Intro: Miss Betsy's Quintessential Steampunk Gadget
This instructable involves working with electricity (120V) and fluids in close vicinity! You should be aware of the dangers and not attempt this if you don't know what you are doing!
All pipe/hose connections have to be absolutely watertight and I recommend a test with the reservoir filled but the coffee maker not plugged in. Check for leaks after 30 minutes or longer.
The electrical connections should be at least as well insulatad as in the original "donor", when you solder the copper pipes use leadfree solder and when using epoxy glue follow the instructions carefully and work in a well ventilated area!
This said, let's have a look what we need.
Materials and tools which will make completion of this project a lot easier -_^ :
Donor = Coffeemaker from the Salvation Army
Wood to build the frame
Copper pipes and fittings
Water reservoir - I used a aluminum water bottle
A nice coffee/tea pot
Filter holder - in my case a pretty porcelain lamp shade
4 rubber feet
Ruler, tape measure, compass and caliper
Drill press + drill bits
For some time I wanted to make a steampunk coffee/tea maker but I couldn't think of a nice water reservoir till I saw this aluminum water bottle at the dollar store. As luck would have it, the opening had a 3/4" FPT (female pipe thread) which could be easily fitted with the male counterpart and further hooked up to the heater element. (You can see it on a picture later) The other problem was the wooden base but I was lucky there too.
If you want to see how a coffee maker works, check this really good video clip: http://vimeo.com/2193258
Of course you could argue an electrical powered coffee maker is not steampunk at all, but then I want to see the coal/gasoline driven coffee maker you've built ;p
Step 1: Finding a Donor and Taking It Apart:
Every time I stop at the salvation army they have several coffee makers up for grabs. Usually they are not difficult to take apart with a screwdriver and some (gentle) force. What you need is the heating element with attached rubber hoses, electrical switch and cable.
Step 2: Mock Up
To find the right arrangement of the parts, I moved them around on a wooden board and got the approximate measurements for a wooden base.
Step 3: Fitting the Parts in the Base
I couldn't believe my luck when I found a piece of wood the exact size for this project. What still needed to be done was cutting the round opening for the warming plate but I managed that pretty well and everything fitted perfectly.
Step 4: Ducts and Frame
As the pictures show, I drilled two holes for the pipes. One for the duct from the reservoir to the heater and the other from the heater up to the coffee filter. In case you haven't watched the video, check the rubber hoses for the one-way valve! That's the one that comes from the reservoir!
To have room for all this, I built a frame ~3/4" high.
In the last picture of this series you see everything in place.
Step 5: Painting and Installing the Electrical Switch
The whole base was painted with fast drying spray paint.
I would have loved to use the switch in the picture but I had to find out that it was only rated 12V, so I had to revert to the original switch.
You can see how I installed it and how the cable was secured to the frame.
Step 6: Preparing the Water Reservoir
I scored the aluminum bottle about 1/4" from the bottom and cut the bottom off with a metal saw (carefully). The cradle from some other project came in quite handy. The cut was straight and square!
In the second picture you can see the 3/4" MPT to sweat brass connector which fitted perfectly in the opening of the bottle.
Step 7: Construction of the Steam! Pipe
Actually these are just some copper pieces found in my spare box, including a brass nozzle which are epoxied together. The real secret of the steam-pipe though is a 1/4" food-grade hose that runs inside the copper pipe and guides the steam/hot water right up to the coffee filter. This arrangement also allows me to swing the arm to the side when the brewing is done.
Step 8: Feet and a Bottom-cover
For safety reasons the heating element and electrical parts were literally screened off with some bug screen. (And yes, I know, I could have put a bit more effort into it) In case of leaks the water would be drained away from the electrical parts.
Feet keep the coffee maker off any surface you put it on.
Step 9: The Finished Coffee Maker
Of course I could have added some additional "steampunkish" elements but I think the coffee maker catches your eye because of the simple lines along with the contrast between black base, coffee(tea) pot and gleaming metal.
The last pic is a stereogram and if you know how, you can see the coffee maker in 3D. Just click on the i in the upper left corner and see it at full size. (Further explanations at my instructable "Stereo Photography Track - quick and dirty" )
Let me know what you think and if you like my instructable, please click on the stars and rate it.