Sunday, December 18, 2011


Another lamp is finished....this one was sitting on the shelf of unfinished projects...(SOUP..... )It is a very simple square box made with perforated metal sheet,and some aluminium sample sheets/Inside there is a white LED,a 3V coin cell,and a  50 Ohm resistor.The metal wire the lamp is hanging from is a temporary solution until I get some chain.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Working on lamps....

I finally finished one lamp,had to flatten some more coins,and redesigned the other slightly.The LED light that was in that one wasn't very effective.So I removed it,and put a piece of aluminium sheet in its place.
Strictly speaking it's not a lamp anymore but a.....lantern I guess.
The other one was only waiting for some Egyptian coins I bought online,and a few flattened coins.
Now the projects I'm working on are :a magbot pendulum with a very large coil and some more lamps.
The redesigned lantern,without light but with flattened coins......

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Making it in (The) Style......

In this case The Style refers to a Dutch art movement from around the 1915's.Its most famous member was Piet Mondriaan (aka Mondrian) and it is his work I'm using as an inspiration for two new projects:a Mondrian Magbot Pendulum and a Mondrian Pummer.For the Magbot I'm trying to incorporate the stand into the design.
More information can be found here.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Flattening the Queen......

Queen Elizabeth that is,and not the real one but her image on 1 and 2 Pence coins.I've been flattening coins for different projects for awhile now and found an easy and safe way to do this.It still involves putting them on railtracks but not the ones use by trains but by trams.
When a train drives over your coins they have a tendency to fly away in every direction(unless it's a really slow moving one).The tram in my town drives very slowly where I put the coins on the tracks.
The 2 Pence coins will probably have to be driven over for a second time to get the desired result.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tubular bells.....

I was planning on making a xylophone with some pieces of conduit pipe I found in a skip(aka dumpster)but it eventually evolved into tubular bells(making it out of metal pipes would actually make it a Glockenspiel).The base is the old favourite : Oak.Wooden dowels with Oaken connection pieces form a stand.Then seven pieces of pipe are hanging off the stand.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Incense burner with green LED

The base a piece of Oak from a table.Brass fittings,copper plated conduit pipe and copper fittings were made into a stand.The 3 Volt coin cell is covered by a ceramic fitting,a vintage,ceramic knife switch turns the green LED on and off.A small brass box,which I found at a second hand store ,is used to put the incense cones in.The brass chain comes from American Science and Surplus and the stone egg which sits on the top as well.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

New lamp in the making......

I just started working on a new lamp.Once again it's octagon shaped with colored acrylic panels,but not battery powered this time.It'll have a real cable.......with a energy saving lightbulb,at least that is the idea for now.....subject to usual.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Time flies.........

Not only when you're having fun but also when you are making things and go on holiday.Both of which I did.I finished the incense burner,well almost,just need to glue some things in place.During my holiday I went to my favorite place in Chicago:the American Science and Surplus store,and bought the following items:steel balls(for making a Newtons cradle,brass chain,glass ampules and bottles,an alcohol burner,brass hooks,wooden dowels,a set of aluminium boxes,guitar string,a glass ribbed lampshade,glass dropper and glass nailpolish bottle.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Updates and a great site

I've been working slowly and surely on different projects simultaneously:a storage unit for all my components(with 55 drawers),the incense burner with LED lighting,a bicycle cart and today I've bought some acetone to experiment with making glue.....
Also some days ago somebody on the Brassgoggles forum posted a great link:  where they have great instructional video's and plans you can buy with a few freebies as well.

