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Don Straus

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Don Straus last won the day on October 21 2018

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About Don Straus

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  • Birthday June 22

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    Ontario, Canada

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  1. The MAIN challenge with titanium is not titanium. It is the welding of the titanium. Ti needs to be welded in an inert environment, or the weld site needs to be flooded with the inert gas. It is oxygen and other contaminants that destroy the weld, and subsequently the parent material. A contaminated ti weld makes things brittle. Very brittle. Even prior to the actual welding process, you should have a dedicated set of tools (cutters, files, grinders, etc) to keep the contamination down. One problem comes when you try to build approved cages with ti. More bars, more joints, more overlap, more chances for contamination. More contamination, More breakage. Depending on the grade of titanium, it is more resilient than some carbon or stainless. Titanium is a wonderful material. It just needs to be treated with some knowledge and respect. FWIW, I never had any issues with ti cages, and only built pro/cat eye from it.
  2. Ah, a truly worthwhile thread topic! lol Our 8 year old English Bull Terrier, Memphis.
  3. The D30 is some cool stuff. The pieces they showed look like they are from protective gear (elbow, shoulder, knee, hip pads) for use on motorcycles. It has been in the suits I've worn for several years now.
  4. Thank you for - again - trying to push the topic of head safety to the forefront. I am really hopeful that the NHL goes ahead with their testing, and implements a PROPER testing method. Something other than just the antiquated 'drop test' that measures the foam compression. 20+ years ago our local university developed a headform with built in sensors that could measure the force transmitted through the mask, to the headform/user. It was amazing, at the time, to see the wide range of numbers created with the controlled test. With the advancements made in the field of diagnosing/reading head trauma, the blending of the cause/effect knowledge would go along way to establish a baseline for true safety (what the mask was hoped to do) rather than just a venue to build dangerous, ineffective costumes. It's been over 10 years that I've stepped away from the manufacturing, and it's still surprising how few have made even the slightest effort to raise the bar. The 'Cheevers' comment is not that far off. There is way more to it than just foam thickness. It - as with all design projects - needs to be a concert of all the bits and pieces. Not just the liner. Not just the shell. Once the new standard (hopefully NHL, CSA, HESS, ETC) is established, designers will work with their bag of tricks and build legit parts that comply. Whatever creative path they choose to get there. This is something that was desperately needed decades ago. Price is a concern, but to have the efforts go into something as important as protecting your brain, it might be money better spent. It's about time protective headgear manufacturers put as much effort and fresh thought into their gear as the leg pad and glove industry have. I always found it puzzling why so many would not skip a beat to go and buy the newest $1000+ set of pads each year, and bemoan having to pay dollar one for their mask, and expect it to last for eternity. The protective body gear is nice, but I'd choose to staple phone books to my legs, and have my brain properly protected. I'd rather limp than drool. YMMV.
  5. Never grow up. Just play with nicer toys! How could you not smile everyday going to work, if that was your office?!
  6. The concept of 'pre-pregnated' or 'pre-preg' refers to the way the resin is infused into the cloth (fibreglass, carbon fibre, aramid, etc). Rather than a conventional 'wet layup' - when the resin is mixed with it's catalyst in a separate vessel, then poured and squeegeed onto the cloth, then placed into the mould, the pre-preg has it's resin and catalyst (hardener) impregnated into the cloth, after being properly measured for the weight of the fabric it is being impregnated into. The measuring of the correct cloth/resin ratio is to prevent dry spots (too little resin) or extra pooling of excess resin, that adds weight, and offers no extra strength benefits. The coated fabric is then frozen, because the catalyst causes the resin to react/harden with heat. The pre-preg needs to be kept frozen, until it is time to be cut into (presumably) patterns and laid into the tool/mould. When the pre-preg is loaded into the tool the fabric and tool needs to be wrapped/sealed in plastic and connected to a strong vacuum source, to suck out all the extra air, and compress the layers as close together as possible. The other option is to have a two sided (male/female) tool, and then have the two halves of the mould squeezed together - eliminating the air, and aiding the compression. To properly cure/harden the impregnated resins, the tool (of either format) needs to be heated. In theory, the pre-preg method should make more efficient use of the materials (fabric and resin) and result in a stronger, lighter structure.
