Making My First Goggles (Part 1)

Another fine day's haul...

If I am to begin working some Mad Science, I need some goggles! Instead of spending $200+ on some AtomeFabrik ones, I’m going to make my first set of goggles for a grand cost of about $8 in materials so far. So, sorting out the stuff I’m not using yet, I’m left with the following:

I removed the lenses from the gag glasses, the collar and lens from the clock, the rotating magnification lenses and eyepiece from the microscope, and saved some of the brass collar pieces from the broken door knob set I found. The rest got put away because I won’t be needing it just yet… except the belt, because now it’s time to do a mock-up. However, the magnification lens casing wouldn’t fit inside the PVC coupling. After a few minutes with a plastic-cutting saw, I was able to remove the rectangular bit from the magnification lens and slip it inside both the collar and coupling to good effect. The next few minutes were spent doing different mock-ups to see how they would best fit together. The best one is presented below in three different angles.

Goggles mockup (side-view)

I rather like how this is turning out so far, though I’m also questioning the use of the PVC couplings as of the writing of this post. Between the added weight, and height of each lens housing, the goggles could get unwieldy rather fast. However this would mean effectively destroying any chance of the magnification lenses working properly, not that they are terribly functional now. As much as I hate having something in there purely for decorative purposes, that may end up having to be the compromise if I want this to be a tighter fit. Also, there is obviously the need for an additional metal collar to hide the awkward joining between the magnifier and the primary housing.

Goggles mock-up (elevated view)

It’s easier to tell in the next view, but the plastic lenses from the gag glasses actually look quite good in the left housing, though I’ll probably need to grind the sides down a bit to get them to slide closer to the outside. More evident at this point is the fact that the base of the magnifying lenses could really use some filler. I am thinking of filling it with some of the tiny gears recovered from the clocks and watches that I’ve got, and arranging them just so, and then filling it with a shallow layer of acrylic liquid dyed a complimentary color.

Goggles mockup (top-down view)

The lens is more visible in this shot, and the housing on the left looks quite good, though the difference in tone between the two brasses may need to be corrected with paint. As for the housing on the right, I have another possible idea. I could remove each of the magnifying lenses, drill the holes slightly wider, and place in a red, green, and blue lens in each hole, respectively. This would restore functionality to the entire piece, give the added bonus of allowing the wearer to see in different light spectrums, and rotate them as needed. I fact, the more I Think about it, the more apropros this seems, and is a nice spinoff of the Oddfellows Goggles.

Though I’m still not certain if I’ll use them, or at least, whether I’ll use all of them, the PVC couplings need to be painted in case they are used. This is accomplished by a can of Rustoleum Hammered Copper spray paint I found laying around in an old workbench’s parts box that I’d been given. Despite what the can said, I probably should have primed them first. Oh well… lessons learned.

On the bright side, the Rustoleum really does look like copper when properly used. On the down-side, they lied about not needing to prime the material first, so it looks a bit crap right now. Still, I hate to waste anything, so these may yet find some use. So far I am satisfied with the concept, if not the actual implementation just yet.

In any event, I will need more parts before beginning phase two of this project, and the paint needs to dry. When I complete phase two, I’ll link the next blog entry to the end of this one.

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