Friday, September 30, 2011

New fifty pound note (Bank of England)

The bank of England will issue a new fifty pound note in November featuring a steam engine and the portraits of Matthew Boulton and James Watt.
Article here:

Thursday, September 29, 2011

George,the Nespresso-bot

George,the Nespresso-bot's,upper torso is made from a part of a Nespresso coffee maker.The lower torso is from an old enlarger.He has two crocodile clips as hands.His head is made out of a radio valve of which the glass was broken,and a upturned shot glass.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Shelf one project,start another project

Or SOPSAP (maybe this acronym will catch on)Anyway,I've decided to work on the hourglass project(s) later,was not happy with the way the one with the wheel was going too.So,next project(s):incense burner.
The first one will be in combination with a green LED,maybe it'll be a Pummer or just a simple lighted LED.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Hourglass project and Magbot pendulum in the spotlight

First let me say thank you to the people at Solarbotics ( for putting my Magbot pendulum on their site.
Then on to current projects:at the moment I'm working on a hourglass with a wheel in the middle(the sand from one glass moves the wheel before falling into the other glass).Next will be a more standard hourglass,and then I might make another one,since all good things come in threes(or so they say).

Sunday, September 04, 2011

New Magbot pendulum

The last few days have been spent on building a Magbot pendulum for the magnet challenge.The instructable can be found here.Just half an hour after I published it,it was featured,so that's two in a row now.Pretty pleased about that.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Happy September!

Well,the summer is allegedly the wettest in about a 100 years(here in The Netherlands),but hopefully the fall will be better.So,plenty of time spent in the workshop.My windchime is finished and I entered it in the Steampunk challenge.Didn't win though but it got featured and earned a 3 month pro membership.It isn't that Steampunk in my opinion but I might add something to it later.
The next challenge is interesting too:make something -anything,which incorporates magnets.So,I'm working on a Magbot pendulum.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Salvaging parts from a Betamax recorder part II

Part 2 of the Betamax autopsy deals with this Betamax hi-fi recorder(I don't know the exact type anymore).
Opening it up it looks like this(it lacks the big transformator in the previous post).
The hardware salvaged:various pieces of sheet metal,big piece of sheet metal(the bottom)housing from the power supply, aluminium parts and two large ceramic disc magnets

The electronics salavaged:lots of wires with connectors,circuit boards with plenty of different value capacitors and resistors,some interesting switches,motor with gear assembly,sliding potentiometers,LED's,coils.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Salvaging parts from a Betamax recorder

Recently I got 6 Betamax recorders for free,very useful machines to get parts from.I will describe two of them and the parts I salvaged from them.The first one is Sony's SL-F30 from the mid 1980's and the thinnest of the Betamax line.
This is the inside of the machine with the big transformator visible top left.
The hardware salvaged :big piece of sheet metal(the bottom),smaller pieces of sheet metal,large piece of box shaped metal(where the powersupply is),various Aluminium parts,some brackets,three ceramic disc magnets,spacers and a very interesting gear assembly.
The electronic parts salvaged:of course various circuit boards(many ceramic disc capacitors),big transformator,lots of wire with connectors,motor with gear assembly,solenoid(not sure how useful this is for me),interesting remote sensor,lots of coils(the red ones are easy to remove) and a nice piece of opaque glass.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Yet more projects

I have finished the Arabic style lamp,and it turned out pretty good.Only the inside lighting is not very bright so that needs some work,but I think it looks the best in the daylight anyway.Two projects I'm simultaneously working on are a windchime and xylophone both made out of old heating pipes which I'll copperplate.
Last week Make posted a great project :the floating glow display.Basically a piece of plastic sheet which is engraved and when illuminated from below makes a great display.I already made some of my own(without lighting so far)and the results are encouraging.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Current projects

Way back in January I wrote about about the Zendulum,a Solarbotics product,and that I was going to make my own version.Well,it was one of those projects that was started but never finished and eventually abandoned.I'm taking another shot at it,have built the circuit and the rails the ball rolls on.The magnetic ball I haven't ordered yet but am wondering if a steel ball coated with very small magnets would work too.
Next project in the making are Arabic style lamps using coloured pieces of Acrylic.I just started the first one.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Headbot.......take four

Well it seems that my latest headbot after been put together doesn't function,so I have to look into that.
Meanwhile I tried another headbot circuit:the Power Smart Head V3......and yes it works on the breadboard.Maybe,because this one works different mechanically,the result will be better.
The circuit and batteries will be sitting on the motor shaft in this one.Fingers crossed then........

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Headbot ........ take three......

