Introduction: Laser Monocle Headpiece

Picture of Laser Monocle Headpiece

If you've seen Star Trek TNG (or the Austin Powers trilogy) you may have though that it would be pretty cool to have a laser-beam on your head (I did). So I bought a laser and I built this:
It features a fixed magnification scope with a narrow / wide- beam illuminating laser.
Please see the video for how fun the laser is, I used a little bit of fog for it, but not much.

(I'll edit a bit at the weekend, add some more pics)

Step 1: Parts & Tools

Picture of Parts & Tools

I used:
Epoxy glue
PVA glue
Paper (Private Eye and a birthday card)
Car-body-filler (styrene-based)
Some bits I pulled off the back of a TV tube
Some bits I pulled out of a Canon B95 FAXPHONE
Various screws, bits of metal wire and plastic
A Crosman laser (IIIA)
Cheap spray-paint (black and metallic)
A pair of very cheap field-glasses*

Fiskars scissors (good scissors)
A craft knife
A junior-hacksaw

*Binoculars have prisms in them

Step 2: The Face Plate

Picture of The Face Plate

I seemed to remember PVA peeled off skin fairly easily from when I was at school...
I set up the video camera to point at me, with the LCD display rotated so that I could use the whole thing as a "mirror". I put a pair of underpants on my head to keep my hairs out of the way. I applied PVA glue to my face and added pieces of paper. Having built up a few layers I let the mask dry whilst trying to keep a straight face. The mask then had to be peeled-off.
After cleaning my skin, and picking PVA out of hairs, I applied some tissue to the inside of the mask and re-seated it (repeatedly) as it continued to dry and harden.
The end result was a face-hugging mask, which would for the base of the monocle.

ModMischief said: Two things would have made this step less painful: Vaseline & a hairdryer

To make it even easier, you could have used plaster cloth like I did for this mask:

You must be either a brave man or a masochist.

Step 3: The Ear-clip

Picture of The Ear-clip

While the mask fits the face well, I needed something to stop it falling-off (and I wasn't thinking of PVA again).

I had a left-over piece of wire from the Soup-Cans build. I applied the mask, then secured the wire with masking-tape. The wire was then splinted to the mask with a ruler & more tape, the original tape was removed and the wire fixed with car-body-filler.

The other mounting point is the nose-piece. I covered my nose in masking-tape, applied filler and squished the mask onto it. When set I removed the tape (only 1-2 min). This sits on one ear and a nose like (half a pair) of glasses.

Step 4: Building the Monocle

Picture of Building the Monocle

I had some bits from the back of a TV tube, which were hacked to fit the mask. I applied a couple of blobs car-body filler to the main piece, and seated it whilst wearing the mask. This ensured that I got the alignment correct. It's fast setting-stuff, I only had to wait 1-2 min.

Then it was back to paper and PVA, building around the paper & plastic. The purpose of this was to define the basic shape, and provide a base for the outer finish.

To mount the laser I made a tight fitting tube from paper (based upon the cardboard tube from a Brother Thermal-Fax roll, which is co-incidentally the same diameter @ 19 mm). The laser was attached with filler, holding in place as for the main TV tube piece to ensure correct alignment. The beam hits the centre of vision at around 12'.

Step 5: The Eye-piece

Picture of The Eye-piece

I literally hacked the cheap (but tough) plastic of the field-glasses to extract the lenses. I found each side had a lump of steel in them, presumably to give a better "feel", like they might have glass in them?

(Photographed under the Lego lamp on the back of a comic-book)

I removed removed the eyepiece from one side and glued it to one of the front-pieces. Then I removed the front lens and glued the black tube to the other front-piece, to give a fixed monocular. The full eye-piece is good for 12' upwards, but not at shorter-range.
The other eyepiece lens was built into a beam-widener for the laser, being a bit powerful I wanted to reduce the energy density in case of accidents.

For appearance I used some more bits from the TV tube and some pins from the fax.

