Instructables

Steampunk Dog Tags/Key chain

Picture of Steampunk Dog Tags/Key chain
I've never been to crazy about this steam punk stuff, probably because when I was first introduced to it, was at Youtube, Several of the video's mention that it was born with a question "What if the British steam powered generation had gained more attention worldwide than the American industrial revolution had, steam punk represents this idea of how different the world might be?" I can't agree! While the concept is cool I thought all week how I can make a steam punk project that brings a little bit of the American spirit and ingenuity. I remember the first day I was getting geared up at Fort Knox, the lady who was printing the dog tags had this saying "I'm giving you these tags but you have to earn what they mean", I used to always think that she was making a bad joke because they are for identifying your body if you get shipped home in a box. But now I know she meant she never wanted to get them back. It hit me like a ton of bricks no matter what you do, you work for anything you do, even making something for an instructable, you have to earn your tags!

"Americanized" SteamPunk Dog Tags
 
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Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
Materials needed:

Copper pipe
Dremel w/cutting disc's
Gas torch
Various pliers
Flat head screw driver
Work gloves
Lettering punches
Ball peen hammer
Engraver
Printer
Drill and bit
Dog tag chain

Step 2: Slice it! Spread it!

Picture of Slice it! Spread it!
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With a small piece of copper pipe in hand put a slice down the center of the pipe then slightly wedge it apart with a flat head screw driver

Step 3: Ready, Aim, FIRE!

Picture of Ready, Aim, FIRE!
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Next start heating the pipe till it gets red, copper bends really easy when you add heat. Use a pair of pliers and start spreading the super heating copper out till it fairly flat. Take your ball peen hammer and start tapping it till flat, occasionally adding more heat. Once you have it as flat as it's going to get take a wire brush (or a bench grinder with a wire wheel) to clean it up and make it shine.
SeamusDubh2 years ago
Nicely done.
And not to knock it. But what about this is steam punk?
LifeWarrior (author)  SeamusDubh2 years ago
I took it from a basic understanding by one of the moderators of the Irish Steam Punk group's site had commented to me. My question was exactly the same what exactly is to Steak Punk something. He gave me two explanations "At it's basic understanding to steam punk something is to take anything that is modern and made of superior modern materials (i.e Plastic, Steel, etc) and re work something that looks machine manufactured to use a medium that would have been more widely available (i.e. copper, brass, etc) and made by hand. Some even understand steak punk as to take something modern product and turn it inside out or more to the point; things we buy today we don't see the clockwork behind how they work".


So I guess my intention was to take something that could be made from better materials and to show the working with copper from a handmade perspective as traditional Steam Punk, I just didn't want to slap some copper colored paint on a project to made it look old and from that era to me that's just a cheat. The working of the copper was my steam punk intention.
Now, please don't delete this instructable by the argument I'm about to pose. (it's not directed at you and it's still a good valid instructable) This just happens to be a perfect place for this discussion..

In my opinion, and probably quite a few others, this is one of the underlying issues with the steam punk style. Yes, it does embrace the mythos of the continued Victorian era. The flawed understanding, by modern standards, of science. The extensive use of non polymer materials; wood, metal, cloth. and the existence of modern tech without modern advancements in materials and tech. But in turn the common activity of slapping a gear on or making it out of brass does not a steam punk make.
There needs to be research on the history of items and how they have evolved, and then in turn adapting it to how it might have evolved. This also goes for looking at past views of how the future could be, how we are supposed to be living by our ancestors standards. (i.e. the "Where's my Jetpack?" argument)
Now first thing first.
The Victorian era occurred from 1837–1901, this needs to be the basis of design and style.
Second, Research.
Now your dog tags views the logical progress of the tags (beyond the psychosomatic reasons instructors liked to beat into us during boot) and is quite right by the standards you were given. But you could have gone one of two ways with this.
Having been in the military and having done the research for Civil War reenactment. I have a decent knowledge of the history of them and of ones of the era.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dog_tag http://www.floridareenactorsonline.com/dogtags.htm
One way you could have gone is like you did the change in form but kept the information styling and emblem imprinting of the old ones. Or kept with the older circular form with modern information styling.

