Sunday, 30 August 2009

Steampunk and monowheels

A year or two ago I got interested in Steampunk after reading an article about this aestheic cult in Rolling Stone. I spotted this steampunk concept cartoon today on Google when looking for monocycles, after seeing a Scrapyard Challenge repeat on TV this afternoon.
I want one. The trickiest thing about making one has to be the bending of steel into a perfect circle; not a job for an amateur working in his shed! Then I discovered the blog of someone, Dr Southall, who has done just that...or rather he built one in his shed, but employed a tube bending company to do the tricky bit. So that is the solution!

The resident expert on the Scrapyard Challenge was an American, Kerry Mclean, who builds monocycles and rides them very expertly....inspiring stuff! He proves that in can be done.

Funnily enough, I designed a hubless wheeled trolley in 1992, when I was doing my degree, and that was inspired by black and white films of this 1932 contraption, which is more like a hamster wheel than a monowheel.

I really like the simplicity of Southall's Ring of Fire. It is superbly uncomplicated...and SMALL. And I like the look of the machine which appears to have inspired it,
the Bressen of 1969

I really must one day have a go at designing and making a monowheel.
They look such fun

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