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I've been wanting to build my own Mark I helmet for a few years now...the shapes and details of the helmet seem basic enough that I think I can whip something up pretty quick.

The goal is make the helmet all metal, yet light enough to wear comfortably. The thickness of the metal will have to be pretty thin but still look like it has some heft to it. I'm definitely not an experienced metal worker so I like the fact that the helmet is beaten up and there's some artistic license if it doesn't turn out perfectly. It should be a fun experience trying out some different metal-shaping techniques.

When I first got the idea a while back, I went to a local Value Village (thrift shop) and found these old enamel-covered metal camping pots to use as the base shape:



It would probably be a better idea to make a paper template, then transfer the template to sheet metal, then bend it and weld it all up...but I've already got the pots and it'll be a fun challenge to see if I can upcycle them into a Mark 1.

I also thought about using a mini propane tank that I have as the base shape but after it lifting it I think it would be wayyy to heavy to wear comfortably.

I'll be filming the whole process and documenting it here in this thread.

We'll see how it goes :)


Active Member
To measure the approximate cut-off line for the top dome of the helmet, I placed the smaller bowl inside of the larger pot and used a sharpie to mark the cut line. Then used an angle grinder with a cutting disk to make the cut:


When I first bought the pots, I figured the coating would easily grind off with a paint-removing sanding disk - boy was I wrong! The colored enamel coating that is baked on to this cookware is adhered on extremely well and sanding/grinding just sort of 'smears' if off.


I discovered that smashing the coating off with a ball-peen hammer was way more efficient and faster. The small point of contact on the ball hammer is devastating to the coating and it just crumbles off with little force. The trade off will be smoothing out the dents after but it's a small price to pay and I figure it'll give it that hammered blacksmith texture:


Quick 1-minute video of this part of process on Instagram:


Active Member
The first metal-shaping task was to beat the edge of the smaller metal bowl into more of a dome shape to act as the 'cap' of the Mark 1 helmet. Since I didn't have any traditional metal-shaping tools, I decided to try carving out a concave dome into a tree stump with a chainsaw.


It worked better than I expected and allowed me to beat the enamel coating off the smaller bowl while creating the dome shape.


The result was two bare-metal bowls that had similar circumferences. It's starting to feel less like pots and pans and a little more a like Mark 1!


1-minute video of the process:

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