Thursday, September 11, 2008

I Made Steampunk Goggles (Just like everyone else!)

For some time now I've been meaning to get or make a set of steampunk goggles. While they are a staple of the steampunk scene and one can't be expected to properly pilot an aerodrome or keep a boiler properly tuned without a set. I didn't want to make some that were overly simple or shell out the money for a set of brazing goggles. I also wanted to make them from fairly common materials so that others could build on mine if they like. has several 'ibles on how to make various sets of goggles, but when I saw this one I knew I could make it work for what I wanted.

Instead of using a baseball I went with a softball. I didn't really want to spray paint Gatorade lids for eye pieces so I walked around the hardware section of [Big-Blue-Box-Store] and found some brass-plated door bumpers that looked just right for the task. I also decided that elastic would make for an easier headband than rings and painted denim.

The whole process is pretty simple. You cut the stitching off of your softball until you've got one of the peanut shaped leather pieces, then cut that in the middle. These will be your left and right sides. Color them black or dark brown (I used a big black permanent marker, paint works too). You cut a reticle-like shape just smaller in diameter than your eye cups (door bumpers) and super-glue the tabs to the inside of the eye cups. After that you can super glue or hot glue round clear plastic (plexiglass or that impenetrable packaging plastic works well) into place as the lenses. Sew the middle together slightly above center, then sew the elastic band on the ends.

You're now one step closer to a becoming a proper ornithopter test pilot. Just remember that goggles alone do not steampunk make. One must come up with other creative re-imaginings of the contrivances of the contemporary with the contraptioning of days long gone.

These goggles were actually the second set I've had a hand in, with the first being for a friend, I just made these from the leftovers and extra bumpers. His look almost exactly like mine, except I hot glued my lenses in place.

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