March 27, 2013


Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 11:56 am

Dear friends,

My brother and I recently spent a wonderful day with sculptor and all-round eccentric Alan Ross of ArtInSteel. The result of Alan’s patient help was that my welding improved immensely, and he humoured my ambitions when I said I wanted to make a sculpture of a bird in the afternoon. Well, here it is. I’ve not tried my hand at sculpture before, and I think it came out pretty well.

And, yes Alan, a tall bike is definitely on my to-do list now.



January 20, 2013

Snowmobile, Mark 2

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 11:11 pm

It snowed again! It doesn’t snow very often in London, so we have to make the most of it. The old electric snowmobile was pretty unstable, so today I rebuilt it with a new and much improved front end. I also built a sledge to tow behind – this was originally supposed to be a set of shelves for my son’s bedroom, but needs must, and now it’s a sledge. My son is delighted by this change of plans; my wife, somewhat less so. Here it is in action:

November 13, 2011

Steam Dog

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 2:18 am

Dear friends,

Last Saturday my youngest son came into my bedroom early in the morning carrying a big pile of cardboard he’d collected and declared that he wanted me to make him a scary mask, just like his big brother. What else could I do?

Read on.

Steam Dog

December 21, 2010


Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 12:41 am

Dear friends,

On Sunday afternoon I was all alone. My wife and kids were stuck in Denmark by the snow, and I was by myself. Bored. Bored, with a welder. But no-one to play in the snow with. And then it struck me – what I needed to do was to build a snowmobile. Not that we get much snow in London, but as we had some for a change, it needed to be exploited properly.

And so six hours of frantic cutting, welding, and soldering later, here it is – the mark 1 electric snowmobile. Read on

September 21, 2010

The Study

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 5:29 pm

Dear friends,

Over the years my study has accumulated quite a collection of weird and wacky objects and inventions. I thought you might appreciate a quick tour.


August 30, 2010

Mission Control

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 12:38 am

Dear friends,

Ours is a push-button digital world. Very convenient it is too, but somehow it’s lost the tactile sense that old analog equipment had. My study is a strange hybrid of the old and the new. On the wall now is a generator control panel from the early 20th century, and it is slowly coming back to life. Read on…

- Fzz

Mission Control

May 9, 2010

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 11:49 pm

Dear friends,

This Sunday was the Celebration of Steam weekend at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, and a good an excuse as any to take my younger son to play with steam. Read on…

– Fzz

Steam fire pump

December 20, 2009

Ice Karting

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 8:54 pm

Dear friends,

We found a new use for the electric go-kart today. Thought it might amuse you.


November 2, 2009

Steam Robot Mask

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 1:08 am

Steam Robot

Dear friends,

Hallowe’en has rolled around again, and my eldest is developing more refined tastes. No longer is it sufficient just to be a wizard; now he wants to be a steam robot, sidekick to Doctor Steam. And so it shall be.

Click here for pictures, video and construction details.


April 15, 2009

Hydrogen Reconnaissance Balloon

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 10:49 pm


Dear friends,

It’s Easter, and in the Fzz family that can only mean one thing:  the Easter Challenge.  Last year we built an Egg Cannon, but this year the challenge was to build a device to take an aerial photograph of my father’s house.  Extra points are awarded for style and the use of mad science.

With those bonus points in mind, my son and I set out to build a hydrogen reconnaissance balloon, complete with a remote control camera and mounting.  But we only had a week from idea to challenge, so we had to work fast.

Read on for how we faired, or look here for construction details.

October 31, 2008

The Mask

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 2:06 am

A sneak preview of my Halloween costume. More pictures are here.

October 19, 2008

Internet Pressure Gauge

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 1:57 am

Dear friends,

Before our Steam Rocket leaked fuel into the top of it, I used to have a wireless basestation on my desk, and I’d got it the habit of looking at the activity lights when a download was taking longer than it should to see if anything was actually happening. Being a creature of habit, I kept glancing at where it used to be whenever I was waiting for a web page; clearly a replacement was needed. Well, here at last it is: a steam gauge to measure the pressure in the tubes of the Internet. Read on for how it works…

July 6, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 12:12 am

Dear friends,

Thanks to a suggestion from OutaSpaceman, we journeyed down to the Hollycombe Steam Collection in Hampshire for their Festival of Steam. My youngest son is obsessed with trains, but even he was occasionally enticed off the rails onto the fabulous Edwardian steam-powered fairground rides today. A wonderful day out and a great hit with the kids. If you’re ever in the area, please pay them a visit.

My pictures are here.


Steam Yatch Ride

June 22, 2008

Heat Ray of Death

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 11:06 pm

Dear friends,

It’s midsummer and we had a beautiful sunny day today. Perfect to demonstrate the awe-inspiring power of the sun, focused through our giant lens into the heat ray of death (at least to any ants that wander into its path). Cardboard catches fire instantaneously, wood burns in a few seconds, plastic melts and water boils. And the swirling smoke in the sunlight makes the focus of the light wonderfully clear. Lots of fun for apprentice pyromaniacs.



More pictures are here.

giant lens

June 18, 2008

Professor Magnus and the Thunder Lizard

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 9:40 pm

Dear friends,

My son and I had a wonderful time last weekend making a short film about a certain mad scientist.  Hope you enjoy it.


the machine