Well that's my tow cents and its probably worth a load of rubbish. But that's for you to decide.
LifeWarrior (author)  SeamusDubh2 years ago
I agree with your statements, and while humbled by your knowledge on this particular subject. Never my intention to insult those who practice the art of this today, i am more of the modern mind making things better through knowledge and experience. My thoughts on something steam punk with the tags in mind was not to re-create or re-enact the old style tags but to use that method of making the old style round tags and building on the style of the ones currently used today. I entirely agree that many steam punk projects I've looked at have no real basis in a historical value, but then again I think my whole view on the stem punk genre is that its widely publicized as a British movement. Leaving out my Irish descendents views on the British, and sticking strictly to a Victorian frame of mind, science does lack the imagination of its predecessors in many of today's creations. However I think what this genre really puts forth is the understanding that these achievements we've made in science are important lest we not forget the past. I think what most people seem to forget (with this in mind viewing many of these projects) is that steam punk is not a recreation of the past but the artistry and craftsmanship. I think what bothers me with the genre is the fact that as Americans the Industrial revolution was a huge leap forward for us as a country, to belittle those Americans ingenuity and forward thinking (which seems to happen a lot in this genre) is an insult to us. In my book a 65 Ford Mustang all the way up to a Chevy Prowler is modern artistry in motion, and to say that Victorian artistry is the the last time any forward thinking to the future was made is just wrong. History does teach us one thing it was through our continued belief in a brighter future that we made advances like we have, and while steam punk may honor that history, I certainly can't see living in a fantasy world of "how" history may have been different, at some point your have to stop fantasizing and start blinding, without experience through hard work we would have never learned that the jet pack just really isn't a feasible concept it today's world, and would never even been achieved through the Victorian way of thinking instead of doing; it is only now that steam punk genre takes the fantasy and makes it a reality.

As for the tags themselves, I guess my intention was to honor the past, by doing what our predecessors had done; Using the tools they had available at the time to create something by hand without going out and buying a bunch of extra tools to try to re-manufacture a look, while using idea from the present, to think toward the future, which my my understanding of what the spirit of steam punk was really all about.

Thanks for your insightful comment, never is an opinion rubbish and should never be dis regarded as such, I have always felt that through our interactions with others we grow and garner a greater knowledge.

BTW, not sure what happened but the link you provide was a dead link say no such article can be found.
Welcome and Thank You.
I see you point buy your choice of construction method.
The rubbish remark was a bit of self deprecating humor so don't sweat it too much.
As for the link issue it's actually two separate links. I though it was on two separate lines instead of a small spacing between when I was typing it.
LifeWarrior (author)  SeamusDubh2 years ago
Oh duh on my part there is two links there my bad. Thanks again.
Hey guys,
I just wanted to say that I appreciated friendly discussion with good points and polite discussion, I wish we could see a little more of that on this site. I would also like to say that your discussion actually cleared up some of my questions (I had not had the time to research yet) and I now have a better understanding of the genre. Thank you.
P.S. thank you both for serving!
LifeWarrior (author)  jadronx2 years ago
My feeling is most people get an ego about their creations, and I'm the type that wants to constantly learn, I'm not perfect, never will be, my ideas are just that my ideas. I share them in the hopes of sharing what I know and learning from you in exchange. Shamus made such a good point on so many levels it was important for others to know if we all work together like this we accomplish more. Those who would argue because "They know better" are not true makers. Makers never stop learning, we have to keep an open mind, and we have to compromise to build on that learning.

As for the Steampunk genre I'm still up in the air about it. I think it has it's place but I still don't think copper paint and cardboard props are steam-punking. But then again I was never a big fan of the Victorian era, I am more of a student of the Industrial revolution and depression era ingenuity, people who build things out of the need for it rather than the fantasy of it.
Learning is defiantly the best goal, the need to build something useful with few materials or inexpensive materials is the driving force behind all ingenuity. If that same ingenuity is directed at making something beautiful or artistic in spare time then it is a good cause, But I agree copper paint and cardboard is not really my idea of steam punk either.
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