I had been debating creating some kind of dock for my Iphone to sit on for quite some time. This desire coupled with the first week of my summer holidays has led me to create the Steampunk Iphone Dock.
Before we get started I just want to point out that this project can be made from anything, old cans, bottles etc. So have a hunt around your home before you start, grab as much junk as you can find so that you have an idea of the kind of shapes you need to work with.
Next its a great idea to understand the Steampunk style and that in essence what you will be making needs to look like a steam powered machine. Therefore I began by googling steam engines etc and identified an array of various parts I could use in my design. Typically you will see valves, pipes, gauges, tanks, whistles and governors all wrapped up together with rivets and sometimes even wood (wood was typically used to provide insulation to hot parts like boilers). When you have an idea of the kind of stuff you want on your dock and you have identified all of the materials available to you, you really need to take the time to draw up some ideas and take it from there. I ended up toning down my idea as I thought the paper sketch would look too complex for the docks size.
Step 1: The base
Using a scroll saw or coping saw cut the draw out.
Step 2: Making the draw
We need to hollow out the draw now. Using a large(ish) drill bit to do this then finish with a chisel and/or dremel.
Step 3: The tanks
You will need tanks for your dock if you want it to look like a genuine Steampunk machine. As I didn't have any cans that were the correct size for what I wanted I thought it would be quicker to just turn some cylinders on my lathe. For the smaller tank I was thinking you could use a kinder surprise case (the thing inside the yummy chocolate with the toy inside of it). If you want your boiler to smoke like mine then make sure the large tank is hollowed out or the bottom cut off.
Step 4: The basic parts
The large tank has had half of the bottom removed. Use a coping saw or band saw for this.
Ive also cut two small pieces of MDF and attached them to the top and bottom of my base. This finishes off the draw (except for the handle of course). Just for extra decoration Ive also cut two lines in the base to make them look like panels, you could pre-cut these and then space them out on the base or simply use a chisel or band saw to make the marks.
Step 5: Add the hole for the cable
When happy using a drill bit and a file create a channel from the large hole towards the back of the base. Use a similar technique to that of the slot cutting for the cable and finish it off with a file (or dremel)
Step 6: Add some rivets
When you are happy with your rivets, glue all of your tanks into place and allow them to dry.
Step 7: The crucible
I soldered these into place. If you are not too good at soldering use very strong glue (needs to be a little heat resistant).
I added a small wire rod to the handle (using glue) as it was a little unstable without it.
So that the cones get plenty of air i created a simple rack out of an old paper clip. This also reduces the amount of heat transferred to the crucible when burning. Test the rack with a cone to ensure it holds it securely.
Step 8: Other details
The whistle was simply a piece of dowel that I cut a chunk out of with a dremel. I drilled a small hole in the top and added a pin for extra detail. I mounted it onto a piece of plastic tube. I used hollow tube as I had made a hole in the bottom of the whistle so that the smoke could pass through it. In the same picture you will also see that Ive drilled and fitted a funnel to the boiler using an old piece of conduit (ensure this goes all of the way through the boiler).
The governor way created by firstly using polymorph to mold the balls (beads would work great I just didn't have any) onto small wires. I then drilled two holes in a piece of dowel and glued them in place. When dry i added a polymorph top cap.
The pressure gauge was an old wooden button. I cut a slot in the bottom so that it would sit on a steam pipe and filled in the holes with multipurpose filler.
Step 9: Painting
I use a syringe to measure my paints as it is a simple and accurate way to do so (and not that messy). I measured equal amounts of gold and silver paint (ignore the yellow in the pic.......big mistake to use yellow) to give me the dirty pewter like finish. Using a stencil brush dab on the paint over the black. Do not be too careful about this allow the black to show through. Start off on the back......by the time you get to the front of your dock you will have the hang of it.
I used gold paint (unmixed) for the little details like the whistle, governor and pressure gauge. Notice How Ive also left a few things black as I felt this added extra depth to the design.
Step 10: Rubbish pressure gauge made better
When I realised the mistake. I printed off a pressure gauge pic off the internet and stuck it on. Using black paint I blended it in to look like part of the design.
I also glued all of the pipes into place
Step 11: Fit the cable
So that I could easily change the cable if needed I added the large hole underneath. I would suggest using a glue gun to hold the cable in place and only glue to the back of the cable as shown so that you can pull if off with pliers to remove the cable. Stick the cable into the grove ensuring that the glue and cable do not protrude above the surface.
NOTE: make sure you fit the cable the correct way. Mine has a symbol on it which indicates the front side, this is the side that needs to face the front of the dock.