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Steampunk Gear, Gadgets, and Gizmos: A Maker's Guide to Creating Modern Artifacts 1st Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 131 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0071762366
ISBN-10: 0071762361
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  • Steampunk Gear, Gadgets, and Gizmos: A Maker's Guide to Creating Modern Artifacts
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Thomas Willeford has degrees in physics, history, and art. His alter ego, Lord Archibald "Feathers" Featherstone, has displayed his work, which blurs the line between art and engineering, throughout the United States and Europe for years. Willeford’s work (including the E-pod) was recently featured in the exhibit, “Device and Contraptions Extraordinaire” at the Ashmolean University of Oxford museum of the History of Science. He has made costume pieces for Abney Park, Beautiful Deadly Children, and GhostFire. Willeford has been called, "The most photographed person in the Steampunk community.” He has been featured in Steampunk Bizarre, the BBC, MTV, the Steampunk World’s Faire, Whitby Gothic Weekend, Glasgow Marker’s Faire, Pirate magazine, and the Daily Mail.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education TAB; 1 edition (October 25, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071762361
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071762366
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.4 x 10.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (131 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #71,921 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Shala Kerrigan TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 1, 2011
Format: Paperback
Steampunk Gear, Gadgets, and Gizmos ; A Maker's Guide to Creating Modern Artifacts by Thomas Willeford has a stated intention of teaching you to make you own retro futuristic accessories.

This is the book you're looking for if you're ready to take that next step into steampunk. If jewelry collage assemblages made with watch parts and sewing miniature top hats isn't doing it for you and you want to go bigger.

The author starts by explaining a bit about steampunk, it's origins and what it is stylistically speaking, and also what it is not.

He explains the tools and skills you'll need and how to find some of the tools less expensively . He tells you what tools will be necessary and which tools are wonderful to have if you can find room and afford them.

Then he goes into wonderful amounts of detail about how to find the pieces you need for your projects through thrift stores and other second hand dealers and what you can buy new. How to look in hardware stores for inspiration and using things in new unexpected ways. To me, this isn't just about steampunk, but it's the heart of crafting and the D.I.Y. ethic, to see creatively how things can be re-purposed and recycled.

A very practical chapter on taking apart an old clock for parts comes next.

The projects! Starting with the one thing everyone needs, goggles and ending with a cyber arm that looks like it might have come off a cylon if the cylon was built in Victoria's England. They have imagination inspiring names like "Aetheric Ray Deflector Solid Brass Goggles" which can be just a little scary. Don't worry. While this book has "only" 8 projects, those projects are explained and photographed in exhausting detail. This is a primer to various methods of making things and using things.
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Format: Paperback
ISBN 978-0-07-176236-6

The publisher sent this to me to review. I am a painfully honest and direct to the point reviewer, so without further ado...

The book is a nice large format. I am not a fan of paper backs however. The book is easily identifiable on a shelf of what it is all about. I LOVE the instructions in this book. Nice & step-by-step. It includes a list of materials needed for each project. It is very much a manual for creating. They've got everything from goggles, pith helmets, electronic media enclosures to mechanical arms. And more. The skill level ranges it seems from Intermediate to Advanced. I say this because most the projects need more than just a Dremel and hot glue. Those would be beginner level things. I like the number of photos they put in the book, however some of them seem a *tad* low-resolution for me. The paper in the book is between matte & gloss, let's say satin. It feels a little cheapy but when I thought about it, if you have a manual you wouldn't want high gloss because you couldn't read it. And you wouldn't want matte because you'd get dirty finger prints everywhere. So it is a good compromise.

All in all, I'd recommend this book to anyone who has a nice little shop going on. Or someone who hosts/goes to a build day where machinery is available. Mostly mechanical and weaponry type stuff in this, no real feminine type things (like hats, fascinators, corsets, clothing type things). I'm sure my boyfriend Captain La Grange will take a hold of this book and make something from it before I do. In fact, he opened the package when it came because he knew I was expecting it. I told him all the pros & cons I listed above and he generally agreed to all of it.

Anyway, good luck in creating if you get this book!

-Miss Sally Van Eycke, First Lieutenant & Ship Entertainment of the Airship Archon (Columbus, Ohio)
[...]
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By Gil Cnaan on October 25, 2011
Format: Paperback
I have the pleasure of running several Steampunk events, and have had the further pleasure of getting to know Mr. Willeford, and he brings the same level of craftsmanship, humor, and excellence to his writing as he does to all of his other works. This book is highly recommended for anyone looking to make really amazing looking steampunk accessories for very cheap, as well as people just looking to expand their range of DIY skills.
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Format: Paperback
The gouts of steam and mysterious clanking and grinding noises that emanate from the infernal workshop of Thomas Willeford, aka Lord Archibald "Feathers" Featherstone at all hours must intrigue his neighbors. What goes on in the mad scientist's secret lair? Let's sneak a peek.
Willeford, whose background includes an education in physics, Victorian history, and art, sets down easy to follow instructions on how to build eight gorgeous objects any steampunk worth his brass will treasure. In these pages, the author lends his considerable expertise in a way that allows the reader to assemble these "beautiful and slightly dangerous things" without the need for years of experience in machining, metal and leather working, or an engineering degree. We get detailed designs, as well as advice on how to engage our own creativity to make unique and personal objets d'art. My personal favorite are the "Aetheric Ray Deflector Solid Brass Goggles." If you're the tinkering sort, you likely have some of the necessary parts for the goggles lying around the house right now. Obviously, results may vary depending on the skill of the reader, but this stuff is fun regardless of the outcome.
The author provides handy lists of materials and tools needed for each project while keeping in mind that, unlike Lord Featherstone, most of us have neither a mad scientist's workshop, nor an army of steam-powered mechanical men to assist us. There is a list of basic and inexpensive tools to get each job done, as well as a list of "alternative tools" for those who may have access to a better-equipped workshop.
There's a chapter on how and where to scavenge parts for your projects, another on salvaging gears from old clocks, and more on how and where to find the right tools.
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