I had started with a different carboard eye-piece, and suffered a media failure whilst photographing - the last image came from a data-recovery preview (I wasn't going to pay for the full version)

Step 6: Beam-widener

Picture of Beam-widener

I spent an entire evening on this this tiny-part, building it from bits of plastic & filler & paint around an eye-piece lens. It works - see video. It was attached to an iron core from a VCR motor.

Step 7: Cosmetic Finishing

Picture of Cosmetic Finishing

Filler was applied to the paper, sanded, then more filler and more sanding. The filler & sanding was repeated until I'd got a shape that looked good enough to paint.
The front was sprayed metallic, and the side portion black.

Sheets of aluminium drink-can were cut to cover the original pieces of card. To seat with the filler, the metal was wrapped in cling-film, held in place and filler applied up to it. This left a narrow gap into which the sheet could be pushed later.

I had a bit of stainless-mesh which filled-up three holes nicely, there were back-lit with yellow LEDs, but they're not bright enough to show on a picture, so that as much as I'll say about them.

Also due to media failure whilst photographing - the last images come from a data-recovery preview

Step 8: Finished

Picture of Finished

To fill-in the painted spaces, I put a bit of electrical tape on the eye-piece rings, and applied some nice wire I got from a McDonnell-Douglas P-LAN node. The wires originate from a stereo-switch (glued on) and terminate on the front, secured largely with friction, but aided by epoxy glue. The eye-piece is a friction fit (unless I should decide to glue it)

(I'll tidy this up later, having spent enough time already it's time I published it)


iceng (author)2015-11-30

I never saw this, extraordinary details "Very Cool"...

BTW new site ownership, and Steve moved to the US.

Have a great holiday season...

Pluk (author)2012-06-18


Alex Mercer (author)2012-04-17


lemonie (author)Alex Mercer2012-04-17

I scared some kids for a moment at Halloween, but you could wear it to a Sci-Fi convention (you probably get a discount for dress)


bobby sissom (author)2011-08-11

completely blown away,i was not expecting so much from a mask construction i personally like the earpiece the best five stars

lemonie (author)bobby sissom2011-08-11

Thanks, the ear bit stops it falling off my head, it's mostly just functional.


hayme (author)2011-06-27

Holy crap! thats.... thats....
So Cool!

lemonie (author)2011-04-03

Yes, they're just surface-finishing.


Dr Qui (author)2011-03-02

That's more than just a comic book that's Viz that is.

If I'm not mistaken that looks like the Brown Fox from Billy the Fish.

It's not as good these days as it once was, but i still buy it mainly for Rodgers profanisaurus and the occasional Finbar Saunders.

chrizw123 (author)2011-02-09

Bring out the "Lasers"!

NatNoBrains (author)2011-01-01

Is that you?
I imagine you as some kind of... old guy.

lemonie (author)NatNoBrains2011-01-01

Yes, you're right on both.


NatNoBrains (author)lemonie2011-01-01

And your profile picture...

Coliopteran (author)2010-07-18

It's like a steam punk borg! "Thou shalt be assimilated." I'm sending this page to my friend Brian he is an illustrator who is really into steam punk.

lemonie (author)Coliopteran2010-07-19

Not really "steam" though. I had seen it completely as Locutus from the beginning, but I couldn't get the same effect (with the bits I had) so it evolved into that.


Doctor Freeman (author)lemonie2010-09-08

a laser of mine said it only goes up to two miles isent that theoretically possible if it is possible then with a burning laser make a ton of mini mirrors and angle them so that the laser has about 5 feet after it comes out and then tada 

lemonie (author)Doctor Freeman2010-09-11

I'm not sure what you mean about the ton of mini mirrors and 5 feet.
The 2 mile bit would be the range you could see the dot at I think, in very clear air, no dust etc.


Doctor Freeman (author)lemonie2010-09-11

im 11 i thought it ment that it could only go 2 miles (i have way way widder range of the therory of releitivity and other things than your more than average 11 year old should but i cant figure out that duh...) oh and by the mirrors i ment that if it could only go 2 miles why not put mirrors in so that it (the beam) bounces ad bounces decreaseing its range untill if finally bounces out and it has 4/5 feet left out of the laser

lemonie (author)Doctor Freeman2010-09-11

OK I get it. The beam is scattered by particles in the air, eventually it's not visible. The mirrors would work I suppose, but you'd just get a feeble-beam.


