1. #1
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    Default Any tips for "Weathering" a new leather helmet shield?

    Earlier this year I retired from the job after 27 years with Chicago FD, and now wifey and me have moved to a small town in the middle of nowhere to enjoy our retirement. The locals have asked me to join their local volunteer department to help out, which I have gladly done, but there is only one problem. I'm using my old leather helmet (which looks like it has been to hell and back), but the new helmet shield sticks out like the proverbial dog's balls - it's stands out like Rudolph's Red Nose - all because it is so new. It is so damn glossy that you almost need to put on sunglasses just to look at it.

    Can someone please tell me how I could "weather" this new shield so as it more closely resembles the rest of my helmet, as it just doesn't look right

    Unfortunately the chances of it getting weathered naturally by fire use are slim as the local department hasn't even so much as seen a kitchen fire in the last 3 years.

    Help!
    Last edited by OldTimeNozzle; 04-20-2005 at 11:03 PM.

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    I guess its time for live burn training then !!

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    Well it's not like a 'weathered' leather front is going to make you a better firefighter. Are you trying to impress someone? Your experience ought to speak for itself.

    The only way to get crusty is to train, take classes and catch jobs.
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    Thumbs down I don't buy it

    I may be out of line... but I think I'm going to throw the BS flag on this thread. Who, after nearly 30 years on the job, is worried about how their leather shield looks?

    With that much time in, you'd think someone would be more worried about passing on the many things they'd learned to others... than why one small piece of their equipment looks new in a small, low-volume volunteer fire department.

    I've been a firefighter for a fraction of that time and I couldn't care less that my shield looks newer than someone else's.

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    Take the shield off the helmet.

    Place it in the middle of the road.

    Drive over it 100 times in a clockwise direction while repeating.

    "This is SOOOO STUPID."
    Psychiatrists state 1 in 4 people has a mental illness.
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    I second the BS Call. All those in favor, say "AYE."!


    Earlier this year I retired from the job after 27 years with Chicago FD, and now wifey and me have moved to a small town in the middle of nowhere to enjoy our retirement. The locals have asked me to join their local volunteer department to help out, which I have gladly done, but there is only one problem. I'm using my old leather helmet (which looks like it has been to hell and back), but the new helmet shield sticks out like the proverbial dog's balls - it's stands out like Rudolph's Red Nose - all because it is so new. It is so damn glossy that you almost need to put on sunglasses just to look at it.
    TRANSLATION: Earlier this year I joined my local Fire Department and quickly became a 2/27. Because I live in the middle of no where, I wish I was on the Chicago Fire Department, and want to make my helmet look like it, even though I know that a true vet of 27 years could care less how a helmet looks. The problem is, the helmet that I bought, (because "weathering" or otherwise tampering with the one I was issued would be against company bylaws) looks way too good and new to be a custy helmet of 27 years experience. I look like the proby that I am!
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Default Re: Any tips for "Weathering" a new leather helmet shield?

    Originally posted by OldTimeNozzle
    Earlier this year I retired from the job after 27 years with Chicago FD, and now wifey and me have moved to a small town in the middle of nowhere to enjoy our retirement. The locals have asked me to join their local volunteer department to help out, which I have gladly done, but there is only one problem. I'm using my old leather helmet (which looks like it has been to hell and back), but the new helmet shield sticks out like the proverbial dog's balls - it's stands out like Rudolph's Red Nose - all because it is so new. It is so damn glossy that you almost need to put on sunglasses just to look at it.

    Can someone please tell me how I could "weather" this new shield so as it more closely resembles the rest of my helmet, as it just doesn't look right

    Unfortunately the chances of it getting weathered naturally by fire use are slim as the local department hasn't even so much as seen a kitchen fire in the last 3 years.

    Help!
    How about you get a brand new shiny helmet to match your shield? Oh, and if this is really some newbie whacker and is truly looking to salty up his shield...go f*ck yourself. Are we aloud to say that?

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    Default Try This

    Here is a tip that works well.

    The next time you are going to grill out just hang your new shield above the grill. Then as you cook away your sheild will look just like that grilled steak and probably smell just as good.
    OR if you lack the grill and common sense you can also put it in the oven before your "wifey" turns on the self cleaning option. THAT should definitely get some serious results and you may actually get to fight your first kitchen fire and break the 3 year spell.


    PLEASE...Get real.

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    Default Call in a few favours

    Send a identical shield to a busy inner London Station--ask one of the junior bucks to tie it to his belt--get it back in about a fortnight --problem solved.

    Total cost=Postage and maybe a bottle of J.D?

