Continuing along the theme of Steampunking up the apiary http://brassgoggles.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,36414.0.html
, I would like to start a thread about making some unusual bee smokers.
I have two ideas that I want to make, no budget, and about two weeks worth metal shop class back in high school. So, any help you can lend me would be a great, well, um, help. Especially tips about safety and working with metal and so forth.
True, a smoker already looks rather steampunk, but surely we have the skills and knowhow necessary to make this generic device something extra special. Just need a little bit of inspiration.
I've managed to scavenge a great deal of brass and bits of plumbing at yard sales. So, add some tin cans to the mix, and I should have enough to make these. There is also a small amount of solder and soldering iron in the shop.
The first smoker is described in Abbe Warre's book Beekeeping for All. He has a couple of drawings of it in his book. It's small, bellows driven and would be perfect for the small time bee keeper. It looks to be a predecessor to the modern smoker, and was popular in the UK about the turn of the last century.
He describes this as using "rolls of corrugated paper or cheap cloth (from wrappings, old sacks)." Unlike modern smokers, these are held horizontally when smoking and stand upright with it's nozel in the air when not in use.
This link has an interesting diagram of how it's constructed. http://www.dave-cushman.net/bee/smok.html
I like the look of this as the motion to use the bellows would be much easier on arthritic hands.
The other smoker I hope to make would be a larger, ground model with a foot bellows and long pipe. I'm not really sure how to make this, but I was thinking of using an old kettle as the firebox.
So what do you think? What would you do to steampunk a smoker given the chance? Anything I should know about soldering brass together?