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Author Topic: Planning attire - Mechanic  (Read 684 times)
Mr. Phikset
Gunner
**
United States United States



« on: January 26, 2017, 12:00:53 am »

Greetings and salutations!

I am finally getting around to getting my attire put together for my personal. What I am going for is a mechanic/engineer as opposed to an aristocrat, one of those among us that actually makes these wonderous things work.

What I have planned thus far are a pair of corduroy pants and button up shirt with leather braces, bowler hat, and a tool holding waistcoat.

The choice for corduroy stems from the fact it was a common and sturdy material, often regarded as "working class", much like what denim would later become, usurping it position. I found a pair in sienna, a brownish red, cut in classic fashion.
For a shirt, I plan on using a basic button up shirt with a fine striped pattern to the fabric. I will be modifying the collar to be more similar to shirts of the day and will be holding the sleeves up with arm garters.
I was gifted a gorgeous leather bowler from the artisans at The Blonde Swan and have made a pair of leather bracers that I have been wearing daily for years now.

The main piece to bring everything together is a leather tool holding waistcoat where I will be holding an assortment of my commonly utilized hand tools. The waistcoat itself will be made from a heavy split suede like what is commonly used on welding aprons and will hold the following:
Notebook and drafting pencil
Folding silver steel and ivory ruler
Soapstone and marking crayon
Oil application pens
Vernier caliper
Centering punch
Needle files with turned wood handles
Bit driver pens and bits
Wrench set
Brass hammer
Brass spanner wrench

The bit driver pens and compact wrench set are my only particularly modern allowances as I do plan on wearing this around my shop, so functionality was taken into account. I may have the pockets they go into have cover flaps to cover to offending modern touches.

Any thoughts or criticism regarding this endeavor? Am I missing anything?
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When asked how long something will take, always tell them longer than what you think it will take.  That way if something goes wrong you have time to fix it and if everything goes smoothly then you look like a miracle worker.
 - Scotty
Major Wolfram Quicksilver
Zeppelin Overlord
*******
United Kingdom United Kingdom


If you can't make a mistake you can't make a thing


« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2017, 12:43:50 am »

Sounds good. An extra layer might be a brown warehouse coat, with buttons. The ones that come down just above the knees. Just a suggestion.
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walking stick
Zeppelin Admiral
******
England England


« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2017, 02:41:47 am »

 other possible tools
Screw gauge (Micrometre although it may be called something else for imperial measurements.
Silverpoint.
Brass or wood frame Spirit Level
pocket editions of logarithm tables.
Metal Slide Rule
French curve.
Winding drill.
Drafting paper marked in inches.

clothing extra ideas
You can stick spare tools in your hatband as well as your waistcoat.
Proper welding goggles as opposed to thew aviator style.
Leather patches on elbows and/or knees
metal sleeve garters.

When sewing leather, get an appropriate sewing needle a good thimble and a palm guard.
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Mr. Phikset
Gunner
**
United States United States



« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2017, 05:21:01 am »

A micrometer/dial caliper would be nice, but finding a vintage enough one to be passable for steampunk would be challenging.
I do like the thought of a silverpoint, it would certainly be a touch of class. It has been a while since having used one.
A spirit level is a good thought. I have stumbled across spirit level cufflinks and may incorporate those in that way.
As far as a slide rule and algorithm books, I guess I see them more for the drafting table rather than keeping it on me, same with the french curve, drafting paper and other drafting related tools.
By winding drill, I assume you mean one of the hand cranked egg beaters drills? It is a thought, I would just have to find a suitable example.

One thing I will probably add to the list is a folding pitch gauge.

Proper welding goggles are a must, especially as one of my larger props that will be made down the road is a carbon galvanic welder. Another of the larger accessories I am considering is making a fall arrestor mechanism.
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walking stick
Zeppelin Admiral
******
England England


« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2017, 09:43:15 am »

Yes I did mean one of those drills that cranks like an egg beater. 
There are vintage steam, horological or model engineering clubs that might know where to get a dial caliper in imperial measurements if they think it's for a serious project.  My father was a member of the Society Of Model and Experimental engineers so I watched him and his friends build working steam trains to imperial scale measurements. 

