Picture of Steampunk Style Fan
Steampunk Fan 2.jpg

I do love me some Steampunk :) This is a fan that I built one weekend that has a steampunk flair to it.

This is sort of a cross between an instructable and a slide show. I did take some pictures during the build of my fan, but not enough to be a complete walkthrough. Odds are, you won't have the exact pieces that I used to make my fan anyway - so hopefully this will inspire you to see what you have available to make your own steampunk creation!

Step 1: Gather your parts

Picture of Gather your parts
I'm a packrat, of sorts. I do alot of poking around at fleamarkets in the area and I'll snag stuff that find interesting even if I don't have a need for it right away.

I had an old Brass Bladed Fan in my garage with some major damage. The armature and oscillator mechanism was broken off, and there was no switch. I used the motor housing, blades, and cage from this fan.

To this, I added a brass pump insecticide sprayer (c. 1910) that had been gathering dust on a shelf in my shop for several years. I also planned to use the cast iron base to a lamp that I've always liked due to the face images molded into the pattern.

I tinker with clocks, so I had some old mantle clock feet that I bought off ebay with other parts a while back. I had an old sewing machine motor and a router speed control that I didn't use, so they went into the parts pile as well.

I ordered 3 feet of #25 nylatron roller chain and a couple of #25 cogs from Small Parts Inc..

I went to Lowes, and bought an oak board and a length of brass braided water supply hose.

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alxjpow7 years ago
Really amazing job! I laugh at the idea of a 'real' steam fan though.. running a fan via a coal fire :D
reluctant_paladin (author)  alxjpow7 years ago
Glad you like it :)

Don't scoff too soon at the idea of an actual steam powered fan. Check these beauties out:

Just when you've made something as spectacular as this someone has beaten you to it!

At least that is true in my case.
Lol, wouldn't it kind of defeat the purpose to have a heat source power a fan to cool things down? lol
In an extended way, we actually do with a fan, it's just that the heat source is far removed in the power station usually. Unless it's wind power, in which case we use a fan to power a fan. How incestuous is that?
clazman wobbler3 years ago
But, the motor gives off heat in its own miniscule way. ; ) Just not bothersome.
OH WOW! That's amazing :D That reminds me of those portable kerosene refrigerators.. maybe someone should make a steampunk version!
Thats so very awesome.
Win Guy4 years ago
This is SUPER-DUPER-AWESOME! 5/5 and faved. I'll try my hand at a version of this as my second Steam-Punk project!
Win Guy
wow. a must have for my desk.
thanks for sharing.
randomray4 years ago
Very interesting , at first I was wondering why the chain and all that as I have a slightly older fan that still works .
Montrose4 years ago
Very Very nice. I love the chain drive. I would guess that the motor is a Singer Sewing Machine motor. Its D.C. do you use as a variable speed controller? A variation on this could be a Machine Age style with chrome and using a worm drive with a long threaded rod to turn the fan......oh man Im not going to sleep tonight. Great Project! it looks really good.
willdeh24 years ago
This is really incredible. Great display of your skill and ingenuity.
MissBetsy5 years ago
It's not just awesome, it's outright beautiful!
I would like to build this at part of my future steampunk den but unfortunately I have not 1 single part to use for this :(
Using the brass insectizide sprayer for this was probably a mistake though, you could have gotten millions on eBay for it ^_-
Millions? Seriously? No, really?
Lowney5 years ago
I love this :D
grt576 years ago
Nice Job Mano! I dig it deep!
binkyb6 years ago
Oh! I forgot the link to the website:

binkyb6 years ago
Hi Paladin, How cool (ha ha) is that? Bet you haven't got little ones around to get fingers caught in that chain! But it looks soooo good and works so well - BTW what is the piece of music on your video? Shazam doesn't recognise it!
reluctant_paladin (author)  binkyb6 years ago
I'm old enough to have second generation "little ones" :) Not to worry, though. The fan is placed on my desk, well out of reach of curious little fingers. The song is "Peggy", by a celtic group called Clandestine. Not sure if they are around anymore. I do know the lead singer/songwriter for this piece is no longer with the band.
Many thanks for that - i found them and the website and the music and ordered it hopefully the new singer is as good as she. So if they ask - you are selling their music for them! Regards
do you think that the chain will need lube during prolonged use?
No problems so far.
i have to commend your creativity i have began planning a larger floor version of your design
cdizzle6 years ago
wow thats badass man
This is really nice! I like old fans to begin with because I remember the ones my mom had, that made such a nice humming sound. I know a guy who has a HUGE vintage fan--it's about three feet in diameter and is on a stand that's almost six feet tall. When I turn it on, it's like airplane propellers revving up! I wish he would sell it to me so I could Steampunkify it! XD
Maureclaire6 years ago
Fabulous ! Love it ! Hey, what's that song ? Love that, too ! LOL
reluctant_paladin (author)  Maureclaire6 years ago
Thanks :) The song on the video is "Peggy", by a celtic group called Clandestine - back when the main singer/songwriter was Jen Hamel.
wobbler6 years ago
Great design, but that chain/sprocket combination looks finger snappin' good. Either fit a cover with a glass window/viewing hatch or a wire safety cover. Alternatively, go the other way and hit the maximum danger stop on the risk meter.. Replace the chain and make it belt driven, where the belt is also used to charge up a van der Graff generator on top. That way, the fan can blow your hair about as 10Megavolts stands it on end and the fan will glow nicely at night.
reluctant_paladin (author)  wobbler6 years ago
I love option 2!!!!
even better to make a wimhurst...
Is that for real or just a whim?
my head.... /ASPLODE
That'll teach you to stand so close to the Wimshurst machine. Next time, to stop your head exploding I'd suggest you wear a rubber bathing cap (with obligatory Steampunk goggles of course). It will also stop you needing to redecorate should your head explode again (assuming you didn't like the cranial artex on the walls).
I think it's definitely got potential, I'm just not sure I've got the energy to build it, reluctant_paladin.
Sandisk1duo6 years ago
looks like something Nicola Tesla could have made!
mweston7 years ago
The nylon Chain and all is really creative
I love this, I'd love to make something like this. Pure quality 5/5
euphemism7 years ago
Oh wow, this is very nice! Funnily enough I bought a small fan for my room yesterday and was planning on giving it a steampunk flair. I found this today...great minds think alike eh?
Wow! That is absolutely fantastic!! Have you considered a career making movie props? I can just see this fan in a Jules Verne sci-fi movie!
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