  7. Thanks @Lucky Pucker. I'm sure this is just going to be the tip of the iceberg!
  8. Right here! lol A topic that is long overdue for a solution. I really wish that the mask industry put as much thought and effort into updating their wares as the pad/body armor folks have. The mask hasn’t changed much at all in over 30 years. It wasn’t up to the task then, and still isn’t. It isn’t about adding a ‘pinch of this’ and a ‘splash of that’ to the shell. There is way more to it than that. It’s the entire concept of the mask that needs rethinking. Just not sure everyone will be willing to step away from what their childhood vision of a goalie should be. The ‘sensor in a headform’ thing was done in the 90s and created some great data. Not sure why it wasn’t implemented into the testing/certification process. It is no secret what hazards have always been present for goaltenders. Doesn’t matter if the new stick technology helps propel a puck to 110mph as opposed to 80mph decades ago. Goalies and their masks have always been behind the curve since day one. It’s a real life game of ‘rock/paper/scissors’ with life altering consequences. This is certainly not a poke against all of the manufacturers. I have seen and admired that craftsmanship and care some have put into their work. Some gorgeous, well crafted products built by skilled hands. It’s time for a better mousetrap.
  9. Hahaha! Yes, I was happy to be in the game when I was - a time that was populated with boutique builders and freedom. I didn't plan it that way - just happened to be in that spot, at that time. IfI had a choice, I think that 15-20 years earlier (full face mask era) would have been a great time for a maker. Individuality and creativity were applauded. Now, the 'cookie cutter' seems to rule all. All industries seems to take the same/similar paths. I was fortunate to be a part of it when it was more 'innovation' and less 'corporate'.
  10. Everyone has their own reason for building/selling their wares. Some markets require a certification of sorts. Others do not. I've heard that cert costs have grown considerably over the years! An ongoing assessment of the mission and budget would help with the decision to participate with certification. A decision I am happy I no longer need to make.
  11. Ugh. Another hot topic that pits people's opinions against facts and rules. It's been almost 30 years since I was first to successfully pass through the gauntlet that is CSA. There has been - and probably always will be - someone who thinks he/she has, or knows someone who has a 'better mask' than the certified versions available. Some might be, some might not. Nobody does. All the comments will be 100% opinion. o·pin·ion əˈpinyən/ noun a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge. I'm not about to get into the merits of one brand vs another, but the downsides of using a non-approved mask are plenty. Everyone has heard all of them. Your mileage WILL vary. That's why there are governing bodies in place. To play in the game - skater or manufacturer - you need to perform. If any of them have an opinion that their 'stuff' is up to the challenge, and they really want to join the party, they need to belly up to the bar, hit the required notes, pass the tests (adequate or not), have your insurance/liability requirements covered, it then changes from 'opinion' to 'fact'.
  12. I can only assume it has changed a heck of a lot in the last 25-30 years, even in the past 15 years since my departure. Back in the early 90s, when the mask art craze was kicking into gear, the Pinnacle trading card folks saw a value in the art, and knew right from the start, that they had to recognize and compensate the artists for their work, for a 6 card chase set, for that year's card collection. That relationship went on very well, for a number of years. There were a couple of sizes of miniature, anatomically correct masks that they, and EA Sports were involved with, that also required the artists' participation, and we were compensated for that as well. There were those types of deals that continued throughout most of the 90s (EA Sports '94, McDonalds, etc) and everyone was well respected, appreciated the cooperation, and seemed happy. Then, along came one trading card company decided to be a little greasy, and put out a mask chase set of their own, without the cooperation, nor the compensation. It got pretty ugly, ended up in the courts, was settled to our satisfaction, and that's when shit hit the fan. Remember when getting ahold of a game used mask or jersey was something special - well, even more special than it is today? It was (coincidently?) around that time, that someone further up the food chain (seeing the opportunity to harvest a few $$) tried to grab ahold of this area and put holograms on everything, calling it an 'official collectable'. It was around that time also, that I stepped away from hockey, and lost touch with the process. I've only heard rumours about the chain of custody now. Who is allowed to paint? What is allowed to be painted? Who has/had/signed away the copyright? I'm not sure. One thing I am sure of, is if there's even a whiff of $$, it'll cause a feeding frenzy, usually with those who had nothing to do with the process/design/finished product, being the first ones with their face in the trough.
  13. Thanks for that. A great example of 'inspired by' vs 'copying'.
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