The reason for the serious project note is that Some clubs or at least some of their more influential members are hostile to Steampunks after a few, allegedly steampunk, idiots  smashed up working vintage machinery and watches just to get decorative parts.
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Mr. Phikset
Gunner
**
United States United States



« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2017, 06:44:07 pm »

Yes, the serious thing certainly applies. It horrifies me when people choose to demolish perfectly good watches and such to use as decorative bits. I guess I am one of those that does not believe in "sticking gears on it and calling it steampunk". If it has gears, they better do something as far as I am concerned. If you want decorations, start engraving some filigree.
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annevpreussen
Gunner
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United States United States


Captain Annemarie of the Eagle's Arrow Airship


« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2017, 03:23:16 am »

The reason for the serious project note is that Some clubs or at least some of their more influential members are hostile to Steampunks after a few, allegedly steampunk, idiots  smashed up working vintage machinery and watches just to get decorative parts.

Yes, the serious thing certainly applies. It horrifies me when people choose to demolish perfectly good watches and such to use as decorative bits. I guess I am one of those that does not believe in "sticking gears on it and calling it steampunk". If it has gears, they better do something as far as I am concerned. If you want decorations, start engraving some filigree.

Yikes, the idea of people destroying machines just to hot glue their gears on a top hat or something made me cringe. One of the reasons steampunk is so great is because it has a way of merging style and function... so if you want gears on your stuff, they better do something (or at least look like they do something). I must admit I'm guilty of random gear decoration myself, though; the first pair of steampunk-ish earrings I made were big dangly things all hung with die-cut gears and keys and safety pins. I still sort of love them.
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steiconi
Gunner
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United States Minor Outlying Islands United States Minor Outlying Islands



« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2017, 06:43:40 pm »

will you be a clean mechanic or a real mechanic?

I'm thinking of the guy at the auto repair shop who always has grease marks where he pulls up his pants with oily hands.

Is there something your character does that creates a particular stain or wear on his clothes? 
Maybe a tool hangs off his belt and wears the nap off the corduroy? 
An oily rag tucked into vest pocket makes a shiny spot on the leather?
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Mr. Phikset
Gunner
**
United States United States



« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2017, 05:25:57 am »

I will definitely not be shying away from the grunge and grime of the reality of being a mechanic. My uncle is a mechanic as was my grandfather. I spent a lot of time with my grandfather rebuilding his old motorcycle, so hands and elbows deep is definitely what I am going for here. Good ideas on those details. Details are what really bring a costume together for me.
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Kensington Locke
Officer
***
United States United States


« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2017, 10:37:22 pm »

The Blonde Swan makes excellent hats, congrats to your good fortune.  I myself have bought a nice leather top hat with embossed gears (no glue-ons for me) from them.

I might suggest levels of grime/gear to your costume.  There is a world of difference between a mechanic, working all day getting dirty from an engineer, working in a cleaner environment designing and testing something he built, to a tinkerer, perhaps somebody mid-way between the two extremes.

This mindset might let you adjust your payload of tools, remember, this stuff weighs a lot all together, so finding the sweet-spot of props that establish your character while respecting your spine.

Another thing to consider is modularity, my full steampunk outfit includes bandoleer, hat, long tailed waistcoat, trousers, shirt, pistol.

For a steam punk date night, I left the bandoleer and pistol at home.  I could foresee having an alternate waistcoat and dress coat.

So imagine ways to remove/add elements to change your look from field mode, lab mode to "invited to a dinner party" mode while not entirely changing costumes/clothes.

If you go for a "clean" look, imagine the character as one who builds things, but strives to keep clean, there'd be less grime (some is unavoidable), and sleeves would be rolled up, a handkerchief to wipe things down, etc.  Then you might picture the waistcoat as carrying some number of presentable tools, and you'd dress up by putting on a suitable coat, thus never leaving home without your tools in case of a jam.

I think all your ideas will be quite fine as is, so anything I'm saying here is just other ways to do a costume

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Soggz
Deck Hand
*
England England


« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2017, 11:12:50 pm »

Don't forget cut knuckles and dirt under your nails for that authentic look. And make sure your clothes are slightly grimly.
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