Past Projects‎ > ‎

Gear Wheel Brooch

My Ladyfriend started work at a new school recently, much to her relief, and one of the other teachers there mentioned in passing that her daughter was getting married at the end of the week. For very sad reasons, they had not had much time to plan it, but they were aiming for a Steampunk theme. Tess (my lady friend) mentioned that I had had some involvement with the Steampunk movement and did they need any help? As a result, we went through our house to find as many suitable things as we could for table decorations and suchlike, up to and including an airship in a bottle that I had made many years ago and had quite forgotten about! Along with these bits and pieces which I was glad to see put to use, I was asked if there was any possibility of making a brooch. One of the brides was planning on wearing a medal as part of her outfit (it is steampunk, after all!), but the other had nothing similar to wear on hers. This would simply not do...

So, I took myself off to the workshop, rooted around in my bins of Useful Things and found a selection of gearwheels and some brass plate offcuts. As I have drifted in the direction of proper model engineering over the last year or so, I figured I may as well do things properly and make the damned thing work, so I built myself a crude Depthing tool, scribed out the pivot centres for three meshing gears on  piece of brass plate, and drilled the holes. I did take a bit of a liberty in meshing an escapement wheel in the way that I did, but on this occasion aesthetics was going to have to win, and I liked the look!

I silver soldered a badge back onto the rear of the plate, shaped and filed it around the pivot holes, then poked the cut-down arbors of the wheels through the plate before peening the ends over just enough to let the wheels spin, but not wobble or fall out. Following a bit of light pickling, a buff and a spot of polish, it came out looking quite nice! I hope the wearer is pleased with it, and the wedding goes well.

The wedding DID go well, I've seen some pictures, and whoever did the cake is a Confectionery Wizard...