MAKE 17: Lost Knowledge

MAKE Volume 17 goes really old school with the Lost Knowledge issue, featuring projects and articles covering the steampunk scene -- makers creating their own alternative Victorian world through modified computers, phones, cars, costumes, and other fantastic creations. Projects include an elegant Wimshurst Influence Machine (an electrostatic generator built entirely from Home Depot parts), a Florence Siphon coffee brewer, and a teacup-powered Stirling engine. This special section also covers watchmaking, letterpress printing, the early multimedia art of William Blake, and other wondrous and lost (or fading) pre-20th-century technologies.

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Table of Contents

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Made on Earth

» Going Buggy by Linda Permann

With an entomologist's passion and meticulous attention to detail, Wesley Fleming recreates bugs in the form of tiny glass sculptures. Page 18

» Super Green Greenhouse by Bruce Stewart

Jasmine Zimmerman's greenhouse made from used plastic bottles. Page 20

» Hennepin Crawler by Dave Sims

A fantastic pedal-powered art car that rides on roads or rails. Page 21

» Power to the People by Laura Kiniry

An inventor turns spinning wheels into generators for rural India. Page 22

» Paper Hardware by Annie Buckley

Christopher Tallon's paper sculptures of tools fool the eye. Page 23

» In the Round by Donna Tauscher

Dick Termes' spherical paintings really do give a new -- six-point -- perspective. Page 24

» Transatlantic Tunnel by Marc de Vinck

The Telectroscope is a digital transatlantic tunnel between New York and London. Page 25


» Wind-Triggered Lantern by Morten Skogly

An LED, a feather, and a spring. Page 92

» Mechanical Image Duplicator by Cy Tymony

With a few everyday items found in the home, you can make a pantograph. Page 136


» Trouvé Magic by Karen Hansen

Gustave Trouvé was like Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, and Igor Sikorsky rolled into one. Page 30

» Crib Notes by Michael Kelsey

Modding a baby crib for disabled parents. Page 37

» Flight of Fancy by Lisa Katayama

Kazuhiko Hachiya mines cartoons for his real-world inventions. Page 38

» Thin(k) Ice by Mike Haeg

A chilly reception for Minnesota's Art Shanty Projects. Page 40

» Giants of the Micros by Adam Salter

The two inventors who fueled the rise of the living room helicopter. Page 43


» Romancing the Steam by Gareth Branwyn

Learning from makers of long ago. Page 12

Make Free

» Love the Machine, Hate the Factory by Cory Doctorow

The biggest appeal of steampunk is that it exalts the machine and disparages the mechanization of human creativity. Page 14

Reader Input

» Reader Input

Tales of inspiration in school and debates on artistic expression. Page 16

Maker's Corner

» Penny for Your Thoughts by Dan Woods

Got an idea for a great kit? Let us know. Page 17

Making Trouble

» The Year of Peak Waste by Saul Griffith

Recessions reduce our carbon footprint. Page 26

Hands On

» The Kosmos in a Box by Bruce Sterling

The world's "oldest computer." Page 28

Art Work

» Putting On a Show by Douglas Repetto

There are other humans around, and it's time to meet them face to face. Page 46

Country Scientist

» How to Photograph the Solar Aureole by Forrest Mims III

Build a simple occluder for your digital camera to shoot the sun's halo. Page 48

» The Power of Steam by Dale Dougherty

A steam-powered sawmill survives. Page 52

» William Blake: Patron Saint of Makers by Gareth Branwyn

The mad Englishman was on a mission that makers can relate to. Page 56

» Teaching Time by Erin Kelly-Park

The nation's premier watchmaker's college, in the heart of Amish country. Page 62

» The Florence Siphon Arabica Brewing & Extraction Apparatus by John Edgar Park

Make your own mad-scientist coffee machine. Page 63

» The Teacup Stirling Engine by Jim Shealy

Turn the heat from tea, coffee, or candles into piston power! Page 68

» The "Discreet Companion" Ladies' Raygun by Molly Friedrich

A pocket butane raygun for steampunky cosplay. Page 76

» The Lost Knowledge Catalog by Gareth Branwyn

Amazing & confounding techno-artifacts, unearthed for your edification & amusement, in the interest of their most timely preservation. Page 80

