The general idea is to hold the wave washer (it’s mashed under the flat washer, honest) above those bumps on the plate holding the mirror and stalk balls. It’s a few millimeters from the end of a ¼ inch brass rod, drilled for the M3 screw, and reduced to 4.5 mm with a parting tool to clear the bumps.
While I was at it, I made two spare mirrors, just to have ’em around:
Scaling it down for a 10 mm polypropylene ball around the base of the 30 mm inspection mirror’s shaft simplified everything:
I’m reasonably sure I couldn’t have bought 100 polypro balls for eight bucks a decade ago, but we’ll never know. Drilling the hole was a complete botch job, about which more later. The shaft came from a spare mirror mount I made up a while ago; a new shaft appears below.
The solid model, like Gaul, is in three parts divided:
The helmet plate (on the right) has a slight indent more-or-less matching the helmet curvature and gets a layer of good double-stick foam tape. The clamp base (on the left) has a pair of brass inserts epoxied into matching recesses below the M3 clearance holes:
A layer of epoxy then sticks the helmet plate in place, with the inserts providing positive alignment:
The clamp screws pull the inserts against the plastic in the clamp base, so they can’t pull out or through, and the plates give the epoxy enough bonding surface that (I’m pretty sure) they won’t ever come apart.
I turned down a 2 mm brass insert to fit inside the butt end of the mirror shaft and topped it off with a random screw harvested from a dead hard drive:
At the start, it wasn’t obvious the shaft would stay stuck in the ball, so I figured making it impossible to pull out would eliminate the need to find it by the side of the road. As things turned out, the clamp exerts enough force to ensure the shaft ain’t goin’ nowhere, so I’ll plug future shafts with epoxy.
The front side of the clamp looks downright sleek:
Well, how about “chunky”?
The weird gray-black highlights are optical effects from clear / natural PETG, rather than embedded grunge; it looks better in person. I should have used retina-burn orange or stylin’ black.
This mount is much smaller than the old one and should, in the event of a crash, not cause much injury. Based on how the running light clamp fractures, I expect the clamp will simply tear out of the base on impact. In the last decade, neither of us has crashed, so I don’t know what the old mount would do.
The clamp is 7 mm thick (front-to-back), set by the M3 washer diameter, with 1.5 mm of ball sticking out on each side. The model has a kerf one thread high (0.25 mm) between the pieces to add clamping force and, with the screws tightened down, moving the ball requires a disturbingly large effort. I added a touch of rosin and that ball straight-up won’t move, which probably means the shaft will bend upon droppage; I have several spare mirrors in stock.
On the other paw, the ball turns smoothly in the clamp and it’s easy to position the shaft as needed: much better than the old Az-El mount!
The inspection mirror hangs from a double ball joint which arrives with a crappy screw + nut. I epoxied the old mirror mount nut in place, but this time around I drilled the plates for a 3 mm stainless SHCS, used a wave washer for a bit of flexible force, and topped it off with a nyloc nut:
I’m unhappy with how it looks and don’t like how the washer hangs in free space between those bumps, so I may eventually turn little brass fittings to even things out. It’s either that or more epoxy.
So far, though, it’s working pretty well and both units meet customer requirements.
I can’t be sure that’s what happened, because the mount actually failed several miles later, after I hit one of the potholes along Raymond Avenue. Fortunately, I saw it swinging away from the fairing, hanging by its last few threads, and managed to grab it before it vanished.