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Steampunk shaving box

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My friend had a birthday, and I wanted to make something special for him. He shaves using the old fashioned or now retro safety razors. He carried everything in one toilet bag because there was no proper travelling case for them. That time I found on the Internet some nice piece of steampunk creations what I took as a starting point for my design. This time I did not make photorealistic renders, because I needed only some guideline. The final picture was in my head or actually not really, it was just some vision:)

This box was my first hand crafted item (way before the Lamina Nixie). I have learned a lot during the building process.

Here are the tools what I have used;
  • I used only the basic plastic UNIMAT set (turning machine, router, sander, jigsaw)
  • some hand tools
  • drill machine
  • sandpaper
  • hobby saw
  • basic files

Materials:
  • some meranti wood from a local hardware store
  • brass and copper pipes/rods from the local hobby shop
  • copper plate
  • black hexagon socket cap screws
  • old thermometer, copper bowl, leather belt from flea market
  • magnet strip
  • dollhouse carpet:)
 
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Step 1: The box

IMG_20111010_124046.jpg
For the sides of the box I glued together some smaller wood stripes to make bigger boards and after sanding I cut all of them to the desired size. I really like the finger jointed wood boxes so this box had to be be like that.

First I had to make the machine to cut the teeth using the variable Unimat basic set. I used the 3 mm router bit to cut them, offsetting the first teeth on the adjacent ends. After all teeth were done and put the sides together and I drew the lines for the openings and cut them with a jigsaw.

I did not glued the box together until it was completely done just screwed the sides to the base plate In this way I could  disassemble it anytime to inserting the detailed parts and so.

To the front side I cut some copper plate to highlight the locking belt. On the razor side I made an etched brass grid window with a copper frame.

On the back side of the box I just placed some brass pipes and ventilation outlet pipes and an oval copper plate.

On the left side I made a recessed part to run some pipes, showing what is behind the walls. :) Also two round windows in “maritime style”.

The bottom has got some thin wood frame as a ¨leg¨ and screwed them with a very small blackened screws.

All those windows got some copper or wood frames around to give a steampunk-ish look. First I have tried with brass screws to fix the parts, but I have found these black screws much nicer. However the black screws are metric threaded still can hold everything in place in the wood. They just needed half millimeter smaller hole in the wood and they sit tight if you do not screw them over.

The size of the box was given by the existing shaving set components. The height and length came from the razor and the brush which had to be secured inside no matter how you carry or store them in the luggage. Therefore the razor and brush holder wall  between the lid and the base is cut to the exact shape to follow the razor and brush contour. When you close the box, that wall will hold the set in place, and when it is  opened it can be used to hang and dry the brush.

Also I had to find a place for the little bowl used for making the foam. I was thinking a lot what should I use for this and where can I get a matching bowl for the set. Flea markets are very popular in the Netherlands so I got the idea to go there, just to look around. I think I was very lucky to find just the right piece, a neither too big nor too small nice copper bowl which perfectly fitted to the design.

I had to make a place for the spare blades as well. These are coming in small containers in slightly different sizes. It seemed to be an easy option to hold the steel blades with a magnet. I had some flexible magnet strip in my junk box so I screwed those stripes down to the base. The magnet is strong enough to hold the razor blades with the box.

The lid is made from some framing wood and a thin wooden board. I had some kind of old ugly key holder souvenir from Mallorca :) It had a thermometer which I have removed and installed to the top of the lid and added some tubes. The “Initial plate” is on the corner to make it personal. The other small copper plate hides the screws of the support hinge. To the bottom of the lid I cut a mirror and fixed with 3M double sided tape.

Because the lid become a quite heavy with the mirror  I made support hinge from a thin copper plate to hold the lid from over bending it.

Tung oil was my choice for the finishing which also very nicely darkened the wood and protect the wood from water and moist.

The inside was too pure and empty so at the end I tuned up a little bit with a nice material what I found in the local hobby shop at the dollhouse section sold as a dollhouse carpet. Actually there are many nice tiny brass and useful wood things which can be used for here and there for different projects.
danamark3 months ago

About the image, "I wanted to....but the wood was too thin". Many of these boxes had the mirror mounted to a subpanel, hinged at the top, same dimensions as the lid, a simple lock knob at the bottom. You would twist the knob to unlock it, swing and pivot the mirror open, resting the bottom of the mirror panel on any part of the side rails. It allowed setting it a different angles.This saves on installing a special hinge support.

Wow! Nice. The box looks beautiful, I love it! The combination of materials fits perfectly! Great job! Thanks for sharing.
zorwick (author)  thechocolatist1 year ago
Thank you!
badjer12 years ago
Nicely designed and crafted. You incorporated in a lot of design elements that truly make it one of a kind. I am very interested in the red machine you show in your photos. Please tell me where you can get it and how much it costs. I love how compact and versitile it appears to be.
zorwick (author)  badjer12 years ago
That little machine is an Unimat Classic set with some extra accessories. I have an additional circular saw set. All info you need:
http://www.thecooltool.com/produktgruppe.php?language=e&status=20&sh_id=15&ptitel=Unimat+Classic

My personal experience, don't buy the classic set, go for the metal line. More durability, more precise, better quality. I have the classic set but already bought a lots of part from the metal line. The metal line is a bit expensive but definitely worth of it.

good luck

Z.
yoyology2 years ago
This is a truly beautiful set. As a confirmed wetshaver myself, I am coveting it a great deal. I especially like the attention to keeping things immobilized in transit, and the magnetic strip to hold extra blades is a stroke of genius!

The only caveat I would add is that copper is not the best material to make a shaving bowl from. Because it is such a good conductor, it will draw heat from the lather rapidly instead of keeping it warm. You can see a discussion about this at http://badgerandblade.com/vb/archive/index.php/t-3242.html.

If you ever make another, consider a ceramic bowl or a "scuttle" like the ones here.
Winged Fist2 years ago
What an amazing shaving kit! I love seeing stylish yet practical steampunk projects, and this certainly fits both;-) Well thought out, photographed and documented Instructable.

You may want to consider "re-publishing" this under the "steampunk" category in "technology" rather than "workshop" as more of Instrucatables steampunk fans might see it there...

Anyway, you got my 5-star vote and vote for the woodworking challenge!
zorwick (author)  Winged Fist2 years ago
Consider it done :) Thank you Winged Fist!
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