    P.S English smoke and grime is identical to Yankee stuff-nobody will know--except us.
    "If you thought it was hard getting into the job--wait until you have to hang the "fire gear"up and walk away!"
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  10. #10
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    If your that worried about something cosmetic like that do everyone around you a favor and turn all your gear in. Sounds like you might be a risk.

    you can also put it in the oven before your "wifey" turns on the self cleaning option.
    Yah might want to define not wearing it at the time. Not sure if he'll catch on to that.

    How about you get a brand new shiny helmet to match your shield?
    This makes the most sense to me. New helmet to matcht the new shield surely safer than any beat down POS.

    TIP:
    Get a life! That doesnt involve putting your self any more in harms way then needed.
    Rath De Ort

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    Default Re: I don't buy it

    Originally posted by cozmosis
    I may be out of line...
    You are.

    but I think I'm going to throw the BS flag on this thread. Who, after nearly 30 years on the job, is worried about how their leather shield looks?
    This may surprise you, but actually quite a lot of guys who have done a lot of time in busy companies care about these things - wearing a new coat doesn't bother most of us, hell - for the first time in my life I'm even wearing bunker pants (and I'll now admit that perhaps I should have tried them before - they are a little kinder on the knees than our 3/4 rubber boots). But when it comes to our leather, we do care about it's appearance - I would have thought that much would have been obvious to all, because if we didn't care about how it looks then we would
    a) probably have replaced the helmet before now
    b) probably have replaced our shields long ago for new ones that were readable.

    Is anyone else on here willing to admit that their leather helmet is a little beat up?, possibly even has wires showing, or that their shield is totally black and the company I.D is a little hard to read?, maybe it's even a bit curled up? Heck some of you might even come right out of the closet and admit that your Bourkes have a slight curl to them, or that the Garrity that is on the side of your helmet is a little melted around the edges.

    I expect that there are other Brothers on here from busy departments like Chicago, Boston, FDNY, so come on - you can do it, it's easy, just take a deep breath and come right on out and say "Yep, my helmet is a little bit beaten up, anyone trying to read my shield could be forgiven for thinking that perhaps there never was a number on there, and yes my Bourkes are a little curled over, and that flashlight is a little melted - but forgive me for I am a Brother"
    Last edited by OldTimeNozzle; 04-21-2005 at 11:46 AM.

  12. #12
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    Exclamation Re: I don't buy it

    Originally posted by cozmosis
    I may be out of line... but I think I'm going to throw the BS flag on this thread. Who, after nearly 30 years on the job, is worried about how their leather shield looks?

    With that much time in, you'd think someone would be more worried about passing on the many things they'd learned to others... than why one small piece of their equipment looks new in a small, low-volume volunteer fire department.

    I've been a firefighter for a fraction of that time and I couldn't care less that my shield looks newer than someone else's.

    I am with you Coz. WHO CARES!!!!!

    I have worn the same helmet and several front pieces for over 15 years. I wore a few different color, black, red before I got the white one 15 years ago. I have always taken care of my gear. I have stressed to the members of my then company and now battalion to keep their PPE clean and serviceable. We cause the officer of each company to inspect the gear of their members monthly and the members must keep their gear clean as possible. The turnouts get a trip to the laundry every 6 months.

    Why would any one want to wear gear or a helmet that looked like it came from the dark ages???

  13. #13
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    Lightbulb Huh?

    "Any tips for "Weathering" a new leather helmet shield? "

    Yup, guess I am with the majority who says:
    Go to a real fire or three.

    My "new" shield and it's friendly holder the leather helmet is doing quite well slowly building "crust" the old fashion way, by geting it on real fires. (And I wash it off after every fire because cancer sucks.)

  14. #14
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    A worn out helmet should be replaced, not worn as a badge of honor, if you need that hang it up in your den.

    Get a new SAFE helmet to go with your new shield.
    Be for Peace, but don't be for the Enemy!
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    Learn from the mistakes of others; you won't live long enough to make them all yourself.

    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Re: I don't buy it

    Originally posted by OldTimeNozzle

    You are.

    This may surprise you, but actually quite a lot of guys who have done a lot of time in busy companies care about these things - wearing a new coat doesn't bother most of us, hell - for the first time in my life I'm even wearing bunker pants (and I'll now admit that perhaps I should have tried them before - they are a little kinder on the knees than our 3/4 rubber boots). But when it comes to our leather, we do care about it's appearance - I would have thought that much would have been obvious to all, because if we didn't care about how it looks then we would
    a) probably have replaced the helmet before now
    b) probably have replaced our shields long ago for new ones that were readable.

