Thursday, June 30, 2011

Steampunk Gadget: How To Make a Diatonic Deductor

This Diatonic Deductor gives the possessor the ability to listen to even the most complex sound or music and understand its composition. This can be used to decode complex messages, be used to determine the cause of a sound or noise, or can be used to understand and recreate complex musical passages without effort or the need for previously acquired skills. Those wearing a Diatonic Deductor have been known to gain the ability to instantly play musical instruments with the most complex and modern techniques through tube and clockwork mechanisms. Igor Stravinsky was a loyal supporter of the Diatonic Deductor and has owned one of what is said to be only 11 ever made before the design was destroyed in 1894 in a tragic fire.


I made this device up as I went along and glued things together as I saw fit. Its really easy to make your own steampunk device for costumes or just art if you take the time. I took photos as I built this one so that I can share with others and maybe inspire a few ideas. Hope you enjoy the photos as much as I did making it!

When I started I wanted to make something I can wear on my wrist for the steampunk costume I was designing. I needed something pretty lightweight but strong enough it wouldn't break so it could be worn on my wrist without falling apart or weighing my arm down too much.

I found the perfect thing, a bicycle drink holder which had an adjustable rubber grip and was made of mostly light weight aluminum.

As you can see I was able to bend the metal frame slightly and it could be worn on my wrist making a perfect frame for the new device!

Unfortunately I wasn't originally going to take pictures and post them for this project so I am missing a few steps below. I will attempt to explain. I created a large steampunk gadget which will be glued to the frame using various gears, watch parts, jewelry parts, some nuts, a keychain and a piece of chain. Most everything was purchased from Michaels, I wasn't sure what I was going to create so I used a pocket watch casing which was also for sale at Michaels as a platform and glued all the parts to it as you see below. 

 I then glued this chunk of steampunk onto the base drink holder and let it set overnight.

I went on ebay and won an auction for some old broken tubes which no longer worked or were untested. I thought these would add a nice flavor to the device so I glued a few onto the base.

Still looking for metal chunks of things I can add to the steampunk design, I was at a thrift store and found a box of napkin rings which were nice lightweight metal. I decided this would look good on the front of the device and can serve as barrel or nozzle.

In case anyone is interested I took a picture of the glue I used. I tried super glue as well, but would not recommend it as it will leave a white color on the metal as it dries and also does not do well on most metals so ends up taking a long time to dry anyways. The liquid fusion glue is nice because it dries clear like glass. You can see below how a couple of the gears I covered completely in glue so it looks like there is a glass gear or a lense.

I found some cool looking wings in the jewelry section of Michaels and glued them on both sides to add the "airship" feel and make it genuine steampunk!

Here is an old bottlecap from one of my favorite root beers, Thomas Kemper. They are very victorian looking :) Also you will notice I added a giant spring, this was taken from some kitchen utensil I got at the goodwill store for change.

Added a spring to both sides and added some more gear. You can never have enough! I tried to make them connect so they look like they are working.

A couple more tubes on the front next to the barrel.

This is the opposite side, a couple 'charms' are glued on. A wooden "G" and a rivet.

Finally I added some paint so the napkin ring looks more aged. I painted with metal paints, bronze and copper I think. Then I roughed it up a bit so both colors shined through. I also decided to add some light so its more 'functional' by placing some LED lights under the tubs and powering them with a nine volt battery which sticks out the barrel. I also painted the black rubber wristband/strap so that it looked a metal color rather than rubber.

Here are some pictures with the complete costume from our Halloween.

The whole family crew. Join us on our airship one day wont you?

Airship Pirate - By Abney Park

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