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Projects

DIY Vibratory Tumbler

When I built the Girl Genius Radio Theater Microphone I had some brass plates water-jet cut and I bought a vibratory tumbler to polish them. The tumbler came from Eastwood and while it did a very nice job on the parts for the microphone, it failed shortly thereafter. When I took it apart I found that the bearings in the motor were shot, they had been destroyed by the vibration.

So I built a sturdier, more powerful tumbler myself. 

Altoids Tin Divider and Tweezers

One of my most popular projects has been the etched Altoids tins that I made for the Steampunk Bible article I wrote. For years I've carried one in my bag that I've used for various medications and vitamin pills when traveling. I had cut up one of those typical SMTWTFS pill boxes to make the dividers and while it worked well enough it was a royal pain to get the pills out with my no-so-slender fingers.

Foundry Furnace - Final

[Updated. Click through for the details. I gotta stop saying "final iteration!" - Jake]

Here's the final iteration of my foundry furnace. I've re-built the burner to be fired with propane and waste oil rather than gasoline and waste oil. I built my oil injector based on plans from the wonderful folks over at Lionel Labs, it's essentially identical to "The Brute."  

I also added a light pole. Since I have a day job, night-time is often my only opportunity for recreation of the metal melting sort.

 

Mini Dremel Table Saw for Cutting Solar Cells

Mini table Saw for cutting Solar Cells

I've been making solar powered lanterns to hang in the tress on our property. I just love the idea of capturing light during the day with solar cells and batteries and then releasing it at night to create a fairy tale ambiance. Unfortunaeately most of the commercial solar powered lights are weak and short lived.

It turns out that you can buy broken 3" x 6" (actually more like 80mm x 150mm) solar cells for about $30 for 100. These can then be cut into quarters to yield the right size cells for small 9 and 18 volt panels (the voltages you need for charging 6 and 12 volt batteries, respectively. These cells are paper thin silicon and the easiest way I found to cut them was with a diamond wheel on a Dremel tool.

. . . 

Steampunk Stratocaster #2

steampunk strat #2 I just finished up Steampunk Stratocaster #2 and will be sending it out to be in a gallery show in Indianapolis Indiana in February!

Circle City Aerodrome Steampunk Art Show: 'Punked:Yesterday's Tomorrows  

On Friday the 1st, the night before the Masquerade we will be hosting a reception in honor of the artists selected for our jurried art show.

Show runs February 1 - 24, 2013
New Day Meadery in Fountain Square, Indianapolis, IN
*Opening Reception Party: February 1st, 6-9pm
 
CCA is pleased to announce our selected & Invited Artists: Beth Zyglowicz, Carrie Meyer, Ellie Akers, Jake Von Slatt, John Claeys, Josh Johnson, Kim Andert, Lydia Burris, Mab Graves, Paula Scott-Frantz, Tempest, Terry Clarkson & Sons.

Please note: though I have a piece in this show, I will not be attending myself

Click through for a bigger image.

 

Custom Glass iPhone Backs

steampunk iphoneMake your own custom iPhone back glass images!

I figured out how to separate the glass panel from an iPhone back and put any image on it.

What follows is my step by step howto for transferring a laser printed image to the inside of the glass back on an iPhone 4 or 4S and the story of how I started out trying to make the back out of brass and why that turned out to not be a good idea.

Cliff's Wimshurst Machine

Cliff writes:

Thanx for the information and plans. I built this out of salvaged parts from work and purchased lamp finds, the wood pulleys and parts were turned by me. The guys I work with love it. By the way I work at a power plant.

Nothing makes me happier then hearing that I've inspired someone to make something, and when the result is as beautiful as Cliff's Wimshurst? Shear joy!  - Jake.

More images after the cut . . . 

 

Mjöllnir Lamps for the Roadster

Some projects take a long time. Sometimes I start something and then put it aside, in this case for more that two years! When Make:TV came out to the workshop to shoot a profile of me in July of 2008, one of the projects that I worked on for them was a coach lamp for my car. I built one lamp for them and just finished the other lamp today. Watch the video for the beginnings of the project and then click through to see some details of the construction and the completed lamps. 

I've named them Mjöllnir Lamps because my fellow SPWS contributor Annie (who is a Viking) says that they reminder her of Thor's hammer.

Moving a Bridgeport Milling Machine - Recreational Rigging

 

Moving a Bridgeport Series II CNC MillOne of my goals for this year is to add some real machining capabilities to my shop. I've been in the market for a milling machine since the beginning of the year and when I saw a Bridgeport series II CNC mill pop up on Craiglist for $1000 I decided to jump at it.

This is an older CNC mill that is in great shape as far as the iron is concerned but, according to the seller, had exhibited some flakiness with the controller after being moved. These things are pretty primitive TTL logic cards feeding power Darlington output transistor that drive stepper motors so I have no doubt that I will be able to fix what ever may be amiss--most likely the boards just need to be re-seated.

Click through and check out my new toy!

Jake's Wimshurst Machine and How to Build It! (Part 1)

Jake von SLatt's Wimshurst MachineLast year I wrote an article for Make Magazine volume #17 that described the construction of an electrostatic generator of electricity, a Wimshurst Influence machine, using parts and materials commonly available at your local home center and hardware store.

I was a little surprised and quite pleased when I realized that the contract from O'Reilly Media (the publishers of Make:) had me retaining copyright for the material I submitted.  What I sold to O'Reilly was basically a right to use and to publish first.

So here it is for your enjoyment! This is the first of a five part series detailing the construction of a Wimshurst Influence machine!  (UPDATE: added large dimensioned drawing.)

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