    Is anyone else on here willing to admit that their leather helmet is a little beat up?, possibly even has wires showing, or that their shield is totally black and the company I.D is a little hard to read?, maybe it's even a bit curled up? Heck some of you might even come right out of the closet and admit that your Bourkes have a slight curl to them, or that the Garrity that is on the side of your helmet is a little melted around the edges.

    I expect that there are other Brothers on here from busy departments like Chicago, Boston, FDNY, so come on - you can do it, it's easy, just take a deep breath and come right on out and say "Yep, my helmet is a little bit beaten up, anyone trying to read my shield could be forgiven for thinking that perhaps there never was a number on there, and yes my Bourkes are a little curled over, and that flashlight is a little melted - but forgive me for I am a Brother"
    If you really are from the CFD then I apologize for what I said. Although I said that based on the fact that you sounded like some newbie. But seriously though, sounds like you should buy a new helmet (or have the department buy you one).

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    I have not posted much on this forum, but have read many threads looking for information that can help me or my department.

    There is alot of good information here, unfortunately, instead of wanting to share good information, it seems many of the higher posting members like to belittle people for awhile before they share their "knowledge". Maybe instead of running you posting numbers up into the thousands, you should get off the computer and do something constructive with your time.

    I certainly hope you are all as good at firefighting as you are at knocking other people down. If not, your respective cities aren't getting their money's worth.

    You all seem to be experts at everything....just ask you.

    I hope to someday be as intelligent and experienced as you.

    I'm sure you all have very good knowledge and experience. Maybe you could share some of the positives instead all the negatives.

  17. #17
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    bdfd

    My apologies, I thought I was giving practical advice on one method to age a shield, there have been some excellent suggestions put forward here, including...

    The next time you are going to grill out just hang your new shield above the grill. Then as you cook away your sheild will look just like that grilled steak and probably smell just as good.
    Possibly it might even end up more tender than the steak.

    There is a distinct difference between PPE that has aged gracefully, and gear that still has the s!!t on it from the first fire it ever went in to.

    Here is a positive for you.

    "I am positive I could not care how someones gear looks, as long as it isn't a health hazard."

    Here is a negative for you.

    "I hate filthy gear, there is no excuse for it."
    Psychiatrists state 1 in 4 people has a mental illness.
    Look at three of your friends, if they are ok, your it.

  18. #18
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    Flyingkiwi,

    No argument here about condition of gear. Whether you like it clean or "conditioned".....to each their own as long as it functions properly.

  19. #19
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    How 'bout this?
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  20. #20
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    Exclamation

    Originally posted by bdfd1212
    Flyingkiwi,

    No argument here about condition of gear. Whether you like it clean or "conditioned".....to each their own as long as it functions properly.
    ??????????


    There isn't to each his own in a large department!!!

    Maybe this is the way your department works and they may have plenty of money to keep buying more turnout gear. So keep wearing dirty and nasty gear. It is a health hazard!

    In the real world, where cities and counties are always under a tight budget, it is the departments procedures to keep the gear clean as possible to have them last as long as possible. There are directives for members to adhere to as to talk good care of their gear and always wash it off after any working event. This keeps dirt, ash and other junk from staying on the gear and causing rot.

    We do wear our gear on every call. I never like to put on nasty gear after cleaning up from a job to go out and get dirty all over again for smells and bells. All our member have two sets, so when the gear gets so dirty it goes to the department laundry fro cleaning, which happens every six months or as the need should arise!!




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    My departments on a tight budget too, so it is essential to keep it in top condition.Because as soon as you ruin that set your done till the next grant or fundraiser.
    you guys wanna play a prank on some of the older traditional guys take there gear and wash it, Scrub there helmet down so it shines then watch there reaction.....Priceless
    But any way id rather show the public Nice clean gear so they know there tax money isnt being wasted in plus i run EMS calls wearing my bunker pants so there always clean
    Rest In Peace
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  22. #22
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    Looking at a helmet you can usually tell where they have been. It is a symbol of who they are. A clean helmet sticks out like a beacon on the fire ground, you can always tell who the FFOP's are and you can tell who the bakers are in the bunch. I'm a believer that you let the work you do put it's scare on the leather, no phony controled training fires or ovens. The shield only tells you what company you are on....the helmet tells you where you have been!! I wouldnt worry about the new shield, when you drag them thru a few fires they will know where your from. Thats if they can keep up!!

  23. #23
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    allineedisu

    I didn't say my department buys new gear all the time, or we wear dirty and nasty gear.

    There is a range of what is acceptable condition for turnout gear. Some guys operate on 1 end of that range, others on the other end of what is acceptable.

    Is one guy right and one guy wrong? No, they just have different preferences for how they keep their gear.

    My statement was to agree that the most important thing about your gear is that it performs to the best of it's ability.

    Nothing to argue about here.

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