Laser Monocle Headpiece




About: I'm an experimentalist, a scientist and I have a tendency to do things just for the sake of doing them, or to find out what they're like. I love life, show me something I can feel good about. I've got an ...

If you've seen Star Trek TNG (or the Austin Powers trilogy) you may have though that it would be pretty cool to have a laser-beam on your head (I did). So I bought a laser and I built this:
It features a fixed magnification scope with a narrow / wide- beam illuminating laser.
Please see the video for how fun the laser is, I used a little bit of fog for it, but not much.

(I'll edit a bit at the weekend, add some more pics)

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Step 1: Parts & Tools

I used:
Epoxy glue
PVA glue
Paper (Private Eye and a birthday card)
Car-body-filler (styrene-based)
Some bits I pulled off the back of a TV tube
Some bits I pulled out of a Canon B95 FAXPHONE
Various screws, bits of metal wire and plastic
A Crosman laser (IIIA)
Cheap spray-paint (black and metallic)
A pair of very cheap field-glasses*

Fiskars scissors (good scissors)
A craft knife
A junior-hacksaw

*Binoculars have prisms in them

Step 2: The Face Plate

I seemed to remember PVA peeled off skin fairly easily from when I was at school...
I set up the video camera to point at me, with the LCD display rotated so that I could use the whole thing as a "mirror". I put a pair of underpants on my head to keep my hairs out of the way. I applied PVA glue to my face and added pieces of paper. Having built up a few layers I let the mask dry whilst trying to keep a straight face. The mask then had to be peeled-off.
After cleaning my skin, and picking PVA out of hairs, I applied some tissue to the inside of the mask and re-seated it (repeatedly) as it continued to dry and harden.
The end result was a face-hugging mask, which would for the base of the monocle.

ModMischief said: Two things would have made this step less painful: Vaseline & a hairdryer

To make it even easier, you could have used plaster cloth like I did for this mask:

You must be either a brave man or a masochist.

Step 3: The Ear-clip

While the mask fits the face well, I needed something to stop it falling-off (and I wasn't thinking of PVA again).

I had a left-over piece of wire from the Soup-Cans build. I applied the mask, then secured the wire with masking-tape. The wire was then splinted to the mask with a ruler & more tape, the original tape was removed and the wire fixed with car-body-filler.

The other mounting point is the nose-piece. I covered my nose in masking-tape, applied filler and squished the mask onto it. When set I removed the tape (only 1-2 min). This sits on one ear and a nose like (half a pair) of glasses.

Step 4: Building the Monocle

I had some bits from the back of a TV tube, which were hacked to fit the mask. I applied a couple of blobs car-body filler to the main piece, and seated it whilst wearing the mask. This ensured that I got the alignment correct. It's fast setting-stuff, I only had to wait 1-2 min.

Then it was back to paper and PVA, building around the paper & plastic. The purpose of this was to define the basic shape, and provide a base for the outer finish.

To mount the laser I made a tight fitting tube from paper (based upon the cardboard tube from a Brother Thermal-Fax roll, which is co-incidentally the same diameter @ 19 mm). The laser was attached with filler, holding in place as for the main TV tube piece to ensure correct alignment. The beam hits the centre of vision at around 12'.

Step 5: The Eye-piece

I literally hacked the cheap (but tough) plastic of the field-glasses to extract the lenses. I found each side had a lump of steel in them, presumably to give a better "feel", like they might have glass in them?

(Photographed under the Lego lamp on the back of a comic-book)

I removed removed the eyepiece from one side and glued it to one of the front-pieces. Then I removed the front lens and glued the black tube to the other front-piece, to give a fixed monocular. The full eye-piece is good for 12' upwards, but not at shorter-range.
The other eyepiece lens was built into a beam-widener for the laser, being a bit powerful I wanted to reduce the energy density in case of accidents.

For appearance I used some more bits from the TV tube and some pins from the fax.

I had started with a different carboard eye-piece, and suffered a media failure whilst photographing - the last image came from a data-recovery preview (I wasn't going to pay for the full version)

Step 6: Beam-widener

I spent an entire evening on this this tiny-part, building it from bits of plastic & filler & paint around an eye-piece lens. It works - see video. It was attached to an iron core from a VCR motor.

Step 7: Cosmetic Finishing

Filler was applied to the paper, sanded, then more filler and more sanding. The filler & sanding was repeated until I'd got a shape that looked good enough to paint.
The front was sprayed metallic, and the side portion black.

Sheets of aluminium drink-can were cut to cover the original pieces of card. To seat with the filler, the metal was wrapped in cling-film, held in place and filler applied up to it. This left a narrow gap into which the sheet could be pushed later.

I had a bit of stainless-mesh which filled-up three holes nicely, there were back-lit with yellow LEDs, but they're not bright enough to show on a picture, so that as much as I'll say about them.

Also due to media failure whilst photographing - the last images come from a data-recovery preview

Step 8: Finished

To fill-in the painted spaces, I put a bit of electrical tape on the eye-piece rings, and applied some nice wire I got from a McDonnell-Douglas P-LAN node. The wires originate from a stereo-switch (glued on) and terminate on the front, secured largely with friction, but aided by epoxy glue. The eye-piece is a friction fit (unless I should decide to glue it)

(I'll tidy this up later, having spent enough time already it's time I published it)



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    79 Discussions


    3 years ago

    I never saw this, extraordinary details "Very Cool"...

    BTW new site ownership, and Steve moved to the US.

    Have a great holiday season...

    lemonieAlex Mercer

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I scared some kids for a moment at Halloween, but you could wear it to a Sci-Fi convention (you probably get a discount for dress)


    bobby sissom

    8 years ago on Introduction

    completely blown away,i was not expecting so much from a mask construction i personally like the earpiece the best five stars

    1 reply

    8 years ago on Introduction

    Holy crap! thats.... thats....
    So Cool!

    Dr Qui

    8 years ago on Step 5

    That's more than just a comic book that's Viz that is.

    If I'm not mistaken that looks like the Brown Fox from Billy the Fish.

    It's not as good these days as it once was, but i still buy it mainly for Rodgers profanisaurus and the occasional Finbar Saunders.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    It's like a steam punk borg! "Thou shalt be assimilated." I'm sending this page to my friend Brian he is an illustrator who is really into steam punk.

    6 replies

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Not really "steam" though. I had seen it completely as Locutus from the beginning, but I couldn't get the same effect (with the bits I had) so it evolved into that.


    Doctor Freemanlemonie

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    a laser of mine said it only goes up to two miles isent that theoretically possible if it is possible then with a burning laser make a ton of mini mirrors and angle them so that the laser has about 5 feet after it comes out and then tada 

    lemonieDoctor Freeman

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    I'm not sure what you mean about the ton of mini mirrors and 5 feet.
    The 2 mile bit would be the range you could see the dot at I think, in very clear air, no dust etc.


    Doctor Freemanlemonie

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    im 11 i thought it ment that it could only go 2 miles (i have way way widder range of the therory of releitivity and other things than your more than average 11 year old should but i cant figure out that duh...) oh and by the mirrors i ment that if it could only go 2 miles why not put mirrors in so that it (the beam) bounces ad bounces decreaseing its range untill if finally bounces out and it has 4/5 feet left out of the laser

    lemonieDoctor Freeman

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    OK I get it. The beam is scattered by particles in the air, eventually it's not visible. The mirrors would work I suppose, but you'd just get a feeble-beam.