Cutting Visor Trim

Before and after pictures of restoration projects

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b.loree
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Cutting Visor Trim

Post by b.loree » Fri Jun 19, 2020 3:35 pm

When looking at the fittings on our pickelhauben, the two weak points are the front visor trim and the rear spine. The worst is the visor trim, a thin strip of metal which wraps around the front visor to protect it. Most of our helmets of course, are made of leather and as such they react to humidity or the lack thereof. They shrink when conditions are dry and expand slightly with an increase in humidity. Leather visors and really the whole helmet have shrunk over 100 years. Consequently, we see...bent, split, missing or broken visor trim. Hundreds of helmets have this problem. Regarding the rear spines, often the solder on the prongs will break or the spine itself will flatten. In restorations I have resoldered (Thanks Tony) many original prongs or made new ones. Looking at a flattened spine or one that has somehow changed its shape due to shrinkage...you want to fix it. :( However....not so fast, that piece of metal has changed shape in reaction to the helmet shrinking, if you straighten it, the fitting will no longer fit the shell as it is now after 100 years :-? .
Ok , enough preamble here, :o you all know I bought a large Baden M15 helmet, restitched both visors and now I am putting the fittings back on. The visor trim is in perfect condition, not a bend or ripple in the metal BUT!! the trim is now too long at one end because the leather visor has shrunk!! :ANGRY: The photos:
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Very sunny today when these were taken.
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Here we see the problem, the hole in the shell no longer matches with the metal trim. We could just punch a new hole in the shell but we don't want to do that as it screams ...this has been F'd with :-? and will look stupid!! So we must cut the trim and drill a new hole. As my good friend T Schnurr who is to blame for getting me into this crazed restoration thing says....."You only get one chance, so don't F it up !" :???: Yeah...thanks T! :thumb up:
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This pic really shows the problem.
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The opposite side lines up well, no problem.
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Step one, mark where the original hole is in the shell. I mark it on both sides of the trim and I drill from the inside surface which faces the shell. I use a dremel tool and bit for this, the dremel is mounted in a "drill press" made for these tools.
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Ready to put on....the hole is drilled, widened using a needle file and the the excess is cut off using tin snips, angled like the originals.
The results:
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Not quite like new but not bad after 100+ years of abuse!
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Next, I have to resolder the prong back on to the spine using my guide "Soldering For Dummies" sent to me decades ago by one T Schnurr. As I said, he is totally to blame for all of this madness!! :thumb up:
Remember, Pillage first THEN Burn ...

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b.loree
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Re: Cutting Visor Trim

Post by b.loree » Fri Jun 19, 2020 4:19 pm

PS: The Baden private purchase bought at the SOS also needs to have the trim cut to make it fit so I will post pics of this as part of this thread. Last, I had tunes on while doing this..a great song by a CN artist..David Wilcox called "Laying Pipe" was in my head...check it out! :D
Remember, Pillage first THEN Burn ...

ww1czechlegion
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Re: Cutting Visor Trim

Post by ww1czechlegion » Fri Jun 19, 2020 6:16 pm

Looking very good Brian! =D> :bravo:

I don't know how many nickel silver visor trim pieces I have purchased that end up being too short, trying to get one long enough to go on my e.m. Guard Eisenbahn helmet. I finally found one that is way too long, and I need to get it re-shaped and cut down on one end.

I also need a brass front visor trim piece for my ID'd/named & unit issue marked 95th Reg't enlisted helmet that I found a good original Fuerst eagle w/Coberg-Gotha emblem on it a year ago. I bought a visor trim piece a few months ago, and it turned out to be just a little too short. Darn!

And I bought a nice M15 front visor trim for my recent SOS Hessen enlisted helmet, to try and make the helmet look a bit nicer like the rest of the gray trim on the helmet. But it was was also just a little short! Double-darn!

Needless to say, I haven't had much luck buying visor trim that is long enough to use on my helmets that need it. :(
by b.loree:
I had tunes on while doing this..a great song by a CN artist..David Wilcox called "Laying Pipe" was in my head...check it out!
LOL, I can't figure out without listening to the song first, in order to understand if it is actually about laying pipe/working, or if it's about what else the term can mean in regards to sex, LOL. Sorry, couldn't get my mind out of the gutter on that reference to that term which I heard many years ago. I'll have to listen and just find out. :o

Best Wishes,

Alan

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Re: Cutting Visor Trim

Post by b.loree » Fri Jun 19, 2020 7:59 pm

Well Alan, you are always quick off the mark!! :D You did guess the true meaning of the phrase but it is still a very cool song and worth listening to so please do. In some ways, it does explain the male existence :) particularly if one has a demanding partner. Wilcox, living the rock life, almost drank himself to death but fortunately, sobered up and is still with us today. C'est la vie!
Regarding buying missing fittings again, you are entirely correct! In my experience (40 years) just a total crap shoot in which 9 out of 10 buys, gets you nowhere! :ANGRY: Obviously, there is no scientific formula for leather shrinkage over a century???? :o . Perhaps if I had metallurgical skills or was a blacksmith I could heat these pieces and beat them to fit but alas... No. Buy spikes, support discs, M 91 posts, chin scales, kokarden, officer stars, OR' domed brads, they should all fit. However, the two pieces under discussion,...hardly ever. I would venture to say, that even when these fittings were put on originally, there was stretching of the leather. On another note, helmets made from other materials, if not subjected to moisture, should hold their shape. Oh and uber last...chinstrap fittings, you can spend $250US+ and it still might not fit over your helmet's M91's. I have one that despite my 6 hauben missing straps just will not fit!!!
Remember, Pillage first THEN Burn ...

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Re: Cutting Visor Trim

Post by Tony without Kaiser » Fri Jun 19, 2020 10:02 pm

b.loree wrote:
Fri Jun 19, 2020 4:19 pm
// "Laying Pipe" //
I come from Calgary Alberta and "Laying Pipe" means something completely different... :booty:
Kaiser: 09 July 1997 - 12 October 2010.
Nina: 23 April 2002 - 31 July 2015.
I miss my little Noodles.
http://www.kaisersbunker.com/

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