DIY Frames for Precut lenses


The long story: Denise Skidmore, Part II, minus over minus plan begins

Short version:
I need differential glasses for the weekends when my eyes are taking a break from contacts, but -14D lenses need to have a customized pupil height as well as a customized pupil distance. So far I’ve not been able to find a vendor that can make custom PH and doesn’t need a prescription.

I looked into buying and cutting my own lenses for frames, and that is a very expensive and difficult process. But I have perfectly good lenses, I have these, they just need to move up a half a centimetre.

Welding plastic is messy and will look pretty terrible.

Could make custom frames for the lenses?

The non-hinged design is fine by me, folding is rarely a functional requirement, it’s a storage requirement.

My lenses are crazy thick, I may as well own it and have a nice chunk of oak covering the whole lens edge? (carving process, not the lamination process) Or will the weight be too much to carry off the look?


Are you familiar with Sugru? Might be an easy way to make a nose pad that moves those up a little. Could work while you find a better solution.

I considered that, but it’s going to look pretty ugly. Even if I was artistic enough with it, the nose bridge and inside edges of the frame would be about five times as thick as the rest of the frame…

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The carving process I think makes a nicer looking frame for thick lenses, but the lamination process looks a lot easier to get thick lenses in without breaking the frame.

Laminations will be stronger.

I still like metal for construction. Metal frames are soldered or brazed, not welded from what I’ve seen. I’ve considered buying these and trying cutting lenses. They are hand made.

I do have a soldering iron, but I’m not particularly skilled with it.

@Kevin.L, any objection to this topic going in the public category? (I’m starting with the easy ones with few respondents.)

Not quite ready to do this yet, but looking over materials:

My glasses are only 5" across, so I could get 6 layers out of one of these sheets? And there’s 20 sheets in a pack? If 6 layers isn’t thick enough, then I could put a different wood sandwiched inside. Decorative veneer is pretty thin, the video examples made their laminate on the bandsaw. Might end up having ear pieces a different wood from the front, but that’s not a bad thing, there’s a nice example of that in the videos above.

Skateboard wood is thicker, but maybe too thick, and doesn’t look great:

The walnut 8x8 sheets look tempting as well, would make (3) 8 layer thick 2"x8" pieces, with a sheet to spare

Thinner veneers mean more glue and more expense, but they’re a lot easier for a beginner to bend.

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No problems from me.

Are you thinking wood glue or epoxy or something different?

Epoxy is more forgiving in some ways, but I’m more familiar with wood glue and have quite a bit of it about.

Both can be more than strong enough. I have more faith in epoxy overall though. It adds strength that would likely help in holding hardware. Could be irrelevant based on the design.

The unhinged design looks simplest to start with.

What about 3D printing? I don’t have any experience with it myself, only saw that the prices have come down dramatically.


Definitely an option, but modeling the existing lens and all those curves would be complex. Probably need to start with a 3d scan of the frames?

I agree it would be difficult with existing lenses, and can only really imagine it being realistic with circular lenses. (Edit: If you want to use your existing lenses or some other shape there are pretty inexpensive scanning services available.) The main advantage I see is that once you have a 3D model you like you could easily produce more custom frames as you reduce diopters.

3D printing may also allow me to embed the lens during the printing process if I have my own printer.