Monday, December 20, 2010

Let's make some noise.......

The first of a series of noisemakers is just finished.It's powered by a Miller solarengine.Four former phone bells are used mounted on metal rods salvaged from old printers.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The PuMa project,progress report.....

It's progressing slowly but surely.I've made the wooden housing,placed the copper pipe on it,built the Pummer circuit(I'm reusing an existing magbot circuit)and put the coil and solar cells in place.
Unfortunately I can't really test it until next weekend......these days with not enough daylight are not useful for experiments with solar cells.......

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

The PuMa project

Or the combined Pummer/Magbot pendulum build.Phase one has started which consist of finding the parts and see which shape I like best.In the end I choose for this:

Now I'm soldering the whole thing together.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Current and future projects......

Because winter is the time when you spend most of your time indoors I've started some projects to keep me busy for awhile.I'm making some aluminium boxes which could be the base for other projects.Then I'm also working on three copper and brass based things:one will be a combined Pummer/Magbot pendulum,the other a lamp and the third one is still undecided.
The Pu/Ma project will have two separated circuits,the combination is the LED they will share.
I have also made a simple solar battery charger which I can use to plug in two Pummers(or other battery powered things),so they don't have to sit on the windowsills(which are getting crowded).
The Pummers have yet to be build,they will ofcourse differ slightly from regular Pummers(ie. no solar cell and batteries).

Monday, November 22, 2010

Back to BEAM.......

After my lamp building spree(an ongoing project)it's time to return to BEAM.And of course the first project is a Pummer.The circuit has been,mostly,built and now I'm working on the aesthetic part.
The base is wood on which a part of a motor housing is screwed.I mistreated the housing by copper plating it,or at least that was the plan.But this particular part didn't want to receive any copper ....the result was still interesting though.I gave it a finish with boiled linseed oil,the wooden base was also treated this way.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Yet another lamp........

The last few days I've been working on the lamp pictured here.It started it's life as a water can which I cut in half.The gears were then bend in shape and soldered on the can.With a Dremel tool the copper inside the gear was removed.
Holes were then drilled in the shape of a circle on the can.
The most work went into the fabrication of the chains which were all made from scratch.
The light switch is on top of the can,I used a white LED with two 3 Volt button cells and a 150 Ohm resistor for the lighting.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Metal 1920's truck finished........

Have been putting the latest details onto the truck today:headlights,radiator grille.All in all I'm pretty pleased how the end result turned out: definitely ye olde rusty,beaten up truck.
Now on to the next project,but what it is I'm not sure yet.

Monday, November 08, 2010

New project:Broderbunds toy shop but now in metal

I think I wrote about Broderbunds wonderful toyshop before and that I built a few of the models.One of them was the antique truck.My plan was to make this one from sheet metal some time and I have now started  on this project.Right now I'm working on the  cab which is the  most work.
If you are interested in these models,they can be found here:

Saturday, October 16, 2010

New lamp,The Octagon.

Following the fun I had with making the two previous lamps,I'm now working on another one.This is not made with brass or copper,my favorite materials but with wood and aluminium.The aluminium came off an old oscilloscope and was cut in 20 x 5 cm pieces.The two pieces of wood were sawed in an octagonal shape.
The lighting will probably be a white LED powered by a 3V button cell again.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Making Arabic lamps/lanterns part II

I have finished two of my lamps and am now starting on the 3rd one,and have already ideas for a 5th and 6th..........Anyway the second one which is finished is this one:

As I've said in the previous post materials used were a brass plantpot,part of a oil lamp chandelier,the chains used I made myself(except for the black ones,the decorations hanging on the chains were cut out of scrap brass and copper.
For the lighting I used a white LED with two 3V button cells.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Making Arabic lamps/lanterns

Or you could call them Moroccan....Anyway,I'm a big fan of those types of lamps.You know the kind that project all kinds of interesting shadows on the wall when lit.But since these can be quite expensive I decided to make them myself.Gives me a good reason to abuse metal again.
So,as usual I'm working on multiple projects at the same time.One might even turn out to become a Pummer.
The first one is made out of a brass tea can with the top removed.On the four sides I hammered out different designs:star and moons,a mosque,a hand of Fatima and a random Arabesque design.

The second one is more complicated and consists of more parts:a copper plantpot,and a part from a oil lamp chandelier.I'll be making most of the chain myself and of course the copper and brass decorations.
And the third will probably the Pummer.......

