Forum Thread: Welcome to Steampunk Research & Development!

Salutations, Steampunks! Welcome to the newest Steampunk community on the web, Steampunk Research & Development, or Steampunk R&D for short. This online assemblage is based specifically around Steampunk how-to projects, and we're quite possibly the first Steampunk community to do so.

Steampunks are some of the smartest, most capable people I know, and they're always looking to learn a thing or two. Many of them also want to share that knowledge with others, which is why you'll find various Steampunk-related tutorials floating around the Internet. However, none of those places have a real aptitude for community, which is what we want to cultivate here.

There's a lot I love about WonderHowTo, and I think this Steampunk R&D World will be the perfect home for Steampunk makers of all varieties. It doesn't matter if you want to sew, thrift, salvage, or make from scratch—even just buy something cool—learn and share here.

So What's This Place All About?

We started this Steampunk R&D World with the lofty goal of making it the best place for Steampunk DIY, organizing all of the free Steampunk tutorials from around the web into one easy-to-search, easy-to-browse place. And of course, there will be plenty of cool inspirational images, videos, and links to help percolate the ol' creative juices.

I've joined forces with WonderHowTo because their Worlds platform is perfect for communities like ours. Unlike other places where the typical user has no feedback on new features, this site has an active developer base that's dedicated to adding specific features that will help our unique culture.

Also, this site makes it easy to share what you've created, what you're inspired by, or what you're thinking about by breaking posts down into three main categories:


The "How-To" section is where you'll submit your own tutorials, or browse the ones submitted by the community. The text-editor makes it easy to create step-by-step guides that include pictures, galleries, videos, or links to helpful resources.


The "Inspiration" section is where you'll show off the images, videos, websites, and stories that inspire your creations. You can also show off the things you've made, seen, or want to buy. We've included a section to link to things you have for sale, too!


Chat with other Steampunks in the "Forum"! Ask questions, help out a newbie, or just get to know everyone. You can even make posts asking for specific tutorials if there's something you're having trouble with.

Now... Introduce Yourself!

If you're new here, it would be great if you could post to the Introduce Yourself thread and tell us a little bit about what got you into Steampunk in the first place. Once you've been here a while, be sure to check this thread often to welcome new members.

Who Started This Community?

Some of you may know me, and some of you may not. My name is Austin Sirkin. You might have seen me in the Panic! at the Disco music video "The Ballad of Mona Lisa", or seen my costume group Nerfpunk. You might even have seen my name on the SteamCon 2012 Airship Award list, visited the Facebook group I help run, Steampunk Revolution, or even attended one of the over 100 Steampunk panels I've run at conventions around the country.

Suffice it to say that I've been extremely active in the Steampunk community for quite a long time, and have watched as the hotbeds of Steampunk activity have shuffled around from site to site over the years.

As both an administrator and a member, I've often found myself dissatisfied with the community-building tools at my disposal, and running a Facebook group has only intensified that dissatisfaction. Several months ago, I came on board the WonderHowTo team and started running their Minecraft World. After working on Minecraft for a while, I've convinced the team to let me put together this Steampunk R&D World because I think it's a perfect fit.

On a Personal Note...

I believe the online Steampunk presence can be so much more than it is. It can be a repository of information, and it can be a database and archive of all that we are. Come help us build this into an amazing tool for those either in or out of the community.

We aim to make this more than just another community where a few people can leisurely chat, but a centralized location containing vast quantities of information hosted both locally and globally. It would put the power back in our hands, because a true community can't be run by any one person—it's run by every person.

We're Looking for Moderators

If you've got the skills and a little time to help, we're looking for regular contributors and moderators in the following areas:

  • Welcoming new members
  • Posting cool links

Since this Steampunk R&D World is fairly new, there's a lot we might be forgetting. Help us make it even better by posting your suggestions in the forum for improvements to this site.

Cover image by Mike Savad

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15 Responses

Awesome, always been interested in steampunk stuff, looking forward to what will come out of this world!


Love steampunk, so happy to have stumbled upon this group.

Is that you? If so, I absolutely love the hat! Great mod!

And there should be a lot of tutorials coming up in the future, so remember to keep checking back! =D

Oh WOW! This is just the type of place I've been looking for. WOO HOO! Thanks for starting this.

Welcome aboard, Jeanette! I hope you find things you like here! =)

Fantastic world this steampunk. I have always been attracted to steampunk and the hands on nature of the projects. I am probably more a neo- Victorian than a true steampunk but must admit the mixture of sci-fi, never-was, steam, and BRASS is quite alluring. I really look forward to hands on making and have started the slow but satisfying task of attaining certain tools and materials toward that end. More importantly I am learning by reading how-tos and gleaning information from some very talented people here. The must have tools article was superb. Thank you for letting me participate!

I'm glad it's helpful! Perhaps as you gather experience, you can share some of it with the rest of us!

Even newcomers can have valuable things to add, as they don't take established things for granted, and can look at old things with fresh eyes.

So, regardless of your skill level, please consider posting an article of your own! =)

Austin, I certainly will. I already have certain projects imagined in principle and would like to see them to fruition...eventually. Two skills need development to proceed; copper brazing and plating/etching. Well those and a lot of practise!

Brazing is something that I'd like to learn, too, so if you pick up any tricks, let me know. =)

so glad I came across this, now how do I explore it to its fullest? I live in Houston where there is very little of our community I am an artist and dying to find new inspirations and networks.

Being a relative noob to the Steampunk community I find this site to be full of useful insight. I would like to thank all of the contributors for sharing your collective knowledge as it has been a huge help to my own endeavors. I hope to eventually be able to give back to this community as much as I am getting from it!

I discovered steampunk about 1 year ago and shared it with my wife and we both got intriged by it. She likes history and fantasy whereas I like science fiction and making things. We both like collecting old things and fixing or repurposing them. The whole idea of steampunk just resonated with us. Then just a few weeks ago we discovered that our teenage grandchildren were making steampunk costume accessories in 4H. It just goes to show how steampunk can be multi generational.

It is very exciting to have found this forum. I look forward to sharing with all of you.

if anyone is a puzzle person like I am then if you hookup Jigsaw World in your facebook then you can do steampunk puzzles: all you have to do is find a picture, save it to your desktop, adjust the size, maybe crop it a little, then in jigworld choose to upload the picture and its creates a puzzle for you to do. I love it. I just discovered steampunk on pinterest and have been rummaging from everyone all their old watches n jewerly and having fun making the mini top hats. my grand kids love them!!!

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