Giant C Clamp Headphones




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Wait, wasn't this contest to make something into a handtool?

Did you ever feel the need to crank up the volume to earsplitting levels and needed something to keep your head from exploding. Well, now there are these Giant C Clamp Headphones that get it together and do a fairly decent job of skull crushing.

Need a headpiece that adds a splash of color and class to any outfit? Look no more. Make this fabulous accessory for any set of headphones. Wear them anywhere to establish your geek cred, well, maybe not on a plane, gee, I hope they didn't bring it on the plane...


Step 1: Two Words...

It's papier mache.

Crafting 101.

Actually, make anything or a reasonable facsimile thereof with papier mache.

This is a model of a C clamp commonly used in woodworking or metalworking and is a handy hand tool to have around the shop for holding things together. This one just happens to be giant sized.

You need




something to cut the cardboard and paper

a nylon tie-wrap or wire to secure the headphones to the Giant C Clamp

headphones with a headband, other types can probably be adapted or you can make an earbud version of this

a bit of rope or thick string to simulate the threads on the screw

color paint for the body

metallic silver paint for the screw bolt and handle, I used acrylic paint

Sure, sure, you could have used wood, metal, 3D printing, but it is more fun to make it from nothing.

Take some cardboard that was going to be recycled and turn it into some art.

Make a C clamp shaped template that fits the width of the headphones when in use.

Glue on several layers to form a stiff C shape of the clamp. It is easier to trim around the template as you go.

When laminating cardboard, it is a good idea change the direction of the corrugations of each layer to give the overall product greater strength. You can also piece together smaller bits of cardboard to cover the entire shape. The next layer should bridge the seam.

Step 2: Build It Up...

Now that you have made the "web" inner flat portion of the clamp, it needs to be rimmed with a "flange" to give it extra strength.

Cut plenty of strips that are about 3 to 4 times the width of the thickness of your web. Just eyeball it.

Center the flange piece on the edge of your web and glue all around following the contours.

At one end of the clamp, glue up a circular pad to resemble one end of a real clamp. Build up with layers of cardboard.

At the other end there is a screw bolt with a T handle. The T handle is usually a rod inserted through a hole in the screw bolt. The ends of the rod are mushroomed out or hammered to keep it from sliding out.

Use a dowel or pencil as the core of the screw bolt and T handle. I had neither, actually, I didn't want to waste a good #2 pencil and didn't have enough IKEA golf pencils on hand so I used the plastic tubes salvaged from ink pens that have gone dry. Wrap with several layers of cardboard and paper.

When the T handle section is completed, wind and glue down a section of rope to simulate the screw threads.

I guess you could make it a working handle with real screw parts but this one is fixed and decorative.

Burnish or press down all the rough spots with the barrel of a marker or the sturdy metal part of a tool.

Papier mache all over with pieces of torn newspaper dipped in glue thinned out with some water.

Give a final layer of only glue to smooth everything out.

Step 3: Slap on Some Paint...

When the papier mache has dried, you can add on details.

Use some gelled fabric paint to do the 3D lettering on the clamp.

The fabric paint has a needle like applicator tip so it is like decorating a cake.

Letter in a logo or name on the front and put MADE IN --- wherever on the back.

Wait for the lettering to dry. Don't smudge the paint and mess up the lettering if you are impatient and want to touch to see if it is dry.

You can then prime the piece with paint primer or just do several coats of paint.

I used acrylic paint which seemed to bleed through some of the dark color from the newspaper because I did not prime it. Actually, it help gave it that weathered patina of painted metal.

Step 4: Cast Iron Headgear...

Use an awl to punch a hole to feed the tie wrap that secures the clamp to the headphone headband.

When worn, the headphones, when adjusted, should almost meet the sides of the clamp and hold everything in position. The papier mache still has a little flex in there because it can take a few days to really dry. Gently bend the clamp if you need to open it up a bit to fit.

There you have it, the Giant C Clamp Headphones. As Seen on Instructables.



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    39 Discussions

    You definitely have some genius behind your ideas and designs! No matter what I conceive... you always kick my a$$! Well done and Thanks! BTW extra props for the staff pics!

    1 reply

    Thanks. The staff are truly great people. Those two just happened to fall into my trap...

    Nothing really genius about my stuff, just a manifestation that making is fun, you hold a unique object on the planet or nothing that has appeared yet in a google search, and possibly getting a free T-shirt in the process which is pretty cool.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Nice job! I actually saw them from behind while I was walking down the main strip at the Maker Faire. I didn't even think I might recognize the people wearing them.

    1 reply

    4 years ago on Introduction

    I'm sorry to feel the need to poo-poo this idea on grounds of health and safety, but these are playing with fire and are a highly irresponsible design. Isn't there a significant danger of crushing your skull if they are put on too tight, especially if you are also playing heavy metal at the same time? Maybe you need to add a safety stop on the screw thread to stop over-compression of the cranial area and at the very least, a warning sticker pointing out the risk?

    Also, having voted for you, I realised too late that I had been led astray by your description. These are incorrectly (maybe even fraudulently?) placed in the Hand Tools competition whereas they are clearly Head Tools. Is it possible to take back my vote under the Trades Description Act 2011?

    4 replies

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    ps I notice they are both designed for left handed screwing. Do you have a design for one that normal people can tighten up or, even better, an ambidextrous design with the screw at the top?


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    egads, I believe this product will never carry the UL listing nor CE approval. If you are an audiophile looking for more headroom or higher clamping frequencies, this may not be for you. Head tools and accessories may only be sold in a few select states like Colorado. By the way, did you know that light bulbs in the NYC Subway system are left hand thread to prevent theft? Same idea, you don't want your head clamps to go missing when you need them most. Get...wait, make a pair today.


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for the info on the NYC Subway lights. I was wondering where I could get some left handed threaded lights for my mirror light. Do they work on normal electricity or will I need to get some left hand electricity as well? I suppose us right handers should be glad it was a right hander who invented the screwdriver or we'd all be unable to use screws properly.


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Depending where you are on Earth, or maybe if you are from a different planet, the coriolus effect in the loo goes in different directions. If you apply the two left foot of dancing rule to electricity, it is all the same and can be lethal nonetheless. Lefty loosey. Righty tighty. Cheers.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    These are amazing! I would love to have these on as my students walk into my classroom, they would just die laughing!

    3 replies