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Drilling holes in brainbuckets
Old 01-06-2010, 07:17   #1
regular guy
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Drilling holes in brainbuckets

Gentlemen,
I have spent the better part of the day researching information pertaining to drilling holes in the new style MICH/Gunfighter/High Cut with limited feedback. I figured that the QP's and maybe some other fellas in similar fields might have experience.

If I needed to install a 3 hole mount onto my 1 hole helmet, what steps should I take to install it?

My assumption is, that as soon as I tap for the hole, and start drilling, that the fiber will start fraying and looking like splayed 550 cord. And then defeat the purpose of wearing kevlar in the first place. Believe it or not, I am really hesitant about dropping another 500 dollars on another helmet with 3 holes .

Another threat to my modification that I was reading about on a boat forum was that Kevlar absorbs water, and if I cut into the membrane, it will expose the Kevlar. Does anyone have any insight into this?

Although, I could just go ahead and order the Ops-Core FAST helmet and save myself the hassle (1000 bucks!?!?!)
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Old 01-06-2010, 07:35   #2
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http://www.buy.com/retail/product.as...ingid=36218579

This is mostly a joke but I'm sure somebody somewhere has epoxied something to their kevlar.
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Old 01-06-2010, 08:30   #3
Surgicalcric
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Quote:
Originally Posted by regular guy View Post
...Although, I could just go ahead and order the Ops-Core FAST helmet and save myself the hassle (1000 bucks!?!?!)
I drilled into my ACH to mount a 3-hole and had no issues whatsoever. I simply marked the location, used a small pilot drill then a larger drill to ream the hole(s) to the proper diameter, no fraying. I then added epoxy to seal the kevlar, waited for it to dry, then attached the Ops-Core NOD mount.

As for the Ops-Core helmet, after a person/unit spends $500.00 for a TC200(0)(1)(2), $85.00 for the 3-hole Ops-Core VAS, $66.00 for a Ops-Core Chin Strap or $130.00 for the Occ-Dial, and $83.00 for the Accessory Rail System you could have a much lighter helmet in the OC Ballistic...

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Old 01-06-2010, 08:43   #4
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Thanks the personal experience Crip! I was thinking that I might end up needing to epoxy the holes.

Good note on the Ops-Core... But my fear is that I will end up staring at myself in the mirrors and any reflective surface instead of working.
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Old 01-06-2010, 09:07   #5
Snaquebite
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As Cric said it can be done. Start with a small bit and work up to the size hole you need. I will add that every manufacturer I know will void any warranty if you do this as you have altered the ballistic integrity of the helmet. Additionally ensure you use ballistic rated screws or nuts.

On the MSA ACH the holes are put in the helmets during the curing process and he helmet is still soft ensuring the ballistic properties of the material are not altered and the helmet cures completely around the holes.

Regarding the water, you need to seal the edges of the new hole as water can be absorbed. This can be done with silicone or epoxy.
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Last edited by Snaquebite; 01-06-2010 at 09:13.
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Old 01-06-2010, 09:21   #6
craigepo
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I've punched holes in the helmets with AK-74 rounds. Works up to about 100 meters. Accurate holes could be a problem though.
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Old 01-06-2010, 09:45   #7
cszakolczai
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I've drilled holes through lots of composite materials such as kevlar and carbon fiber. If you use a good drill with a good sharp bit, then you'll be fine. None of the cheap chinese 1 dollar drill bits, those just hurt your cause.

Just for future reference, another option may be something like JB weld. I used to think that this stuff was just a lie when it came to strength, but if you have time to let something sit overnight, this "glue" will combine anything, and won't ever let go. A guy I know actually JB welded part of his engine together, and after thousands of miles, the engine is still running.
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Old 01-06-2010, 12:20   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snaquebite View Post
On the MSA ACH the holes are put in the helmets during the curing process and he helmet is still soft ensuring the ballistic properties of the material are not altered and the helmet cures completely around the holes.
Infantry smart like train! So that's how they do it!

Thanks Snaquebite!
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Is there a specific type of epoxy for kevlar?
Old 03-30-2012, 12:51   #9
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Is there a specific type of epoxy for kevlar?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Surgicalcric View Post
I drilled into my ACH to mount a 3-hole and had no issues whatsoever. I simply marked the location, used a small pilot drill then a larger drill to ream the hole(s) to the proper diameter, no fraying. I then added epoxy to seal the kevlar, waited for it to dry, then attached the Ops-Core NOD mount.

Crip
Hey guys, sorry to raise this post from the dead, but I have a quick clarification question. Surgicalcric, what kind of epoxy did you use? Are there different types, and is there a specific type you have to use with kevlar, or can I just go find a pack of generic epoxy at Home Depot?
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Old 03-30-2012, 14:39   #10
DJ Urbanovsky
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Any epoxy will do. All you're looking to do is seal the "grain" as it were.

As has been mentioned, use a sharp bit, and start small and step drill up. And go slow so you don't build up heat. A dull bit can grab, will generate more heat, and can also cause de-lamination and fluff. And if you can, you want something solid backing the spots you're going to be drilling. May be kinda tricky with the interior shape of a helmet, but a hunk of 2x4 should do the trick.

And wear at least a paper particulate mask. If you're smelling it, you're breathing it, and that is not good.
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Old 04-09-2012, 12:01   #11
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I've drilled them a few times. Best way to reduce fraying I've found is to put a piece of duct tape on the front and back, then use a ceramic/masonary bit to drill through. Polyurethane varnish works good to seal the hole,

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