Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by Nexxo, 21 Jan 2014.
Interesting design and i love aluminum work
A great start,I hope the final matches your initial design.
You may remember that I managed to obtain a nickel-plated brass aquatube (one of the few left in circulation). The intention was to strip it back to brass, because you know, Steampunk. The results are below:
The Aquatube in its original nickel-plated state:
The same after having been reverse-plated by a local plating company in Birmingham:
The res came back looking almost like gold. But the surface was inevitably a bit tarnished by the process, so a lot of hand polishing and brushing to get that "just off the mill" look back:
All in all, looks pretty decent.
Next up: cleaning up the aluminium CNC parts, and test-fitting with the new brass M8 bolts when they arrive.
By the way, anybody know someone with a metal lathe?...
I must say that rugged Aquatube looks a bit more steampunkish.
Are you going to leave it without anyprotection or there will be some clear coat?
Looking good nexxo...
... still don't like it though
I'll probably protect it (bees wax, strangely enough, is really good for that sort of thing, and as a beekeeper I have plenty. ), but I don't want to seal it; I want to see how it changes in patina over time. This website provides a nice example of how metals age over time.
I agree that leaving it rugged would be an interesting look, and more in keeping with what people often think of with the term 'Steampunk', which often looks a bit ghetto. However in Victorian times scientific instruments and most forms of engineering were manufactured to the highest standards of craftsmanship and design. It would not look ghetto at all.
In my head I have classified Steampunk into different strands. What I call "Diamond Age Steampunk" (after Neal Stephenson's novel) is actually pretty sophisticated and high-tech, but with the craftsmanship and style/values of Victorian engineering. A nice example of the feel would be in the film "The Golden Compass" (which was execrable on many levels, but the visual feel of that world was pretty good). That is the look I'm going for... roughly.
Man could I use your stash of beeswax (bowstring wax, cutler's resin, making my own polishes, wood finishing, etc.) However, that res might benefit from shot blasting. Either that or machine polishing-however, verdigris in the recesses and burnished on the outside would be awesome too.
Nexxo, you/re making me want to pull out the mod to end all wood scratch-built setups. Why do you do this to me?
I'll let it sit for a while. I like the brushed/milled look, but it may pick up some interesting patina. It is already a little darker than when I first sanded it. And it works really well with the aluminium.
I love metals: their character, texture, patina. Check out some Japanese chazutsu (tea caddies) by Kaikado:
Copper, tin and brass:
And combine that stuff with wood... I'm getting all tingly.
If you need some beeswax, let me know; I'm due to melt some comb down. But it may be easier if you hit up a local beekeeper (if there are any in your neck of the woods).
If I could find one I would. Beeswax is well over $1/oz here, with bulk increasing in price, not decreasing. Stupid, but true. It's done to keep you from buying it so the big manufacturers get it all. But, in the quantities I would go through it at first (talking pounds plural) I don't think shipping it from overseas would be cost effective. I take it you can melt yours down and send it off to be made into sheets for your frames like you can here, right? That's a much better use of it than sending it to me. I know there's a county beekeeper's association, I just need to find them and start asking who remembers me.
I could, but I'm only producing a bit --I only have two hives. Currently I'm turning it into furniture wax. It gives our wooden kitchen worktops awesome protection, much better than straight linseed oil.
And the brass bolts have arrived:
A much better match than the lime-yellow titanium bolts. Below the effect I was going for:
You need some lignum vitae. That's the historical piece that would tip this over.
It was often used for electrical insulators, the belaying pins and deadeyes of the USS Constitution, bearings, gears, and hammers. It's a seriously steampunk item-it's used for turbine bearings. Lignum vitae spacers wouldn't be expensive, but would add a LOT to the already heavily researched look of this machine.
BTW, you ARE lacing all of your cables, right? Where do you think lacing got its start?
Hmmm... I'm liking the look of that wood! I'm sure I can incorporate it. Goes well with the Black Walnut sides, or possibly I could do the side walls in this wood as well. If I can find sufficiently large pieces.
I was also thinking ceramics somewhere... still working out how. Meanwhile my wife the silversmith can do LED indicator bezels in brass with garnet inserts, and enamelling if required.
Yeah, totally lacing the wiring. Learning all about clove hitches, square knots and flat knots as we speak.
You can find it. LMK if you want some amber to go with the garnets. The wood was used in lieu of ceramics for a long time. Spacers, bushings, feet, etc. could all be made from lignum vitae and look period-correct.
Looks great, nice design / CNC skills!
Can I ask, how did you measure the positions for the aquatube mounting holes? I'm trying to mark out the holes to mount one on some plexiglas but don't have a template to mark out the position of the holes....
I used the SketchUp model, which turns out to be very accurate, and confirmed with callipers to measure the diameter. If I recall correctly, the centres of the M4 holes align with a 64mm diameter circle (may be 65mm, I'll have to check). Because there's five, they are of course 72 degrees apart on the circle.
EDIT: I checked: the centres of the M4 mounting holes align with a circle of 72mm. They are 72 degrees apart. That is all you should need.
Ouch! Stick with Walnut. The Wiki says it's endangered and twice as hard as hickory. Can you imagine trying to shape something that tough?
-In Sketchup, you should be able to rotate one screw hole 360 degrees, and divide by the number of holes needed.
+ for getting the wife involved.
Yeah, I'm starting to see that. I cannot in all conscience use an endangered wood, unless it is reclaimed and I think finding that is going to be quite a challenge. Back to other Victorian alternatives: rose wood, mahogany, walnut.
A family that mods together, stays together.
I wonder if you could inlay some photo etched brass filigree into the wood. -OK, maybe not inlay, but somehow get it on the surface and lacquered over heavily...
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