Captains Log Steambook




About: Involved in shameless self promotion to an astonishing degree.

This is a Steampunk inspired paper note receptacle perfect for using ink or other products to  make a mark for future referral back to. We all need a place to keep our plans for overworld domination, now you can have one! This sea weathered steam punk Captains log book will let you keep track of where you have been, so you never have to go back and also plans or maps or even recipes for home made smoke bombs. Whatever it is, you now have a proper place to keep track of it. 

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Step 1: Materials:

Build Materials:

1/4"x6"x2' Red Oak. - $6
Brass hinges-aged - $3 
Round slot head brass screws - $2
Brass corner pieces - $1
Post Screws/ Chicago Screws - $5
Leather FREE- take apart a purse
Glue - Gorilla glue from around the "shop"
Paint - $7 Hammered Copper
Sandpaper - had around the "shop"
Paper to fill. 

Shop Materials:

Pen/ pencil 
Sharpie/black paint
Brush for glue/ toothpick 
Utility knife/Blade to cut leather
Screwdriver- for assembly/ dis-assembly 

Age Brass:


Step 2: Layout

For my design my paper is 5"x7" and the wood is 1/4" bigger on both sides and the bottom, the top is flush with the wood. The actual width of a 6" piece of wood is 5 1/2" so the size was perfect. Just the length needs to be measured drawn and cut.  Draw the hinges, mark the holes.  Also mark the holes for the Posts. I used 3. 

Step 3: Cuttin' Time!

You should have all your cuts and holes marked on the wood at this point. Cut the parts out. For drilling the holes for the hinges I used a rotary tool with bit I did this by hand,  only went through one hole, if you do just fill in, paint will cover. (these are all the parts cut and drilled post paint, wasn't able to cut and drill and hold the camera at the same time.  :)   )   Drill the Post holes. DRY FIT everything BEFORE painting. It makes it all fit better and it's easier to make any adjustments before painting. 

Step 4: Painting

I used Rust-Oleum Universal Hammered Copper and laid it on THICK. In the end a little too thick which is why these paint pictures look much different than the finished product. 

Spray on in thin even layers allowing time to dry between paintings. 

A light sanding between coats will also give a much smoother finish.

Step 5: Hardware Prep

We all want that good old Steampunky feeling in our brass, here's how I got mine.

I took SOLID brass hinges/Screws and sanded the protective coating off. Then soaked in acetone , soaked in vinegar and salt, dried off. After the first time you should be able to see the little bits of coating on the brass you missed, sand them off and soak it in vinegar again. I soaked in vinegar for about 15 minutes, let air dry and did it again until it had the color I wanted. 

The corner covers I colored with a black Sharpie and just sanded off, I tried the vinegar soak but it didn't seem to have much results. 

The Screw Posts I did the same with the Sharpie and sanding but I think I am going to do it with black paint and sanding next time.

The brass screws I also cut down as they were longer than the 1/4" piece I was putting them into. 

Step 6: Assembly- Hardware

Now we're ready to put her together.

First you want to install the hinges. After making sure everything dry fits together I put a drop of Gorilla glue in each pre-drilled hinge hole and on the ends of the screws going in there. 

Then I glued and clamped the corner covers on and let the glue dry. 

Step 7: Assembly-Leather Binding

For this part I just lined up how I wanted the seam to lay on the front, marked where the holes for the screw posts go and laid over the back for the same thing.  

To mark the holes I dry fit the screw posts and held the leather over the top and marked with a Sharpie and then cut with a razor blade. 

After the holes were marked and cut I brushed the ares with glue to keep the fit and look tight and held with clamps until dry. 

After it was dry, I trimmed the overhanging edges with a razor. 

Step 8: Finished Captains Log Steambook

Now you have your very own Captains Log Steambook paper note receptacle!!  These are just pictures of finished details. You can use any paper you want- this is what I could afford for this build and I do a LOT of writing, now it just looks cooler when I do. 

It's my first steam punk project and instructable. So be nice! 

And please rate or vote or whatever we do here!!

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    17 Discussions

    Winged Fist

    7 years ago on Introduction

    This is a great design and very attractive finished product. I saw a book that looks almost exactly like this in the NYC Police Museum. It's a hundred year log book. So you did a great job on antiquating this, if it looks just like one that's really 100 years old!

    1 reply

    7 years ago on Step 8

    Love this project! What did you use for the corner pieces in this build? Looking at the pieces in the parts list, I can't see how they would look like the finished project corners... It looks like you used something else?

    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    The corners were cheap metal corner covers that I colored with a black sharpie and then sanded back off~ think they were like $1 at Michael's or something~~ hope this helps! :)


    8 years ago on Step 8

    This is so awesome. Seriously awesome. <3 LOVE IT.


    8 years ago on Step 8

    Have you ever tried tea dying paper before? It gives paper an aged look and I think it would go great with this!

    2 replies

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    You can also use instant coffee...and to give a different effect you could burn the edges of the paper...kind of looks cool..if you're going with that effect.

    Hey I love it! especially the aged hinges, very creative idea! Looking forward to seeing more!!!!!!


    8 years ago on Step 8

    Great job! Especially for your first effort. Looking forward to seeing more projects from you soon.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Very nice and well built.
    You could have prepared tea, put the papers in, let them dry, and put them afterwards in your log...
    One question : where did you find the ''Brass hinges-aged - $3'' ?
    I know where I can find brass-hinges, but do you have any advice on how to make them look old ??

    2 replies