I'm just finished
making my second pair of wire rim glasses of my own design. The
first pair served me well for 6 years until finally, the wire rusted
thin in one spot on the bridge of the nose. This is because I never
plated the spring steel wire, which would have prevented the slow
rusting process. Plating is easy, but I also liked the color of the
metal as it is, and cleaning the tiny amount of rust from the lenses
was no problem. The easy removability of the lenses also makes it
easy to switch to sunglass lenses if you wish, simply buy and
shape a second, tinted pair of lenses.
This design has many other advantages:
a. As this design is made of one piece of spring steel,
with no easily broken hinges and no screws to lose, they are virtually
indestructible, and therefore more ecological. I doubt these will ever
be commercially available because they are too durable for the frame
companies to make a profit. I don't need hinges because I always wear
my glasses, so why have them?
b. They are safer. If something hits you in the face, the
energy is dissipated as they disassemble themselves (and then you just
reassemble them)(ask me about my water balloon story sometime).
c . More non-filtered-by-the-lenses light reaches the eyes, which
is good for eye health.
d. Cost is less than $5 for the frames, less than $25 for my
prescription lense blanks (about 20/200)..how much did you pay for your last frames
and how long did they last?
e. I am nearsighted and see close-up perfectly without them. This
design allows me to easily see under the lenses when I am doing close
work.. no need for expensive, confusing bifocals.
d. They are more comfortable on the nose, as weight is distributed
evenly due to custom shaping (no red marks from pads).
You do need to know the distance between the centers of your
pupils so you can cut out the lenses from the round blanks correctly to fit the frames you're making
..It's on your prescription in mm under inter-pupillary distance.
So, here's an illustrated how
to...enjoy .. let me see the ones you make!
1. First I annealed a long spring steel wire by
heating the wire over torch,which softens the metal
so it is more easily manipulable.
2. First trial fit on face, only one lens frame bent.
3. Torch held by your legs, your hands, vise-grips, and needle-nose
pliers. Almost all the tools necessary for the project.
4. Torch flame heating wire in the dark(for illustration purposed only).
5. Close-up of how old lens fits into frame, how concave notch in edge
of lens holds spring steel wire frame.
inverse of convex edge shape most glasses/frames designs use.
If you have a weak prescription, this will be thin and harder to
make... notice slight rust from last frame on lens.
6. Put tape on both sides of both lenses to avoid scratching them.
Before you shape the lenses, mark the inter-pupillary distance on
the tape. then mark the areas to be cut away.
I used a diamond saw to cut the excess away, a jewelers saw or stone
grinder will suffice.
7. Using the polishing wheel to buff off any scratch marks on the edge
of the lens.
9. After final fitting, polish any pliers marks off wire frame, then
heat the entire frame on stove till red hot,
immerse quickly into water or oil to cool, restoring the stiffness and
springiness of the steel (tempering).
The end of the project, the beginning of many years of