My day-to-day wardrobe was in serious need of something steampunk…
I am, once again, breaking away from my own format by not writing a background story. This piece is not meant to emulate anything; real or imaginary. Instead, it is really just pure aesthetics and fashion…
All the mechanical bits came from a rather ugly and modern alarm clock. The buckle was from an old belt from Target, whose cloth strap (right word?) had long since deteriorated. A suitable replacement was found at a local Value World resale shop for $1.91–the only thing that was purchased for this build. Though counting even that is questionable, as I heeded a new belt anyway…
It has been pointed out that a belt buckle is a rather unwise and possibly indecent place to wear something that is to be fiddled with. Indeed this is quite true, which is why I didn’t design it that way! In fact, the cogs didn’t even move in its first iteration. I changed this for the simple reason that, if asked, I would feel quite ashamed to admit that they were stationary. What kind of an engineer would I be if i couldn’t mesh three simple gears?
Actually, meshing them was rather difficult as a result of the original buckle’s design. The surface is curved at a radius of about a foot, which really complicates things. As embarrassing as it is, I admit that I never actually got it to work perfectly. It’s fine for a few revolutions, but teeth start skipping and catching after any more. You have to look close, but you can see this happen in the video. The real cause of this is not the curved base (which i compensated for), but the fact that the gears stick out too far over the edge. No matter how perfectly i adjusted things to begin with, the cog’s sharp teeth would inevitably catch on loose bits of clothing and wrench everything horribly out of alignment.
I have since rebuilt the device in a fairly different looking, and far sturdier design. I haven’t had a chance to photograph or film this second version, but I will post it as soon as I do!
Tools: Dremel w/ press, drill, pencil torch, soldering iron, and small files
Time: 2-3 hours (including the constant adjustment)
Approx. Date of Completion: December 2006