So I decided to make something for the Duct Tape contest, and I was having trouble coming up with an idea. I did some research and came up with the basic stuff: wallets, bags, ties, hats, jackets, end even things like boats and hammocks. So I shifted my attention to things that (as far as I know) have never been made from Duct Tape before. And since my channel is based on survival and apocalyptic items, I decided to build a gas mask!
Have you ever seen a Duct Tape gas mask? Let me answer that... NO of course you haven't, and in my opinion that's the best part of this whole project!
So let's get started!
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Step 1: Materials.
You will need:
1. Duct Tape (obviously lol)
2. three small buckles
3. one soup can
4. cotton fabric
5. weather stripping tape
6. Plexiglass or lexan (or any clear plastic)
7. activated charcoal
8. stuffing or cotton balls
3. a scroll-saw (for cutting the eye ports)
4. a sander (if you use lexan or plexiglass)
Step 2: The Foundation.
Start by laying out the basic pattern shape in the first picture, I ended up sticking the tape straight to the table. Then flip that pattern over and put another layer on the first, sticky-side to sticky-side. I filled in the middle using the same method. I used scissors to make small cuts around all of the corners and folded one side of the cut over the other using tape to secure them in place. That gives the mask that inward curve throughout the edge.
This is also where the shaping comes in. Put the mask on your face and feel the places where it doesn't make contact around the edges. That is where you will want to either make cuts or add tape depending on the shape. But try to get as good of a seal as possible, it doesn't need to be perfect yet but get it as close as you can.
Step 3: The Straps.
The straps are pretty self explanatory. Start by taping the three female halves of the buckles together in a "T" shape. Then make the straps from a piece of tape folded over lengthwise. You may need to trim a little bit from the edges to make it fit through the buckle. Then tape the straps to the mask and that's pretty much it.
Step 4: The Nose and Mouth Area.
Using the can as a template, trace and cut the hole for the filter. Then cut a slit above the filter hole and use the same method of shaping as in the second step to make a raised section for the nose.
Step 5: The Eye-Ports.
Draw your eyelet shapes on to the mask first to see what shape works best. Then draw your designs on to the plastic and cut them out. I had access to some free pieces of lexan, so I used that for the eye pieces. But if you don't want to spend the money on some ridiculously expensive clear plastic you could either use a pair of safety goggle lenses or even plastic from a 2 liter soda bottle. Next mark and cut the holes, and secure the eyelets in place using Duct Tape (surprise lol). I taped them on from the inside. And be sure to make the holes for the eyes about 1/8" smaller then the actual lenses themselves.
Step 6: The Filter
Remember that the filter is the most important part of the entire mask, so make it as precise as possible. Start by punching holes in the bottom of the can using a screw driver. Then line the inside of the can with cotton material (I used a piece from an old t-shirt) and tape that in place. Add a small layer of packed stuffing into the bottom of the can and fill about half way with activated charcoal, pack the rest of the space with more stuffing. Try to pack the stuffing in fairly tightly. Add another layer of fabric over the top of the can and secure with tape.
Now tape the filter in place as firmly and as airtight as possible. You're almost done!!
I am going to take a break here for a little bit of science! A lot of you might be wondering the difference between activated charcoal and regular everyday charcoal so let me explain. Activated charcoal is charcoal that has been treated with oxygen to open up millions of tiny pores between the carbon atoms. The use of special manufacturing techniques results in highly porous charcoals that have surface areas of 300-2,000 square meters per gram. These so-called active, or activated, charcoals are widely used to adsorb odorous or colored substances from gases or liquids. The word adsorb is important here. When a material adsorbs something, it attaches to it by chemical attraction. The huge surface area of activated charcoal gives it countless bonding sites. When certain chemicals pass next to the carbon surface, they attach to the surface and are trapped. Once all of the bonding sites are filled, an activated charcoal filter stops working. At that point you must replace the filter.
Step 7: Sealing It Up.
To seal it up I used 5/16" x 3/4" black vinyl foam automotive weather stripping. Just apply a strip around the inside edge of the mask and it should seal up nicely.
Step 8: Final Details.
This was a fun project and I enjoyed figuring out how to make it. I ended up widening the top strap to make it a little bit more comfortable after I finished it. Feel free to change this up however you want to. There are soooooo many things to do with Duct Tape, its really amazing stuff! And I was left with about half a roll when I was finished so that's a bonus!
Well I hope you all enjoyed this project and if you have any questions or comments please let me know! I have lots of larger projects in the making, so stay tuned! :)
DISCLAIMER!! As the builder or user of this project you assume all risks associated with the manufacturing or use of this mask.