As part of my steampunk miko outfit, I wanted a cool gauge and some lights on my hakama belt. I didn’t want piping so something like a pressure gauge was out, so I turned to the internet. Searching for “diy steampunk gauge” landed me at http://www.epbot.com/2011/06/diy-steampunk-gauges.html which was amazingly awesome! So I decided to try it myself.
First, the hardware. One closet door handle thing from Ace Hardware, and a spinner courtesy of the scrapbooking section of my local JoAnns. The door handle thing has small holes in it for attaching to the closet door, so I taped over them on the backside with duct tape. The epoxy will get VERY warm, so it has to be real duct tape, not duck tape.
Next, I needed a gauge face. HerbertW on deviantArt had several designs that were almost but not quite what I wanted. You can find the originals at http://herbertw.deviantart.com/art/Metaphysical-Gauges-335601199 . I added some color and a voltage designator as well as removed the text as it was a reference to Lovecraftian things, which is not appropriate for this costume. Since I wanted a more vintage feel, I gave my paper the tea treatment, Twinings Lady Earl Grey I think, letting it soak for a couple hours to give that aged/yellowed look.
Then it was assembly and epoxy time. Spinner on the paper, paper in the door handle, I mixed some EasyCast Clear Casting Epoxy by Castin’ Craft. As it turns out, way too much epoxy, but live and learn. I set my soon to be gauge on a lid in case the duct tape didn’t hold, and poured as evenly as I could to reduce bubbles. A few stuck around on the rim, but I can deal with that. All in all, it turned out really great!