» Steampunk Family Album by Gareth Branwyn

Colorful, creative expressions of alt.Victorian finery. Page 83


» Kitty Kaleidoscope by Erico Narita

Make magnificent mandalas from kittehs and other kritters. Page 84

» Make Scalable Art by John Edgar Park

Use simple commands to build organic patterns with Context Free software. Page 86

» Beautiful Brushes by Charles Platt

Simplify applying images with the Paintbrush tool. Page 90

» New Video Options by Charles Platt

An increasing range of possibilities for hassle-free video. Page 91

» The Wimshurst Influence Machine by Jake von Slatt

When assembling a proper laboratory, the gentleman or lady experimenter should be sure to include a Wimshurst electrostatic generating machine. Page 94

» Medicine Man Glider by Ryan Grosswiler

Build a majestic, 5-foot-wingspan model airplane inspired by stick-and-tissue designs of the 1930s, then fly it free or radio-controlled and watch it outclass all the toy-store plastic. Page 108

» The BeatBearing Tangible Rhythm Sequencer by Peter Bennett

The BeatBearing is an exciting and intuitive way to make music. Move the balls on a grid, and you change the beat. Music sequencing couldn't be simpler. Page 120

Build Notes

» Your Own Wunderkammer by Heather McDougal

How to create your own museum of the bizarre and the beautiful. Page 130

DIY: Music

» Elastic String Bass by Len Keeler

Optically amplified rubber band twang. Page 137

» Random Music Box by Kevin Weekly

Microprocessor organ and servo drum play an endless song. Page 141

DIY: Home

» Egg Heads by George W. Hart

Construct an interlocking puzzle with 30 identical pieces. Page 143

» Volts Hurt, Amps Kill by Tom Parker

Excerpts from Rules of Thumb: A Life Manual. Page 146

DIY: Workshop

» How to Remove Anything From Metal by John Todd

Glean gleaming treasures from rusty trash. Page 147

» Case Reopened by Thomas Arey

Repurposed packaging for electronics experimenters. Page 153

» Electronic Roadkill by Thomas Arey

Scrounging useful components on your two-wheeled travels. Page 155

DIY: Outdoors

» Animal Detector by Bob Goldstein

A webcam captures animals who visit while you sleep. Page 157

DIY: Circuits

» Flash Memory Hard Disk by Brian Nadel

This fake hard drive stores more data and raises eyebrows. Page 159

» The Stealth Mic by Bill Byrne

Disguise an inexpensive binaural microphone as ordinary earbuds. Page 161

» USB Key Makeovers by Brian Nadel

These case-modded pocket drives move your files with style. Page 163

» The PowerFake by Daniel Walker

Make an inexpensive desktop scroll wheel and volume control. Page 165


» Toolbox

Cool beats, aged brass, an analog synth kit, and a guide to surviving the apocalypse (steampunk style). Page 168


» Compressed Air Power by Nick Dragotta, Saul Griffith

Page 176

Heirloom Technology

» Island Tricks by Tim Anderson

Here are just some of the island tricks you should know about. Page 178

Maker's Calendar

» Maker's Calendar by William Gurstelle

Our favorite events from around the world. Page 180

Make Money

» Coin Chess Set by Tom Parker

Sometimes it costs more to buy it than to make it from the money itself. Page 181


» Theory of Self-Reproducing Automata by George Dyson

In an era of increasingly self-reproducing goods, we can suffer a declining economy while still producing more stuff than people can consume. Page 182


» Makeshift: Mountain Bike Rescue

You need to figure out a way to get your friend, who weighs a good 30 pounds more than you, up off that ledge and back down the trail to your car before nightfall. Page 184


» Einstein's Riddle? by Michael H. Pryor

Einstein's Riddle? Page 191


» My Own Arduino Espresso Machine by Timothy Hirzel

My espresso machine is customized for a quality coffee experience. Page 192