Sunday, March 24, 2013

Dieselpunk Hero Goggles

The last piece I needed to make for the goggles was the counterweight; because the goggles have no nose-bridge they are held together by a band around the back of the head, but the band is made of light brass sheet and the front is heavy cast bronze. The counterweight will tie the band together in the back and balance some of the weight in the front. In keeping with the art deco style I found this image of an iconic art deco mirror to use as inspiration:

To make this a reality I started with a block of carving wax

I covered one surface with masking tape and, using a protractor and a square, I laid out the design on the block.

Then I cut through the lines into the wax beneath, transferring the design.

Next a put a high-speed burr into the drill press and used it like a milling machine, cutting away wax where I didn't need it and adjusting the height of the table for each layer.

Initially I was going to exactly replicate the source image, but once I saw the curved edges being left by the burr I decided they were more attractive and suited this piece better. After about half an hour and a big pile of wax shavings I had my design.

I used a hacksaw to cut it free from the rest of the block, and milled the back down to flat to hide my poor cut.

Not such a hot-shot with the hacksaw.

The last thing I needed to do to the wax was pre-drill holes for the arms of the goggles to be riveted, this isn't mandatory but it's easier to drill the wax than the metal.

Then I cast it in bronze.

After cutting off the sprues and cleaning it looked pretty good.

So I applied a black patina and then buffed it back off, dramatizing the low areas.

Now I have all the bits made, and it's time for assembly.

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