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A helmet database and a request for help

Article about: OK, here is a snapshot of the spreadsheet ( early stages, it will get fleshed out more ) with the info from my helmets - just to show the info I'm seeking. I have not included half of the on

  1. #1

    Default A helmet database and a request for help

    Hello fellow collectors,

    Over at the GHW there is a detailed lot number database that is used to establish the bonafides and validation / verification of what are now extremely valuable pieces of metal and, because of the invaluable information it contains, it is well guarded. I would like to create a database on WRF however it would NOT be the same as theirs ( as I am not looking at decals or suchlike ) because am trying to establish some patterns to the material as used by different manufacturers over the years and lots ( and styles, such as the Luftschutz helmets where some are lighter than others ). It is something that seems so difficult and complex I think it has been in the TOO HARD basket for too long....... maybe now is the time to tackle it?

    A long process but one that I think will be worthwhile and one ( like the 1000 post helmet ) CANNOT succeed without your help - I am just the facilitator and I love research. If the moderators of this fine forum deem it a worthwhile quest, I am up to it!!

    So this is where you all come in - what I would like from you is if you can please tell me ( I don't need a photo ) this info about any of your helmets...

    Model ( M35, M40, M42 )
    Maker & size ( if unable to determine, say relic - but only complete shells please )
    Type ( HLCC=complete helmet with chinstrap, HLC=helmet without strap otherwise complete, HL=shell + liner band only, H=shell only )
    Lot Number ( if unable to determine, write 'unknown' )
    Weight ( in kg or pounds ) on kitchen scales - digital or spring is OK, round to nearest 10gms.
    Metal thickness ( in mm or thou ) measured on the rear skirt adjacent to the lot number stamping. If the metal is corroded so the stamping is illegible, please state that.

    An example of a typical row of the database spreadsheet would look like this -
    M35 CKL64 HLCC 4271 1.30 1.6 ( model, maker & size / HLCC = helmet,liner,chinstrap / weight in kg / measurement in mm )

    In the coming days I will post an image showing what it would look like.

    Stage I would be just a callout for data as outlined above to get the ball rolling
    Stage II would be to break down the data into manufacturers
    Stage III would be looking at liner types and If ( at all ) there are correlations to which maker preferred which liner.

    What say ye .... does this 'get the guernsey' ( as we Aussies say ) and if so, can you help?
    Cheers, Dan the techno man.

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  3. #2

    Default Re: A helmet database and a request for help

    Ok, 45 views and not a response ( yet ) can mean several things .....
    1) You think I'm mad to attempt this and are still shaking your heads.
    2) It's all a bit too hard.
    3) what's the point of it?

    Well no, I'm not mad ( so the doctors say ) and, yes it IS hard ( but let me do the hard stuff ) - all I ask is a little bit of info from you - and the point? ... all data acquisition is worthwhile ( in the long run - even if it is for future generations).

    Here are a couple of images showing where to measure ( if you have a micrometer to reach ) and an alternative for M42 lids at the brow where the material is less likely to be deformed.

    Borrow the kitchen scales for a while and sit a helmet on it upside down ( on a tissue if you must ) and post ( or PM ) me the data.

    Have a think, I'm doing my ones to get the ball rolling and tomorrow I'll show how it will look.
    Cheers, Dan
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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  4. #3

    Default Re: A helmet database and a request for help

    I'll do mine for you mate, I don't have any of the kit just yet though.

  5. #4

    Default Re: A helmet database and a request for help

    Thanks Krad,
    Don't hesitate because you haven't any measuring equipment - leave that out if that's the sticking point.
    Even the weight will help me ( when I get enough data ) to "reverse engineer" and work out gauges based on that.

    So to all -measure if you can but don't worry if you cant!
    Thanks, Dan

  6. #5

    Default Re: A helmet database and a request for help

    What do you mean by saying the GHW database is well guarded? Its simply a link to a spreadsheet that everyone has access too isn't it?

