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The Joeveo COVID Mask Nose Strip Project

We're giving away Joeveo-made (made in the USA) aluminum COVID-mask nose strips (aka nose bridge wire, nose wire, nose clips) for the price of shipping.

Please read: these flat aluminum strips are made by hand, by volunteers, in Wake Forest, NC, and we currently have a somewhat limited production capacity, so please order just what you need, and 200 or less at a time. This will help smooth out demand and let us provide timelier shipping. Feel free to re-order when you're out though, and please do get in touch if you want to order for a group.

Also: they're offered by the piece, so if you want 50, you have to adjust the "Quantity" in the shopping cart to 50.

Volunteer: if you'd like to help us make the strips (and who wouldn't?), you can sign up here. This volunteer opportunity could easily lead to a fabulous and lucrative career in nose strip manufacturing!

Our nose strips are made from 100% free-range aluminum electric cables up-cycled from the local electric co-op's scrap (thank you Wake Electric Membership Co.!) See the information below for a glimpse into their production. 

Click the button below to order!

What they're good for

Depending on the topology of your face and the mask you're using, there's likely to be a gap where the bridge of your nose holds your mask up away from your cheek. If you feel air blowing on your eyes when you exhale, your mask is leaking, which is clearly not ideal.

big fat mask gap (without nose strip)

the big fat gap (nose gap, that is)

Our metal "nose strips" prevent this leakage by making your mask conform to the transition between your nose and your cheeks. They are made of pliable aluminum that can be bent to the proper shape, which they then retain.

How they're made

They start out in the scrap bin at one of our local electric co-op's. The large electric feeder cables are then stripped of insulation, and the individual strands are unraveled and then rolled flat. The flat strip is cut to length, then annealed to make them easy to form to the shape of one's nose.

There's also a video at the bottom of the page showing the whole process.

lots of nose strips in this bin. dean does the dumpster diving

 

cut the insulation off

 

unravel the strands

  

Renae is enjoying flattening the strips in the roller (also an upper-body workout)

 

 

Stratton cutting strips to length with the strip snipper

 

 

annealing (softening)

 

baked to perfection; ready to ship to you 

Adding strips to your DIY masks

Maskmakers' tricks for using our nose strips:

  • wrap them in a couple layers of pellon before sewing them into the mask, to provide a cushion around the nose, a better seal, and cover the corners of the strip. (Tip submitted by Ann G. Thanks!)
  • round the corners a little before use with sandpaper, an abrasive board or a fingernail clipper before use. 

Adding a strip to an existing mask

Nose Strip and Mask

ready for the operation

Make a cut in the upper hem of the mask about as long as the strip is wide with a scissors or cutter of some sort.
Nose Strip Incision
making the cut

Slide the strip into the hem and center it:
inserting the nose strip in the upper hem of the mask

Fitting

Put the mask to your face where it will be when tied in place, and form the strip over your nose to get the shape about right.
strip in place and formed
after first shaping

Then give the strip a little pinch yet so that it will hug closely the sides of your nose.
Final Strip Adjustment
give it a pinch

Try it on. When it's fitting right, you'll feel it against your nose and cheek, and you won't get the blast of air coming out when you exhale.
Mask in Place after Fitting
it fits!
We're new to nose strip manufacturing. Feel free to get in touch if you have suggestions for improvement! We're always at contact@joeveo.com (dean)

Mask-Making Resources

  • Here's a concise article by experts in The Conversation that covers in detail the fit and fabric selection aspects of making masks that perform well.
  • Suay has a page devoted to mask making which includes patterns, construction advice, and performance measurements on home-made masks made of different materials

How They're Made: the Film

Here's 40 seconds of how these strips are made in the Joeveo R&D Centre. Much like our mugs, there's a lot of creativity and craftsmanship involved.