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Seeing the puddle - Welding

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by blowby, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. BarryA: Same here, I found when i'm welding either outside or under bright lights,the light coming from behind the hood fouls me up.. I took part of a leather welding apron , added some snaps and it snaps on my hood and seals off the light... this helped me tremendously...Plus ,I use a magnifier lens..and damn near get my nose in the puddle..
    Another benefit of being 71 yrs old....!!!
  2. FenixSpeedShop
    Joined: Mar 19, 2013
    Posts: 202


    I just use a cheap (or sometimes free) small led flashlight taped to the torch on my mig. Its hokey but it works in a pinch. Tried it on a hunch and it worked. Eastwood sells a clip-on one for $30 bucks. Yes, its nicer, but too nice. LOL

    Attached Files:

  3. c-10 simplex
    Joined: Aug 24, 2009
    Posts: 1,330

    c-10 simplex

    i've only used the Miller elite auto-darkener so i don't have anything else to compare it to. i'm just a hobby welder so i figured auto-darkening is ok; If i was welding professionally/all day then i think i would go back to a conventional helmet because that split-second of light could add up fast over 8 hours every day.

    i can't say for positive, but i'm a little queasy on anything horror freight. And vision is just to precious to take chances with. But maybe listen to what Jody has to say on the subject of inexpensive helmets:

    i would still rather not take any chances; i figure if you can't afford the equipment, then you can't afford to weld. Vision is just too important to take chances with.

    2) i've found that light CAN help with seeing things; If you are right-handed (hold the torch in the right hand) then putting a light on the left can help. The thing with an auto-darkening helmet is that when you are using a bright helper light, the auto-darkening helmet tends to be very sensitive to it, darkening often with the slightest movement of your head. i think this could be remedied with a footswitch for the light though i've never tried it.
  4. Try turning the shade from 13 to 11 or 10 to 9 .
    Some uv rated safety glasses will protect your eyes from damage .

    So we have a weld gun in your right hand - a light in your left - a switch under your foot ??? Sounds like a monkey fucking a football . Try that on the job some day and let me know how that works for you
  5. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 7,067

    from Nicasio Ca

    Switch the light for rod and the gun for a torch and you're tig welding. :)
  6. joel
    Joined: Oct 10, 2009
    Posts: 1,777


    A good hood with at least 4 sensors, prescription glasses, magnifying lens in the hood and a Steck mig torch light. truely the greatest thing since sliced bread. You can see the seameasily with the Steck. $30+.
  7. Tony Ray
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 947

    Tony Ray

    work paid for me to go to the local vocation school for night course in welding so I could eventually get certified.. the teacher recommended a lincoln viking auto darkening..cost me about 180 bucks and has the 4 sensors(was more if ya wanted fancy colors or stickers)..Im happy with the helmet but definitely find when sticking welding in those dark booths at the schools its harder to see,where as at work in the open shop or outside its easier to see and my welds look alot nicer. I might just need to play with the settings or something, but the way I figured, im not going to be in a tiny dark booth at work or at home when I need to weld something Ill have plenty of lightning. So the helmet was well worth the 180 to me..
  8. Mark Hinds
    Joined: Feb 20, 2009
    Posts: 589

    Mark Hinds
    from pomona ca

    Have you checked your outter clear lens?? If too much spatter on that lens will make it had to see where you are welding. I once met a fellow that couldn't weld for shit, I put his helmet on to see if his machine was screwed up. I couldn't see anything throught the clear lens. Put a new one in it and that fellow could not believe the differance. He now is a pretty good welder....
  9. chevman74
    Joined: Jun 16, 2012
    Posts: 7

    from Grahamvale

    You could also try a hiking LED head torch, if I'm using the tig under a vehicle I race tape it to the top edge. The light stays out of your helmet and you can adjust the direction of the light to suit your needs.
  10. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 7,067

    from Nicasio Ca

    bump. I have my tig machine set up in a semi-enclosed area outside the garage. It's about 15x15, three sided with an opaque fiberglass room. It's light there, like a patio on a sunny day. Figuring it might be too bright, today I hastily hung a tarp around the welding area and I can see the puddle better now, I think. So I'm going to set up a tarp system I can hang up so it's fairly dark and see (pun intended) what happens. Anyone agree?
  11. Light on your back and into the back side of your hood certainly does make it harder to see what you are welding. You Could just cover the back of your head and hood to accomplish the same thing. Guys who weld back to back do this often for the same reasons
  12. models916
    Joined: Apr 19, 2012
    Posts: 380


