Steampunk Inspired Goggles

I had been meaning to make a set of goggles for a while and when a pair of broken 58mm lenses came into my possession I couldn’t resist. Here is how I went from raw materials to the finished goggles, which took the best part of a day to accomplish.

Tools / Parts Used

In order to make the goggles I used the following tools, which were available in my workshop:

  • Pliers
  • Soldering Iron
  • Butane Torch
  • Drill Press
  • Hacksaw
  • Sewing Machine
  • Scissors, Tape, Ruler etc

Nothing difficult to source or use, any home workshop or hackerspace should have most of these available. Aside from the 58mm lenses I also needed some other items to make the goggles with, these items included:

  • 1/2″ brass strap
  • 1/16″ and 1/8″ brass rod
  • 5/16″ brass screws and nuts
  • brass eyelets
  • 2’x1′ x 1mm un-dyed leather

Making the lens cups

As I wanted the goggles to wrap around the side of my face, the leather around the lens bodies had to be cut to fit my head. (click on any of the images to enlarge)

I started by making two paper tubes that held the lenses and marked out where the lens bodies would sit within them.

I cut the tubes to how I thought they would best fit my face. I then taped paper scraps and trimmed as required until there were no gaps between the paper and my face (top piece of paper in the photo above). Once a good fit had been made I traced the outline onto a new piece of paper and cut it out, adding a 10mm overlap on one side for sewing. I found the best way to see if the tube was a good fit was to check in a mirror.

The tubes were then assembled as per the marking and checked against the lens bodies.

The lens bodies were then cut to size.

Using the paper template, the leather was marked and the required pieces cut out.

The leather was then sewn together.

And fitted to the lens bodies to ensure a correct fit.

Fixing the cups to the lenses

While I could have used a glue of some description to attach all the parts together, I wanted to avoid it if at all possible. As the lens bodies were made of Aluminium, I came up with the idea of clamping the leather between the lens body and a brass strap.

The brass strap was cut to length, with an overlap, marked out and drilled for 3 bolts.

Using the drilled straps, the lens bodies were marked out and drilled.

The leather was then marked out and punched, using a hammer and nail.

All the parts laid out, ready for assembly.

The assembled lens cups, with everything held together properly.

 Fastening straps

A buckle was made from some 1/16″ brass rod, bent into a square.

Which was then soldered to hold it together.

Two links were also made from the same rod and some leather straps cut to attach to the lens cups.

Longer straps were added to the shorter ones, using the links, for the buckle and holes.

Putting it all together

After attaching the buckle and punching in suitable holes into the longer straps, the fasteners were attached to the goggle using eyelets.

A piece of brass strap was folded along one edge to improve its stiffness and used to hold the eye cups together, in the correct position. 58mm circular polarizing lenses were added to the lens bodies as a finishing touch.

And finished, or so I thought…


Having field tested the goggles at a masquerade ball I discovered that the brass strap was a poor way to hold the goggles together. The lenses would twist and throughout the night the nuts came undone on several of the screws.

In order to fix this problem I replaced the strap with some 1/8″ brass rod, which was soldered to the retaining straps using a butane torch. I did originally try to use a soldering iron but it was not sufficient to heat the brass parts, resulting in a poor joint. Additionally the single nuts were replaced with double nuts, to lock everything in place.

These goggles are now finished and stay together properly. The only thing I need to add are two 58mm UV filters and then they will also work as sunglasses. If I make another pair of goggles I will probably use dyed leather, as the un-dyed leather is picking up lots of dirt from general wear and tear.


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