instructions: video

Building the Box

Building the Spindle

Building the Crank

Building the Flipper

Loading the Cards


Applying Labels


Building the Moto


SteamPunKit Instructions




Captain Nemo Steampunkit 2015 – a special note
Thanks for purchasing the Nemo Kit (especially to all the Kickstarters who ordered in our CRAFT campaign and patiently waited for this nearly year-long project).
Nemo is the 3rd SteampunKit issue and we think that it’s the most refined and innovative brass kit we’ve created.
We learned a few lessons and came up with a few new tricks!
The older Steampunkit instructions can help you along, but there are a few steps that are unique to this edition.
Because the kits have begun shipping, this first rev of instructions will be text only. Please email us if you have any questions.
Mark & Wendy

INSTRUCTIONS – Captain Nemo Steampunkit 2015

Special FlipBooKit parts added in:

(inside the hardware box)

  • • Steampunk Spindle Kit – special modified spindle kit with crank handle removed, and the axle pin cemented into place. (in bag).
  • • Metal Rivets – 9 pairs of black aluminum screw-posts (in bag).
  • • Motor upgrade kit – (slightly modified) The small pulley has 3 drilled holes for mounting the brass small-pulley-cover/hubcap (in bag).
  • • Sandpaper sheet – to smooth the edges of your brass parts after they are separated and trimmed.
  • • Brass screws and adhesive tab – there are 2 extra screws (for an optional step) and the adhesive tape is for affixing the flipper (in small-bag).


Brass Plate:

(inside the flat cardboard envelope)

  • • Face plate (can be bent in two ways)
  • • Switch Plate (or as Steve calls it “an escutcheon”)
  • • Bottom Plate (wraps around bottom) – with Jules Verne inscription
  • • Motor Plate – Featuring the Nautilus
  • • Large Pulley Cover – with compass artwork
  • • Small Pulley Cover and tiny Hub-Cap (the hubcap is a new steam punk feature)

Assembly Steps:

A side note about the step below:
In other steampunk kits that we’ve issued, the engraved detail etched into the plate (we call it filigree) was treated with a “black oxide” chemical process to provide a dark colored contrast to the shiny brass. For this SteampunKit issue, we were forced to find a new etch lab. Our new lab was hard to find, but they did excellent work. Unfortunately they were not able to perform the specialized black oxide treatment.
So this optional step is up to you. You don’t need to fill in the filigree background. Unpainted, it will still look great. An unpainted Nemo plate, over time, will naturally darken. Buffing the tarnished surface will provide an attractive contrast similar to a true oxide treatment (read more detail about our dalliance with black oxide)

A – Painting the Filigree (optional)

Note: Before opening your brass plate, please consider the cautionary label on your brass plate envelope! Brass plate can be sharp!
You will need some dark acrylic paint, any 1/2″wide paint brush, and an untextured, non-linty rag for wiping paint off the plates.
A1. Find a dark shade of acrylic paint

We had good results with a few healthy squirts from a tube of black acrylic paint.
We also experimented with a few dark shades of green and red, but black seemed strongest.

A2. Apply the Paint… and Then Wipe it off?

Thoroughly coat the plate and brush it into every nook and cranny over each entire plate, then, before it dries up, wipe it off with a flat cotton rag to reveal the shiny parts. This step may get a little messy, but it’s a lot of fun!

A3. Set it Aside.
Now that the outer brass is shiny and the plate is painted only in the etched crevices, let it dry for a while.

B – Build your FlipBooKit Box (loosely)

B1. The FlipBook Box for your steampunkit is special because instead of plastic rivets, it  uses black metal screw rivets.
Because you’ll be adding the face plate later, just loosely install the screw-rivets.
B2. If you don’t know how the FlipBooKit box comes together, look here.
B3. Build the inner part of your spindle, but don’t install it into the box yet.
B4. Pop out the printed flip-cards, arrange them in order (1-24) and set them aside with the spindle.
B5. Install the ‘L’ shaped plastic Flipstop with the adhesive tab.
Because your FlipBooKit is motorized, you will NOT need the the special page catch.

C – Separating and Trimming the Brass Plate

C1. Gently separate the brass plate parts with sharp scissors.
Brass is a soft metal so it probably won’t harm your scissor blades – but just in case, don’t use Aunt Fanny’s expensive sewing shears (she may get mad and put bite marks in your brass).
C2. Next, trim, and de-burr whatever nubs remain with a second detailed pass with the scissors.
C3. Use the sandpaper to smooth all the edges and burrs.
Please take the time and care to make your Steampunk Kit fun and safe to handle

Installing Brass Parts

Now that your Brass is trimmed and prepped, you may choose to preserve it’s shininess by adding a clear coat of some sort, or let it age and darken naturally. (We like them to look aged)
The Bends
Normally, during undersea encounters, it’s a good idea to avoid the bends, but this kit requires some bending!
So take a deep breath and be ready with a fairly wide flat head screwdriver (find one that fits well in the screw rivets)

D – Bending the Bottom Plate

D1. Remove the screw rivets on the bottom flap and align the top of the plate to the top of the flap so “MOBILIS IN MOBILE” can be seen.
Note: “mobilis in mobile” was the slogan that Verne imagined on the hull of the Nautilus
D2. Carefully center that plate and then attach it with the screw rivets tightly.
D3. Bend the plate down so it wraps snugly around the edge of the bottom lip. (the back of the plate is etched to help you achieve a smooth bend)
A small hardcover book a flat object used for bracing may help guide you through this bend.
D4. Unscrew the screw rivets and re-attach them so they go through the top, the flipbookit holes and bottom of the plate.

