Steampunk Contraption Model Beta

The Hip Monsters team decided to make something that interests people when they walk into the room. Inspired by Girl Genius, we made a mysterious steampunk device that only we know the use of. 

Handmade steampunk device
Our amazing steampunk device.

This is our steampunk creation. It has two light bulbs, a pressure gauge, and some metal pipes. The light bulbs’ brightness is adjustable. 

DIY steampunk device
The side view

This is the side view of our device. You can see that on the side of the creation, there is a silver metal box. That controls the brightness of the lightbulbs.

DIY steampunk device
The back view

On the back, you can see that there is a wire going from the silver box away from the device. that is where you plug in the device to the outlet. From the front it is barely noticeable, you can only see it from certain angles.

The Making of Number Three

The Making of Number 3

We saw the need for a new robot for halloween, so we made one. This is our steampunk squirrel powered robot Number 3. We wanted it to be as big as a kid to help with our Halloween decorations. Our other robots were small and not easy to see.  Our plan was for a big robot with lights and room to grow as we came up with new ideas. 

Please note, this material is provided for informational purposes only and is not a guide on how to create the designs.  Please read our disclaimer.

Getting started on steampunk inspired robot
Getting started

These are some of the parts that we used. We gathered most of it from unused parts from other projects. This project ended up being a great way to recycle old parts and scapes and it made it look even more steam-punky.

Odd and ends for the steampunk inspired robot
Scrape parts

We used PVC pipes for the skeleton of our robot because its strong and lightweight. Also we had fitting from remodeling that would attach to the pipes and let us hangs details. The pipes are standard so if we did need to buy anything it would be easy.

Completed steampunk inspired robot
Completed Robot

The image to the right is the completed robot. The starting images ended up not as good as we expected so the final image was the best to show how the tubing was used. First, we cut the pipes to the right size using one of us to figure out lengths arms, legs and spine. Then we assembled it and added feet to keep it stable as we worked.  The feet were harder than expected to get the right balance and weight. We used concrete bolts with extra washers as needed. 

Then we assembled the PVC pipes and painted it with two coats.  The first was sliver; the second was bronze.  Next, we used an old security camera mount and attached a plastic jar on the neck. We added a toy squirrel inside and a few parts that looked like little controls for it. We named the squirrel Professor Brookenhoff.

For a fake engine core we used an old battery powered lantern connected to an old water bottle. 

Building the gear box for the steampunk inspired robot
Assembling the gear box

Now we started on the fake control box. To make is steampunk we used gears and only a few wires. Then we assembled the gears to control the robot. We used old wood as a base and stain and distressed it by hitting it with a hammer. 

After that, we drilled a bunch of holes on the back and put thin, long bolts through them to create a framework for the gears.  Before we assembled it we laid out the gears on the table in the pattern we wanted then transferred the gears to the rig.  You must remember to lay out the gears in the opposite way you want them in the rig.

Gear box side view for steampunk inspired robot
Side view of the gear box

Here is a view of gears completed with the control boxes on each side. 

The gears took the most time and ended up being a lot harder than we imagined.  It was difficult to screw the tiny nuts into place to give it a 3d look. Also, the bolts proved to be sharp. We attached some gears to the side of the control boxes so it would look like they actually controlled the gears.

Close up of the gear box to the steampunk inspired robot
Close up of the gear box

Then we attached a box to run the wirer through. We had a plan on the gears, engine, wire, pistons that we made before we started work that was our best attempt at design an honest working robot. The things we added is what Number 3 would have needed if it was real.

Side view of the gear box for the steampunk inspired robot
Side view

We then added a second box next to the gears for attaching the control wires.  

Close up of the gear box for the steampunk inspired robot
Close up

Here is a close up of the gears. Getting a 3-D design is important to make it look real. Each gear needs two bolts. One on top and one on the bottom. Make sure they are tightly screwed together. 

Back view of the steampunk inspired robot
Back view

Now we focused on putting on details that would make it look like Number 3 could move. Since it was supposed to be steam powered we used four left over pistons. We attached pneumatic tubing to the pistons then attached the other end to the engine. The idea is the power from the engine would create steam, and Professor Brookenhoff would give commands to the gears which would send the steam to the right piston to make it move.  The idea of the head came from Carmichael from The Umbrella Academy.

Feet for the steampunk inspired robot
Close up of the feet

As we added more details to Number 3, we also needed to add more heavy things to the feet for stability.

Close up of the head of the steampunk inspired robot
Close up of the head

A close up of Professor Brookenhoff piloting Number 3.

Close up of the chest of the steampunk inspired robot
Close up of the chest

A close up of the tubing from the engine to the joints.

 

Side view of steampunk inspired robot
Side View

Number 3 from side view. Here you can see the hands which also ended up being hard to make. Finally we made the hands out of wires and springs so it can hold things.

Front view of steampunk inspired robot
Front View

Here is the final completed robot.

