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Hot Rods Welding Helmet Vision

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by flatford39, Aug 28, 2019.

  1. flatford39
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 2,283


    Took me a little while to even consider posting this here because it's pretty embarrassing.

    Finally came to grips with it and thought maybe I could help someone from my own stupidity that may be going through the same thing.

    Well here goes...I bought a new welding helmet about a year ago and haven't done a lot of welding with it as life got in the way and I wasn't in the shop very often. When I was and I used it I was having a problem with visability. Just couldn't see the puddle and push it along. I am 69 years young and made an appointment with my optometrist to check my eyes out. All OK there but I do where bifocals and thought maybe the hood was stopping me from looking thru the lower lenses. I did a bunch of testing my vision thru both lenses and determined that I wasn't wearing the hood correctly. I also bought a cheap LED HF battery powered head lamp an fastened to the hood. That helped a lot and I recommend everyone do this. The more light the better.

    Well this evening I was still playing around with it and my HF head lamp fell off. I had a piece of metal super glued to the helmet that the magnet in the head lamp stuck too. So I re-glued it back on and some glue ran down the face of the lens screen. I remembered that I I got a bunch of lens screens with the helmet and changed out the exterior one. I also noticed in the pack there were a few smaller ones that were for the inside of the helmet. They were covered in a green protective film that I removed.

    When I took out the inside lens protector on the inside I noticed I never removed the green plastic film protector from the inside lens protector.

    I removed it put it back together and I can see like an eagle through this thing and can't wait to weld this weekend.

    I am pretty embarrassed about this like I said but maybe it will help another guy who is having a senior moment.

    Sometime it is just the simple things that obstruct you.
    ferus88, milwscruffy, slack and 20 others like this.
  2. tb33anda3rd
    Joined: Oct 8, 2010
    Posts: 14,990

    1. Connecticut HAMB'ers

    good that you solved it. start welding!
  3. Flathead Dave
    Joined: Mar 21, 2014
    Posts: 2,207

    Flathead Dave
    from So. Cal.

    Not laughing at you but laughing with you.

    This is a good story for your drinking buddies.

    Sent from my SM-G930T using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    Just Gary, mgtstumpy and carothersbs like this.
  4. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 3,225

    from Berry, AL

    Don’t feel bad, I did almost the same thing. Forgot to pull the outside cover off, first time I used it everything was cloudy. Looked and seen the cover still on, somehow missed seeing it with these damn bifocals. Can’t see without them, sometimes can’t see with them!
    flatford39 likes this.
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  5. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 43,177


    Back when you could see, you never made mistakes like that, did you?
  6. Oldioron
    Joined: Dec 12, 2018
    Posts: 841


    I have Trifocals and use a auto darkening helmet with larger window, for me it's the only way!
    Joined: Oct 16, 2018
    Posts: 82


    I could see that happening. Good you can share and laugh.
    I want to share here a bit. My eyes were great till about 40. A little over 50 now, and new fresh lenses can make all the difference.
    I wanted to comment on the helmet I bought about a year ago. It is an eastwood brand large screen auto darkening helmet.I absolutely love the field of view being large. The one thing I learned is this... I could put magnifying lenses in the small screen helmets I’ve had in the past, and they worked fine. The large screen eastwood lends itself better to just wearing cheap cheater glasses underneath the helmet. Seeing makes all the difference!
    flatford39 likes this.
  8. flatford39
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 2,283


    Never...because I could see what I was doing!!! The old adage is "It's a bitch getting old"

    Thanks for reading the thread.
  9. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 12,034

    from oregon

    I'm really happy for you!:mad:
    I'll be 65 next month and haven't seen for s#/t for a number of years, if my welding would be judged against Stevie Wonder........I'd lose.
    One eye has progressively wandered to the outside so I really don't focus with it.
    Like you, my glasses have bifocals, I've tried welding with and without them, I've tried lighter shade lenses, more light, less beer, you name it.
    I even thought my self darkening street glasses were adding to the shade number so juggled the lense values, nothing has worked.
    I've even thought of selling ol Miller.
  10. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 3,055

    from Oregon

    The best part is we have an extra to in our box " those senior moments" to blame and they get used up .:)
  11. LM14
    Joined: Dec 18, 2009
    Posts: 1,679

    from Iowa

    Sounds familiar. I bought a new auto darken Miller helmet a couple years ago because I couldn't see when welding. Decided to try a 2x magnifier lens, too. Will never weld without the magnifier lens again, made a massive difference. Don't have to worry about getting the bifocals lined up anymore!
  12. Los_Control
    Joined: Oct 7, 2016
    Posts: 588

    from TX

    Makes me wonder, I bought a helmet new from a guy for $20. He never actually used it, came with some other equipment he bought ... he had a good helmet already.

