Introduction: Steampunked Time Traveling Machine

Picture of Steampunked Time Traveling Machine

Hi everybody it took a long time of about some weeks to build this new project  but now I am proud to present the "Steampunked time traveling machine" to you.

Since I was  a young boy I am fascinated of the idea to create a time-machine like it was described by H.G. Wells.
Now as an old  Steampunk guy I picked up this idea again and created my own "machine" for time traveling.

This instructable is really extensive and I am sure that you will enjoy the following detailed steps beginning with an old boiler made of copper  and ending with a funky steampunked machine.

And here comes a short movie clip as a first impression:

Are you noesy? Then follow me and enjoy this project

Yours Aeonn Junophor

Step 1: First Draft

Picture of First Draft

Some weeks ago I got an old boiler made of copper by fortune. After the first cleaning an polishing the idea of a steampunked time machine rose up in my mind.

So I went down the stairs to my steampunk labaoartory  (in german: Dampfkraftlabor) and developed a first draft in which way this funky fantasy time machine might could be constructed. 

You can see the result below.

 Some days later I made a second draft and started the project as you can see it here using a lot of other instructables  about eg copper welding, making a joule-thief, or working with a flash-module of a disposal camera.

The most fascinating aim to me was to run all these different lights  measure instruments and the sound module by using only one! 1.5 Volt battery. And it is unbelieveable it really works;-)))))))))))))

Step 2: Modifying of the Old Steam-boiler

Picture of Modifying of the Old Steam-boiler

After all elements had been chosen the boiler needs a lot of holes to keep the fittings and controls and instruments.
A lot of fittings had to be fixed by welding. So I took this instructable to learn how to do it.

To make the big holes I first drilled small holes, then cut the middle out with metal shears and finished with a file.

Step 3: Measure Instruments

Picture of Measure Instruments

For time travelling under time pressure you need some controls an instruments.

These are an old pressure gauge, a new working alarmclock (model "DEKAD" from ikea),and a voltmeter for pulsating direkt current.

Step 4: Blind Flange With Integrated Speaker

Picture of Blind Flange With Integrated Speaker

I covered the bottom of the boiler with a blind flange made of red fiber and integrated a loudspeaker  for transmitting the sound effect.

Step 5: Cooling Spirals

Picture of Cooling Spirals

A time machine which works whith plasma energy and time pressure needs also a cooling system
So I created two cooling circuits.

Step 6: The "low-pressure"-plasma Circuit

Picture of The "low-pressure"-plasma Circuit

The low-pressure  plalsma circuit is constructed with a flickering bulb covered with a copper net.  The top protector is an E27 Centra bulb socket made of brass and glass.

The holder is part of an old glass holder and burner of an petrol lamp. The flickering bulb is driven by an HV-flash module of an disposal camera.

See also this instructable: HV-powersupply

Step 7: The "high-pressure"-plasma Circuit

Picture of The "high-pressure"-plasma Circuit

The high-pressure  plalsma circuit is constructed with a small neon Tube  called IN -24 (I bought them from Mr. Nixie

with the help of  this instructable Steampunk-Light-tube

This steampunk-light-tube is placed in a separate copper tube with 18mm in diameter. The IN-24 neontube istself is hold by two front parts of a cartridge case ; see also the detailesd pictures below.

The IN-24 tube is driven by an HV-flash module of an disposal camera with DC.

See also this instructable: HV-powersupply

Step 8: Joule-thief Illuminated Cutouts

Picture of Joule-thief Illuminated Cutouts

Another application ofthe time machine are the Joule thief illuminatet cutouts.

To build these lights I took this Instructable "Making a JouleThief"

To hide the electronic parts I screwed the cutout holder made of porcelaine into two old brass bulb holders E27 made of brass as you can see.

Step 9: Emergency Stop Valve

Picture of Emergency Stop Valve

Another element of the time machine is the emergency stop valve.
Therfore I took a bursted water tube and placed two  green LED inside a exactly fitting plastic tube as you can see.
Both LED´s together are driven by the third Joule Thief of this project

Step 10: Electronic Equipment

Picture of Electronic Equipment

The time machine runs with three sperate HV-powersupplies, three Joule thiefs . All these parts are energized with only one 1,5 Volt AA battery.
Th soundmodule runs with three 1.5 Vol coin cells and the IKEA alarm clock runs also with 1.5 Volt from an AA battery.

Step 11: Controlbox

Picture of Controlbox

To "drive" the time machine we also need a controlbox. Two switches, one press button and the AA-battery are placed here.
The box itself is made of an old and broken The controbox can be easyhandlamp from the army

Step 12: Carrying Straps

Picture of Carrying Straps

The carrying straps are the only part of the time machine, which I really had to buy for this project. Yu will find them at schoolbags made of leather,

Step 13: Time Travelling

Picture of Time Travelling

At the end of this veeeeerrrryyy long project  here are some pictures of this time machine in action.

I hope you enjoyed this instructable

 Yours Aeon Junophor


nflpanthersfan (author)2017-03-17

that way it would look like its working

nflpanthersfan (author)2017-03-17

it would have been cool to make the clock hands spin forward faster or backwords

deepak748 (author)2016-08-28


Junophor (author)deepak7482016-08-30

Hi deepak748

... just returned from ancient times.....stop.... next project presentation coming soon... stop.... it will be a SETAMPUNKED BAT DETECTOR... stop... keep your eyes open for it ;-)) .. stop...

greetings from northern germany... stop...