After two failed attempts to build a functioning headbot I'm now working on what is hopefully,third-time-lucky, a new one.So far tests on the breadboard were hopeful so now I have to translate that to the freeform circuit and more important:have it work correctly mechanically.....

Saturday, June 25, 2011

New projects in the making.......

It has been awhile since my last post and in that time I have been on holiday and didn't any tinkering at all.I did,however,visited the American Science and Surplus shop in Chicago and bought a few things.Mostly small boxes to put electronic circuits in.
I'm still working on the Beetlebot and the line following robot,but I think I need some gear motors for that.Other projects I'll be working are:a new Rolling Ball Machine,a pendulum like this one and of course some Pummers and Magbot Pendulums.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Simple line following robot.

This is my latest project and one I wanted to build for awhile.Since this the first line follower I'm making I choose for a simple circuit:
I got the design from this source.It took me a bit of troubleshooting on the breadboard to make it work.
Even though this is supposed to be a black line follower,my motors stopped when the LDR's were covered.So it seems to be turning into a white line follower.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

First Rolling Ball Machine finished ...with quirks...

Well,it took me hours to design,build,redesign and trouble shoot,but the first RBM is finished.It doesn't run always smoothly since certain marbles seem to have their own ideas where to go.But the general idea works,this RBM is definitely one for the "it-ain't-pretty-but-it-works" category.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Rolling Ball Machines or Marble Machines

I've always had an interest in Rolling Ball Machines or Marble Machines but didn't quite come to the point of actually building one.But that has now changed,I'm in the process of making my first.
This one will be relatively simple,I'm using parts from a bicycle wheel and some other salvaged metal parts.
What won't be simple is the lift I'm building to bring the marbles to the top again and have everything working correctly.
While I'm working on my RBM,here is a video of some very beautifully made ones:

Friday, May 13, 2011

Yet another pummer.......

Part....number ?I don't know how often I've said that I would stop making Pummers for a while,but here is a new one.Made with a glass lamp shade,spring,test tube,ceramic fitting,brass fitting and wood.The battery is from an old mobile phone and the LED is a green one.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Yet Another Pummer.......

I'm getting quite a good supply of project housings,some ready bought and others made by myself.They are waiting for something to make them complete,and so can sit for some time on the shelf.
This one had not such a long wait:the housing is a tall rectangle made form Aluminium and wood,what made it complete was the glass pyramid I bought not too long ago.The name is not hard to guess then:The Pyramid Pummer,inside the glass is a very bright blue LED and the battery is a 3.6 V lithium-ion one from a mobile phone.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Happy Queensday.....

The time for everybody to wear orange and sell your junk is the joyous holiday we call Queensday in The Netherlands(to celebrate the birthday of the mother of our current queen...).This year I didn't buy very much,one thing to be precise(a brass Arabic style candle burner)but the free loot made up for that.
Because it's also a good tradition to leave your unwanted and unsold stuff behind.I found:4 car radio's/cassette players,3 phones,one shaver,one router(i think) and a very long stemmed glass/vase.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Yet more project updates...

Finished: the remade solarspinner:
Also finished : The red balls pummer:

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

New loot with a sad reason........

The reason being that my favourite antique shop is closing down.This is the kind of shop where you still could buy things for an Euro(or Dollar for that matter).The "good" thing about this is that everything is on sale.So my loot consist of:three glass lamp shades,two glass lamp shades for an oil lamp,two ceramic fittings,wooden knob,glass knob,two golf balls and a glass cloche(?).

Monday, April 04, 2011

New solar spinner

I made a new Solar spinner,to replace the old one which has been standing on the windowsill for maybe two years now.This one has a much more heavier propeller so it will probably not spin so freely as the other one did.I also put a voltmeter in the wooden housing(really a dB meter from an amplifier),for the rest it is a very simple design.
I'll remake the old one too,make it a bit smaller but with the same propeller.
For the rest of the projects:still working on the Pummer with the wooden balls,about to start on the Hall effect project(not sure if I will use a Pummer circuit for that).

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Earth hour 2011........

Today is Earth hour day.......join in,it's only one hour......

