The Steampunk Empire

The Crossroads of the Aether

Here is a version of the sonic screwdriver that was used by River Song in the Dr. Who episode "Silence in the Library'.  I made it out of brass (and have the burn marks from the brass to show for it). It is for my costume that I will wear to the upcoming World Steam Expo.   The costume itself is nearing completion...and a good thing to as the exposition is not that far off!


 The screwdriver has an ultraviolet light and sounds like the tenth doctors sonic screwdriver. The activation button is on the left hand side seen in the bottom picture.



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I find myself in a jam every now and then where I could use one of these...

And oh how I love a little Dr. Who!

I love me some Steampunk tomWholery!

I'd love to see what you're doing for the Steampunk Torchwood costume. Queen Victoria did start the Torchwood Institute, so it should be quite fun.

One of the more interesting moments from the David Tennant Dr. Who was when Queen Victoria dubs The Doctor as "Sir Doctor of Tardis" - then tells him he has received his reward and has banished him...and founds the Torchwood institute shortly thereafter. 


The concept for the Torchwood concept will involve some more leather work for a monocle with an oversized base somewhat similar to an abreviated version of the Phantom of the Opera mask.  The remainder of the costume was to be based on a military concept.  The problem became running out of time before the upcoming convention (I was going to wear it to the big dance); also the military style jacket that I was to use was needed by my sister for her costume (an airship captain). 


The military style Torchwood costume is vaguely based on somewhat of a Franky Cooke sort of idea using the womens dress blue from the 1902 era.  The problem, of course, is that dress blues from ANY era are hideously expensive.  The decision to be made was what military to use.  The answer came when I decided to make use of the medals I had already earned in the U.S. Army to avert any discussion on whether I can wear them or not.  The problem becomes is that the unit I earned them in (8th Army) was not founded until 1941.


And of course, have obtained the materials needed to make a reproduction vortext manipulator out of resin.


Thats the concept of the costume in progress in its early stages.


I have two or three of them , and find them indispensable...;)
Very nice work! Are you doing a 'Silence in the Library' River cosplay?

Actually, if there is a cosplay group in the suburbs of Chicago I have never found it.  The sonic screwdriver is for a steampunk costume that I am nearly finished with.  I may use it for a second costume (steampunk torchwood) but in the mean time I use it for the one I am preparing for upcoming conventions.


I enjoy Dr. who as well.  It's a shame that Christopher Eccleston left Dr. who - but even more so because of why.  He did an interview where he said it was because of the way he and the rest of the crew and cast where being treated.  This leaves me to believe that even though other cast members "left gracefully" perhaps it wasn't so gracefully after all. 


I wish the picture were a bit better, but alas all I had to take it with was my telephone at the time.  The brass is quite shiney but it doesn't seem to show up to well in the photograph.

Have you heard about how Freema was promised several years as Martha, when they announced her leaving the official line was 'Oh, she's fine with leaving now. Quite happy and all' yet she spent 2 hours crying in her trailer.


I think they cast and crew are doing better now Moffatt is in charge. I wish he'd been given Torchwood as well, sometime before the end of series two.

I think that a change Russle T. Davies would be a good change.  I must say his "Midnight" episode (obviously based on the Alfred Hitchcock movie "lifeboat") was interesting. Still it appears that the Freema Agyeman story published in "The Sun" ( was from from completely truthfull as she went on to star in more of the episodes ( It's too bad David Tennant left. Matt Smith is obviously a capable actor however he seems to be trying to hard to be Tom Baker.  I noticed that The Sun already started a rumor last year that Matt Smith was leaving Doctor Who (  I would personally like to see more of Catherine Tate on the show.  I liked her best because she was an "every woman" type of character like the rest of us out there, rather than a model type.
Nicely done! 
WOW! This is amazing. Is there any chance of you posting an instructable or otherwise a tutorial?

Step 1: Attempt to make 10th doctor's sonic screwdriver...burn self on hot brass multiple times. Stop half way through the process. Start over.


Step 2: Attempt to make a steampunk version of River Song's sonic screwdriver instead. Succeed. Realize the the parts for the light will not fit. Get new parts. Wear protective clothing and find that sparks find their way past protective clothing. Discover that the sonic part of sonic screwdriver doesn't work. Start over.


Step 3:  Attempt to make River Song screwdriver only sonic.  Realize electronic parts for sound will not fit. Finish 10th doctor's sonic screwdriver.


Step 4: Realizing the River Song sonic screwdriver is half way done stare at it until you have a flash of inspiration. Wear leather neck guard, face mask and hat to protect from sparks...get burnt on arm instead.


Step 5.  Go to local importer and buy 10th doctor's sonic screwdriver. Take it apart. Scrap all parts but the electronics.  Build an entire new sonic screwdriver around it.  Succeed.  Annoy everyone you know by constantly carrying around sonic screwdriver and analyzing absolutely everything.


O.K. As you can tell I burnt myself ALOT making the brass parts.  It was simply a matter of finding the brass plumbing parts that sort of fit and grinding them until they did.  It's sort of an artistic effort and what is available for me might not be available for you.  I will be happy to make some brief summary here if you like (I am not a member of indesctructable).  


In the end the key to making it work was to buy the 10th doctor's screwdriver and taking out the middle part.  Making it actually work with light AND sound was the frustrating part. Making it light was not to hard, the sound part was difficult.  The simple solution would have been to buy a  "recording pen" but they are prohibitively expensive for what this is.  The idea of using sound chips from toys had occurred to me but all that succeeded in doing was the possibility of the screwdriver playing music. The key to making the parts for me was using a dremel tool and going through ALOT of grinding and cutting heads.


In days to come I will try to put something together and post it in the maker forum to help anyone else that wants to make one.  If you don't care if it makes sound, that makes the whole project ALOT easier...the sound part was what made it a difficult project.

That's awesome.


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