Monday, September 20, 2010

New magbot pendulum type.....

I've been working on a different type of magbot pendulum the last few days.The idea being that part of the stand moves with the swinging of the pendulum.You could call it Newtons 3rd law of motion pendulum..or for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.So the pendulum swings forward and the stand swings backward,then the pendulum swings backwards and the stand swings forward..etc.Nice idea,I thought,but it doesn't quite work that way.
Because when the pendulum swings forward and the stand swings backward,the pendulum drops down.It's that thing called gravity.....So I reckoned if I restricted the movement of the stand that would sort out this problem.But it didn't,it just stopped the movement of the pendulum.
I had a better result with weighing down the bottom of the stand,the movement of the pendulum is not as smooth though.Research continues.......

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Potmeter Pummer

My latest pummer is one with a difference,but what else is new?With this one I wanted to be able to change the LED and capacitor(the one closest to the LED).So these can now easily plugged in,a sort of plug and pum so to speak.
Also the 47K and 100K resistors are exchanged for potmeters of the same value.I used one of those aluminium housings which are so useful for my projects.The end result is looking very retro I think.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Solafloater....the sequel

The Solafloater is finished......but in the end it became an amphibious solaroller.Hopefully the the Miller solarengine works with a gear motor.I haven't been able to test it yet.After trying it with different other motors I found out that those were spinning too fast,making the driving belt slipping on the shaft.

Saturday, August 28, 2010


I guess that is what you can the aquatic equivalent of the solaroller........This project is going very smoothly so far:the boat was made out of sheet metal(courtesy of a cooking oil can),the paddlewheels are constructed out of jar lids with pieces of aluminium epoxyed on there.The electronic part is up next....

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

More progress on the sundancer

The good news is that it is almost finished:I made the stand using green Plexiglas® and only need to add the magnets to the dragonfly.The bad news is that the circuit stopped working and so far troubleshooting hasn't been successful.So now I have replaced the two  500 uF capacitors with a single 1000 uF one.See if that gives any results.

Monday, August 16, 2010

progress on the sundancer

I have spent many hours testing,building and rebuilding this project.The sundancer circuit I couldn't get to work(shameful admission),I tried it soldered together and on the breadboard,but both times it was a no go.
So I resorted to the trusted magbot pendulum circuit and after two tries it is working,which a bot of surprise considering the age of the components I'm using and how I'm using them.
The project is a dragonfly type creature where the components are part of the body,3 large capacitators(2 in parallel to make 1000 uF),some very old resistors,two LEDs(in parallel),two solarcells(also in parallel)and lots of long leads.
At the moment I'm working on the wings........

Thursday, August 05, 2010

New projects coming up......

For a competition on BEAM Bot forums(only a very few people participate alas..)a solar dancer,and to make things complicated for myself I'll make one with two flapping wings......Also planned is a box for my Dremel with it's many pieces.And finally a paddle wheel boat powered by a solar engine.......

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The latest pummer

As mentioned before it's another one of those record player pummers.This one with a large glass encased solar cell and a yellowish LED.This will probably be my last pummer for awhile,but I have said that before.......The next project will be a solarfloater(?)or basically a boat powered by a Miller solarengine,with paddle wheels.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Finishing and starting magbots and pummers

I've finished two magbot pendulums:the Circle one,which has a big pendulum bob and doesn't swing that freely(I might have to change that one)and the wooden balls one,now with two solar cells.
I've also started to build another record player pummer,soon I'll be running out of room to put all these pummers........

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The circle magbot pummer

This is still a work in progress,but is almost finished.Obviously the pendulum bob itself is missing in the picture.And some minor adjustments to the electronic circuit have to be done.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

It's been awhile.....

but I just came back from a two weeks holiday in The USA.As usual I brought some parts back which I ordered from various suppliers.For example wire-glue and E6000,which are not easily available here(The Netherlands),some rainbow LEDS and some magnetic Hall effect sensors(hold a magnet near the sensor LED goes on,LED goes off when you hold the other side of the magnet near it again).
An update on the magbot pendulum which I was working on:I found out that I need a bigger solar cell to make two circuits work,or use two solar cells.
I also started making a new magbot pendulum.More about that later.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Pendulums continued

I finished the pendulum with the wooden balls.Of course Version II wasn't the last,the record player arms were still used though.So you might call it VII.3.I didn't knew if I should point the arms downwards or upwards,so decided,can you guess?,to have one upwards and the other one downwards.
I used one,big,solar panel to power both circuits.In the pendulum bobs are 3 1/2 " diameter magnets each.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Building a new magbot pendulum......

