Cardboard Helmet Coating/Visor Questions


jeod66

New Hunter
Hey everyone,

I'm working on a homemade cardboard helmet using wizardofflight's templates. I had no luck at all using the cardboard dome, so I used a bowl I found at the local dollar store for it. Problem is, the bowl had a decorative set of dents the entire way around it, in rings. Also, it sits a bit low in the helmet itself. To try and cover the dents, I used a low of newspaper and white glue (along with coating the outer joints) to form a better dome. My question is this:

Is there a substance that I could easily use to coat the top of the helmet so that if can be formed/sculpted into a smooth dome prior to priming and painting? Sort of like a silicone gel, or a thicker gel that hardens well. I don't really think epoxy will do the trick on this one.

Also; what type of material is recommended for the T-visor? I've seen the dark green faceshield at rjsafety.com recommended, but is there another fairly simple material to use? I looked at using a green/smoke binder tab, but it isn't translucent enough and blurs everything, which doesn't make me too eager to use it. By the way, on the pictures, the piece in front of the visor right now is only there to hold the front roughly together while everything sets properly, it's only taped in place.

Thanks in advance!
 

Southern hunter

Active Hunter
An alternative to bondo is baking soda and super glue. A member here, joshcube, has done a helmet from scratch and used baking soda and superglue as a filler. Both components are extremely cheap. Wal-Mart has superglue in 4packs for about $1 or $2. Baking soda is also dirt cheap. This link should get you to Josh's thread. If not use the Advanced Search and specify his name.

http://www.thedentedhelmet.com/showthread.php?t=15825&highlight=baking+soda

You could also use fiberglass strips, but working with fiberglass requires a respirator, gloves and you have to cover exposed skin. Regardless of what you use, work in a WELL-VENTILATED area. :) You don't wanna pass out, puke or worse because of fumes. :lol:

You may want to search for a few threads where people used bicycle helmets or batting helmets for the dome. I'm trying to find a batting helmet now. The one I have is too narrow. I spent $5 on it at a used sporting goods store. Since I'm going to rip out the padding, sand it, prime it and paint it, I don't care what color or condition it is in as long as it's not beat all to pieces. Good luck on the project. You're further along than I am. :lol:
 
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jeod66

New Hunter
Hmm...that baking soda and glue trick sounds like it just might work here! Thanks for the tip, I wouldn't have thought of that! :p

At the moment, I'm thinking about using some white interior primer I have here, mostly just because it's laying around, but I may use some acrylic paint and do this by hand to minimize the risk of bleeding on the helmet, then seal it with a Krylon aerosol. I read about Mod-Podge though, so I'm planning to try a few coats of that to lay everything on the helmet down. Just waiting to get out to the store for a bunch of baking soda and super glue :p

Still not sure about the visor material, but I might just look around some places for a decent material and color if I can't find anything else online (not big on paying for shipping and such if it's avoidable ;))
 

Warlord

New Hunter
I don't think you're going to find anything better than the dark green faceshields. If you have a local welding supply you should be able to pick it up there for about $8-$9. Which is much cheaper than RJsafety's low price & inflated shipping.

Baking soda causes rapid polymerization of ca glue, which means you can't premix it, apply, and smooth it before it hardens. Making it at best a small gap filler. I think your best bet would be to try a batting helmet and pick up a tube of Bondo Glazing Putty.

Although the carboard dome is working out pretty good for me, it seems most people don't use it.
 

jeod66

New Hunter
I don't think you're going to find anything better than the dark green faceshields. If you have a local welding supply you should be able to pick it up there for about $8-$9. Which is much cheaper than RJsafety's low price & inflated shipping.

Baking soda causes rapid polymerization of ca glue, which means you can't premix it, apply, and smooth it before it hardens. Making it at best a small gap filler. I think your best bet would be to try a batting helmet and pick up a tube of Bondo Glazing Putty.

Although the carboard dome is working out pretty good for me, it seems most people don't use it.

Wow. I didn't realize how much RJSafety's shipping was, to be honest. Not sure if this is dark enough, but I figure I can get one of each to try:

http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/wwg/itemDetailsRender.shtml?ItemId=1611771976

http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/wwg/itemDetailsRender.shtml?ItemId=1613548086

For cutting: I've heard that acetate visors can be cut with a sharp pair of scissors, but is that true for ~1/16" material? I'd rather not crack something costing more than the entire helmet in the process :facepalm

Wildabeast, I read about using baking soda and plain white glue for the same sort of purpose, so I'm thinking about giving that a try, (mostly, just because I have a whole bunch of white glue here) but it sounds like the same type of thing.

Thanks for all your help thus far, everyone!
 

jeod66

New Hunter
Lesson of today: Baking soda and white glue doesn't fit the bill when you need a decently thick filling material; I could only get it to work pretty much the same as the glue itself.

As a result, I'm trying spackling paste again on the dome, and coating the seams while I wait to get the paints, Mod-Podge, and visor material (once I pick it). Seems to be working so far, but it will require a lot of sanding to smooth it, obviously.
 

Wildabeast

Active Hunter
If you use sparkling Paste (pollyfilla) use light coats and get the celluse re-inforced kind. I personally used LePage Brand, available at Wal-Mart. Keep the coats thin, sand, coat, sand, until you get a nice smooth surface. Works great.
 
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