Steam Punk Flashlight

About: Happily married, self employed, full wood shop, some metal work as well as electronics, antique collector.

This is a projectt I started a few months ago, it's a work in progress and hope to have it done in about a week.
I have no idea where that reflector came from it's ceramic and hallow.
The case is made of an old oak pallet selected for it's personality, the bottom slides out for access to the
batteries, or what ever, still not sure if it's going to electric or a gas light.

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    20 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Your reflector is just that... a reflector and it is probably glass not ceramic and was used to reflect the light given off of old "coal oil" lamps back ing the day. It is pecfect for your project time period. I would suggest using a big 6 volt bettery to power your light for safety.

    Other than that, it is a fine peice of work. Good job.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    It is gorgeous. The refelctor, at least on the pics, looks like the lid of a pan, without disrespect. It is a gorgeous creation

    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Actually it's a very thin ceramic,(hallow) it is quite old I have no idea what it was used for, a great old looking covering is old Iron cords the woven fabric has an antique look, thanks for the comments.

    Maybe I'll spray some vinagar on them and make a little rust...


    7 years ago on Introduction

    The shiny tubes at the back might be a bit too modern for this creation. Consider wrapping them in something like old rubber hose, or cloth


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Very are the rest of your steam punk creations!
    You've probably finished it by now, but if you are still considering
    gas as a light source you could try acetylene. It would likely be historically
    accurate and easy to make. Just add calcium carbide to water and
    it generates acetylene.
    Miners used this type of light back around the nineteenth and early
    twentieth centuries. A friend of mine used to have one, quite bright and
    lasted a long time as I recall.

    OK, the required safety notice...acetylene is of course quite flammable and
    as I recall from using in for welding, explosive at higher pressures (not likely
    to be reached in an acetylene lamp...).

    Keep creating!

    2 replies

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    The projects are piling up, I am planning a full face mask with the new iris assembly that I set aside, in my youth I used a carbide lamp while spelunking (sp) in Indiana, although I did not truly begin that project, I tried a few mantle lantern minitures with propane and acetyene, I am a mixed gas welder, I had a number of small explosions and blew the tips of the gas supply line apart, I thought better of posting any such endvaors, although that may not stop me from doing so privately.

    a fun FYI is to fill a small balloon with a proper ox. and act. mix and light it, wear ear plugs it is LOUD, my welding instructor did the demo to show us to never let a mixed gas ratio from a torch fill a confined space unlit.

    I'm really glad you liked this project it was just for fun, it still draws comments from visitors to my home, although the answer to the question what does it do is a rather boring, nothing it just looks good.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Now how could I have spent so much time with an oxy-acetylene setup around
    and never tried that with a balloon!
    I'll have to combine that with another interest and see if I can set it off with a laser!

    Ok kids, you know the drill "don't try this at home"...I'm a professional with years
    of experience... ;-)

    BTW, just looked on Ebay, you can still buy carbide lamps...a bit pricey as they
    are considered collectibles these days though.

    Just noticed where you live, aha, now the nick name makes perfect sense! I
    have a brother in law in Fairbanks...


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Well Sir

    A very convincing work indeed. Well done. This gives me a new inspiring idea......

    Winged Fist

    7 years ago on Introduction

    Great design! The case is really well made... It reminds me of my father's old shoeshine box from the 1940s;-)

    1 reply

    Antique experts would call me out on those end joints, in the Victorian Era finger joints were normally not much wider than a saw blade.
    Thanks for the kind words.
    My orginal intent was to make a fake old flashlight, and see if I could fool anyone, the lack of interest made me want to steampunk it.

    *In my announcer voice* "....and the most inefficient light award goes to.... (drumroll please)...Loooong Winters!"

    All jokes aside... if you use the HO gas (what the combined Hydrogen and oxygen gasses are called) , it won't make a "small" flame- it will make a HOT flame- HO torches are the hottest torches... but efficiency is poor as it's hard to get a perfect balance of the hydrogen and oxygen, and also the amount of electrical energy you put in is often more than what you get out.... usually you need high amperage do get a decent amount... (esp. if you are directly using the gas, straight from the HO cell, and not storing it....)
    ALSO HO gas and HO cells can be very dangerous as any stray spark could ignite any small leak.... I definitively wouldn't suggest trying to make a portable version... nor would I put it in a wooden box...

    Anyways (sorry for the lecture, I didn't mean to lecture.... >

    6 replies

    Opps It cut me off!
    Anyways, you could take small HO cell and use it to either heat a camping mantle to incandescence (but it might burn it) or you could use it to heat a piece of quicklime to incandescence, which is your best bet.... not only could you use a different (and safer) fuel source to heat it... but "lime"light is very much in the time period in which steampunk emulates (i.e the 1800's)

    Here is an article from the "Worlds Most Unreliable Encyclopedia"

    And here is an article from one of my favorite source for chemistry info, Theodore Grey ....

    Great minds think alike, I was just checking lime lights and arc lights as possible
    period light sources.

    I added a couple of progress pics

    punk light 001.JPGpunk light 002.JPG

    Wow, love that bulb! Let me guess... it's a plain old ordinary light bulb, that you cleaned out, and then added some glass piping in it... (or I could totally be wrong!)

    You guessed it, it's actually a make your own Xmas bulb (plastic) the tubes are from a heat lamp, I have a progressive LED driver that will make the tubes light in sequence, around the middle, I think I'll use a high out put Cree LED for the center.

    (O.D. on LED envy) I will love to see this lit up!
    You inspired me (after I saw this last night) to take an old flood light bulb that was burned out and clean it out- I think it will be perfect, cause it almost looks like an old cathode-ray tube (CRT)... I am thinking of putting a few RGB LEDs inside so they light up the front (like a screen)... unless I can find a way to project text and info onto the the front of it... hmm... I just had an idea...too bad I don't haven the old projection clock I had anymore... but I might just be able to work something out... Anyways I would love to see this lit up! (Keep up the nice work!)

    What and miss a chance to blow myself up, no way, I can tell you the ratio, two hydrogen atoms to one Ox

    I would consider it a success if I could get a flame the size of a childs birthday cake candle, have you ever tried to seperate water, it is painfully slow.

    I am aware of mixed gas explosions, all one need do is fill a small balloon with
    ox acet mix and light it to get the cops on your door, plus ringing ears, and possibly a broken window.

    I didn't say I was making an efficient light, I bet it will be about as big as a plumbers tool box and twice as heavy.

    Nicely done! I would opt for gas, as that seems to be your niche but I think that this light in particular, is looking like it would be more apt for electric, seeing as you have so far used some nice insulators (where did you get those!)... then again you could to a hybrid design, where it looks like it uses gas (or some other fuel) and generates electricity.... (hmm steam-turbine generator maybe), it would necessarily actually use a fuel, but it would look like it does.... (hopefully I am making sense here...)