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M16 Restoration Project

Article about: German M16, ET64 in good condition with a couple of cracks and the odd ding, well worth some love and attention after spending it's post war life in the care of bikers by the looks. Purchase

  1. #1
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    Default M16 Restoration Project

    German M16, ET64 in good condition with a couple of cracks and the odd ding, well worth some love and attention after spending it's post war life in the care of bikers by the looks. Purchased the helmet recently on Ebay. At the time the seller assured me that my suspicions around it having been chromed were unfounded. Not so to my horror after I stripped the black paint to find a nice shiny hard layer of nickel! Briefly thought about on selling or getting an electroplater to help. In the end decided to attempt the job myself using white vinegar. Has taken the last two weeks to get to a point where most of the helmet shell is now clean, the rim is the last to come off due to being the thickest deposit. Hope to have the helmet ready for some preparation in another week or so. The plan is a WW1 issue in light field green or RAL 7009 with first pattern three pad liner. Have acquired all the parts for this. Here are some pics of the lengthy cleaning process. Vinegar does work but is slow, what I like about it is that only the plating is being eaten and not the helmet itself. Have been using a drill mounted wire brush each day to hopefully speed things up.
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  3. #2

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    doing a fine job.

  4. #3
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    Looking good! need a bit of inspiration as I have two project M16s - one is a good clean shell - sadly stripped before I got it and an original liner, the other is a bare shell, plated like yours and with some extra holes drilled :-(

    Which supplier did you get the repro liner from? Does anyone do the vent lugs or chinstrap lugs? finally has anyone tried welding up small holes in one of these helmets.

  5. #4
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    Cracking job so far, I look forward to seeing the finished article! I finished restoring an ET66 M16 not long back got a good deal on a fine shell with postwar paint and restored it to replicate a 1940 period heer reissue. I just love the profile of these lids no matter what the configuration. Cheers! Sean.

  6. #5
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    Quote by NickW View Post
    Looking good! need a bit of inspiration as I have two project M16s - one is a good clean shell - sadly stripped before I got it and an original liner, the other is a bare shell, plated like yours and with some extra holes drilled :-(

    Which supplier did you get the repro liner from? Does anyone do the vent lugs or chinstrap lugs? finally has anyone tried welding up small holes in one of these helmets.
    Hi Nick,

    Thanks for your interest. Yes I wasn't too impressed when I discovered the plating, very frustrating. WWI helmets seem to have been targeted for this process during the 70's in droves! Regarding welding yes it is absolutely fine, I've had helmets welded before no problem. On this project I have decided to use a good quality epoxy filler to repair the cracks and dings instead. For the reproduction helmet liner, strap and rivets I get all my stuff from Czech republic....best there is. This set came from a seller on ebay who also supplies helmet vent lugs and chin strap lug sets, just what you're looking for. Ask him about sizes etc. Here's the link, good stuff at reasonable prices.

    items in MILITANTO store on eBay!

  7. #6
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    Quote by seandm View Post
    Cracking job so far, I look forward to seeing the finished article! I finished restoring an ET66 M16 not long back got a good deal on a fine shell with postwar paint and restored it to replicate a 1940 period heer reissue. I just love the profile of these lids no matter what the configuration. Cheers! Sean.
    Hi Sean,

    Cheers mate, yes this my first M16 restore and yes it was quite a decision to make whether to go reissue or not. In the end it had to be WWI livery but yes they look superb whatever the theme. I tell you waiting for the finish to get eaten is a test on the patience but getting there now.

    Ian

  8. #7
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    I went in with eyes open - I knew it was plated and had had some holes drilled - checked out the supplier and will be placing an order - just not sure which lugs I need as no size stampings visible and they seem to vary by size? thanks for the information.

  9. #8
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    Quote by NickW View Post
    I went in with eyes open - I knew it was plated and had had some holes drilled - checked out the supplier and will be placing an order - just not sure which lugs I need as no size stampings visible and they seem to vary by size? thanks for the information.
    Hi Nick,

    Measure a helmet you know the size of and compare to your unmarked M16, e.g. if it's a 66cm you will need an unstepped lug or if say a 62cm the larger stepped one. Just a thought.

    Ian

  10. #9

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    very nice little restoration ian ,ive often thought of doing the same to my two relicsClick image for larger version. 

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  11. #10
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    Quote by James C View Post
    very nice little restoration ian ,ive often thought of doing the same to my two relicsClick image for larger version. 

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    Hi James,

    Two weeks since I started stripping the plate and have just been working the rim lightly with an abrasive wheel, hopefully get this cracking along now. Of your two relics I think the one on bottom is best suited left as is.....helmets in this condition tell a much more potent story, while your other one above is a definite candidate for treatment. Thanks for your interest.

    Ian

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