Steampunk CD Player

Today, I’ve found for your enjoyment an awesome instructional on how to make this excellent Steampunk CD player.

First off, the gauges on the sides look like eyes, which makes me giggle, thereby immediately earning a great deal of respect in my random world of deciding what is and isn’t awesome.

The instructions, featuring careful photo-documentation of each step, have been translated from Russian to English so please forgive the sometimes confusing linguistics.

This tutorial for a kick ass CD Player was brought to you by so if you like this project, be sure to drop by their blog and tell them so! They’ve got all kinds of neat stuff on there so check it out!

Steampunk Computer: The Timekeeper

It’s no secret to anyone who has read this blog for any length of time that I love computers and the internet. Steampunk wouldn’t be the vibrant and well connected community that it is without it, so computers and their accessories are, as a result, some of my favorite modifications to feature here.

Steampunk modified computers are hardly inexpensive, however. The skills required to build and modify a computer are not common knowledge, and messing up with something like computer become a very expensive and unproductive hobby.

There is a new listing on Etsy that features a relatively inexpensive computer modified in the Steampunk aesthetic that has attracted my attention. It’s super shiny:

Created by John Dunn, The Timekeeper computer costs 1,099 USD (plus shipping) and is really quite impressive. Though I’m not at the point in my life where a desktop would fulfill all of my computing needs, this is certainly something I will keep on the radar if that day comes.

You can buy The Timekeeper here on Etsy.

Steam-powered Record Player

Right before Abney Park released their latest album, The End of Days, I made a comment regarding the need for Abney Park and other Steampunk bands to put their music out on vinyl. My argument was that Steampunks as a whole were much more likely to own a functioning turn table than almost any group, and therefore, we need all this awesome music on records.

And then, this creation was brought to my attention:


This is a steam powered record player. For serious. It was created by Simon Jansen of Auckland, New Zealand. Here’s what he had to say about it, via Make Magazine’s Blog:

This is my steam powered record player built to play a Sex Pistols LP. Yes, it is true steampunk. The engine was made mainly from bits and pieces I had lying about in my junk box. The boiler was made from some copper water pipe and a bespoke platter and base was made using wood. I am using an Arduino to control everything buy using a coil to detect the passing of magnets in the edge of the platter. The Arduino works out the revs then feeds this information into a PID controller the output of which drives a servo controlling a throttle on the engine. The speed is regulated to 33 1/3 (well, more or less) and displayed on an analogue meter. The tone arm uses an old phono cartridge that connects to my phono pre-amp and into my stereo. The hardware is complete and works well but the software could use a little tweaking. It does however run!

All I can say is that this thing is freaking awesome.

Aaron Adding Machines

My work involves a lot of number crunching, and when I’m manipulating large numbers, it’s best to keep a calculator on hand to ensure accuracy. This normally means pulling up the calculator on my computer to reach the results I need. Nothing particularly Steampunk about it, I’m afraid to say.

Ah, but Aaron over at Aaron Adding Machines is thankfully here to help with positively impressive and entirely functional Steampunk calculators:

Ooh, doing financial reports has suddenly become so much cooler. Here’s a brief description from the artist himself on his wondrous contraptions:

The assumption behind modern electronics is that smaller is better. So I have set about completely re-thinking and re-building the electronic calculator using old-fashioned heavyweight switches, cranks, and levers mounted in antique chassis.

I turn out only a few Aaron Adding Machines a year. Every Aaron Adding Machine works perfectly and each is unique. I strive to have my pieces look like they are functional, utilitarian, mass-produced devices plucked from some imaginary office of another era. Perhaps the 19th century, perhaps a time that never existed.

All inquires into the purchase of one of Aaron’s magnificent machines must go through email, which can be found on his website.

Steampunk Kaleidoscopes

Taking a break from moving pictures for a while. I’d like to highlight the work of  Steampunk artist Kevin C. Cooper who is making an amazing array of kaleidoscopes, telescopes, and goggles.

Rather than put words in the artist’s mouth, I’d like to present to you commentions from the artist about his creations, via his Etsy shop:

I create devices and artifacts from imagination, found parts and specially manufactured fittings. Everything is hand crafted in my studio, wood parts may be glued together where necessary or screwed when appropriate. Metal parts, usually brass, are soldered, screwed, bolted or riveted.

All of my creations are unique “one of a kind” works of art. Each one bears a small engraved plate with my name and the year of creation. Each one also comes complete with a certificate of authenticity signed by me.

All the kaleidoscopes are fully functioning. I use high quality “First surface mirror” for optimum clarity of the viewed image.

