Author Archive

A Victorian RV – Construction

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  Construction: Step one is the removal of all of the seats.  I invited a bunch of friends over for a mid-winter barbeque and we finished in a couple of hours.  An angle-grinder with a cut-off disk made short work of the rusted and frozen bolts and let us get the seats out

A Victorian RV

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Bus Tour: In 1982 I was a sophomore at a small college in the Midwest. It was the beginning of second term and I was again standing in line at the on-campus book store waiting to pay for a too-heavy stack of text books. The line was not moving

Steampunk Car Project – Initial Survey

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Late in 2007 I spotted this car on eBay with a "Buy it Now" price of $1500 and, well, bought it then.  Its a 1929 Mercedes Gazelle SSK replica made by Classic Motor Carriages. CMC made these cars in the late '70s and early '80s. In fact, I remember

Car Carrier Trailer

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If you’ve visited here before you know that one of my long term projects is to built a fully road-able steam powered automobile.  In addition to requiring a great deal of research, such a project requires tools.  I will need machine tools such as a lathe and a milling

Halloween Decorations 2007

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Flying Crank Ghost !! Here’s a daylight movie of our implementation of the PhantasMechanics Flying Crank Ghost: And here’s a night time shot: Field Trip to Hell !! Pictures of our complete Hallowe’en setup are coming but I thought I’d share with you the main attraction this year. Our

Jake’s Hollywood Adventure and Etching an iPod

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OK, I was reckless. I went ahead and etched my iPod without doing extensive tests on electrolytic etching of stainless steel. But you see, I had a deadline – a flight to Los Angeles to be on television and I wanted the iPod done for the show. I began

Steampunk Flat-Panel LCD Mod

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The Steampunk Keyboard looked terribly anachronistic sitting in front of my Dell 1907FP flat panel monitor and while I hesitated to tear open a $300 monitor that was still under warrantee, art must be served.   Inside I found that the whole thing was encased in steel sheet.  I

Gas Mask Sawdust Respirator

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Update: Sometimes when I'm working in the shop I just need to wear a respirator for a short period. For instance if I just need to walk into the paint area to shoot a second coat on a small part or make a quick cut on the table saw

How to Make a Large Flash Diffuser

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Making nice photographs when all you have for lighting is a bunch of tungsten shop lamps can be a real challenge.  It is particularly hard to photograph polished brass under these conditions.  So this weekend I set out to build a flash diffuser to improve the quality of the photography

Telegraph Clacks out RSS Feeds

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When I was a boy my father brought home from work a telegraph sounder replica kit.  He was the director of the library for a local college and the sounder kit was one of several museum quality reproductions of 19th Century technology the library had acquired.  The lovely brass