Steampunk Microscope Steampunk Microscope Steampunk Microscope Steampunk Microscope Steampunk Microscope My first Steampunk creation, a working microscope.

Yes, it works! The magnification is low, probably only around 4x or 5x but it's a resonably clear image that helps reveal details you otherwise couldn't see. You adjust the focus by turning that big copper JPL3 chain at the top.

The device is nearly all copper and brass with only a very few pieces of steel used when required, along with that only 4 tiny parts where puchased "new", everything else was recycled from something else. The only power tool I used was my cordless drill, all other work was done by hand using files, hand saws, hammers/anvil, steel wool and lots of effort.

It was built to enter into M.A.I.L. Artisans, Contest 29, Themed "Steampunk". The contest runs for 12 weeks but the idea only came to me on October 5th, 11 days prior to the entry deadline of October 16th, so I was rushed on quite a few levels but it turned out well enough.

I couldn't come up with an idea until I started thinking to myself, if I was living in a Steampunk world, what would I want? Then it came to me, a microscope! With little time to spare, I set about all the local reuse shops looking for anything copper or brass that could work. After a few days of searching and collecting I set to work assembling the device.

Here's a fairly complete list of the items I used along with what they turned into. Many of the item images have other images grouped to them, along with descriptions of the image. Click on the image to see a large version, if there are other images in that group you can click on the sides of the image to see the next or previous image. There are also controls at the bottom. When you're done viewing an image click the Close button in the bottom-right.

I hope you enjoy it. If you have any questions or comments let me know. Don't forget to check out the whole image gallery at the bottom of the page.
Copper pail/bucket
It had some handles and a base on it. I didn't get a picture of it but it was a little bucket with a painted steel handle, tipping handle and a tappered copper base. I drilled out the rivets holding the handles on and heated the bucket until the base feel off, leaving me with a simple copper bucket that had a few holes in it.
Brass pie plate
Steampunk Microscope Base
It's probably not a "pie plate" but some type of candle holder or a 6 egg poacher based on the stains. It serves as the base, as shown it has the feet/legs installed along with the main locking pin.
Large candle holder
Large Candle Holder Large Candle Holder
A piece of wood, painted black, 3"x22" with 5 (3.25") candle bases threaded into it. I didn't get a picture of it before I cut it apart so I recreated an image of it. Update, I found enough pieces of the orginal to get a picture of what one end looked like.

The candle bases threaded in to a strip of brass along the bottom that attached to the feet. I unthreaded all the bases, removed the brass pipes covering the threaded bars that join the holders to the strip, cut the strip into three similarly sized pieces which I then soldered to the base, drilled, riveted them then touched up the solder once I was done.

The base now had three feet/legs and was standing pretty level, as shown above.
Steel dome
Harvested from an ancient vacuum cleaner, an Air-Way SANITIZOR MARK V. I never did turn it on but I'm sure it would have been impressivly deafening, based on the guts. The dome had two openings in it, one circular for the hose which I used for the eye piece and another rectangular one for the hose clip button, now used for the focus chain.
Various brass and copper door knobs.
Old door knobs, probably from the late '70s.
Various pieces of copper pipe
1/4", 1/2" and 1".
Brass pipes from candle holder
They covered the threaded bars that held the holders to the base. Two of them were used as chain guides for the focus chain, a third was cut down to 1/2" tall then soldered to one of the internal cross members to further guide the focus chain towards the lens carriage.
Feet, legs and their mounts
Feet/Legs Feet/Legs
All from the large candle holder as mentioned above.
Ceiling fan motor housing
Used for adjustment port. It's brass plated steel, which gives it a slight colour variation from the other true brass pieces.
Adjustment port cover
Adjustment Port Adjustment Port Adjustment Port 4-2 Chain Adjustment Port
One of the large candle holders. Using a 4-2 copper chain to keep the port cover from getting lost.
Copper 4-2 chain
Used to secure the adj. port cover. Ring data, ID 0.246" WD 0.078" AR 3.1
Small candle holders
One used for eye piece. Cut the stem off and drilled out the middle.
Sun port
The Sun Port open The Sun Port closed
Made from one of the large candle holders. Rounded to roughly match the pail profile and soldered into place.
2x 2"x2" Sheet of copper
One was formed into a dome shape then textured for the sun port (shown above), the other formed the "tulip" on the eye piece.
Small washer and a short piece of copper wire
Used to rivet the dome to the sun port. The washer lets the port rotate freely, otherwise it will bind after being rivetted.
Dental exam mirror
Inside the dome.
Used to correct the optics path. It's held in-place by two tiny EMPD rings, stretched around the eye pieces threaded pipe and what's left of the mirrors handle.
Two small black EPMD rings
Used to hold the mirror in-place. Ring data, ID 0.2 WD 0.045 AR 4.4ish.
Ambient Weird Collector
The Ambient Weird Collector The Ambient Weird Collector The Ambient Weird Collector
The "Ambient Weird Collector" as I like to call it. A fish eye lens, taken from an old slide projector. Part of a brass door knob used to secure it in place. Electrical draft seal (sticky grey putty) was used to hold the lens in place from the backside.