E – Bending the Face Plate

Note: Some of you crafty builders will prefer to leave the top part of the squid face plate unbent in all it’s giant squid glory.  If you choose to do this, skip E1-E4 and later, make sure to back the plate with a wooden block or some ornate backing of your own crafting. (and be sure to send us a photo!)
E1 Remove the top screw rivets, align the top of the face-plate to the two holes and restore the screws to attach the face plate.
E2. Tighten the screws with the plate aligned with the rivets and symmetrically side to side.
E3. Bend the plate down, trying to make a nice clean 90º bend.
E4. Remove the top screws and set them aside.
E5. Now install and tighten the brass plate on the leftside with the screw rivets and make a near 90º bend. Remove the screws and plate to do the right side.
E6. Now do the same thing with the right side – making another near 90º bend
E7. Now you can install the full face-plate with the top and left side screws. Tighten in all the screw rivets.

F. The Big Pulley Disk

F1. The spindle can now be installed.
Make sure to install the bushings into the FlipBooKit box first.
Your steampunk spindle is slightly modified. The axle pin has been cemented in place and the crank-handle removed. All you need to do is install the pulley as it is.
F2. The brass compass-stylized  pulley cover can now be installed with the remaining male screw rivet through the center hole.
Make sure to insert the screw straight and carefully, it will self thread the hex hole. Do not over-tighten because plastic is soft.
Some people add a few drops of glue the the inside of the brass plate to insure a good permanent hold.

G. Attaching the Motor and the rest of the Brass Plates

G1. This step is just about the same as many of the old steampunk brass steps below.
You may investigate the ideas for custom enhancements before applying these plates.

G2. The Small Pulley’s Brass
The Small Pulley that attaches to the motor shaft gets a brass disk and a cute little brass hub-cap.
In your motor kit you should have a pulley with 3 holes for mounting the brass parts.
Attach one screw through a hubcap spoke, the disk, and into the plastic pulley.
G3. Bend the spokes so that all the spoke holes on the hubcap align and center with the 3 pulley holes.

G4. Install and tighten the screws.

H. Ideas for custom enhancements

H1. Alternate position the motor switch
Even though there’s a pre-cut hole for the motor switch, you don’t have to use it. You may decide to put the motor switch on the top of the flip-box.
H2. Pushbutton switch
Some people like to use a momentary pushbutton switch for operating their motorized FlipBooKits. We sometimes use one like this.
H3. Using extra screws to secure the switch plate
In your brass screw bag, you may have 2 extra tiny brass screws. These screws look pretty good when used to fasten the switch plate. In order to do that, you’ll need to drill 2 small holes in the plate – we used the center of the little nautilus shell spiral designs as positioning guides for the holes.

Some historic notes about our brass etch process with black oxide

The steps to create a black oxide accent on ornamental brass filigree has to be done mid-etch-process with the acid resistant coating still intact on the etched plates.
In the early SteampunKit plate editions, we accomplished this by persuading our etch lab to play “chemistry set” with us just to see if they could do it. Those guys were great sports and, with a little experimentation it worked!
Unfortunately, last year our fine-artisan etch vendor liquidated his business. We lost lots of time, a little of the know-how, and had to find new partners for the whole intricate process.
Finding a good etch lab that would also do mid-process black-oxide treatment was a tall order. We sent emails and samples all over the country and had a few near-candidates. That extra step was was too much of a challenge given that we were already pretty late delivering a late-2014 KickStarter reward.
We really love our new etch vendor. But, like most industrial etch labs, they pay their rent by etching high tech electronic circuit parts and mechanical components for big business. They do limited ornamenta l work, but usually don’t provide “artsy” services like black oxide treatments. There are sources for the chemicals and there are special companies that do black-oxide treatments for industrial metals, but they rarely are configured to treat ornamental brass plate. So, friends, this optional step is up to you!
whatever you decide, good luck with your special creation.

Back to Instructions


The Brass

Unpacking your FlipBooKit SteamPunKit:

Prepping the FlipBooKit Box:


The “Flip-Stop”

Note – This video shows two bend instructions. Make the 2nd bend only if you don’t plan to use the motor to drive the FlipBooKit. Here’s the link!

Installing the Motor:

Installing the Switch:

Installing the Corner Brackets:


The Ornamental Side Plate and the Crank Assembly:


Finishing it off with the Final Plates: