Over the past month I have been working on something totally unheard of before today.
A four foot wide fire helmet.
No we don’t have big headed firemen in the area. (well we might, but that is a different story) but we do have firemen with an imagination. And as you know I love people with imagination.
The Beulaville NC fire department has been in the process of remodeling their fire house for a while now. As the build was coming to an end they started looking at the asthetics of the building. The new stucco was on and looked great. The additions matched with the older building. The office areas were nice. But something was missing.
The discussion turned to the door awnings. One of the officers of the department took a small foam helmet off a car antenna and cut it in half. In doing so he was able to show his idea of how the awnings should look on the building.
Yes. the awnings over the doors were going to be big red fire helmets.
And he said “I know just the guy to do it”. Thank you Patrick, I have had a great time building them!!
I started with a real size helmet. It had ribs, a brim, and a shield identifying the unit. Then I noticed the shield was held in place by an eagle. So there was more to the idea than I first thought.
Bending the steel pieces for the ribs was something I farmed out to an ironworker who was able to bend the tubing for the ribs of the helmet on a special roller. They were then welded into the helmet ribs.
I started hand cutting the shape of the shield from 16gage steel using a plasma torch. It turned out to be about 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide. It was braced and its’ attachments to the ribs was worked out so that it could be sent to be powder coated and hand lettered.
The design of the eagle was a challenge but came together beautifully. He attaches to the top of the helmet, and the shield is held in his beak.
All the pieces were sent to be powder coated “fire engine red” (what other option was there?)
They were installed the other day. I think they will be the talk of the town at all the fire department meetings in the area.
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