God save the Queen – in steam! A Steampunk record player.

Posted by on Jun 23, 2012 in Videos | 29 comments

This is my steampunk record player. Details available here: www.asciimation.co.nz This is a small steam engine I made, mainly from bits of junk around my garage, playing a Sex Pistols punk LP. The engine speed is controlled by a throttle being driven from a servo controlled by an Arduino. The RPMs are measured by a coil detecting the passing of six magnets in the edge of the platter and the approximate revs are displayed on an analogue meter. I am using the PID controller library to do the work out how to control the servo based on the input speed. The safety valve is making the whistling noise at the start as steam pressure is built up. A small flick of the platter will start the engine and then the Arduino takes over trying to maintain 33 1/3 RPM. At the end the meths burner runs out of fuel so the steam pressure, and therefore the speed, drops. You can see the Arduino trying to throttle up to maintain the speed right at the end.
Video Rating: 4 / 5

My step-by-step tutorial shows you how to make the same kind of steampunk rings that are selling on Etsy for -, in under 10 minutes and for under . I’ve been teaching jewelry-making for 10 years, but this is my first YouTube tutorial and I’m not the best editor. My 11yo assisted with the camera work. If you don’t have a chasing hammer and jeweler’s anvil, any hammer or mallet will do, and any flat surface over which you can slide the ring base. Even the corner of an old shelf or table (but don’t damage the nice furniture!). I’ve been making steampunk and neo-Victorian style jewelry for several years, and I’ve been a professional jewelry designer selling my creations on the internet for over a decade. I don’t have an Etsy shop, I only sell through my personal website or at special events. My work is featured in the books “Steampunk Style Jewelry” and “1000 Steampunk Creations,” and I am the founder of the Triangle Jewelry Makers. My website: www.JLHjewelry.com Facebook: www.facebook.com Twitter: www.twitter.com deviantART: jlhilton.deviantart.com



  1. im thinking…. troll.

  2. A Punk Rock Record, on a Steam Punk Record Player. …..Seems Legit!

  3. I just realised. Steampunk, but also steam punk. Ahahahaha.

  4. This is going to ruin your records, stop.

  5. would have been cool if you actually used a ball governer under/over the platter, rather than kinda spoiling it with an arduino. might have worked better too lol

  6. Crikey there are some soulless numbnuts out there;

    “worst record player ever.”

    “Yeah, for this experiment that song was a pretty poor choice. Can’t tell if it’s guitar grinding, or just noise from the system.”

    “It’s… scratchy… something wrong with the speed of the turn-table or record?”

    Stop looking at youtube in work hours and get back to your accountancy! If you can’t see the transformative art in playing the Sex Pistols on a steam powered turntable then there is no hope for you.

  7. worst record player ever.


  9. I like it.

  10. Excellent work, my man.
    This is what steampunk should really be about, finding alternative ways of doing things with technology from the era of steam – and it WORKS – it isn’t just ‘Stick some gears on it’.

  11. Yeah, for this experiment that song was a pretty poor choice. Can’t tell if it’s guitar grinding, or just noise from the system.

  12. Unfortunate choice of song since it already contains a lot of sound close to indistinguishable to noise to some, maybe many, human ears :)

    Otherwise impressive!

  13. It’s… scratchy… something wrong with the speed of the turn-table or record?

  14. I’m sorry, but this is the worst thing ever.

  15. Really awesome. A Steampunk gadget that actually uses steam. That’s taking in a step beyond everyone else who neglects the use of the style’s namesake. Thank you so very much for that.

  16. Wow, the wow and flutter of that sure adds a whole new layer to the Sex Pistols.
    The machine itself reminds me of what Pat & Mat created in their “Gramofon” episode: (youtube id No1nIaeyAy4) … I especially like the Böhmische Polka near the end :)

  17. Wow, the wow and flutter of that .. adds a new dimension to the Sex Pistols :) (or are they?)

  18. What about a Watt centrifugal regulator instead of the Arduino PID in order to control the turntable’s speed?

  19. Thank you, that’s very nice of you to say. I’m glad to help.

  20. Congratulations to your success :) and seeing how much success you have thank you for making this video and sharing the knowledge. Ive always loved the look of steampunk but it is really expensive and looks so complicated to make. I cant believe its so easy to make and yet so expensive. :) im buzzing in my chair excited over this!

  21. thanxs so much you are really really good i’m gonna practice this :D i love steampunk

  22. They sell them on Amazon, eBay, craft stores, etc. They run about $12-$22 dollars. It’s called a jeweler’s anvil. :) 

  23. you’re welcome!

  24. lol i want a little baby anvil like that

  25. so beautiful thank you so much

  26. Tools and glue should be found in any craft or hobby shop. Filigree ring bases come from Ornamentea (search online) or Etsy. I buy the watch parts on eBay. Search “watch movement” or “wrist watch parts movement.” Some are also sold on Etsy.

  27. Where can i get Materials fir this? Thank you for the nice tut :)

  28. love it…

  29. very nice vid!
    easy and beautiful!