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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Stahlhelm preservation


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After many, many years I have finally added a Stahlhelm to my collection - given many other interests I have never been able to justify the prices of examples I have seen. However I just added this semi-relic shell.

I have been reading the various threads on restoration and colours etc with interest but I think I want to preserve this as it is rather than make any dramatic changes. I might attempt a restoration in the future if I can't find a complete example within the budget. To this end I would be interested in what experts think of this example and what if anything I should do to arrest any rust etc. (wipe over with wd40 or 3 in 1 etc?)

There are two small holes which appear to have been deliberately made on each side but otherwise it looks reasonably sound.

Any observations/suggestions gratefully accepted.








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I have one in a very similar condition and will be leaving it as is, I used petroleum jelly (rubbed entire shell) to inhibit any further rusting, it just darkens the colors a bit. The two small holes were probably made to hang the shell up side down for use as flower pot???  have seen similar ones used that way




Bob R.

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I would just give it a wipe over with oil and keep it somewhere dry if you’re not going to remove the rust. It shouldn’t deteriorate any further.


I wouldn’t remove the rust altogether unless you’re going to do a full restoration as the metal will be a dull grey colour, not shiny metal.

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Chris 4-G-  W-D 40 evaporates in time; I use regular automatic trans fluid, as it acts a penetrant and rust retardant.  Or if you wait till you are home alone for several hours you can put it in the oven at about 225 degrees, till you think it warmed up.  Then you remove and quickly rub it all over with bees wax.  The wax melts into the metal and leaves a non oily and pleasing finish.  I have done many CW projectiles (inert) this way, and the finished product makes a nice display item.  Next time I come to the prairie I can bring some wax along- you will have to supply the welding gloves.


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