Introduction: The Helmet Display Stands

About: I build drums, make costumes, work on house projects/repairs, dabble in Genealogy, eat tacos, and sometimes work in IT.

Back in the day, people wore hats ... really nice hats .. not baseball hats or trucker hats with the cheap, plastic size adjuster strip thing. I remember this because my Grandfather had one ... a fedora I believe. He rarely left the house without it. Hats of this quality weren't cheap and were to be treated with care ... no throwing it on a table or jamming it into a closet ... no sir/ma'am! At the very least it had its own peg for hanging ... not a hook mind you ... a wooden peg so as not to damage or deform the hat. If you really loved your hat, a dedicated stand was employed.

I personally don't like hats ... unless it's the middle of winter and my other choice is letting my ears fall off. In that case, my stocking hat and me are best friends. On the other hand, baseball caps and me just don't mix. They are either too big or too tight. Then my ears either get tucked in hat to look squished, or the hat goes behind my ears and I look like a satellite array. It's all very tragic.

Helmets are a different story. I do have a few helmets and yes ... they are all Boba Fett and yes ... they all need to be displayed.

Step 1: Laying Out the Bases

I wanted 10" discs for the bases, so I cut out plywood squares of 10 1/8" x 10 1/8", found the center, and drew a circle on one board using my shop made beam compass.

Next, I temporarily stacked the boards with carpet tape so I could cut them all at once, This not only saves time, but it ensures they are all of identical shape and size.

Step 2: Fabricating Discs

The rough shape was cut out on the bandsaw. In order to sand the discs into a true circle I used a piece of hardboard and a 3" finishing nail. The nails is the center pivot and as long as you take light passes and are patient, this method has fantastic results. I didn't have a disc sander at this time, so the oscillating belt sander was the tool of choice.

The flat sides were sanded with the random orbit sander.

Step 3: Fabricating the Post

The posts were made using 3/4" poplar dowel stock, cut to desired length, with a wooden "bead" from Michael's for the top. I think they are sold as doll heads actually, which is a little creepy if you ask me.

I cut the dowel on the miter saw and used my "Sphere Center Align and Drill-O-Nator" to make the 3/4" hole in the doll head.

Step 4: Painting

I went with two coats of spray primer and 3 coats of black spray paint. Prior to the last coat of black, I drilled a 3/4" hole in the bases and attached the posts with a screw from underneath, as well as glued on the doll heads.

I top coated with a few layers of spray lacquer.

Step 5: Waxing

To finish the finish, I did some light wet sanding (not shown) and then rubbed it out with paste wax and steel wool. I wasn't a fan of the steel wool method, as it falls apart and makes a mess. It does leave a smooth finish, but I prefer to use finishing pads over steel wool.

Last step was to display them on the mantel. I went with different heights so I could nest them closer together (as seen in the first photo). Grandfather would be proud! Probably not ... he'd probably say I was too old to be playing with toys and then wear a helmet around the house when no one was looking.