I love this lens, until you figure out what your seeing, you're going to think it doesn't show you anything. At the right angle you can see the object being examined, from another you can watch the focus chain and lend carriage move up and down and from another angle you get a very distorted view of the room you're in.
Main lens
The main focusing lens
Also taken from the old slide projector. I don't know how to measure a lenses magnification but it's a very decent lens for it's size.

The silde projector was a Rollei Type:P350AF. This lens is fixed to a brass ring with copper tabs that secure it to the carriage assembly.
Threaded rods, nuts and washers from brass lighting fixtures.
Used to secure the eye piece internals also used to hold the focus sprocket in-place and provide knobs.
0.154" copper wire
Used to rivet the leg mounts to the base. 0.154" is around 10g, it's big wire.
Two 12g (SWG) copper rings
Used as anchors for the locking pin and adj. port cover chains. Ring data, ID 0.6" WD 0.1" AR 6
HP3 chain
Used to secure the locking pin to one of the anchor rings. Ring data, ID 0.250" WD 0.049" AR 5.1
Small locking pin
Made from a brass light switch knob along with an extention.
Small locking pin base
An old Mechano gear bolted to the base.
Closed copper rings
They cover the threading on the leg bolts. Ring data, ID 0.246" WD 0.078" AR 3.1
Swing arm from a wall mounted light
Serves as the main locking pin and possibly a hinge someday.
Soldered spiral wound copper ring
Just adds to the eye piece. Ring data, ID 0.605" WD 0.150" AR 4ish
6-7" piece of stainless steel wire
Used to keep the lens carriage plumb. It can be see protruding from a small hole in the steel dome, you can also see my first hole which was a bit too low.
Brass coil
About a 1/2" of 20g wire coiled, used to attach the lens carriage to the focus chain.
Focus chain
Copper JPL3 chain used to adjust the focus. Ring data, ID 0.246" WD 0.078" AR 3.1
Focus sprocket
A large sprocket presumably from a motorcycle, it melds well with the JPL3.
1/4" copper cross members
Used to guide the focus chain to the sides of the pail, avoiding the optics.
3x Black computer thumb screws
They secure the cross members to the inside of the dome.
6x Brass computer stand-offs
Used to secure the dome to the pail, three on the inside, three on the outside. I filed down the threading on the outer ones.
Section of candle holder
Top Plate Tip
Turned down using my drill and a file to emulate a lathe, soldered to the tip of the top plate.
Top plate
Top Plate Top plate
Made from a piece of 1" copper pipe about 12" long, cut down the middle, flattened, annealed then cut and shaped. This piece holds the sprocket, guide pipes, eye piece and serves as the main locking pin.
Copper tulip base for the eye piece
Tulip and Sun Cover Tulip and Top plate Eye Piece
Made from a sheet of copper, domed then cut off the top portion of the dome. I cut slits in the bottom for the top plate to slide/lock into.
1/4" copper pipe bent into a U shape with "feet"
This serves as the slide rails for the lens carriage to move up and down. Sand filled the pipe then bent it into shape on my vise. The rails are soldered to the side of the pail, an extra layer of copper was added to the outside to increase strength.
Lens carriage base
Lens Carriage
Made from 2x 1/2" copper pipe couplers soldered to a very short piece of 1/2" pipe joining them. The outer ends of the couplers were filed to have a U shape a bit larger than the rails.

There are two steel "beads", 1/2" ball bearing with 1/4" hole in them, these serve as the slides between the rails and the lens carriage base. The base has two slits cut into it where the tabs from the lens holder are soldered into.
Lens holder
Main Lens Lens Assembly
Thin ring from a brass door knob with 4 copper strips soldered to it. The copper strips hold the lens in place via tabs on the bottom side and two of them also serve as mounting tabs to attach it to the base of the carriage.
Yellow ferrite bead
Used to help counter-weight the focus chain. It's held at the end of the chain by two slightly larger copper rings.
Plastic clock face
Used in the sun port to seal it off, held in place with electrical draft seal.
White lithium grease
Lubrication for the rails/silders.
Blow torch
Typical MAP blow torch.
Pipe flux
Looks like grease comes in a little white steel container.
Electronics solder
High-Tech Rosin Core Silver Bearing Solder 62/36/02 from Radio Shack, it contains lead so the piece is not RoHS compliant, darn...
Here are bunch of photos, a bit messy but you can move them around by clicking and dragging them, click on one for a larger view, you can then move from image to image by clicking on the sides of the image. If you can't click to the side, you may be at the begining or end of the gallery, try clicking the otherside of the image. If you can't drag an image around, it probably means you're still using an old version of Internet Explorer... get a new browser such as Chrome or Firefox and come back when you're done. Also of note, sadly this gallery does not currently work properly with touch devices, I'm working on it.