Sun-Moon-Earth Orrery

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Getting started

Need to track the moon phases for that perfect time to cast a spell? Worried about when you are due to change into a werewolf?

The following instructions are for a quick DIY Sun-Earth-Moon Orrery we did for a school project.  This is suitable for ages 6 to 12 but may need adult supervision.  We were inspired by this article in instructables.com but needed a much simpler design.

Please note, this material is provided for informational purposes only and is not a guide on how to create the designs.  Please read our disclaimer.

 

Equipment

Equipment:

  • Drill
  • Pliers
  • Wire Cutters

Parts:

  • Plywood (10 X 10 inches)
  • 4 inch bolt with 3 nuts and 3 washers
  • 2 inch bolt with 3 nuts and 3 washers
  • 3 foam balls of different sizes
  • 9 inches of thick wire (may use coat hangers)
  • 5 inches of thin wire (may use pipe cleaner)  
  • Foam padding

Step 1

First, measure the center hole for the main screw.  This screw will support the Sun, Earth, and Moon.

Step 2

Next, drill the hole and push the large screw through the hole and secure it with a washer and bolt.

Step 3

Turn over the base and stick four foam pads on the bottom. We used one large foam pad for furniture and cut it into four pieces.  These foam padding will prevent the center bolt from scratching the table when placed upright.

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Step 4

Turn the base back over and make sure the foam padding is tall enough to prevent the bolt from scratching the table. If not, then add another layer of foam.  Next, screw another a nut to the halfway point on the bolt and then put a washer on top. 

Step 5

Now we need to make the support wire for the Earth. Take the larger wire and bend both ends using a screwdriver as shown. The goal is the make the loops tight enough so the bolts are secure when threaded through them.

Step 6

Here, both ends are ready to secure the Earth to the center shaft. Notice one loop is smaller than the other.  The larger loop is for the center bolt; the smaller one is for Earth’s bolt. 

Step 7

Now, thread the smaller bolt through the smaller loop.  

Step 8

Secure the bolt to the arm with a washer and nut.  Then screw a nut halfway up the bolt. This bolt will serve as support for the Moon’s arm.

 

Step 9

Next, create the Moon’s arm.  Bend the thinner wire similar to the Earth’s arm but only put a loop on one end. Bend the other end up to support the Moon.

Step 10

Now connect the thin wire to the screw on Earth’s arm and secure with a bolt.

Step 11

And we are nearly there! Just connect the thick wire to the screw and put a washer and bolt on top. Make sure to screw on tightly, the weight of the arm can make it droop.

Step 12

And finally we are ready to add the Sun, Earth, and Moon. The smallest ball is the Moon and goes on the smallest arm.  The Earth is the mid-sized ball and put onto the outer bolt. The largest ball is the Sun and placed on the center bolts. You can paint the balls as the final step if you want to.

Putting it all together

Here are all the pieces laid out.  We substitute the foam balls in one build with a ping pong ball for the Sun and felt balls for the Earth and Moon.

Enjoy

You now have your own Sun-Earth-Moon Orrery and predict the next eclipse or start planning for the next full moon!

Keep a watch out for werewolves!

 

 

 

 

Our Monster Family

The Hip Monsters team does not like trees going to waste so whenever we stumble upon a piece of wood too rotten or misshapen to be used for out projects we create a monster!

 steampunk, monster, woodcraft
Allie!

 

Born from a dead branch of a juniper bush this monster is built to protect a child’s room.  It is very possessive and will only allow one monster in the room at a time. Perfect for making sure human children have a restful nighttime sleep.

Allie was one of our first monsters and is at the front of our house very Halloween! 

 

 steampunk, monster, woodcraft
Coming through your window!

We call this one the Anteater.  The Anteater creature was a wonderful branch that was too split to make a good wand or use in other projects.  After we stabilized the splitting and cut out all the rotted wood, we coated her heavily in bees wax.

 steampunk, monster, woodcraft
Side view

At first we thought of mounting Anteater as if she was a trophy but then the Sister’s team thought of having her appear to climb out from the wall.  We then used a picture frame we were working on and created a fake window for her to climb out of. With a window as a mount, she made a great addition to our living room.

 

 steampunk, monster, woodcraft
Humming Bird

The humming bird monster was a branch too weak to be used for other projects.  After trimming and tons of bees wax we added felt wings.

 steampunk, monster, woodcraft
Bottom view

hung from the ceiling the humming bird monster comes to life.

 

 steampunk, monster, woodcraft
Shui the Dragon

Born from one of our favorite bushes and a failed custom, Shui the dragon was out most complex monster at that time.

Steampunk wooden monster
Flying free!

Shui has posable legs, tail and wings. The legs barely can support her so we decided to hang her from the ceiling to watch over us as we craft.

Steampunk wooden monster
Side view

 The wings are from a dragon custom we were building that proved to be too heavy. The tail is made by repeatedly cutting the log and threading a steal wire to through to secure it.

Happy Making!