• Category Archives Tophat
  • Projects » Steampunk » Tophat
  • Steampunk: The Exquisite Adventure now at Sky Harbor Airport!

    The Steampunk Exhibit from the Scottsdale Library from last year is being reshown at the Sky Harbor Airport’s Art Gallery! Yes, the airport actually has an Art Gallery in Terminal 3.

    My Tesla Cane (actually Mk II of the cane – I made a new version just for such displays, but using the original electronics) and the original prototype Vented Hat by myself and the Artist Wife (along with a pair of our friend Tim’s goggles) are on display!

    Even better, the Vented Hat is featured very prominently on their website AND is the cover of the Announcement Postcard for the Exhibit! Woohoo!

    The Exhibit is located in several display cases located just inside the Parking Garage of Terminal 3, around the Starbucks. It’s easy to park in the garage and go see it (it’s all before TSA Security), please do so!

    The Exhibit runs through May 2015.

    Steampunk Exhibition at Sky Harbor Airport
    Steampunk Exhibition at Sky Harbor Airport
  • Steampunk Top Hat weight reduction

    One of the things I learned wearing my vented Steampunk Top Hat for 3 days at Wild Wild West Con was that it was darned heavy! 

    The hat weighed just over 15 ounces (426g) and I had a sore spot on my forehead after wearing it all weekend. Brass is darned heavy!

    To reduce the weight, I removed all the brass nuts and aluminum washers from the inside (where no one sees) with nylon nuts (foregoing the washers, I don’t think it needs them):

    Brass nuts and aluminum washers removed from the hat
    Brass nuts and aluminum washers removed from the hat

    This reduced the weight by over 1.8 ounces (53g to be precise)…more than 13% less! Already it feels dramatically lighter…if I still have issues I may reduce the weight of or remove the goggles entirely…


  • Steampunk Hat: v1.5!

    I’ve been really pleased with my Steampunk Top Hat so far, but it really needed to have ventilation holes in the front and back as well, not only for Aesthetic Reasons but for airflow.

    New front and back gear shaped pieces, with and without mesh
    New front and back gear shaped pieces, with and without mesh

    I had a good friend who does amazing leatherwork make me gear-shaped gaskets for the front and back to add some pinache, and I dyed them the same dark brown as the other gaskets, shown here prior to installation with and without the brass mesh:

    Installed gear shaped gasket
    Installed gear shaped gasket

    I’m really happy with the final results!

    Front View, completed Top Hat, v1.5!
    Front View, completed Top Hat, v1.5!
    Side View, completed Top Hat, v1.5!
    Side View, completed Top Hat, v1.5!
    The Artist Wife and I at the Steampunk Masquerade Ball
    The Artist Wife and I at the Steampunk Masquerade Ball

  • Steampunk Hat: v1.0!

    My regular steampunk attire hat is just a Top Hat from Wild West Mercantile (go buy from them, they are an awesome company!), but it lacked any steampunk elements…

    I originally had an idea to add a fan (I live in the desert, after all) but it hasn’t worked out quite right yet.

    First, I cut holes in the sides…

    IMG_20120511_185642, Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

    …and cut, punched, and dyed a leather “gasket” to go around it, held in place with decorative brass bolts from Ace (btw, brass bolts are EXPENSIVE! Around $0.40 each!):

    Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

    Then I found a guy on ebay who sells bronze/brass “insect screen” for a great price (link to his ebay store), and bought some 6″x6″ pieces (on sale for $1.99 each!):

    Viola!
    Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

    For the top, I’d originally wanted to do a fan (now relegated to v2.0), so I’d cut a hole that fit a 40mm fan. I decided that the top needed more than just the wire screen like I did on the side (to protect the top of my head from the sun) and found some nifty decorative screen at Home Depot, and duplicated the same leather gasket and brass bolts look:

    Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

    Now, the completed hat!
    Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App
    I’m really pleased with the overall look, and its much more steampunk than before, just in time for Phoenix ComicCon this weekend!

    There is no way I could have done this without regular input from The Artist Wife, from making templates to helping me mark the right spot for the holes. Thanks, Babe!

    (Edit: I realized some of my picture links were broken…fixed!)