Steampunk Magazine, issue #5
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The artful dodgers of Steampunk Magazine have done it again — another gorgeous issue, of great conversation, ideas, fiction, reviews, and how-tos. Content includes a manifesto of sorts by steampunk sci-fi godfather Bruce Sterling, how-tos on metal casting and no-budget welding, an awesome piece on “tramp printers” of the 1800s, and an an interview by Libby Bulloff with the Chronabelle crew, a group of California high school/college students who live their lives as an airship crew. I was thrilled to read this from Chronabelle’s Lady Almira:

Maker Faire has been, and probably will remain, the highest point in my experiences as a steampunk. It really inspired me and made the entire crew feel like we were part of something real. As great as the internet steampunk community is, getting to interact with real flesh and blood folks was a nice change of pace.

[BTW: Many of the steampunk musicians, artisans, craftspeople who were part of last year’s Contraptors’ Lounge will be back at this year’s Faire and it all promises to deliver even more thrills and frills. Stay tuned for more info on Make: Online.]

Steampunk Magazine

18 thoughts on “Steampunk Magazine, issue #5

  1. I was so very close to buying copies of the magazine until I actually read the instructions… they can’t possibly work. If you very, very carefully follow step by step – you never actually attach the positive end of the cables to the battery.

    For something that is “extremely dangerous” why are we omitting steps and leaving it to guess work?

    The cover artwork is awesome. I’ll probably download it to give it another shot but the ear-marks of quality aren’t in the sample.

  2. as Blaine pointed out above the instructions are lacking some rather obvious things…

    There is no such thing as ‘no-budget’ welding. you want to weld? Then go get an old stick welder used somewhere. Also read an actual book on the subject, take a class, something.

    Yes i did read the WARNING… but come on – people are going to try this who have never welded before and it will either get them hurt (burnt, blown-up, shocked) or just leave a bad impression as to what welding is and is capable of.

    “Eye protection is highly recommended” ?? Eye protection when welding (specifically welding goggles) is ESSENTIAL. The light an arc puts off is brighter than the SUN. Ive seen friends blister the hell out of their legs trying to weld in shorts (stupid). Its not to be screwed around with.

    anyway… just don’t do this.

  3. There’s only to things I have a beef with. The first is if you plan on welding, keep some good leather gloves and welding goggles in the car somewhere. If you have a spare tire, first aid kit, jumper cables, multi meter, and a 12V compressor then you must also include the goggles and gloves (or glove if you think you can get away with it). The second thing that kind of burns me, is that the workpiece is grounded and the stick is hot. Since we’re dealing with DC current the workpiece should be hot and the stick grounded if at all possible. The electrons streaming from the negative stick to the positive workpiece will make it easier to lay on welds.

  4. Please ignore my spelling errors. I’m not really that retarded. I know the difference between to, too, two and tu.

  5. Not only is it insanely stupid to suggest that goggles are “highly recommended”, but to suggest welding with coat hanger wire is a bit daft as well. Weld quality with coat hangers, even when done by a decent welder using otherwise decent quality equipment, is bloody awful. It might work as a “get you home” solution if you’re *really* stuck, or if it’s to hold something together that isn’t actually essential. If you need the joint to hold under load, coat hangers, especially when welded by amateurs using a car battery and jump leads, simply don’t work.

    If you want to weld, get a used stick or mig welder, or an oxy-acetylene rig, use decent quality protective equipment, proper welding rods intended for the purpose, and *learn to weld*.

    Welding itself isn’t very hard, and it’s a worthwhile skill to learn. But do it properly.

    1. I think folks are missing the point here. This piece is a continuation of the sorts of post-apocalyptic, make-do/scrounge tech from their book A Steampunk’s Guide to the Apocalypse. It says “Emergency” welding right in the title. This is a welding “hack” for when you don’t have other means of welding and all you have available are things like a car battery, cables, and a coat hanger.

      Like the Anarchist Cookbook, and similar, I wouldn’t follow any instructions in the Steampunk Guide or Steampunk Magazine without doing more research and careful experimentation.

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.

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