The Steampunked Torch of Progress





Introduction: The Steampunked Torch of Progress

About: 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 side I am fascinated in neon lights and small electronic ...
Hi everybody

Here is my latest project „The steampunked torch of progress“. 

The idea to create this steampunked torch as a scepter of victorian progress came to my mind as I looked at some old pictures showing some allegoric statues (see next step).
All parts can be easily build together with only some screws and a little bit of resin. 
For building the technical equipment I used this instructable: High-voltage-power-supply-for-Nixies-CFL-Neon-Glow-Bulbs

To get a short impression please watch this small video:

Now let us start with this instructable

Have fun
Yours Aeon Junophor

Step 1: Historical Background (short)

Before  we start let me explain  one or two things:

As a real steampunker I love this retro-futuristic style based in the victorian era (1837-1901) as you know. This is my favourite century with its technical inventions and new machines powered by steam and electricity.

In this time a lot of allegoric statues like the great statue of liberty had been build.
Also the new power called „electricity“ had its allegoric expression as you can see at this picture.

The torch,  mostly used as a scepter of  the goddes is a symbol of the technical progress which enlightens the darkness and brings wealth and hope.

These old pictures inspired me to create the Junophor steampunked torch of progress.

Step 2: Parts of the "torch-scepter"

The torch consists of only four parts

First an old , small handlamp made of bakelite and metal,
than an edison "centra-socket E27" as the top,
some copper  and brass tube parts  from the garbage box of a plumber
and at last a yellow marble made of glass.

Step 3: Preparing the Flickering Bulb

To build in the bulb it is neccessary to cut of the E14 socket. Please do it very carefully, otherwise you migth cut of the small wires, or damage the resistor. Also the glassbulb filled with neongas could be damaged and then the bulb wo´t work anymore.  I did it best with a small saw. Before yo start to put of the socket you have to desolder the wire to the bottom contact of the socket.
Solder two new small wires to the wires of the bulb.
Next you have to insulate the two wires of the bulb with a shrinking hose. A smaller one for the one wire and a bigger one for the other wire wihich is connected to the resistor.

The whole "new bulb" is now placed in the middle of a red vulcanized fiber plate which has to fit in the cap. Fix the bulb with some spots of resin at the backside.

Step 4: The Switch

There are two small holes in the bakelite holder where the former contacts hd been screwed. I made one hole a little bigger so that a new switch fit in. I iused some resin to fix the switch in its new position.

Step 5: The Electric Parts

To let the flame flicker I took the electronic parts from the flash of a disposal camera and worked on it as you can see in this instructable.
The most difficult thing was to reduce the circuit board in such a way that it fits in and also work without a problem.
As power supply the torch works with two AA-batteries inside the copper and brass tube. The two contacts are made of brass screws and a spring. A small piece of wood hold the batteries at the right position inside the copper tube.

I hope you enjoyed my project.
Thanks for following and have fun

Yours Aeon Junophor



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    I do really like this I'm still on the process of making it but I'll add pictures when I do. I'm having a issue finding a lamp for the right fit so it will look a bit different.

    This is pretty much the coolest thing I've seen in a while. Good job!

    This is beautiful! I love how you've combined a beautiful design with practicality. I like the hook.

    Also, I used a glass finial from an old lamp on the base end where you have a marble.

    I am blown away! I made the same thing, used the same components and never saw your Instructable until now. The difference with mine is that I used copper tubes, a light socket (so I did not modify the bulb) and I added leather weaving for a grip. It just blows me away how close our ideas are. Good work.

    This totally reminds me of the Scepter from the TMNT 3 movie

    Hi Longwinters

    When you remove the socket of a flickering bulb, there is everytime a resitsor added at one contact. It´s value depends on the current weather it is 230 Volts or 110 Volts AC.

    See picture1 as a sample.

    The flash unit transforms the DC first to AC and than back to DC. That is the reason why there is a diode placed in the circuit. And that is also why you can get the High Voltage as AC as well as DC. It just depends on the place where you solder the wires to the bulb contacts.

    See also picture 2

    and this instructable of mine.

    Yes this bulb is really shining very bright, because it runs with 3,0 Volts which is possible to do it with this AA-Type unit. But if it runs with only 1,5 Volts the glow lamp is also shining really bright.

    Hope this  information will help.

    Be careful when working with HV:

    Many greetings  yours
    Aeon Junophor

    1 reply

    OK I have to admit I totally misunderstood what bulb you were using, but here is the good news.

    I thought you were talking about the common 120 volt flicker flame bulb that is used for decoration, you know the one that has the clandrabra style shape.

    So I took one of the older ones I have sitting around and carefully removed the base,
    and guess what it also has a small resistor, it's removal makes the flicker flame bulb work quite well on one of your HV units, it is quite difficult to get to since it is way up in the glass portion of the bulbs base, it was a useful surprize.

    I have never removed the base of a flicker bulb, is there a resistor in it?
    Also how did you get both plates to glow since the camera flash is a DC source,
    did you short out the diode on the flash unit?

    Nice project I was surprized to see how bright it is, good job

    thank you so much- I'm a student working on a power/electricity themed tempest and just may use part of this as Prospero's staff- It really is a fantastic design!

    although you do handle it in the video, could you give more of a scale reference?

    2 replies

    Hi spazdoll
    It is me again because I forgot to tell you about the weight of the torch
    It is about 450 Gramm (0.45Kg)
    Aeon Junophor

    Hi spazdoll
    The total length of the scepter is exactly 49 cm, means 29.29 inches.
    The copper and brass tube measures 28.5 cm the bakelite part is about 6.0 cm and the brass top measures 14.5 cm.
    Maximum diameter at the top is about 60 mm, minimum 27 mm.

    Hope the numbers could help you
    Greets Aeon Junophor

    Love this! Looks very well constructed, nice job!

    Awesome! You captured the steampunk look nicely.

    Love it! Nice job as always. I look forward to your new postings and I am never dissapointed :)

    Good job, very nice torch!