Friday, March 25, 2011

New idea's for old circuits........

Last year I had the brilliant (ahum)idea of using a Pummer circuit for a Solaroller.Well,that didn't work quite as I had envisioned:the Solaroller went back and forth while flashing a LED.This time however the back and forth motion is part of the grand plan.The idea is this:a motor with a wooden ball fixed to its shaft,from the wooden ball four smaller wooden balls are hanging.I'm not sure if I'll use a LED in this project.
As usual from this project two other project ideas sprouted:one of which has two motors,with or without balls attached I don't know yet.The other project uses a Hall sensor(magnetic switch),so what will happen is this:a disc is attached to a motor,on the disc are two or more magnets.The disc rotates forwards LEDs go on,the disc rotates backwards LEDs go off.........

Monday, March 07, 2011

Your grandmothers oak furniture reincarnated....

As a Magbot Pendulum of course,since that's all I seem to build these days.This one,which will probably be called ......The Oak Magbot Pendulum(until I come up with a more original name),has been made with some salvaged wood from a chair and table.I decided not to show the LED,would have been a bit mismatched.
Edit April 25th:I've decide to call it the OMa pendulum(oma being the Dutch word for grandmother).

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Bending it like.......

Well,I don't know if Beckham ever has bended plastic,but that is what I have been practicing these past few days.Mainly in connection with the magbot pendulums I'm building.The results are not bad at all,getting the ends of the strip lined up properly is the trickiest bit.
Of course I'll be using this technique in other projects in the future as well.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Yet Another Update......

I've been remaking some of my past projects lately:Newtons 3rd law of psychics magbot and the fun with VU-meters one.Newtons has been very simple:redrilling some holes and fixing the wooden frame so it is straighter.The VU-meters one is more of a remake:the metal housing will now be made of wood,there will be back lighting and the wooden housing will be clad with white Dibond sheets.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Failure is always an option.....

Especially if you try out things that haven't been tested before(at least not that I know of).In this case it's my  two magbots I'd built,there's not much movement in either of them.Also the Zendulum with the wooden ball which had magnets in it didn't work.So I guess ordering some magnetic spheres is the next step.
New projects coming up to replace these are:a very small magbot pendulum,a magbot pendulum with an obstruction(don't really know how to explain this properly),a magbot pendulum with a piece of copper tubing as the pendulum and a magbot spinner..........

Monday, February 07, 2011

Not a lot of sun but plenty of wind

So,I haven't been able to test the new Magbots yet.We had a lot of wind during the weekend though,I had to repair my whirligig,but after I done that it held up very well in the strong wind.
These are the two new Magbots I have built so far,that is without the electronic circuit.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011


Even though I'm still working on the zendulum project,i've already started a new one.It seems I'm in the magbot building phase right now.This one will be a wheel with magnets around the rim.I just have to see if this will work and if it does then the next wheel will be larger,possibly a bicycle wheel......
And this will be my inspiration:

Monday, January 24, 2011

Solarbotics Zendulum A great new product from Solarbotics,and one that I'm keen to make myself.Using the same circuit as the Magbot Pendulum it looks like a very interesting build.So,that will be my next project.

Monday, January 17, 2011

New magbot pendulum:The wrecking ball

At least that is the object of this one if there is enough power to swing the large wooden ball.As of yet it is untested.......Very simple set up yet again:the base is a wooden box in which a wooden dowel(made out of two separate ones)is attached,a large wooden ball hangs on the end of this.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

New Pummer in the making.......

Of course the first project of the new year has to be a Pummer,although I started it last year.I'm not sure of the name yet,it could be the Goldberg Pummer,because of all the wires going everywhere or the Plath Pummer(extra points if you get the reference.....).I'm using one of my Aluminium boxes for this.
In short it is a Pummer under a glass jar,build with a very large 6800 uF capacitor,cell phone battery and blue LED.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Happy New Year! and new loot......

From American Science & Surplus I obtained this loot,among which:wooden balls in various sizes,wooden dowels,wooden beads,cell phone batteries,glass vials,chain and flickering LED tea candles.