Instructables
Picture of make a Steampunk pen knife
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Here is how to make a Steampunk pen knife, this isn't a modification on an existing pocket knife, rather these are instructions on how to make one from only basic materials. This knife includes scissors, philips screw driver, imperial ruler, two sizes of flat screwdrivers, bottle opener, old fashion jar opener, can opener, file, wood saw, scribe and knife.

special note I have updated this with an additional step and the main image has been changed slightly, as a result of this some of comments apply to first 8 steps.
 
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Step 1: Tools and materials

Picture of tools and materials
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tools list
1 files
2 awl
3 dremmel with cutting disk
4 scissors
5 pliers
6 wire cutters
7 hammer
8 drill bits and milling bits
9 double edge tape
10 Screwdrivers
11 circle guide
12 blow torch
13 hack saw
14 taps, dies
15 hand held drill
16 rasp
17 vice
18 printer
19 basic photo editing soft ware
20 computer (although it's a bit of a given if you're reading this now)

optional tools
1 band saw
2 belt sander
3 drill press

materials
1 steel bar 1/8.............................. $2
2 brass sheet 1/16 .......................$12
3 rosewood 1/4 .............................$5
4 Phillips Screwdrivers...................$2
5 brass rod 1/8 ...............................$4
6 brass tube 3/16 od 9/64 id.......$1.5
7 four small screws..........................$0.5
8 two nuts and two bolts.................$1
9 file....................................................$4
total.....................................................$32

keep in mind that the price of the parts will vary depending on where and how you get the parts the list given is what I had to pay and I had some discounts for example the green steel bar was on the curb destined for the trash, the bolts were part of an useless attachment on my bicycle and the brass was floor scraps from a sheet metal shop, for $12. Even though some of these were free for me I still put what it would cost. To get the parts the best place to get them from is a local metal shops in a phone book ,the rose wood can be found in a music store for a guitar finger board, if you can't find it then go to a hardware store and get a wood such as maple or mahogany, if you cant find a metal shop locally then go to http://www.onlinemetals.com/ and all the remaining parts can be found at a hardware store.
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sconner13 years ago
Nice inlays, it really pops against the rosewood.
It would be cool to put only period tools in.
Phillips screws although superior weren't invented yet.
A straight shaving razor would be, even if it were difficult to use and maybe even downright dangerous.
I like the idea someone posted about including a clock key.
Steampunk is fiction after all so go ahead and add bluetooth :)

Beautiful concept.
I'd add a key to the Nautilus (Captain Nemo's submarine).

3366carlos3 months ago

outstanding project.

triumphman2 years ago
Excellent, anything hand made is awesome and stands in the face of mass produced chinese trash! Bully for you! Keep up the good work!
Thats awesome! I want to attempt to build one of these in the future. How hard was it on a scale of 1-10?
weasel9995 years ago
an easier way to get the metal pieces cut is plasmacam
but is anyone really gonna pay £5k for one just to do this project?
what material is B? looks like 1/8 steel but i can tell
Void Schism3 years ago
Great instructable. I have been thinking of building a knife for a while. It was very useful to see the stages of assembly.
antonia273 years ago
hey I really love the pen knife you made and want to try making it myself, but I have a couple of questions. could you please tell me the measurements of the metal sheets in more accurate terms? (height, width, length and which measurement system you use). also, i'm having a lot of difficulty resizing your template files. is there a way you could e-mail them to me pre-sized? i would be really grateful :-)
LaBeasy3 years ago
would it be better to just use a sawblade from a multitool or something else with teeth at more regular intervals?
alexander.m (author)  LaBeasy3 years ago
If take a saw out of a existing multitool then you will have compromised the usefulness of the tool. The saw its self didn't take tool long to make and it is surprisingly effective. I know I used an existing file then modified it to fit, but it was a cheap hardware store file, and making a file is vary difficult.
Very nice.
jhonny4 years ago
would you ever sell this and if so how much.
Foaly74 years ago
Can you add more blades & tools to this knife at all?
alexander.m (author)  Foaly74 years ago
 I could, but the that means that I would have to make; the new tool, the brass spring and I would need to replace the bolts and the brass tubes. This would be a rather time consuming job and I cant think of any other tools I would need to add. 
How2BRandy5 years ago
Where is the steampunk? This looks more like a horror prop for a rusty scenario.
the steampunk is in the fact that it's all handcrafted. the true spirit of steampunk lies not in the appearance, but in the hand-made quality that has been lost in the modern world through plastic injection molds and assembly lines. any true steampunk would know this.
So these handmade guitar picks of Mt. Rushmore are steampunk? http://blog.makezine.com/handmade_guitar_picks.jpg