Doctor Freeman (author)lemonie2010-09-12

exactly but what is a feeble-beam?

lemonie (author)Doctor Freeman2010-09-12

Right (I get my OED out) feeble; 1 weak, infirm. 2 lacking energy, force, or effectiveness.
Or "you end up with something like a cheap laser"


Doctor Freeman (author)lemonie2010-09-12

OED (online edcucation degree????) (no offence if thats true but for both you and kiteman impossible)

lemonie (author)Doctor Freeman2010-09-12

Oxford English Dictonary.


GeekBeam (author)2010-06-24

is that you in the pic? other than that you have a cool 'Ible on your hands here, I was looking for a steampunk monocle(y'know like the one that wierd guy wore in the Atlantis movie) and found this a few pages back.

lemonie (author)GeekBeam2010-06-25

Yes, that is I.


GeekBeam (author)lemonie2010-06-25

funny, because I'm only 13 years old, and I have a sense of, well, un-suckishness shall i say.

zygomatic (author)2010-06-14

Cool instructable. Do you have any specs for the lens you used for the beam widener?

FishWash (author)2010-02-10

ok sorry. this is freakin awesome.

rust (author)FishWash2010-02-13

This is sw33t^, Lemonie. The last thing I suspected was paper mache. 

Turtleholmes (author)rust2010-06-10

NE THOU- Oh man this is great! I'm going to make one o' these!

rust (author)Turtleholmes2010-06-13

SAND!!!!! WHA- This would look really good with my blue-striped button down shirt.

randofo (author)2009-11-23

You have a laser on your head! That's pretty rad.

Good job.

lemonie (author)randofo2009-11-23

I like lasers, well doesn't everyone? (20 quid, not too bad, and US built too)


SasquatchKid (author)lemonie2010-06-13

Thanks for helping our failing econmey

lemonie (author)SasquatchKid2010-06-13

Second hand though, still I suppose someone bought a new one to replace it (the on/off switch is a bit knicky-knacky)


SasquatchKid (author)lemonie2010-06-13

Ok you still helped

srilyk (author)2010-06-11

Now you need to use a green laser... also, AWESOME!

M.C. Langer (author)2010-06-10

AWESOME!!! I love it!!!!

n1cod3mus (author)2010-05-10

i have to say, THAT IS A LEVEL 5 BEARD!!! AMAZING!

lemonie (author)n1cod3mus2010-05-10

Thank you,


The Ideanator (author)2010-05-04

You could also try liquid latex as the base layer, that stuff is used in loads of special effects things, as a bonus, its probably alot safer than putting PVA right on your skin.

n1cod3mus (author)The Ideanator2010-05-10

make it out of latex then use spirt gum to stick it to your face, thats the way they do it theatres

lemonie (author)The Ideanator2010-05-05

Harder to find, and some people are allergic to latex (natural). Still a good idea.


lemonie (author)2010-03-21

Old habit.


Punkguyta (author)2010-03-02

 That's amazing Lemonie, you make some rather creative projects sometimes.

lemonie (author)Punkguyta2010-03-06

Sometimes, it took ages, but I want to do a Frank Sidebottom head next...


Treasure Tabby (author)2009-11-24

You'll poke er burn out someones eye like that. Be careful.
Pretty cool idea none the less. Not sure what the practical usage for that is though.

Maybe reading a book, playing with cat, freaking out a Trekkie. I don't know. ;)

reading a book?

lemonie (author)Treasure Tabby2009-11-24

That's what the beam-widener is for. As for uses, the last two sound good.


wilcurt (author)2009-11-27

No offence but you look a little scary in the front pic...

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm an experimentalist, a scientist and I have a tendency to do things just for the sake of doing them, or to find out ... More »
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