Here’s the infamous steamhat you’ve all been waiting for!
The inspiration for this project came from the loading screens in Fable III:
- Seuthe No. 5 smoke generator from DCC Supplies (£17.99 + P&P). This comes with a bottle of smoke-oil as well as a needle and syringe.
- Stovepipe top hat from eBay (£9.19).
- Plumbing supplies from Wickes and B&Q:
- Four inch length of copper 15mm pipe (had to buy a couple of metres!).
- Brass 15mm compression to 3/4-inch L-connector.
- Copper 15mm push-fit straight-connector.
- Brass 3/4-inch nut.
- 2 x brass 15mm olives (sold in packs of ‘more than I’ll ever need’).
- Brass 15mm to 10mm reducer.
- Steel and copper washers.
- 3 x copper 15mm pipe clips (like the olives, lots left over).
- From Homebase:
- 4 x brass M5 bolts.
- 4 x M5 nuts (2 brass and 2 steel).
- From Maplin Electronics:
- 4 x AA battery unit.
- 9v battery snap-on connector.
- M2 and M3 brass nuts and bolts from another great seller on eBay (if you need any bolts whatsoever, this is the place to go).
- Stick of chalk.
- 4 x AA 1.5v batteries.
- Epoxy resin glue.
- Small brass cogs from eBay (there are loads of different sellers offering these, just search for ‘brass cogs’).
- Various tools: hacksaw, wrench, screwdrivers, drill, utility/craft knife.
- Car spray paints: grey primer and metallic gold.
The plumbing supplies were quite expensive. If you’re tempted to try this project yourself I’d advise you scrounge as much as possible from people you know.
First of all I assembled the pipe. I needed a wrench for the the compression joint end of the L-connector:
I inserted the reducer into one end of the push-fit straight-connector:
The body of the Seuthe smoke generator tapers to an exact 10mm in diameter with a slightly wider diameter collar, which fit the reducer perfectly:
Note: I removed the Seuthe before I continued. The instructions stated that the pin in the centre was delicate and liable to get broken if mistreated.
I slid two brass olives around the copper pipe and snapped the push-fit connector into place:
I wanted to use a copper clip to hold the top of the pipe away from the hat, but I needed the clip to stand half an inch or so away from the side. So I scrounged a couple of springs then used two M5 brass bolts, two M5 brass nuts, several washers and two M5 steel nuts to create the following:
Next up, I needed to cut the hole in the hat (*gulp*). I used a piece of chalk (scrounged from the kids) to mark the hole:
Then I used a utility knife to cut the hole. This was a lot easier than I thought and the screw thread on the L-connector gripped the hole very nicely – no need for the 3/4 inch brass nut on the inside yet:
I positioned my clip contraption and drilled some holes for that:
I then tightened nuts onto all the bolts – a brass 3/4 inch nut on the end of the L-connector and some steel M5 nuts (with washers) where the bolts from my clip contraption poked through:
Now for the wiring. I inserted the Seuthe back into the reducer at top of the pipe and poked the wires through into the body of the hat. I scrounged a double terminal connector from somewhere and wired it up:
Then the micro-switch. I removed the not-very-steampunk button and drilled a hole into the hat:
I unscrewed the nut and washers from the micro-switch, pushed it up through the hole and fixed it in place with the nut and washers I had previously unscrewed:
The Seuthe is a 4-6v unit, so I used this 4 x AA 1.5v unit from Maplin Electronics:
I need to fix the battery unit inside the hat, and on the opposite side of the hat from the pipe to balance the weight. For this I used two of the copper plumbing clips, two more M5 brass bolts, some washers, nuts, a countersink and the brass base from a cupboard door handle:
I modified two of the copper clips:
Assembled the battery pack and the two brass bolts like this:
Drilled two holes in the side of the hat and screwed the tips of the bolts through, ready for the battery pack:
I painted the button I had removed from the micro-switch grey primer and then gold:
Next, my watch cogs from eBay. I found a nice flat cog with a spindle on one side only:
Drilled a short hole into the micro-switch button to key in the cog spindle and glued it in with some epoxy resin:
Wired my 9v battery connector to another terminal block:
I then scrounged three wires from some old electrical cabling:
Wired it up to the micro-switch (basically… Seuthe terminal block > outer pin on micro-switch, then inner pin on micro-switch > the other terminal block on the battery pack, then this terminal block back to the other one):
Then fitted the battery unit and screwed in the bolts (bloody fiddly this bit):
Added the micro-switch button:
And as a final touch I added some cogs using some rather hard to find M2 and M3 bolts and nuts:
And here is the final spiffing product!