During his previous cellphone charger project, designer Eric Strebel had the misfortune of having a piece of metal get stuck in his eye. And since injury is something anyone working on a project should be ready for, Strebel has decided to put his skills to work and create a dusk mask with integrated eye protection.
As always, he starts out with a concept sketch detailing the features he wants on his dust mask. In addition to the aforementioned eye protection, this particular dusk mask should allow Strebel to talk to people in his vicinity easily, let him wear his glasses, but most importantly, it should still let him wear a hat to keep dust away and make him look cool while he works.
With the final product in mind, he begins by mixing some alginate and casting the bridge of his nose. While his face is covered in alginate snot, he attaches a piece of wood to prevent the nose piece from flexing out of shape. Strebel then takes this piece and puts it in his mold box to prepare it for a resin casting.
Using pieces of foam to keep the alginate in place, he pours a mixture of plaster into the mold box. Once it’s dry, he removes the plaster from the alginate and now has a perfect mold of his honker.
To get the eye protection he sorely needs, Strebel takes a pair of store-bought safety glasses, removes the ear and nose holds, and attaches it to the nose plaster using a piece of 3mm clay offset and some polyester body filler. The fit isn’t quite perfect at first, but with a bit of adjusting and some more body filler on the nose bridge, Strebel manages to get the eyepieces in their proper position.
Keeping with the theme of using reusable materials, the mask itself is made from the outline of a face mask Strebel already owns. He sketches the outline of the mask onto a manila folder before pinning it to piece of denim.
Strebel cuts out this denim piece and sews it together to form the prototype mask part which covers his mouth and nose. A couple of adjustments using more manila folder sketches and denim cuts and he soon has the makings of a mask fit for breathing through hazardous materials. He sews this piece to the elastic straps which wrap around his face and adds some nose pads on the inside to make attaching the nose piece a lot easier.
After making sure all the pieces fit onto his handsome mug properly, Strebel glues in the nose pads and sews the nose piece onto the denim mask. Since he plans to reuse the nose piece in the future, he drills a bunch of 1mm holes onto the outline of the piece and hand sews it onto the mask.
This is phase one of Strebel’s master plan to make the ultimate dust mask. Phase two will focus on taking what was learned here and making the mask more production-oriented and professional-looking. You can find the upcoming video as well as Eric Strebel’s previous works on his YouTube channel.