Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Underground Explorer: Goggles

With every additional piece (snout, comb, lamp and goggles) added to the helmet the weight increases, and along with it the pressure applied from gravity. At this late stage of construction I know of no way to stiffen the leather itself to better support this weight, and so I decided to build a fiberglass inner shell.

Since the original plastic astronaut helmet is made out of poyethylene--a rather slippery synthetic--I figured I could make the fiberglass directly over it. I took a piece of 5" wide nylon stockinette and it just stretched over the plastic helmet. Then I saturated it with polyester resin and after curing I had a thin strong form that matched the inside of the Explorer's helmet.

I cut the fiberglass shell in half, removed it from the form, and trimmed it down to fit my leather helmet. Above you can see it being contact cemented into the helmet.

Next I attached the recently completed goggles, which can easily be removed. The photos show it with the optional snout removed, so that we can see the face inside.

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