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battle-damaged SD M40 helmet

Article about: My latest find on fleabay... a very nice M40 helmet with projectile strike to the left side. Difficult to say where its spent the last whatever amount of years, but its certainly not been lo

  1. #1

    Default battle-damaged SD M40 helmet

    My latest find on fleabay... a very nice M40 helmet with projectile strike to the left side. Difficult to say where its spent the last whatever amount of years, but its certainly not been looked-after at all. Although heavily corroded inside, the rust doesn't seem to have gone deep. I've got rid of most of the scaly rust inside and the metal remains solid and still quite thick. I don't think it is anywhere near to going in holes... (what's left of) the aluminium liner band is dated 1940, although I think that the staples, electrical cable ties and chinstrap are a recent addition... But then again... what do I know?

    I was tempted to try out this oxalic acid treatment that everyone goes on about, but in the end I stuck to my own tried and tested method of slapping on a pile of beeswax polish and working it in to the rust by hand, it helps remove and stabilise rust without potentially damaging the users health - and the smell is lovely too! As with the genuine vet-bring-back M42 helmet posted earlier - and think what you like about that one, the photographs do not give a true impression of how good the helmet actually is. The outside of the helmet is far-better than the photographs show. There are two hairline fractures in the shell, one above-left, and one below right of the impact area - although both are difficult to see. I have just one of the original split rivets for the liner. I aim to do a bit of restoration on the leather - just getting rid of the staples will be an improvement, and then the liner will go back in with two replacement pins. That fine-quality repro strap will go where it belongs - in the bin. I didn't pay much for it - I made an offer and it was accepted. I've seen far-worst go for much more than what I paid for it. On last thing... That horrible wire frame was put on by the previous owner to hold the liner band in place.

    Cheers,
    Steve.



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    Books published to date... 'Belfast Diaries: A Gunner In Northern Ireland'... 'A Tough Nut To Crack - Andersonstown'... 'An Accrington Pal: The Diaries of Pte Jack Smallshaw, September 1914 To March 1919'.

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  3. #2

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    Good find for eBay..most stuff on there is junk, oxalic acid is good for brining out the paint and decal! I've done it to with all my relic helmets and all turned out great.

  4. #3

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    You're lid came out very nicely. What did you treat it with? It looks like a paste that you brushed on. I usually mix oclic acid and water and soak the item. Thanks, Ian.

  5. #4

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    HI Ian Steve has mentioned he used beeswax on this stahlhlem

  6. #5

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    Yes he did. Thanks for pointing it out. Would bees wax be a wood working product?

  7. #6
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    That's come up great! Please post a pic when you've completed it with the missing split pins.

    Do you use pure beeswax or the stuff that's been pre mixed with turps and linseed oil? I bought a nice, solid M16 last week and might give it a going over after seeing your result.

    Tony

  8. #7

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    I use 'Cambridge Traditional Beeswax Polish' straight out of the jar. All I do is remove all loose rust and then give a liberal coating of the polish -rubbing it well-in by hand. There's not even a need to wear gloves. It does not kill the rust, it just stabilises it and stops it going worst. Over time, it will probably be necessary to give it the occasional coat.

    Cheers,
    Steve.
    Books published to date... 'Belfast Diaries: A Gunner In Northern Ireland'... 'A Tough Nut To Crack - Andersonstown'... 'An Accrington Pal: The Diaries of Pte Jack Smallshaw, September 1914 To March 1919'.

  9. #8
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    Thanks mate, I'll give it a go hopefully sooner rather than later.

    Tony

  10. #9

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    Update to the M40... Against my better judgement, I decided to try the oxalic acid that seems to be giving such good results. I made up a solution to the recommended strength and left the helmet in soak for a few hours. The only real noticeable difference to me was the complete removal of what was left of the decal. In future I will stick to the method that I have used for years!

    The liner has now been reinstated. And the eagle-eyed amongst you may spot that the rear pin has been fitted incorrectly. I have done this with the other two pins as well. The springs connecting the outer band and inner band were completely gone, and the easiest option was to drill three holes through the inner band and pass the pins straight through both bands. What remains of the liner is now quite secure. I intend to fit a repro chinstrap of the correct type, and the last thing to do is paint the pins to match the shell.

    cheers,
    Steve.

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    Books published to date... 'Belfast Diaries: A Gunner In Northern Ireland'... 'A Tough Nut To Crack - Andersonstown'... 'An Accrington Pal: The Diaries of Pte Jack Smallshaw, September 1914 To March 1919'.

  11. #10

    Default

    A very nice relic!....
    It's a wasted trip baby. Nobody said nothing about locking horns with no Tigers.



    I'm Spartacus, not really i'm Paul!...

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