How To Steampunk

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The Tampa Hackerspace has many wonderful tools that can be used to make make pieces for Steampunk cosplay or if that's your lifestyle. Here are some of the tools, and ideas of what they could be used to make.

Sewing Studio

The Tampa Hackerspace Sewing Studio has multiple sewing machines, including an embroidery machine and a 4 spool surger. There is a 4x8 foot cutting table and a variety of sewing tools and accessories to make sewing snap!

Project Ideas:

Tampa Hackerspace has a large supply of fabric, thread, patterns, and sundries available for use. You MAY want to bring:

  • Special fabric
  • Special thread
  • Patterns
  • Buttons or the like

Wood Shop

The Tampa Hackerspace has a selection of wood working tools including saws, sanders, routers and drills.

Project Ideas:

  • All your wood working needs!
  • Steampunk motorhome!
  • Costumes and props
  • Steampunk weapons
  • Larger props

Tampa Hackerspace has some wood available for use. You MAY want to bring:

  • Wood, especially if you need large pieces.
  • Specialty tool bits/blades.


Lathes spin a work piece at high speed. Specialized cutting tools, often chisels, depending on the material, are used to incrementally cut layers off the work piece. The finished piece is precisely milled and cylindrically symmetrical. Materials may include wood, metals, plastics.

Project Ideas:

  • Load bearing wheels
  • Canes and walking sticks
  • Cylindrical jewelery
  • Decorative or functional cylindrical containers from wood or metal
  • Matching table legs!!!
  • Precisely machined axles
  • Threaded rods
  • Round lids for containers
  • Lamp parts
  • Hose, pipe and wire "connectors" for costumes and props
  • Metal buttons for costumes or control panels
  • Functional motor components
  • "Weapon barrels"

Tampa Hackerspace has some wood or other materials available for use. You MAY want to bring:

  • Materials to turn
  • A pattern, plans or dimensions to follow

Soldering Stations

Everything you need for soldering electronics projects.

  • Soldering irons
  • Soldering toos
  • Helping hands
  • Solder removal tools
  • Multi-meters
  • Oscilloscopes
  • Power supplies

What you will need to bring:

  • Your project materials

3D Printers

3d printers extrude thin layers of plastic to create almost any object for which you can design a model. There are many pre-designed objects available on Thingiverse.

Note: Due to the nature of 3D printing, objects take a LONG time to print, often HOURS for larger objects.

Project ideas:

(A chess set will take many hours to print, probably over 60.)

Tampa Hackerspace has multiple colors of ABS and PLA plastic filament available for use. You WILL NEED to bring:

  • Model of 3d objects in STL or OBJ format that fits in a 225mm x 145mm x 150mm build envelope.
  • Although you can work on design at the Hackerspace, due to the long print times, it's recommended you arrive with your model ready to print.

Laser Cutter

The Tampa Hackerspace's Laser Cutter can be used to precisely (and repetitively) cut and etch a variety of materials. Please review the more-complete list of materials here, but the short list includes:

  • Cutting -- fabric, leather, gator foam, paper and cardboard, most woods up to 1/4 inch, acrylic, a few but NOT many other plastics.
  • Etching -- the above cut-able materials, glass, ceramic tile, anodized aluminum, painted/coated metals, stone including: marble, granite, soapstone, onyx.

Project ideas:

Tampa Hackerspace has some wood and acrylic available for use. There is also a LARGE selection of "clip-art" style images available. You MAY want to bring:

  • Up to 1/4 inch: wood, acrylic, leather, cardboard, foam to cut
  • Other materials to etch (Please see list)
  • Computer files with your project design.

Tampa Hackerspaces' Laser Cutter uses "Corel Draw" for layout and printing. Corel Draw can import multiple file types, including: PDF, JPEG, GIF, PNG, DXF, SVG, certain CAD programs, and many more. We recommend you pre-design as much of your project as possible before arriving.

Shapeoko2 mini-CNC router

The Shapeoko2 is a small CNC (Computer Numerically Controlled) router that uses a dremel to cut or etch patterns into any material the dremel bits can cut. This may include wood, foam, leather, cardboard, metal, lots of plastics, maybe certain metals. Other tools could be substituted for the dremel.

Project Ideas:

  • Mill out a large buck to use as an ironing stamp when making patterns on velvet. (Volpin Props example on Facebook)
  • Mill gears from wood, plastic, metal(?) (Gear Generator)
  • Costume and small prop pieces
  • Mill wheels
  • Mill jewelery
  • Buttons for costumes or control panels
  • Levers, frames, assemblies for props
  • Greebles for props and costumes
  • "Skeleton keys"
  • Etch logos on etch-able materials
  • Etch traces on circuit boards
  • Etch gear images on phone cases
  • Etch label on wood, plastic, leather, metals
  • Carve cameos from wood, plastic, assorted stone
  • Carve faces or other images into wood, plastic, or onto coated metal to create personalized coins
  • Use a diamond bit to etch or cut glass

Shop Bot CNC Router

The Shop Bot is a CNC (Computer Numerically Controlled) router that can cut pieces as large or larger than a full sheet of plywood (4x8 ft). It uses a powerful router that can tool foam, wood and metals if the right cutting bit is installed.

Project Ideas:

  • Mill gears from wood, plastic, metal, other (Gear Generator)
  • Mill larger mechanical parts like handles, leavers, load bearing wheels
  • Mill frame parts for larger props
  • Mill large parts for backdrops
  • Mill parts for Steampunk vehicles ("The Time Machine", diving bell, steam-cycle)
  • "Submarine hatches"
  • Seat frames
  • Giant spinning wheel for a time machine
  • "Rocket pack" components

Metal Shop

The Tampa Hackerspace metal shop is currently under construction (2015-08-12). Tools include metal lathes, a manual mill, and a CNC mill.