Dimensional Analysis Engine Base

Here are a few shots of the base construction for my latest steampunk albatross, the Dimensional Analysis Engine. As is typical of the way I do things, I made this as complicated as possible for myself, and what I thought would be an easy weekend project turned out to be a month-long pain in the arse, but I think the result was worth all the effort. I wanted something that would look like it was made out of cast iron, and I think it came pretty close.

Each of the the three ‘legs’ is made of a sandwich of 1/2″ plywood surrounded by 1/2″ MDF. I actually went out and bought a real jig saw for this project because the one I had was an old cheap one, and it just sucked. Let me tell you.. that wound up being one of the best tool investments I’ve ever made. The pure joy of using a real jig saw is something that you only understand if you’ve actually laid hands on one. There is a world of difference between a 25.00 tool and a 150.00 tool. Money very well spent!

After gluing the pieces together, I filled the corners inside with wood putty to give them a beveled look, and primed, sanded, primed, sanded, primed, sanded, ad nauseum until all of the wood grain was gone and them painted them with this cool rust-oleum hammered black paint. They actually look as if they might be cast iron!

I made brackets out of steel, and used 1/4-20 threaded rods and brass bolts to connect them at the center. The sculpture this thing has to hold up weighs quite a bit, and I definitely didn’t want it wobbling or coming apart, so I probably over-designed it, but better safe than sorry!

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