  7. #6

    Default Re: A helmet database and a request for help

    Glenn, I meant well guarded from casual outside observers - this forum and photos ( to a point ) can be viewed by non-members, GHW is more protected from unwanted visitors. If the fakers know what the database holds ( re decals etc.... ) then they are empowered. For the one I want to do, the gathered facts will be of no benefit to them - we all know how to I.D. a Chinese copy.
    Cheers, Dan

  8. #7

    Default Re: A helmet database and a request for help

    I can see the value of maker, lot number and size for a database, though that would be similar to GHW and also info on which liners matched which maker/year could also be useful, but why weigh them and measure the thickness? I used to be a tool maker working with press tools and variations in thickness would probably have more to do with wear in the dies or miss setting of the press by the operator, than anything else. I am not sure that variations in weight would tell you much, except that the larger sizes are heavier than the smaller sizes and relic examples might weigh more or less than non relic examples and those with a liner/heavy paint etc... will weigh more than those without.

    And why miss out the info on which service it was issued to and was it DD, SD or ND? Is this just so it is not the same as the GHW lot number data base?

    I admire your spirit in attempting this, but maybe you need to rethink your data collecting strategy.


    Whatever its just an opinion.

  9. #8

    Default Re: A helmet database and a request for help

    HI Jerry,
    Thanks and I do appreciate your point of view. I was "on the tools" for 20 years building sheet metal piercing, blanking and forming dies firstly, then forging and casting ( gravity ) dies and for the last 15 as an engineer ( sadly desk bound a lot of the time ) so I do have a few runs on the board. Deep draw dies wear surprisingly little and the first off strikes would tell a die setter ( or press operator ) very quickly if the dies were misaligned as there would be tears in the metal.

    Anyhow, back to my reasoning - there is an ulterior motive to this but in order to fully support a theory I have, I need a lot of data. Let me explain... and it has to do with the beaded Luftschutz helmet. To FULLY investigate the claim that the helmets were reworked from failed batches ( as expounded by many more experienced than I ) I need to see if there is a pattern to the gauges of metal used by the various helmet makers in the war years. I believe that I can establish a pattern if I get data from normal helmets and I DO think I will be able to determine whether some reworked and others did not - for example, an EF or NS bead is quite 'weak" and it is possible it was rolled in later but the Q type is VERY prominent and is unlikely that the metal could be reworked AFTER the edge was rolled on M35 / M40 models ( but may have been on raw edge helmets? ) How the 5 factories ( EF, NS, ET, SE & Q ) used their material may not be a watershed moment in collecting but it may answer some questions.....

    As far as liners go, I have weighed several assemblies and they average at 75 - 150gms so I can work around this variation. Sizes can be grouped so as not to skew results and loss of weight due to corrosion can also be allowed for if identified as such. A heap of thinking and sorting is required but if I go barmy in the process, I trust you all to pass the hat around to buy me a straightjacket!

    As for the GHW, quite honestly I do not have the skill to factor in decal info and paint type as well - there are far more qualified folk than I who put the GHW one together to do that - and my skill ( I think? ) lies in this area ..... rather than being different for the sake of it, I think the two approaches may compliment each other .... and if we can answer the Luftschutz question, we may in the process discover other patterns as well - that's why all information will help.

    Anyway, people vote with their feet ( or in this case, with their keyboards ) and if it dies a death, so be it .......
    Cheers, Dan

  10. #9

    Default Re: A helmet database and a request for help

    An admirable quest, I only have one non-relic helmet but i'll see what I can do to help you out. I don't have access to a micrometer so I guess this will screw one of the main thrusts of your research?

  11. #10

    Default Re: A helmet database and a request for help

    THanks Glenn,
    Not an issue mate - as I mentioned a few posts back IF you have a mic or vernier, please measure for me in the areas I suggested - but if not, the other data will do ( the weight, however IS essential )
    Thanks for indulging my strange request - hopefully as the data comes in, it will become clearer.
    Cheers, Dan

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