Please bear in mind some parts of my creations may be of great age, in fact even Victorian. some of the newer parts which I make out of necessity will where appropriate be “aged” to match, consequently they will not look brand new.

For more information on how these impressive kaleidoscopes, you can check out Kevin’s blog here.


Who can forget the classic Mr. Potato Head, a staple of American childrens’ toy chests since its beginning distribution in 1952. We all know what he looks like:

Iconic, yes, but hardly Steampunk. For those kiddos you are attempting to steep in Steampunk from a young age, the original Mr. Potato Head is not really one to inspire clockwork driven thoughts. We need to mod this tuber…


Allow me to introduce Spudnik, an incredible mod by saritamarianyc of Flickr. You can check out the Spudnik photostream here. Steampunk Makers will be particularly interested in  the Process folder to see photos of the production of Spudnik. Saritamarianyc, also know as Sarah Calvillo, has her own website, Among Mad People to check out more of her work. Although she is not a singularly Steampunk artist, it is clear she has a lot of talent. If you ask me, I think she should do Steampunk more often!


For all you wielding an iPhone I have a special treat for you tonight. As usual, I was perusing the limitless halls of handmade goodness on Etsy, and I happened to come across this iPhone dock: the iRetrophone.

This phone dock by Scott Freeland is a fully-functional, stationary iPhone dock with working handset and complete compatibility with USB cable, which is rather cool. It’s USB cable hookups allows for charging and syncing to your computer while it is resting in the iRetrophone dock. It comes in three different colors, bronze, copper, and nickel. It is compatible with all iPhones including the iPhone 4, but for all the negative press I’ve been hearing about it, I can’t help but wonder why you’d buy one at all.

The only downside to this phone dock, aside from the price, is that it is unlikely to fit some of the Steampunk modified iPhones, as it appears the nesting area for the phone is rather snug.

Steampunk Nintendo DS Mod

Today, I’m following up on a request by one of my readers to help him in his quest to mod his Nintendo DS. This request comes on the heels of a number topics he has asked for help in preparing for SteamCon II, and while I was going to refer him to The Antiquarian Guild of Inventors and Engineers to peruse their knowledge database, I sadly discovered their site is down.

So! A modded DS… Yes, let me see here… *rummages around the internets*

Ahah! Observe!

But perhaps you are thinking to yourself, “No, no, my dear Audelia. That’s a cigar box, not a Nintendo DS. Look! It even has the Republic of Cuba stamp.”

But then, I open it up and…

It’s perfect! This DS was modded bysteampunk10. You can check out the post that announces the DS’s completion here on his blog, but I think modders will find his post far more interesting and useful with regards to creating your own modifications. There, you can find a bit more information about the materials used to construct the modded DS.

So, I hope this helps! I’ll be looking into resources for my reader’s other requests as I come upon them. And for all the rest of you, if you ever need help trying to find Steampunk info, just let me know. I’d be happy to help you in your search.

Top Hats

Cut Out and Keep is another one of those Do It Yourself websites that attracts a lot of Steampunk projects. In May, I featured a fun project on Steampunking your composition notebooks. If you missed that post, you can check it out here. It’s absolutely worth looking at, especially for all those Steampunk students are out of school with time on their hands for the summer.

Another simple Steampunk project caught my eye on their site, and I thought you all might like it brought to your attention. This particular set of instructions features recommendations on how to create your own Steampunk Hat.

The directions are simple enough. Like any well executed project, the real work is in the planning.

What I really like about this particular page, however is the assortment of hats that the instructions have inspired that can be viewed below the instructions. Every one is markedly different from the others, giving a small glance into the personality of the owner and their personal flare of Steampunk.

So, if you don’t have a Steampunk hat yet, or are looking to dress yours up, this tutorial (but more so the pictures) might serve some inspiration! Happy modding!

Old Time Computer

Computers are an important part of our modern lives. They make it so much simpler to do work, play, and to socialize. They are, however, hardly works of art. The average computer is not a work of art. It is simply utilitarian, made of various plastics to keep productions costs down. The Steampunk computer, as you all are well aware, is one that is concerned equally with function and fashion. In Steampunk utility does not mean a lack of beauty.

Old Time Computer is a small, independent operation by “woodguy32” who specializes in the modification of Mac computers, keyboards, mice, and iPhone and iPad docking stations.  Needless to say, if you have any needs for a Steampunk Mac, this is a great place to purchase it.

He’s even got laptops among his repertoire of modified computers which is excellent for Steampunks on the go.

If you would like to explore the many products offered by Old Time Computer, you can visit there main website or their Etsy Store for examples of the excellent work by woodguy32.