Sunday, June 28, 2015

Orukter Amphibolos - Translation: Big Project in the Works

I've been commissioned to make a Steampunk version of the Orukter Amphibolos for a new restaurant opening in Delaware called Grain. They are planning to hang it from the ceiling in the bar area.

Orukter Amphibolos

Now, let's get serious, I know what you're thinking. And, no, I don't know why they have confidence in me either. I've certainly never attempted anything this big before, but, let me tell you, it's been crazy fun to start something new and challenging like this. In fact, on good days, I think I may just pull it off.

I first spent a good six weeks just thinking about ideas and then finally took the plunge and had this wooden trough made (four feet long and eight inches tall). I figured I could use it as a feeding trough and become a farmer if things didn't work out. But at an antique store, I came across these amazing iron wheels which fit perfectly, and it seemed that this vehicle just might come together.

As I've continued to collect potential parts, the paddle wheel has been a particularly troubling piece . . . until I happened across this rusty garden cultivator.

Disassembly is probably my favorite part, so taking apart the cultivator to get the cylinder was quite satisfying. (Full disclosure: I'm not 100% sure how I'm going to use it in the end, but it's a great base. Vintage and rusty.)

I've also been playing around with ideas for the interior "engine," which is proving to be challenging in its own right. But I've found some cool vintage pieces to incorporate, like a worn horse yoke (the upper horizontal piece), an old tool box, pieces of barn wood, and another of those fantastic iron wheels (for the flywheel). I'm sure this will go through a few more revisions in the days to come.

Yesterday was the first day of real, no-turning-back work. My dad helped me mount the axles and wheels for the main body. He's good at making sure things are extra sturdy.

I'm contemplating the paddle wheel situation next, but I'm feeling good about the progress so far. Wish me luck as I press on--the deadline is looming ever closer.


  1. I especially like the pile of screws and stuff sinking ever deeper into your new workspace carpet.

  2. It's not my workshop if you don't face potential danger when barefoot.

  3. I can see now why I didn't see you at MakerFaireKC. I did mention your work to the NerdBot folks that reminded me somewhat of your Robot Friends,

    1. Did the NerdBots have anything to say about me? The community seems to know them more than me. Sorry I missed Maker Faire--between the big project and settling into the new house, I didn't make it out there.