Friday, February 22, 2013

How To Create Steampunk Wings #1

This is the first of a series of articles regarding the creation of my wings. It is an ongoing project that will be updated as it progresses. 

Several months ago I had the idea of making wings to go with my Pixie persona. I knew I wanted them to be metal and steampunk, but wasn't sure of their exact design. Since I do not have any metal working skills I enlisted the help of my step father Bob and my little brother Joe.

We started by sketching ideas of what the wings might look like and what materials we could use. I knew that I wanted it to have large gears and after giving it some thought decided to use bicycle gears. Normally I am junk yard shopper for these kinds of parts but I needed 2 of each gear to make the wings identical so I purchased them at a local bike shop for a total of $50 for 6 gears. In addition to the gears we purchased 2 pieces of rebar, 2 metal rods, and several smaller metal rods at the local hardware store. Total cost was approximately $18.

To begin Joe used his anvil to shape the rebar to match the upper curve of the wing following a full sized sketch we had created for reference.

One of the hardest parts was getting two identical pieces so that the wings would be symmetrical.

Once he was satisfied with the top he used the anvil again to shape three smaller curved pieces to fit around the bottom of the gears forming the base of the wings.

After the shaping of the wings they had to prep the gears for welding by removing the paint near the welding area. They then began to spot weld the rebar to the gears working from the largest gear to the smallest. Next they spot welded the lower metal rods to the bottom of the gears and connected the two top and bottom rods to create the tip of the wing and cutting off any excess. To clean up the look they also smoothed the welded areas so they were less prominent.

Here is the final product after the metal work was completed.

Though it may sound simple on paper a lot of time, effort and skill were needed to complete the project.

I huge thank you to Joe and Bob for making my dream a reality. Now I just need to paint them and make the pack they will fit in!

Total Cost for Phase 1 : $68.00

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