners.
Glue the guns together everywhere a gun touches another gun.


View of the chandelier from the bottom after it is finished.


Screw candelabra light bulbs in and turn it on.


Attach to your home/business electrical system like any other light fixture.
Enjoy for years to come.


If you make your own Zapper Light Gun Chandelier, please take some photos and share it with @jjgamesdotcom on Twitter and Instagram.


If you found these directions helpful, please share this page with others so they can make their own chandelier too.


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