Prescription Ski Goggles



Introduction: Prescription Ski Goggles

About: A technology tinkerer based in a green and usually rather damp part of the Cheshire countryside.

I've always found wearing eyeglasses with ski goggles an uncomfortable experience as the goggles inevitably foul the edges of the eyeglasses' frame. This discomfort is only forgotten when out of control on a black slope, having unwisely followed a troupe of children in a spirit of 'if they can do it, what am I, a grown adult, scared of?'. Three seconds into the run this line of logic is shown to be questionable but by then it's become a matter of survival and uncomfortable ski goggles are the least of my concerns...

However, having survived up to now with no worse injury than battered pride, the winter season beckons again and this time I'm actually going to do something about those damnable goggles....

Step 1: Materials and Tools

What you need is as follows:

  • One pair of ski goggles
  • One pair of prescription eyeglasses/spectacles (having previously been cast into a drawer as being unfit to grace your face)
  • A small flat-bladed screwdriver to fit the eyeglasses frame's small screws.
  • A wooden clothes peg (to hold the bridge of the glasses) - aka 'clothespins' (USA)
  • BluTack or equivalent - adhesive putty (for trial positioning the glasses)
  • Epoxy resin (to glue the peg to the goggles)
  • A hacksaw
  • Two narrow pliers (to bend the bridge of the glasses).
  • A straight-edged needle file.
  • A sprung clamp for gluing.
  • A vice (not essential but useful)

Step 2: Method

My design criteria were as follows:

  • To provide good vision over several hours and not limit my field of view.
  • To permit removal of the frames for cleaning.
  • To achieve a robust arrangement that will survive a week's rough and tumble on the slopes.
  • To not introduce spiky bits that could cause injury.
  • To not block the goggle's air vents.

I think the design I ended up with meets all the above but I'll have to update this instructable once I've tried it out for real and report on this assumption!

I've been quite lucky as my prescription hasn't changed much over the last twenty years. As a result, I have a number of pairs of eyeglasses to choose from, most of which I wouldn't now be seen dead wearing*. I selected a frame with a wire bridge and big lenses (bought in the days when Harry Potter was all the rage). The wire bridge is important for the mounting solution I arrived at but I'm sure it could be adapted for some other designs of bridge .

*You'll note that you can't easily see the eyeglasses from the outside of the goggles.

Step 3:

The first job to do is to remove the arms from the frame. Once this is done, position the eyeglasses inside the goggles. Note the curve of the inside of the goggles and gently bend the bridge of the eyeglasses with the two pairs of pliers so the frame follows the inside curve more closely. This bend also provides a 'flip' action when the peg mount is in place.

Step 4:

Use the BluTack to hold the edges of the frame in place inside the goggles. The ideal position for the eyeglasses is with the nose pads pushed against the top of the goggles' nose bridge (see photo). Put the goggles on to try out your vision and adjust the frame position to suit. I found a sweet spot very quickly and there seemed to be quite a degree of latitude in that regard.

Note where the bridge of the eyeglasses is relative to the inside surface of the goggles. I found that it sat about 6mm away (although again, there was a fairly wide range that didn't seem to compromise good vision).

Step 5:

Looking for a way to attach the bridge to the goggles which permitted subsequent removal, I hit on the idea of using a wooden clothes peg to clamp the bridge. A narrow slot filed in one of the peg's inside surfaces will hold the bridge in place nicely whilst the peg's spring will allow the glasses to be rotated up to permit cleaning (or removal).

Wooden pegs are still available to buy in the UK but I suspect most households have a junk drawer with several (if not lots of) these items in.

I chose wood over plastic as it's potentially easier to glue in place, wood 'gives' a little, helping to clamp the frame and the solid structure of the wooden peg lends itself to this sort of adaptation.

There are quite a number of different designs of wooden peg - I chose one with a small spring/arms which was more likely to fit neatly into the goggles.

Of course, you needn't use a clothes peg - sugru or similar could be a good substitute.

Step 6:

Firstly, saw off the handles of the peg as shown. Position the peg back into the goggles and note where the bridge of the glasses is relative to the sprung end of the peg and mark on the peg.

Saw off the rest of the peg as shown, leaving about 2 or 3mm past the mark.

Step 7:

Disassemble the peg as shown and in one half of the peg file a small slot where the frame's bridge will sit. The slot need be no more than about 1mm deep, just enough to hold the bridge in place.

Reassemble the peg.

Step 8:

Fit the peg to the bridge as shown.

Step 9:

Offer the glasses up to the goggle to check placement and that your vision through them is still OK. If all is well, clean the inside of the goggles thoroughly to remove any grease.

At this stage, I'd recommend using fine grit paper to carefully abrade the inside of the goggles where the peg will be glued and remove any dust. This will improve adhesion.

I forgot to do this, so I hope it doesn't turn out to have been necessary...

Step 10:

Leaving the peg on the eyeglasses, coat the outer side of the peg (see picture) with a small amount of epoxy resin.

Step 11:

Carefully position the eyeglasses and peg so the peg is in the centre of the goggles, pushed up against the inside top wall and clamp in place until the glue has cured as shown.

Voilà - hopefully I will now be able to risk life and limb in slightly more comfort than previously although I think I'll take some BluTack with me in case my dodgy gluing process makes emergency repairs necessary!

Update April 2018: One successful ski trip later - I'm glad to say everything stayed in place, so I didn't need the BluTack I'd brought with me. The lenses suffered a small amount of misting when lolling around between runs but as soon as some air started flowing, the lenses cleared very quickly. Overall, I'm very pleased with what turned out to be a very comfortable pair of goggles.

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