Yours Aeon Junophor ... stop!

diy_bloke (author)2012-11-07

I dont think this will work properly. The helix for cooling yr high pressure plasma is not long enough. It might be fine now but one day you'll be getting a reflux in the main reactor and you are gonna be stuc in the pleistocene

player2030 (author)diy_bloke2015-01-06

Don't worry.. I thought of that and being the conscious kind of person that I am I went back in time a corrected the levels on the molecular bonds therefor the magnetics fields are not a requirement. Double layers of intracluster nucleosynthesis did the trick...thank you for your concern anyways.

DawsonM2 (author)player20302016-06-21

Yeah right u didn't travel though time I want to but i no if u did u wouldnt been posting that because someone might rob u and take that thank u everyone

diy_bloke (author)player20302015-01-06

dude, you screwed up the time space continuum and MH370 got sucked into the vortex

player2030 (author)diy_bloke2015-01-06

Don't worry. ..that mistake only occurred on "your" time line. . I will fix it, by this time tomorrow all time ripples will have disappeared.

diy_bloke (author)player20302015-01-07

and I probably will have forgotten it ever happened... because it that hasn't happened.
OMG I think time machines should be banned

player2030 (author)diy_bloke2015-01-07

Not to worry...I had already planned on that happening, it was actually my own doing and was not a vortex but a man-made-fluctuation on the nano quantum bridge to prevent two time lines from collapsing. ..

That explains a lot of things around here!


deepak748 (author)2015-01-06

Hi deepak....plz contact me back....
Im from india.....i have some question on how to make it simple ...the time machine...

player2030 (author)deepak7482015-01-07

Dear deepak,
Even if I wanted to help you I couldn't. You plan on going back in time and relive a past event. Time is like vessels that can be used only once. Also, you would encounter the older version of yourself. ..

deepak748 (author)player20302015-01-07

Hello Junophor... I'm really confused !!if time line can only be used once then what is the relevance of a time travel....?
So that means a dimension of time can only be altered but not the human will to change...
Am I right.....or wring.....?plz specify..

temporarychaos (author)2014-06-10

Thanks to this my hot water heater will never be the same... I really should have experimented on a old one first.

svila1 (author)2014-03-13

Wow, this is awesome :))

diy_bloke (author)2013-10-09

i am impressed. where do you get the red fiber and brass speaker cover :-)

hobbyman (author)2013-03-29

so beautiful..

rickster454 (author)2013-02-24

that's neat-!!

thechocolatist (author)2013-01-04

Dear friend
Awesome! Your time travelling machine is fantastic! Great artwork. Gratulation!

Winged Fist (author)2012-12-11

Junophor - Another truly amazing piece of steampunk art! But it does look like it will be a pain in the "brass" to keep shiny;-)

Where ever in time you do decide to travel with this wonderful invention, I just wouldn't recommend trying to get on a plane with it;-)

gn0stik (author)2012-11-26

Should have built a still. Those are hard to come by. Nice work, but something practical would have been far better.

Geeky Hooker (author)2012-11-13

Holy smokes, this is brilliant!

justjimAZ (author)2012-11-12

You do such fantastic work!
Do you keep all these for yourself, or do you sell them? Just curious.

bricabracwizard (author)2012-11-08

Excellent work again Junophor! Let me know what's happening in the year 2340?

Junophor (author)bricabracwizard2012-11-09

Hi bricabracwizard

I´ve just returned...... and ouhhh...... I really don´t know iif it is so good to tell about this! future. I´d better like to talk about my journeys to the past.... ;-))))))))

Very special greetings

Yours Aeon junophor

wobbler (author)2012-11-08

This is so cool, it makes absolute zero seem positively balmy.

agis68 (author)2012-11-08

EXCELLENT PROJECT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BRAVO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I do have an empty can from compact Illy coffee like these they use in coffeeshops...i will try to built it.....thanx

BrefelanDesigns (author)2012-11-08

*tries to hum the theme song for Dr. Who*
Huh, oops... pardon me there!
I must say, that this project is indeed marvelous!
Though for the clock I would have been tempted to change it so either:
You could spin the hands fast, forward and backward,
change the hands to be more irregular
(like have one that points to like 5 minutes early,
or have them be all "wibbly wobbly timey wimey")
Other than those little additions, I must say this project is inspiring!
(I happen to have an old helium tank..and I've been trying to work out a way to simulate flames/fire decently...)
On a side note, I admit I haven't been on Instructables in a bit, but I was surprised by the new UI (User Interface), it looks good!

Grasshopper1221 (author)2012-11-08

This looks way better then the one used in Lunopolis! Nice jobLove it!

longwinters (author)2012-11-07

Greetings my friend:
Great to see another project from you, now I think I need to make a make some kind of clock too.
Copper is a fun metal to polish isn't it...

Junophor (author)longwinters2012-11-07

Hi longwinters, dear friend

YES I am back again. Had a lot to do the last weeks.

Thanks for your nice comment. I agree with you: I love the shiny reflections of polished copper and brass and even the polishing itself is very satisfying;-))))))) By the way: You gave me the first intention with your copper instructable :-)))))

Greetings to the North 

I will write
Yours Aeon Junophor

poofrabbit (author)2012-11-07

This looks awesome! Well done!

About This Instructable




Bio: I love to invent and create new things in a "steampunk styled way" working with brass, copper, vulcanized-fibre, brass gears and (ply)- wood. On one ... More »
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