Upcycle Progress – Jason Allshouse

My upcycle project aesthetic is going to be inspired by the Steampunk aesthetic. As I went over in my last post, it will be difficult to adhere to common themes involved in Steampunk using the materials I have on hand, so I will rather base my aesthetic on Steampunk, but will not include certain elements such as industrial portions. My current plan is to use an empty box and  create a semi-functional gear system inside of it, and make it look older/ rusty if possible. The goal is to create a Steampunk inspired machine that I can convince people is capable of performing a task that is based in fantasy. 

In order to execute this project, I will be making aluminum gears out of cans, and using an old beer box for the outer shell. Since I am a college student with many roommates, it has been easy to amass old beer boxes and cans. Below is a photo of a thicker box I have that has the dimensions I am aiming for. 

As for the metal gears, I plan on making cuts in the aluminum cans and punching holes in the middle of them. I can then find some kind of rod that can go through the center holes and hold the gears together. Below is an experimental proof of concept of how I may end up cutting the cans to create that gear-like aesthetic.

Another piece that crossed my mind is including animations/graphics that are on boxes/cans in my actual piece. I’ll have to check the rule book to make sure that this is allowed, but I think it can create an interesting overall image on the inside and help make the piece more complex. Below is an example of a graphic I can use that is also a semi-Steampunk aesthetic. This is a photo I took of the character on a box of Voodoo Ranger beer.

As for my fabrication timeline, I have already gathered my intended supplies, excluding rods for the gears. I plan on having all the aluminum cans of different sizes cut into neat gears in a few days. Other than that, assembling the interior of the box will be the longest portion of the project, and I plan on spending the last few days before the project is due doing that. Other than that, I will have to do touch ups, and try to create a more rustic style/feel with materials that I can find.

I’m looking forward to any kind of feedback anyone has. I’d appreciate any suggestions on how I can create an old look on the inside/outside of my box. Any other feedback or suggestions are welcome!

Previous Post
Post 3: Upcycle Progress
Next Post
Upcycle Progress – 1950’s Signage

4 Comments. Leave new

  • Hey Jason, I really like this aesthetic of choice for your upcycle project. I think it is only appropriate that you incorporate some artwork from New Belgium brewing as they (in my opinion) has some of the best artwork of the craft brewers. One aspect that I would like to know a little bit more about regarding this project would be how you intend to create the physical movement of your beer can gears. Likewise, it would also be cool to know how you intend to create the rustic patina that you intend to have to create the steam punk look.

    • Jason Allshouse
      February 13, 2024 2:09 pm

      Thanks for the insight, John! I will update you on my progress. We’ll see how I can create that rustic look, maybe by soaking cardboard in beer or something. Ill be sure to include some New Belgium graphics as well.

  • Sophia Montie
    February 7, 2024 4:27 pm

    Hi! This is such a cool idea! I am also doing a steampunk aesthetic. I love how you are incorporating aluminum cans to resemble the metal that is common with this aesthetic and I hope you can find a way to use that Voodoo Ranger picture. Do you have any drawings of your prospective design that you would be able to include, just to get a better idea of what the final design is supposed to look like.

    • Jason Allshouse
      February 13, 2024 2:10 pm

      Hi Sophia. Thanks for the reply. I do have a rough sketch of my plans on my previous post. Good luck on your project as well and I’m looking forward to how they turn out!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.