DIY

Steampunk

I discovered a new passion last week and it is called Steampunk. Maybe you’ve heard of it, but in case you haven’t, allow me to introduce it to you.

Steampunk is actually a genre of fiction that is more or less Victorian sci-fi. “The future if it happened earlier.” The works of Jules Verne and H.G. Wells fall under this category as well as many contemporary authors. Of course, when Verne and Wells were around it wasn’t called Steampunk; that name wasn’t assigned until around the ’80s. The movie The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and the movie Wild Wild West with Will Smith from several years ago are also examples of Steampunk. For a more thorough description, please go here.

Anyway, it’s developed into a whole movement where people create and bring Steampunk into their lives through more than just reading and writing. They modify and build things like computers with typewriters for keyboards, or just make things look more elegant and all around cooler. Like this:

I think the greatest thing about my discovery of Steampunk is that I’ve always been a Steampunk at heart. I’ve always been attracted to old things, I love the Victorian era (the 1890s are my favorite time period), I like to DIY and I’m obviously a bit fanciful. I just never knew there was a name or indeed a community for what I liked. It’s a wonderful thing, finding yourself a niche among people with shared interests. It gives you a sense of belonging. But it’s so disappointing and disheartening when someone close to you doesn’t get it.

Anyway, this weekend I set out to start my own Steampunk project and decided to start small by modifying some electric switch face plates for my room. I bought some solid brass face plates and then went all over town looking for gears and sprockets to add to it for dramatic effect. Once I found my accessories, I used super glue to attach them to the face plates. The problem started when my fingers got glue on them because the peices I was working with were very small. When I stuck the sprocket to the face plate my fingers became stuck to the face plate too.

Now we’ve all glued our fingers either together or to other things while working on something and we’re all familiar with having to give a little tug to get our fingers separated, no big deal. That’s not what I’m talking about. My fingers were glued on to the face plate. I tried to just pull them off, but it hurt a lot and I could see my skin stretching in a most distressing fashion and I realized that if I continued to pull I would end up bleeding – and for those of you who know me personally, you know that would not have ended well for me.

I happened to have the super glue box face down on the table next to me. On the back of the box were the words: Fingers glued?

Yes!! Thought I, in response. The box said to rub cooking oil on your glued little fingers in a massaging manner in order to free them. Do not pull!

So, with face plate on hand, I made it to the kitchen and grabbed a bottle of olive oil. I had to open the bottle with my teeth since I only had one free hand and my roommate wasn’t around to help me. I poured out some oil onto the plate I was using and began seasoning my fingers with it. I’ll admit, there was a moment where I feared I wouldn’t get the face plate off. Oh my God, I’m going to have drive one handed down to the hospital to get this off. That’s going to be so embarrassing. At least it wasn’t my right hand. How am I going to explain this? I am such a dork.

But the olive oil worked. It was a process and it took some time, but eventually I was able to free myself.  Here is the finished product:

I like ’em, even if I did almost have to bleed for ’em!

Thanks for reading! =)

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