Introduction: Simple, Affordable, High Quality Solar Eclipse Viewer From a Cereal Box
With the solar eclipse coming in less than two weeks the demand for viewing aids soared. Unfortunately many glasses on the market do not provide protection recommended by NASA (Welding glass shade #12-14). And good quality viewer will cost you a fortune.
This is a tutorial to help you to turn an empty cardboard box into a solar eclipse viewer. Because there are so many different sizes of boxes, welding glass pieces and face shapes, this intractable doesn't have precise templates.
Step 1: You Will Need
There is still time for you to order welding glass of the recommended shade. Shade #12 lets more light in and you will see a little bit more details, shade #14 is the safest choice. Welding glass comes in different sizes, in this tutorial we used PROSAFE welding glass DIN12, 2 inches wide by 4 1/4 inches long.
You will also need an empty cereal container at least 2 inches wide, basic tools like scissors, ruler, pencil and double sticky tape and foam (if you don't have it, use adhesive of your choice). Double sticky foam was used to level surface around the glass.
Step 2: Cut Your Box
First you will need to cut top part of container to fit the curves of your face. Because everyone's face is unique in it's beauty we did not put a template here. Start with cutting a semi-circle (about 4 inch wide by 1 inch deep for younger generation and 5 inch by 2 inch for bigger specimen). Try your cardboard visor on and adjust to fit snug, you may also want to cut an incision for the nose.
When you are happy with your fit, position your glass in the center of the bottom of your box and trace the outline with pencil. Measure 1/4 inch inward from each line and draw the cutting lines. Using scissors or craft knife cut an opening.
Step 3: Adhere Glass to the Box
Apply 1/8" or 1/4 " wide double sticky tape around the edges of the glass on both sides. Position your glass over the opening, remove protective tape and press glass firmly to the box. Press around the edges to make sure there is no air bubbles. If you don't have tape, use adhesive of your choice.
Double sticky foam was used to even out the surface of the box around the glass, you can use a shim made out of cardboard.
Step 4: Create Cardboard Cover
Cut a piece of cardboard same length as the length of your box and 2-3 inches longer than it's hight. You want to overlap the wide sides like you see on the picture. Score the folding lines and trace an opening of the same size as you cut in the bottom of the box. Dry fit to make sure all measurements were done right.
Remove the protective tape from your double sticky tape on the glass and foam. Carefully press the cardboard to the tape. Press around the edges making sure there is no air bubbles.
Fold the flaps down and adhere them to the box with double sticky tape. Tape over the edges and entire box with Gorilla tape to increase durability.
Step 5: Finishing Touches
Carefully test your viewer first not looking directly at the sun. It should block most or all light. If your have leaks, add a little bit more tape in the places where you can see sunlight. You can decorate your box with felt, vinyl, etc. Apply a strip of foam around the edges to soften the edges and eliminate light leaks. And, while you are at it, make one for your camera!