• Tag Archives projects
  • Goggles finished, and I found a top hat!

    Suddenly even more eager to finish up the goggles project, I stopped at Tandy Leather and picked up a package of 1/2″ saddle strap, which is a nice thick but flexible latigo leather in a nice dark red color. Adding a brass buckle and brass smash rivets brought the total to less than $10!

    The Arist Wife came up with a great suggestion to replace the ugly ball chain nose piece with some brass compression fittings she had bought for jewelry, and I added the double 5x loupe set I bought to fit using a 90 degree grease zerk which worked perfect!

    Then today we went to Wild West Mercantile, a Old (and Modern) West store thats got a great online presence (and good prices!) as well as a huge local storefront!

    I found the perfect Top Hat with just the “John Bull” style I wanted for very reasonable ($35).

    Without further ado, the completed project: goggles and top hat, for about $55 total! Vivat!

    (Click any link for a larger view)
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  • Goggles arrived…and painted!

    The goggles I ordered from arrived!

    For modding to steampunk, they are very nice…the cups are shaped heavy plastic held together at the bridge by a ball chain (so the nose bridge width is adjustable) with loops for elastic to hold them to your head. The sides feature a small removable plastic bit to provide ventilation.

    A closeup of the eyecup, disassembled and ready for painting. The open cross-shaped piece is where the ventilation cover was removed:

    They come with plastic clear lenses that protect the thick tinted glass lenses, so that works well…but be warned the clear plastic ones appear to scratch pretty easily! The cups unscrew so you can remove the tinted glass and for ease of painting.

    A few bits of masking tape to tape off the threads of the eyecups (just to be sure) and I was ready to paint:


    I used Ace Hardware brand Metallic Spraypaint in the Brass color. Its a great color and I’m pleased with the results!

    Still To Do is replace the elastic band with leather and figure out what to replace the ball chain bridge piece with!


  • Project One: The Tesla Cane

    Some time ago I saw a cool blog post on Gizmodo about a steampunk “Tesla Cane” where the creator, Virtuoso Datamancer,  had designed a cane with a Tesla theme. Later I say pics on Flickr from one someone else had made.

    I thought the idea was pretty cool but had no reason to pursue making one.

    With the steampunk wedding in the future, I now had a real reason to make one!

    With the advice (and probably some construction help) from the guys at work (one is an Electrical Engineer and the other is one of the heads of the robotics club) this is going to be pretty fantastic!

    So far, I’ve ordered the Plasma Ball: a 3″ USB powered one from Amazon ($10). Its a little hard to tell from the description, but it may also be powered by 4 AA batteries (1.5v x 4 =6v, USB supplies 5v)…if not, it won’t be hard to convert the ball to running off batteries. The guys at the office want to use rechargable batteries so we can seal them in the cane!

    The ball should arrive in a couple of days, then to (carefully!) disable it to see what needs to be modified.

    I also need to find a cane body, either a wood cane (maybe a sword cane so its already hollow?) or a brass/copper tube.