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Captain Nemo's Telescope

Most of the things that I make, with the possible exception of the Wimshurst Machine I recently completed for an article in Make: Magazine, best fit under the category of "prop" rather than "instrument."  That is clearly not the case for this telescope as it is surely as capable an instrument of science as it is a true beauty!

Ross writes:

I've always found your website an inspiration.  Here is one of the products of that inspiration: a large steampunk-style reflecting telescope in mahogany, brass, and copper.  The telescope won awards in craftsmanship and in mechanical design at last summer's Stellafane conference in Vermont, the world mecca for amateur astronomy.

I have more pictures (at full scale) at:

The Stellafane site has a few more pictures, about half-way down the page:

Ross Sackett, Ph.D.

 One more gorgeous shot under the cut and the rest at Ross' Flicker! Thanks Ross!

Gorgeous Jacob's Ladder Build!

Have a look at this video of a gorgeous Jacob's ladder!  I love the sound that it makes, I must have one now!

Be sure to click through to see the build and while you're there do not miss the other projects that include:

And more!

I fear that I am going to have to seriously up my game if I'm to compete with the likes of this fellow!

Epson Stylus Photo 820 Repair

The ink cartridge retaining clip on my Epson Stylus Photo 820 broke when I went to change the ink cartridge.  I repaired it with a bit of copper wire and a brass wood screw with the head cut off.

Purse Organizer

I am inordinately proud of the organizer I recently made for my purse, from office supplies!
More after the cut . . .

Steampunk on Make:TV!

My profile is finally up at Makezine.tv! I had a wonderful (though slightly grueling) time taping this segment with Emily Goldberg and her crew back in August. We were extremely lucky that a whole bunch of things all seemed to happen at once and we were able to pack a huge amount into the segment! I particularly want to thank the Steampunks from The Mass_Steam LJ Community who drove out to the Groton Public Library to see my talk there and to do interviews with Make:TV - you guys totally make the piece!  I also want to thank two of the most awesome people I have ever met, Holly and Matt of H U M A N W I N E  who you see perform at the end of the segment. Now watch!

Ada Lovelace Day - Woman in Technology


"I will publish a blog post on Tuesday 24th March about a woman in technology whom I admire but only if 1,000 other people will do the same." — Suw Charman-Anderson

Ada Lovelace Day is an international day of blogging to draw attention to women excelling in technology. Women's contributions often go unacknowledged, their innovations seldom mentioned, their faces rarely recognised. We want you to tell the world about these unsung heroines. Whatever she does, whether she is a sysadmin or a tech entrepreneur, a programmer or a designer, developing software or hardware, a tech journalist or a tech consultant, we want to celebrate her achievements.

I'm in! Join me!


Jake's RepRap Build - Electronics

reprap machine

A couple weeks ago I began work on a RepRap machine.  A RepRap is a desktop fabricator or 3D printer that is capable of making all of the parts of itself that are not stock off-the-self items. It's a 2 1/2 axis CNC plastic extruder that fabricates parts by laying down layers of melted plastic, one atop the next. 

RepRap was conceived from the beginning as an Open Source project with the intent that, once self-replication was acheived, a community of "rappers" would allow it to evolve with each contributed improvement being merged back into the machines "DNA." 

Hence the code name "Darwin" for the initial design. 

RepRap acheived self replication in May of 2008 and there are now hundreds of people building and experimenting with this Open Source hardware platform.

More after the cut

SPWS on Make:TV - only three more days!

Just three more days until Episode 103 featuring the Steampunk Workshop!

Make:TV first contacted me nearly two years ago to talk about doing a segment in and around my bus project.  I was enthusiastic, but after a couple of months of emailing back and forth, the producers I had been talking too stopped responding.  It was a bit of a mystery until Maker Faire last year where I had the delightful experience of being seated across from Dale Dougherty at breakfast!  Dale turns out to be a friendly and interesting chap who I very much enjoyed talking with - but be warned if you engage with Dale you WILL walk away from that conversation with action items regardless of whether or not you work for his organization!  ;-)

So, it seems that the original incarnation of Make:TV was to be produced by a company that does a lot of video for cable and they were very much more interested in un-making then Making, and by that I mean blowing stuff up.  The O'Reilly organization deserves HUGE props for pulling the plug and rebooting the show with Twin Cities Public Television. Speaking of TPT; what a wonderful group of folks!  I met the executive producer Richard Hudson, at a meet-and-greet for Public Television buyers at our local PBS station WGBH, and found him to be a very sharp guy with a Maker's soul. In fact, everyone I've met from TPT has been just exactly the sort that you would love to have tell your story.

Make:TV is airing on many PBS stations already and will air on even more (include our own WGBH) in a few months.  In the meantime you can watch it at the Make:TV website, iTunes, and on YouTube.

Maker Faire, Newcastle, UK 14-15 March 2009 - Huzzah!

Last May's MakerFaire in San Mateo was the highlight of 2008 for me! I had just about the best time of my life!  Now Maker Faire is coming to the U.K.!

Ian writes:

MakerFaire is coming to the UK as part of the Newcastle Science Festival on 14th/15th March 2009 in Times Square outside the Centre for Life and various other nearby spaces, so we’re looking for Makers to take part.

If people want to come and show off  projects, run a workshop, etc. we’d like to hear from them!

We’d love to see as many people participating as possible, whether they weld big bits of metal, programme arduinos, hack toys or make weird bikes, all are welcome!

The Deadline for Maker exhibitor submissions is January 31!

Don't miss MakerFaire's premier in the U.K. and be sure to say "Hai!" to the Steampunk Workshop's own Meredith Scheff who will be covering the event for those of us who can't make it across the pond!

Dump Finds 1/10/09

This weekend's dump finds include yet another brass porch lamp, green felt for the bottom of my lamps, a small kerosene lamp (never lit!) and a pair of nautical models, both in sealed boxes, they are ALL WOOD models!


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