Or a homemade rubber band ball?

It's clearly very wrong to claim that steampunk is only about hand-made quality. There are BOTH handmade things that are decidedly not steampunk, and classic steampunk things that are decidedly not handmade (railroad rails anyone?).

Yes, hand crafting is one efficient way to make something lean more toward steampunk, but without other elements, it will not make the cut. (And I do not see really any of those elements here. Materials would count, but pretty much every pen knife in the world is made of wood and metal...)
steampunk is modern technology cast in the production techniques of teh victorian era, eg. steam powered tanks or spacecraft or robots. the idea is to combine two very different levels of technology. If i were to judge i would say this is probably more accurately just victorian-looking, since i'm sure they already had the technology for folding knives in the 1800's.
I disagree with that definition as well, although it seems a bit closer. Modern people who dress in a Victorian fashion are very often referred to as steampunk, for instance, and are accepted as such by most of the major steampunk online communities. But that does not involve combining any two levels of technology. The notion of combining in general does seem central somehow, but I can't quite put my finger on it. Maybe in the case of clothing, it is the mixture of a style/technology of dress, and a modern CONTEXT? Whereas with the pocket knife, the context is less relevant, because folding knives were prevalent both then and now, and as a result, it isn't anything so out of place or much of a change? Also, I would discourage latching onto any one specific defining characteristic in general. Most words and ideas of any kind are actually used in conjunction with more of a "cloud of features." For instance, you might have a list of things, like: -hand crafted -combinations of technologies/styles/eras/etc. -Aesthetics > Practicality -Romanticism -A nostalgic tone (usually when modern and Victorian are combined by steampunks, it seems to be more of an attempt to make the modern better as a result, not vice versa) -(And so on) Then, steampunk is defined merely as "The more of these features you have at the same time and the more strongly each feature is represented, the more strongly steampunk the thing or event or idea probably is."
well spoken, but giving actual genres vague definitions sort of defeats the purpose of genres. Just as cyberpunk has a defined style and defined literary characteristics, so too should steampunk. If you let the internet decide on what steampunk comprises, then yes, everyone wearing a top hat is steampunk. I think a narrower definition with actual content is more useful for describing both the aesthetic and the sort of objects that are built and considered steampunk. If you look at the steampunk keyboard on this site by Jake Von Slatt, for instance, you can see modern technology cast in past technology. The whole idea of steampunk is to have a modern society with modern problems and steam-based industrial revolution level technology. That contrast is what gives the genre its interest. Anything lacking one of those two is either just modern or just neo-victorian.
 Yes, folding knives were very much apart of the 1800's. (there's one that dates to the Roman Empire) The Multi-tool... not so common at that time?  I agree that this project is less "punk" than "steam". 
Why shouldn't the internet have a say in defining steampunk? A guy in a top hat is a pretty weak showing by pretty much any standard, but I think it's quite legitimate to say that full victorian dress in downtown manhattan is fairly steampunk, just by sheer volume of consensus on the internet. Especially since it's a largely internet movement.

Also, I challenge your notion that just because something isn't a crisply defined category, it must therefore be a useless category, or that we must be missing something. I don't happen to believe that ANY naturally evolving category in language is a crisply defined category... And I don't think there's anything wrong with that or suspicious about it.

