Hey everyone! My brother is coming to university this year, and I felt that I should get him a gift. He has recently developed an interest in steampunk, which is awesome, and so I thought that I'd have a go at building something wicked for him.

I originally got this idea by reading an instructable by Stico found here .

Now, I have an old bonsai tree that had died due to my neglect (as well as occasional flying textbooks). It was beautiful while it was alive, but it was coniferous, so it's pines haven't fallen off since it's died, they've just turned a nice colour.

The following is a list of materials and tools I personally used, and found useful. Keep in mind that this project can be done using any number of components and configurations, though of course (barring any strange quantum action along the way :P), I'll only show you the process for the one I built.

Let's go!

List of Materials
- A deceased bonsai tree
- An appropriately sized box    OR    the core bord reqired to build one (about the same size as the crown of the tree)
- many, many watch gears (I ordered them from these guys )
- small DC motor
- drawer key/lock
- electrical "turn-switch"
- thin core board/thick card to build the box
- two washers (fit around the lock, and the switch)
- old school film canister
- hot glue sticks
- wires
- solder (preferably lead-free. More expensive, but your lungs will thank you)
- 9V battery
- resistor (very small if your motor is brushed)
- a sheet of leather/fake leather (I used a leather table matt)
- larger (order of magnitude: 1-2.5 cm diameters) gears
- gold/brass sprey paint
- shafts for the larger gears to rotate around
- additional metal (preferably brass/gold/copper) nicknacks
- amber LEDs
- pen you don't mind destroying

List of Tools
- Hot glue gun
- Soldering Iron
- protoboard (just to test your circuit on, not really required)
- multi-tool with a knife ( I love my leatherman )
- superglue

Step 1: Preparing Your Gears

Initially, you will want to get all of your components in good order. We'll start by making sure all of your gears (the larger ones) and other components look like they're straight out of Victorian-Era mechanics!

Get yourself , your gears, and any other nicknacks you'd like to add for aesthetics to a well ventilated area. If you're quite keen on making everything look absolutely perfect, you'll want to prime all of the items you plan to paint. Usually, I'm big on this, but the end of the summer is coming fast, and I want to make sure this is done for my brother in time, so I skipped the priming.

Once primed, or otherwise, take your gold/brass/copper spray paint and have a go at all of your gears and whatever other components you want in these metalics. Keep in mind, you'll want some varience. I used gold for all of my large gears, but I left the shafts iron, and added some copper and brass later for good measure.

Don't worry about the gears effectiveness after painting. Unless you put on a very heavy coat, the gears will work just as well once painted.

Glad to see that my &quot;steam burton bonsai&quot; made you do this ! <br>Thanks for mentioning me on your instructable dude !
Epicnessness! Doing it with wire and driftwood!
If you could find a gearmotor, you could get a much slower, more consistent shaft speed, and they often look just like a plain motor unless you look closely (to see the seam between the gearbox and motor. <br>Or if you wanted to go full out mechanical you could have found a wind-up clockwork from a toy or something.
Wow this so cool! Steampunk and Bonsais go so well together
Zach, you're a Madman! This is awesome!!! ;-D
:) Thanks!
i love that store! it so awsome!
Carniferous? It was made of meat?
lmao, my spelling is definitely off, I'll fix that.<br><br>Coniferous - needled tree (pine trees, etc.)<br>Deciduous - leafy trees (oaks, etc.)
<br>Might look cool with some up-lights and or inner glow in the box as well.<br><br>Look forward to the fuller tree. Can you post video of it's action?<br><br>Spelling on &quot;Cylinder&quot;...<br>
Actually, I had a couple of old bulbs that I wanted to use inside the box, my only worry was the temperature. It was a tight space, and the tree was old and I'm sure, flammable. If I do another one, I would definitely like to light it up!<br><br>Also, yes, my spelling is horrible :P
Looks really good.&nbsp; I did a similar one last years.&nbsp; USB powered.&nbsp; The key actually turns it on.&nbsp; Love the idea of the fan cover.&nbsp; Looks great.<br>
Thanks! Your's looks amazing as well, I like the usb concept!
Thank you for the kind comment. <br><br>The USB was a cool idea but the second one I made I just used a battery pack with a micro 3 way switch. The constrain of having to use it near a computer was less that desired. <br>I just noticed we had the same inspiration. The instructible by Stico. <br>Good luck with all your projects.
looks really cool i want to end up making a steam-punk bonsai as i already have alive ones

About This Instructable


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Bio: Currently studying Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Toronto, and one day soon will invent FTL Drive, build a spaceship, adventure, invent and ... More »
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