So it seems I've hit the magbot pendulum phase of my projects with 2 being build right now and a couple of ideas floating around in my head........
The most recent one started out as an all wooden one: a few weeks back I bought some wooden balls to be used as pendulums.Then I thought it would be interesting to use the wooden balls as a reoccurring part in a  magbot pendulum.Version1 was: a large size ball on a stand,a wooden dowel inside it and at the end a medium size ball,then two wooden arms with small size balls at the end and

then smaller size balls as pendulum bobs.
But I found out I hadn't enough material to build this(the aim always being to use recycled parts as much as possible)and one arm just didn't look right.
So,enter Version 2:up to the medium size ball it's the same as V1,the two wooden arms are replaced by the arms of a record player stylus.With the advantage that they have a nice bend.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Magbot pendulum research......

I'm keeping myself busy with testing out some ideas I have for magbot pendulums.Questions that need to be asked are,for example,these:
-will covering the coil with a particular kind of material stop it working?
-will a larger size coil and magnet make for a larger swinging pendulum?
-will a double pendulum work efficiently?
In the meantime I made parts for pendulums to be build in the future........

Friday, May 14, 2010

Steam festival 2010,Almere,The Netherlands

Yesterday the annual steam festival started again in Almere(that is in The Netherlands.....)Since I missed it last year,I was not going to miss it this year.Even though you tend to see the same engines and trucks each year,there are also new ones to admire too.
For example this year there is a Stanley steam car present and another steam powered car rebuilt with Stanley parts.

The pictures I took can be seen here:

Stoom festival Almere 2010

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Copper and brass magbot pendulum

This pendulum is in the making at this moment.The wooden base came from an old amplifier,on it will be a stand made from copper pipe and brass fittings.The electronic circuit will be housed in a small aluminium box which sits next to the stand.
I'm planning to make this with three different pendulums:a string,a chain and a solid rod.
Edit,May 14th,it's ready!:

Friday, April 30, 2010


After trying and testing my magbot spinner I came to the following conclusions:
A.I can not build a magbot spinner(yet)
B.I can not build a battery powered magbot circuit........
But the good news is that I can build a magbot pendulum so I guess that is what I am sticking to.
So the next project is a copper and brass magbot pendulum,and the one following that(or simultaneously )a double pendulum.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Improved noisemaker

In one of my previous posts I wrote about a rotating wind chime I made.But after a few months of winter weather I found out that the foam sheets I used were not meant for outside use(it's all part of  the learning  process),so I decided to remake it.
Instead of having four pieces it now has two curving aluminium ones(from a tanning bed).I also mounted  it on the side of my shed about 7 feet up where it can catch the wind very easily.

Friday, April 23, 2010

The double pendulum

Not too long ago Make magazine No.22 hit the shelves,I have the digital version,and one of the interesting things in it was the double pendulum.Something I wanted to build for awhile and I guess this was the sign it was time to do so.
I didn't had enough good bearings,just three instead of the 6 or 7 you need.But luckily I have enough spacers and other salvaged parts to create a pivoting point.After a few hours of work I cobbled together a working pendulum,but it needs some improvements and I'm thinking of buying some more bearings because these double pendulums are really fun things to make and watch.

Friday, April 16, 2010

New project:magbot non pendulum

One project which has been planned for a long time is a magbot spinner.I have one magbot pendulum already but a spinner needs less space(obviously).I have a couple magbot circuits already soldered together,so can go straight into the building of the frame part.......

Monday, April 05, 2010

New energy sources for Pummers....part II

So after creating the single voltaic cell,I made 5 and wired them in series,or in other words a battery.This worked out much better giving me 2.2 V which was enough to light up a red LED(but not brightly)but turned out not to be enough to get a pummer circuit working.
The next step therefore is constructing a larger battery,which I've just done:this time with 10 cells.In theory this should give me almost 4.5 V.We'll see.......

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

New energy sources for Pummers....