    I wear reading glasses-1.25 magnifiers. It really helps and I don't normally wear glasses.
  13. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 7,067

    from Nicasio Ca

    Gee, that sounds too easy. Thanks, I'll give it a try.

    Or I could just do my welding at night.

    Already wear glasses.
  14. It is that easy !
    Night welding poses its own issues. You want some ambient lighting, just not into the backside of your hood
  15. BashingTin
    Joined: Feb 15, 2010
    Posts: 270


    As I get older, I too am having this problem. This might sound a little crazy, but I have found harvesting the light generated from the welding process helpful. If I'm working on the welding table, I place two small mirrors mounted to magnetic bases on either side of the work piece. I face each mirror directly toward what I'm welding. The reflection of the weld arc back to the work piece is so intense, I can see everything super clearly. Be careful though, the first time I tried this, I had no gloves on and UV burned the backs of my hands!
  16. JackdaRabbit
    Joined: Jul 15, 2008
    Posts: 498

    from WNC

    Convinced that my auto darkening helmet was micro-flashing me before it took effect I bought one of these Hands free chin operated jobs.
    It had to be adjusted correctly first, then took a little getting on to, but I love it.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2013
  17. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 7,067

    from Nicasio Ca

    Ok, I have a bag over my head, the mirror off the medicine cabinet focused on the work, 2.00 reading glasses and I'm seeing the puddle pretty good. Ran a decent bead or two but it's end of day, my eyes are tired and hands shaky. I got tacked up what I needed for a test fit, persevere tomorrow. Thanks again guys.
  18. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,793


    About 3 weeks ago, the welds I was doing in welding class, started looking like crap. Crooked beads, inconsistent beads and no penetration in my groove welds. I couldn't figure out what the problem was.

    Then one day, I just happened to take a look at my helmet glass. It was a MESS! The reason my welds were bad, was because I couldn't see. Same with my safety glasses, that I wear under my shield. Scratched all to hell or just enough to be a problem. Changing the lens and safety glasses got me back to winning form.

    My problem wasn't the OP's issue, but it does apply. Check your gear and maintain it.

    Oh, I made the Deans list.
  19. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 7,067

    from Nicasio Ca

    I took a gas and arc night class a few years ago. Using the same helmet I have now I could see much better at the school shop. Regular individual booths with curtain. Maybe it was just the gas and stick welding compared to the mig and tig I do at home.
  20. One place I worked, we had one guy that did the really oddball stuff, welding metals most of us have never heard of. (real heli-arc) He had a helmet that was a leather sock with a flip up lens holder in it that covered his whole head and draped over his shoulders It had a ventilation system, complete with refrigeration unit built into a suitcase, that went with it. We always teased him about being special, but he claimed he could see so much better without any light coming in the back of the helmet.
  21. art.resi
    Joined: Oct 15, 2006
    Posts: 214


    Yes, you don't want light coming from behind you. Also with tig run the lens setting of a number 9 lens. I have a miller self dark hood but never use it. I like the nod my head hood I used at work. I use the hood magnifier. I also wear bifocals so i see the puddle fine. Going to get my cataracts checked tomorrow If I get surgery I won't need anything but drug store glasses. That's what happen as you get older.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2013
  22. I like a lot of light, but none in the back of my helmet. I always change to a close focus prescription set of glasses when welding. I found a better quality, large opening auto darkening lens helped too. It is harder to weld with older eyes than it was with younger ones, but give them every advantage you can, and just do the best you can.

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