Even stuff that you think is super well defined, like the category "chair" is almost always very fuzzy. "Has legs?" well no, not beanbag chairs. "You can sit in it?" Well no, not a dollhouse chair. "One could theoretically sit in it if they were the right scale?" Well no, not this chair http://www.designboom.com/history/stilllife/01.jpg And then what about benches or stools? They have legs, and you can sit in them. In fact, if you made it the right shape, I'd say you could probably make a piece of furniture that would only seat one person that people would call a "bench," just from the carpentry style. What about a picture of a chair (a la Magritte's "this is not a pipe.")? A chair that doesn't exist, but which you are designing in your head? A metaphorical chair (e.g., Jesus sits on the right hand of God)? What if I sit against a wall with my knees at 90 degrees and claim I'm on a chair, does that count as an imaginary/air chair? What makes it a chair (it doesn't even have material substance...)? What about this chair? http://radarjam.files.wordpress.com/2007/06/chairman_mao.jpg

If we are that far off of having a definition of common household nouns, then I think it's a pretty silly and uphill battle to try and pin down a definitive description of steampunk. It should be good enough to list things that characterize it.
existence of the tech in the 1800s means its not steampunk? that's a rather blatant oversimplification. Tech for folders? yes, as far back as the mid-1700s-albeit somewhat rare). That fact does not, however, negate the "steampunk- ness" of the item; I'm sure that they had steam technology during the 1800s. Does that mean, then, that a modern-day reproduction of a steam engine cannot be steampunk?.
H3xx smurfsahoy4 years ago
What if he made a notch in the side and put some gears from an old watch in it?
no, gears are far too cliche when it comes to steampunk. once upon atime it was nice, but the way they are now being overused (mostly bythose new to the culture), in most cases by being glued onto everypossible surface, the use of gears in steampunk artwork and items hasbecome quite tasteless with a few, albeit rare, exceptions.
I have to agree with smurfsahoy. SteamPunk is a specific kind of craftwork. It is a style. Otherwise, it would simply be called "hand-crafted." A Native American flint arrowhead is handmade, but it is certainly not steampunk. I like this Instructable a lot. But I don't see anything remotely Victorian-looking about it. My grandfather had a pocket knife that looked a lot like this, but it was made in the 1930s.
It may not be strictly dictionary-definition steampunk, but it is closer than anything I could come up with.
Atlas22 Foaly74 years ago
Why is it called a Steam "punk" anyways? Firts time i herd of this i thought it was some sort of rocker
Foaly7 Atlas224 years ago
Well, my best guess is to make it sound less nerdy. "Victorian- Era/ Current Technology Fusion" doesn't sound so appealing.
its called steampunk because it is a mix of steam powered era style and futuristic style. sort of as if the future happened in the past (if that makes any sense). and its punk because its a bit of that style thrown in. so really you can call anything that looks futuristic and also belongs in the steam powered era steampunk. and throwing in some brass wouldn't hurt
jhonny4 years ago
that is very cool
Aaronius4 years ago
Wow! Fantastic Job! I might try it and add a magnifing lens and aclock-winding key!
Wareagle5 years ago
oh my god! i had no idea that someone could do this. this is amazing work! you should start selling them and having people order them custom very cool.
alexander.m (author)  Wareagle5 years ago
Would you want to buy one?
Highest I would pay is $50. This is just SO awesome! And I never knew you could inlay metal wire in wood!
alexander.m (author)  Kaiven4 years ago

Well I am sorry but I would not sell this for any less then $500 CAD because it is vary  labor intensive, and takes about 40 hours to make. With that in mind I am not working for $ 0.45 CAD an hour. The reason why factory made pocketknives are cheap is because they have expensive specialty tools such as a die cutter and are made in countries where people will work for $0.45 an hour.  

Wooow! I had no idea how much time went into this! Great job man!
Ya!
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