Just fun I try sometimes alternatives for batteries or solar cells in my pummers.So far I tried using  windpower  but that didn't create enough voltage to charge the batteries.Although I do know that you can use it,I just haven't build a wind turbine which creates enough energy(yet).
Today I took a step back in time and made use of one of the earliest battery forms:copper electrode,zinc electrode and a salt water solution.Later I added some vinegar for good measure.
All this goodness created a staggering 0.270 Volts!But a few of these cells in series should be able to charge a capacitor....We'll see......

Sunday, March 21, 2010

New Pummer

This new Pummer is the first thing to come out of my workshop after what seemed to be a long time to me.But in all fairness,I had this one already sitting on the shelf.The only thing what was lacking was the circuit.Normally I don't make dual Pummers,this one is only the second one.
Again Wilf Rigters improved Pummer circuit was used with some changes:C1 and C2 are now 2.2 uF and the 47K resistor is now 33K.
In this photo the solar cell is not attached yet.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

A quick update.....

As I haven't blogged in awhile due to being away on holiday and sort of taking it easy,here's a quick update.At the moment I'm very interested in urban exploring as written in the last blog and looking for new locations.
As for new projects in the making:more Pummers(of course),robots and generally  do more metalworking.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Urban exploring.....

Is what I have been doing this last weekend,and despite the freezing conditions had a great time.Belgium is an urban explorers paradise so that's where I was headed.Visited,or walked around,an old coal mine in Beringen(where the Flemish mine museum is also located),and a tannery.
                                 Beringen coal mine
                                The Schotte tannery.

More pictures can be found here.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Metal ATC cards.......and the finished BEAM bots forums project

Well,here it is:the finished entry for the BEAM bots forums competition.More pictures will be posted on the site,together with the write-up I did of the whole project.
For the next Steampunk forum ATC exchange I'm making embossed metal cards which I am copper- or zinc plating.So far with mixed results,have to try different kinds of metal I have.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Making paper from paper and......

As a little side project I started making paper from old paper,a step further in recycling.I found a great tutorial  on the Flickr site,but knew the basic steps already.Tear up paper,put in foodprocessor or blender,put pulp in a tray,get a screen,dip screen at angle in tray,remove excess water with sponge,turn over on a towel,fold towel over paper and press,then let it dry.......
I also used sawdust and used coffee filter bags.
Quite a fun thing to do,especially when using the dreaded blue tax envelopes....

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Update on the BEAM Bot forums competition project IV

I finished this last weekend,the only thing that is lacking is the sunshine to charge the batteries of the Pummer.Ideally I would like to make a plastic cover for it,so it would be protected from the dust etc.

As a short break from building I've started doing the opposite:taking apart.I still had/have two video 2000 recorders waiting to be dismantled so that is what I'm doing at the moment.And while I'm at it taking photo's of the process which will be used in an article I'll be writing about this.

Meanwhile while you all wait in eager anticipation have a look at this German artist who makes wonderful lamps:

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Update on the BEAM Bot forums competition project III

Yes,it's another update.You probably think the only thing I'm doing right now is working on this project and you're right.That and doing a write-up about it.Last weekend I finished putting all the electronic circuitry in the robots.
The wooden base is the thing I'm now building.It is being clad in metal sheets screwed on to the base and almost ready.Then the next step is attaching the robots.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Update on the BEAM Bot forums competition project II

Work progresses slowly but surely.I continued work on the second robot,the one that has the audible light probe in it.The circuit is now in place,after some troubles with fixing the photo resistor in place.
Tomorrow(or really today) I'll be soldering the Pummer circuit,then putting it in the other robot and finishing that one.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Update on the BEAM Bot forums competition project

This turns out quite the extensive project.I started on both the robots,although I'm tackling the biggest one first.When it is finished it should look like some raygun and axe wielding robotic monster(hopefully).So far the head is attached to the body,two upper arms and one lower arm are attached to the body also.The lower arm has the raygun mounted to it and I wired it up.
Next will be making the axe and fixing that to the other lower arm,then attach the whole thing to the upper arm,and starting on the legs.......

Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy New Year!Happy new waterwheel....

So the first day of the new year started with a "new" waterwheel.Although it isn't really new but the rebuilt version of the old one.The bicycle wheel itself is a new one and sits a bit higher up for the cans to pass through.The stand has been reinforced and is now much sturdier.
Projects which are lined up for this year:the Pummer plus for the BEAMbots forums competition,the light-in-a-jar for the Steampunk forum challenge and I have to pick up building pop-pop boats again.