Wednesday, 30 April 2008


Steampunk is my new passion. Roger, my old mate from the USA , who has been staying with me, told me about it. It is a cross-over between the aesthetics of the Victorian era and today's future. A recently made example (albeit Edwardian rather than Victorian) has to be the Dr Who episode where the Titanic is a spaceship.

The best of it for me is recreating modern technologies as if they had been used by the Victorians but powered by steam etc. So, if you google images you will come across a funky electric guitar or a laptop or a PC (click here for making instructions).

I have bought a treadle sewing machine and plan on converting it without actually making irreparable changes, but removing the sewing machine and replacing it with a computer. Also have vague plans for putting a cyclemaster wheel in a penny farthing or a hobby-horse. I also fancy making an ornithopter costume. In the US and Canada there are Steampunk balls where people dress up in pseudo Victorian / futuristic dress. Sounds great fun.

The new craze for customising technologies with the steampunk aesthetic has grown out of sci fi like Metropolis, early interpretations of HG Wells, Jules Verne, etc. I remember being fascinated by The Time Machine (see the 1960 trailer)

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Lockable Gate

Lockable gate with snooker ball knobs on

The gate is now lockable (either from inside or outside) and when open, as you can see, it takes up no room - so that the GT550 can just ride straight through, especially now that I can fold the mirrors in. All that has to happen now is that I need to render the wall, which will be another new experience for me. Click to see the bike and the changes to the bat-cave.

Saturday, 15 March 2008

Nothing new under the sun! - CarBQ

Damn, just when you think you have something unique up your sleeve, you find that someone is already doing it. It is a nice job too - well designed, tidily made.

A girlfriend of mine has been telling mates about mine and has been talking about marketing them but the name has gone, as you can see, dammit, but where mine is different as an idea is that I'd be building a more grunty, basic, sculptural car-b-que out of various classic cars' panels facing the crusher or disintegration...and so would appeal to a wider market. Also mine are for traditional cooking by fire, not gas.

Friday, 14 March 2008

Black Numbers

I must try and take a picture earlier in the day (when there is sun and neither rain nor wind), as I always seem to get the gate backlit by the setting sun. I have just black hammerited the numbers for contrast.

Now out to the shed to finish the locking mechanism. I wasted a few hours last night fiddling with an idea which ultimately was no good. I think I have a solution that will work tonight.

Gate 94

Now just need to hammerite the detailing and weld on the bolting mechanism etc and it's done.


Mechanic's Gate

Buying the bike meant taking my narrow wooden gate down and replacing it with a wider, steel one....making it myself by welding two small ones together to make a tall one and designing fittings which would mean that when open it would not take up any space at all in the aperture (pictures later). The gate is now standing and the locking mechanism is in production.

But I wanted the gate to have a cute finishing touch:- scroll work and a house number made out of spanners, pincers, sprockets and motorcycle drive chain. I have just come up from the workshop (1.30 am) having finished welding them together. I will weld them onto the gate tomorrow, if the weather permits.

The pictures here show the parts mounted vertically. I don't know whether I shall hammerite the non-bronzed bits black to give a strong contrast to the silver gate or whether to let them rust naturally. It is very satisfying knowing that these parts are all recycled. The spanners were rescued from a skip last week and the chain and sprockets came off John's bike. The whole gate cost me £10.

Incidentally, I don't know if it looks like it from that sun and pincer motif, but I am not a Freemason ;)