    I did have to remove the film on the outside and also install new batteries ... I never could see out of that helmet good.
    I ended up buying another helmet from forney, pretty happy with it .... makes me wonder if that old helmet has some film on it also.
  13. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 4,300


    I am 77 and have had cataracts removed with the result that I am slightly far-sighted. I tried welding with a Hobart self-darkening helmet with a plain lens while wearing my glasses. I was having a lot of trouble seeing. I talked to a friend of mine who was a union pipe-fitter for 50 years, and he told me to get the proper magnifying lens and to not wear my glasses when welding. It was some of the best advice I ever had. He also told me to change the cover lens more frequently than I had, as it accumulated a bit of spatter and got obscured. I have also added on of those high-intensity light onto my helmet and find that helps a lot as well.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2019
    williebill likes this.
  14. williebill
    Joined: Mar 1, 2004
    Posts: 2,374


    I've posted this on other welding visibility threads, but I'm going to repeat it here.
    Whenever possible, and I mean whenever, weld outside.
    It can be almost dark out, and I can still see better welding on my outside workbench, than with any kind of lights inside. I was astonished at the difference.
    I had cataract surgery in my 30s ( ! ), probably needed cause of a misfiring trigger on my old MIG machine, and getting flashed over and over in the garage.
    Plastic lenses in my eyes, a little known thing called Cogans Dystropy in my eyes, and seeing can get weird at times, but welding outside fixes all that.
    Try it, you'll like it.
    raven likes this.
  15. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 25,373


    Well do we need to do a count of how many of us older guys went out in the garage and checked our helmets to see if there was one of those covers on the protective shield inside or out?
    I weld outside because I don't have room inside my tiny garage plus that 80 something year old mess would burn to the ground in three minutes if a spark ever lit the wood on fire. I agree that the sunlight helps a lot unless it is right at your back and causing a glare inside the helmet.
    Flathead Dave and Just Gary like this.
  16. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 3,055

    from Oregon

    Never had one of those auto helmets.
  17. seb fontana
    Joined: Sep 1, 2005
    Posts: 5,852

    seb fontana
    from ct

    A fellow at work came and got me to look at the Tig 300A miller, couldn't seem to get much amp out of it..I put on my helmet and found it to be fine..Some one had put purple plastic shim stock in with the lenz in his helmet turning it into around a #30!!
  18. Fortunateson
    Joined: Apr 30, 2012
    Posts: 2,300


    Now that you brought this up I think I should check my helmet, you may not be alone.
    partssaloon and Just Gary like this.
  19. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 12,034

    from oregon

    I believe we have formed a support group.
    Maybe I'll be able to weld again!
    warbird1, Texas Webb and Just Gary like this.
    Joined: Jan 2, 2003
    Posts: 3,658

    1. HAMB Old Farts' Club

    Damn, you are not the only one!!:rolleyes:o_O
    Just Gary likes this.
  21. I'm only 57, but swear by my auto-darkening helmet, "cheater" reading glasses, and a few squirts of windex on each before welding. :)

    And even with that, my welds might equal "Hellen Keller welding with her feet" level.:eek::rolleyes:
  22. DIYGUY
    Joined: Sep 8, 2015
    Posts: 657

    from West, TX

    That happnened to me as well only with a cheap HF clear face shield. Took it to work and was showing the guys this sorry pos that was'nt worth the 2 bucks I paid for it. As I was waiving it around, fussing, I noticed a curled piece of plastic film on the INSIDE that I had not removed. Who knew they put the film on both sides? I just shut up and walked away.
  23. Frankie47
    Joined: Dec 20, 2008
    Posts: 1,695

    from omaha ne.

    I think you were very brave and helpful to others for sharing your oops moment, it's not very often one has the courage to share their mistakes with others.
    Thank you.
    Dick Stevens and Atwater Mike like this.
  24. egads
    Joined: Aug 23, 2011
    Posts: 492


    Believe it or not, these work pretty good:[​IMG]
    David Gersic and Flathead Dave like this.
  25. Blues4U
    Joined: Oct 1, 2015
    Posts: 3,702

    from So Cal

    I've never used an auto-darkening helmet, and have always feared that the process can't possibly be fast enough to prevent getting flashed every time you strike an arc. Is my fear unfounded? Common sense tells me that you all wouldn't be using them if you were getting flashed, but my fear remains anyway. How fast is the speed of light? And the lens can detect it and darken before the light gets through? Seem impossible.
    Atwater Mike likes this.
  26. 1ton
    Joined: Dec 3, 2010
    Posts: 299


    I was using an auto helmet once and got serious flash burn in my eyes. Felt like sand in my eyes. I was doing some welding out of position and was crouching down just enough to see the weld but with the sensor being above the lens it did not see the arc. Therefore, the lens did not darken. I do like the auto darkeners but, out of old habit, I still have the hood up while I position myself then nod the hood down just before striking an arc.
  27. earlymopar
    Joined: Feb 26, 2007
    Posts: 1,013


    I also don't mess with the auto darkening helmets because I don't want to take the risk, even if it's very minor accumulation over many years. With glaucoma and a history of torn and detached retinas and related surgeries for both, it's not worth adding more eye related problems to my life. Besides, I need all of the welding quality excuses I can get!

    - EM
  28. rooman
    Joined: Sep 20, 2006
    Posts: 3,665


    With an auto darkening helmet it pays to get one with as many sensors as possible. My Arc-One helmet has four and it is pretty much impossible to have them all blanked from the arc source, even in some of the strange contorted situations I get into at times.

  29. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 9,690

    Atwater Mike

    This very 'cautionary fear' caused me to avoid the auto-darken also, and everyone I mentioned it to acted like I was avoiding stepping on sidewalk cracks!
    This was a dark subject for me, but I finally gave in and bought a 'good one' (Hobart)
    Can't say too much, as life and its relatives have precluded much welding since then.
    Pre-fabrication, such as layout, frame bracket mfg., and engine and tranny building have kept me out of the welding part, but as the weather is cooling off, I'll be welding soon.
  30. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 9,690

    Atwater Mike

    I recall reading somewhere that the LED can be mounted on the lower edge of the helmet, (next to chin) for greatest visibility.
    Anyone else have input on this? (mount it low, one side of front, ...Like the One Fog Lamp thing...)

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