Steampunk Goggles Made Using My Early Tutorial

Just thought I would throw up a few pics of the last two goggles I made.

I'm hoping to get some vendor space and maybe run some workshops and demos at the World Steam Expo in Dearborn, MI this year so I'm ramping up production of the steampunkery and putting other projects on the back burner.

If you would like to see me at the expo, please contact them and say so. There was some trouble with registration (which was totally their fault) and I'm waiting for them to make a decision on whether to let me register late.

Also, I'm selling on ETSY if I'm allowed some shameless self promotion.

In addition to the Mechanical Iris goggs I already showcased I have two more. The first has a hammered copper door that closes over the right eye with a latch mechanism.  To keep people from stealing your eye I suppose. It's steampunk, it doesn't always make sense and it doesn't need to if it is cool. The metal for the some of the fixtures on these is melted down padlocks I bought at the salvage auction for the Eastern Michigan Asylum. This place was built in the mid 1800s and was demolished back in 2000.

The bead in the middle of the gate is depression era uranium glass. The glass is actually tinted with uranium and will get a response on a Geiger counter. The glass 'eye' also glows under blacklight.

The next pair is the first one I did using an all brass body. There is a flip down lens that is currently housing an ornate grill made out of cast zinc. I didn't make the grill, I found it in a box of stuff and thought it would look nice here.

All of the goggles I have shown have used the basic techniques illustrated in my instructable plus some creative flourish. I have gotten two messages so far from folks who have used my tutorial to create a pair of metal goggles.

I really despise the spray-painted crap rolling out these days. Not the goggs some punk puts together with what's in his kitchen or with the tools at hand. That's cool, my highest respect for you. I mean the pure offal being slapped together and sold on eBay and the like.

I have put out an offer to anyone in the SE Michigan area who thinks they can't work with metal to come on over to my workshop and we'll bash something together. No charge, I have the tools and materials. That iris shutter goggles I did only cost me about $5. My most exotic tool used was a power drill.

But for the love of all gods...
Plastic is Not Steampunk!



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    8 Discussions

    nekko fox

    7 years ago on Introduction

    My Gods man, if I lived under the bridge near you I'd snag your address in a heartbeat and come over. I love metal-working, smithing and jewelry making (I've taken basic classes in all, but I feel I never get any practice and the art inside me dies with time...) and would jump at a chance to fool around and make a friend whilst creating something beautiful.

    Oh, saddest of days, but if you only lived in Colorado...

    Anyway, lovely goggles! If I had the materials or the tools, I would go out of my way to create them myself (pity, I where prescription glasses so I'd need to cannibalize an old pair to make functioning, wearable goggles).

    1 reply

    7 years ago on Introduction

    For some reason I have a fond attraction to steampunk goggles, and yours certainly keep that feeling, nice work.

    One of the convienent things about small sheet metal projects are the small number of tools needed, I made my goggles with snips solder and a buffing wheel, sander, file, everyday stuff, good job thanks for posting.

    2 replies

    I love your specs. Just beautiful work.

    I tend to hammer my creations into submission which gives them a rough character. I keep saying that I will get the nylon pliars and polished anvil dollies out and to one with a mirror finish ... but it's unlikely.

    In my younger days I thought a rough finish would let you get away with design murder, it did not take long to figure out if the form isn't right you got nothing to hide behind, if your peice was polished I don't think it would add to it's appeal, except to those who like shinny things.

    I think now a hand formed finish is more difficult, mainly because it compells the observer to really look and see what it is they like or dislike, the finish almost becomes secondary to the general asthetic.
    Anywho thanks again for posting the project and responding.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Re: the last sentence, I assume you've not heard of gutta-percha or of parkesine (aka nitrated celluloid, circa 1856). The latter resembled ivory, but was clearly a "plastic". In addition, Bakelite (phenol-formaldehyde resin, circa 1907), though dating from the Edwardian Era, certainly falls within the range of 'Steampunk'.

    1 reply

    Assumptions, assumptions. Well, gutta-percha is a new one for me but the rest I have at least a passing relationship.

    But you are conflating steampunk with the era in which steampunk generally purports to reside.

    Steampunk is a lot of different things to a lot of different people but it is not a chronological period. That might be better referred to as 'The Age of Steam' or even 'The Machine Age'.

    A common element of any -punk subculture is a diy ethic. I just don't picture many 'punks' refining natural resins or formulating synthetics in order to produce an inferior product.

    Sure they had Bakelite motorcar or welding goggles. Because they wanted to mass produce them and sell them cheaply to smudge-free bourgeoisie (to coin the Marx brothers ... Groucho I'm sure).

    Different strokes to different folks. No law says you aren't allowed to wear cheap garbage just because I find it revolting.