Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Steampunk Wrist Watch II

Last summer I built my first steampunk inspired watch. Since then, it has recieved many comments and confused looks. I have also been mulling over design ideas for a second. The timepiece pictured here is the result of several hours hard work, and countless hours of dreamign and doodling.
I like the idea of a watch that protects the face and opens somehow to reveal it. The first watch opened with a flick of the wrist to swing open a spring loaded arm. This new design opens with a push of a button that keeps the watch locked closed.
The opening sequecne itself is double action. The watch face itself is mounted on two sliders set in parallel, and the spring pulls this slider assembly foreward when the catch is released. As the slider moves foreward, two 'leaves' made from brass (which each cover half of the watch face when closed) slide in opposite directions away from the watch face as the slider moves foreward in a sort of a 'butterfly' motion. These two seperate motions happen simultaneously when the catch is releases. Closing the watch works the same way, except backward, with the slider sliding in and the leaves closing over the watch face.
I was able to fit the whole assembly into a fairly compact profile, actually a little bit smaller than the first (and much more simple by comparison) writst watch design. The watch is held onto one's wrist by means of a leather belt that wraps around twice, keeping the watch from twisting or sliding around the wrist.
As with the first watch, I plan to make more of these and refine the design a little (less excess soldier from the joints, more refined joints, etc). Please contact me through email if you are interested in a watch made to either the old or new design. There will likely be more designs to come, the gears are already turning...

Steampunk Headphones

Here is a project that I have seen done before, but wanted to try it out myself. Early audio and communication equpiment is quite fascinating to me; the over all cosmetics, the 'mystique' of magnets, the robustness of construction. However, one is lucky to fine an old pair of headphones that still functions. Wanting the cosmetics of the old and the function of the new, I put together the following set of headphones.

The base for this project is an old pair of 'Scientific' headphones I found at an antique store. The chord was shot, the magnets were cracked, and one of the diaphragms was badly bent. Bus since I only had eyes for the metal case and headband, they were perfect. The new headphone speakers were from a set of 'Aer Lingus' free-bies from a trip several years ago.

The finished headphones look very nice, and quite unique. I'm not going to go into great detail on how to make a set like these, I know there are instructions out there, and I didn't document the process.

The sound is also quite nice. Audiophiles will likely turn up their nose at these, as it is less than pristiene, and has rather poor bass response. However, I think that it works quite well with the design of the headphones themselves. And as a steampunk project, the roughness and crackling sound is a neat effect, and quite fun to use to listen to modern music or brign your iPod back in time.