Introduction: Steel Wings for Thor or Valkyrie Helmet

In this tutorial, we expand on what we built in the Basic Helmet Frame and Basic Spanghelm (Viking Helmet), and add decorative wings in the style of Thor or a Valkyrie.  They are made of stainless steel and built to be tough, but I don't think I would wear them in combat simply because catching a blow with the wing would put too much torque on your neck and could lead to injury.  If you want to wear them in combat (and the ref allows it), I would use some sort of break-away rivets so the wings snap off before your neck does.

I made it in TechShop.  You just need to take the MTL103: Basic Metal Shop SBU class in order to be qualified to use all the tools in the TechShop for this piece.

Tools you'll need:
- Rolling & Embossing tool (we'll cover how to make one from a cheap chisel)
- Planishing hammer (pneumatic is best, but a hand planishing hammer is fine)
- Vice
- Rivetter (for pull rivets)
- Beverly shear (or hand shear)
- Drill (with 1/8" cobalt or titanium bit)
- Grinder
- Polishing wheel for the grinder
- Wire wheel for the grinder
- Hand file or maybe a Dremel tool (I used a hand file)
- C clamp

Materials you'll need:
- 0.03" thick stainless steel sheet metal
 - Rivets (1/8" diameter, 1/4" or 1/2" length depending on the thickness of where you are attaching the wings, I needed 1/2" length with the helmet shown).  You can use pull rivets (as I did) or make your own from roofing nails.
- Rivet washers (1/8" diameter hole)

Step 1: Notes on Tools

In addition to the tools listed in the intro, which you'll find in the TechShop, you'll probably need to create your own rolling/embossing tool.  Don't worry, the rolling-embossing tool is super easy to make and only costs about $5.

You can follow these instructions on how to make and use the rolling & embossing tool.

The wire wheel for the grinder isn't necessary, you can use just the polishing wheel to make a mirror finish, but I liked the frosted steel effect the wire wheel creates.

Step 2: Make the Template

I traced a picture of a real raven wing, then printed it out to fill the size of a sheet of letter paper.  It turned out to be the perfect proportion for the helmet.  Rough-cut out the raven wing from the paper and attach it to the helmet to make sure it looks good and the proportions are right.  Once you've got the right size, cut it out all the way, including the feathers.

Step 3: Cut Out the Sheet Metal

Cut out the template from the sheet metal, be sure to leave 1/2" extra on the inner wing for the roll (you can see the mark in the pic below).

Grind off the burrs from the edges and feathers with the grinder and hand files.  When using a hand file, it's helpful to clamp the piece in between two pieces of wood in a vice.

Step 4: Roll the Inner Edges

Following the instructions here, roll the inner edges to add strength to the piece.

Step 5: Emboss the Feathers

I embossed the feathers using the instructions here.  Be careful to not use a vice or other rough surface as it will scratch and gouge the piece.  Be sure to use a smooth surface for embossing work.  I had to use the planishing hammer to remove the gouges seen in the closeup below.

Step 6: Polish the Wings

After getting the wings to look the way you want, now it's time to polish them.  I used the buffer wheel on the grinder to put a mirror polish on the outer side of the wings (that is, the side that face inwards towards the helmet).  Then I used the wire wheel to put a satin, or frosted, finish on the inner wings (the outward facing side).

Step 7: Build the Brass Dome Covers

Cut out two brass disks that will attach the wings to the helmet.  I dished the brass disks to make them shallow domes to match the style of the rest of the helmet.  This brings the whole style of the helmet together as well as adding additional strength to where the wings attach.

Step 8: Bolt the Wings and Domes to the Helmet

This is a little trickier that it seems and you'll wish you had an extra set of hands to accomplish this.  The main trick here is to get the wings to angle attractively on the helmet while you're drilling and riveting the holes.  First I drilled one hole then riveted it immediately so I could rotate it into position before drilling the second hole.  I used a rivet washer on the inside of the helmet to make sure the rivets held.  This is where you really wish you had someone helping you hold everything together, but I was able to make do with a C clamp.  Once I had the first wing riveted, I did the same on the wing on the other side, making sure the two wings lined up before drilling and riveting.

That's it, enjoy!