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Thread: Which welding lens shade?

  1. #16

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    Its more expensive than what you will find at harbor freight or TSC but do yourself a big favor: pick up a 3m speedglass helmet, the most basic model (100). The upfront cost is offset by replaceable lens covers that are very inexpensive. The glass quality is great, when you aren't welding it is like wearing a shade 3, and you can adjust the darkening from shade 8-12 depending on your welding process. 100% of the parts are replaceable. A good helmet will make it MUCH easier to learn to weld.

    Cheap auto darkening helmets are not responsive enough, you get a flash that lasts just a few milliseconds, but over time it will damage your eyes.

    The ONLY time you should be wearing a shade 5 is if you are oxy-acetylene welding or brazing. Protect those good eyes!

  2. #17
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    Nov 2005
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    Here's the Speedglas that we carry.


  3. #18
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    Nov 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen111 View Post
    I tried Miller welding glasses and they worked great, I was able to observe the arc on the stick welder our contractors were using without any pain, or headaches. They are very comfortable and are easier to put on and take off than normal shade 5 goggles.
    first post on this site and linking a product? i'm happy to discuss welding gear and whatnot, just seems a little off.
    b marler

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
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    Quote Originally Posted by KCG View Post
    Oh no, I'm not giving up. I know I have to keep trying different things to get it done. I was just hoping someone here had the magic answer.
    I did take evening classes at a local community college. Probably only 20hrs or so. But on all types of welding. Seemed like a good instructor. I have the books. Maybe I should read them again.
    Here are a couple of tips that may help. Learn to use a variety of good external lighting as needed. I buy and mount high beam lights to my welding helmets. The lights I mount swivel 360 and rotate top to bottom (see pic). These are not true welding lights, I just adopt them to work. Allow your mig copper tip to sit flush or extend just beyond nozzle (may need to grind down your nozzle a little) to have a better sight on stinger, your shield gas will have you well covered if you turn you regulator up to about 32-35 psi. Invest in a good auto darkening helmet that has adjustable lens and with a time setting for auto spark. Lastly, practice. Learning to weld, regardless of process, is an art that needs to be practiced. The more you practice the better your all around understanding of what you are observing during a bead process will be.

    bmarler says it best
    "learning how to see the weld area is probably about the most important thing"
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  5. #20
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    Nov 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronf View Post
    Here are a couple of tips that may help. Learn to use a variety of good external lighting as needed. I buy and mount high beam lights to my welding helmets. The lights I mount swivel 360 and rotate top to bottom (see pic). These are not true welding lights, I just adopt them to work. Allow your mig copper tip to sit flush or extend just beyond nozzle (may need to grind down your nozzle a little) to have a better sight on stinger, your shield gas will have you well covered if you turn you regulator up to about 32-35 psi. Invest in a good auto darkening helmet that has adjustable lens and with a time setting for auto spark. Lastly, practice. Learning to weld, regardless of process, is an art that needs to be practiced. The more you practice the better your all around understanding of what you are observing during a bead process will be.

    bmarler says it best
    "learning how to see the weld area is probably about the most important thing"
    that's a cool light ron, where'd you find it? funny how much it helps to have extra light on something that's brilliantly lit when the arc is hot.
    b marler

  6. #21
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    Dec 2015
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmarler View Post
    that's a cool light ron, where'd you find it? funny how much it helps to have extra light on something that's brilliantly lit when the arc is hot.
    bmarler

    Hah, I have no idea where I found those lights. About 8-10 years ago I bought a 6 pack of those over the head web strap on high beam lights (I looked like a nerd deluxe) to do some wiring in my attic. A few months later I was welding on an exhaust system and couldn't get a decent light under the chassis so I cut the web strapping off one of the lights and mounted it to my welding helmet using a single large flange rivet. This allowed light fixture to swivel 360 and rotate up and down, been using it ever since with rechargeable batteries.

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Posts
    5

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    I have noticed that many times when an inexperienced welder is having trouble with an auto darkening hood not darkening consistantly that it's often due the hood/lens not being in close enough to the weld. This also is frequently the issue when an inexperienced welder is having trouble seeing the weld while welding. Try getting in there closer to the weld to see what's going on. Those cover lenses on the hood are consumables, and they will get splattered up and need replacing. I also run my contact tip sticking out of the nozzle about 1/8" to 3/16" as others have mentioned. I don't do it for visibility so much, but for better weld control. For the inexperienced this may also take some practice to avoid sticking the tip.

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    olympia,wa
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    i hate those auto darkening hoods. i have one, a nice one too, but i only use it if i need to do little pulse welds. i almost exclusively use an old school paper huntsman. it's super light and i never have to worry if it's going to arc flash me.
    i don't care how much you spend on one of the auto hoods, eventually it's going to misfire.
    b marler

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
    Posts
    164

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Niesen View Post
    Its more expensive than what you will find at harbor freight or TSC but do yourself a big favor: pick up a 3m speedglass helmet, the most basic model (100). The upfront cost is offset by replaceable lens covers that are very inexpensive. The glass quality is great, when you aren't welding it is like wearing a shade 3, and you can adjust the darkening from shade 8-12 depending on your welding process. 100% of the parts are replaceable. A good helmet will make it MUCH easier to learn to weld.

    Cheap auto darkening helmets are not responsive enough, you get a flash that lasts just a few milliseconds, but over time it will damage your eyes.

    The ONLY time you should be wearing a shade 5 is if you are oxy-acetylene welding or brazing. Protect those good eyes!
    I agree with Ben Niesen.

    A good welding helmet makes all the difference when it comes to viewing your work while welding. I too will always set-up portable spot lights in order to see better when welding if not in direct sunlight, but my helmet is an old cheapo auto darkening type.

    I have worked with metal fabricators on jobsites and tried out their expensive helmets. One was the Speedglas ($600+) and what a difference! You could see everything crystal clear. My buddy has a Lincoln 3350 (I think) and he paid $350+ for it that I used for a project and it worked fantastic! I could see my weld puddle perfectly, night & day difference between it and my helmet. Didnít need any additional lighting, could see my work clearly (even with poor lighting) and made it much easier to weld. I had fabricated some awning brackets and was welding in the evening by just a single porch light.

    That said, Iím investing in a newer and more expensive helmet. It does make a difference!!

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