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Hot Rods Welding Helmet Vision

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

  1. john worden
    Joined: Nov 14, 2007
    Posts: 1,598

    john worden
    from iowa

    FWIW My issue with welding has been with seeing and controlling the mig weld puddle with aging eyes.
    Using clean magnifying helmet lens and clean single vision eye glasses is a big help.
    For me the remaining problem was seeing the puddle due to the bright light of the arc.
    I mistakenly thought that a lighter lens would help when in fact it increased the brightness. No surprise there.
    The answer for me was to use a darker lens which toned down the brightness and allowed the puddle to become visible and controllable.
    btw I don't use self darkening lens.
  2. alanp561
    Joined: Oct 1, 2017
    Posts: 1,048


    It's gonna sound backward but I use a 9 outside in sunlight and a 10 or 11 inside. I've never had an auto darkening hood. I've been fortunate that my eyes haven't changed in the last 50 years. I read and work close up without glasses and only wear them for distance.
  3. Drewski
    Joined: Feb 22, 2008
    Posts: 269


    miglight.jpg I'm in my 70's now and have some of the same problems described by others in this thread. Even when my vision was better, I still had problems when laying on my back under a car trying to weld some bracket or exhaust in a very dark area of the under carriage. My redneck solution then was a cheap harbor freight light. I now use one on my helmet.
    coupe man, john worden and R A Wrench like this.
  4. greg32
    Joined: Jun 21, 2007
    Posts: 2,038

    from lemont,IL

    Great thread. I use an auto darkening helmet. BUT, there is a difference between a MIG rated one and a TIG rated one. Tig is much more sensitive to the arc. Low start up amps with a TIG was giving me flash with my MIG helmet. New TIG helmet has adjustable darkening sensitivity, and lens from 8 to 14. My shop has LED lighting, and it is impossible to avoid helmet glare from behind. So now I put a towel over the back of the helmet. AND, I will be checking lenses for plastic cover today !
    dirty old man and warbird1 like this.
  5. jazz1
    Joined: Apr 30, 2011
    Posts: 1,479


    Optometrists are usually familiar with the issue of folks having trouble with clarity when welding. Adding light is the ticket, as we get older more light required. There are many light solutions but had not seen the MIGLITE before.
  6. jaw22w
    Joined: Mar 2, 2013
    Posts: 1,017

    from Indiana

    I bought one of those MIG lights. I thought it was a waste of money. You can't get enough angle on the light to hit the end of the wire. It mounts too close to the gun. Might work OK with some modification. Just like any other part for your hot rod.
  7. 6sally6
    Joined: Feb 16, 2014
    Posts: 1,108


    When I was 'do'in-it-for-a-liv'in....we use to break-in the new kids by playing with them. For instance.......cover the inside of their welding lens with black tape EXCEPT a small little hole right in the center. Maybe as big as a pencil eraser. Drop the shield.....strike the arc..... can only see just a tiny bit of light. What the heck?! Try again and again before they realize we were all watching and smiling!:cool:
    warbird1 likes this.
  8. AmishMike
    Joined: Mar 27, 2014
    Posts: 448


    Years ago had new glasses, before welding put on floor behind me. When picked them up had many bits welding slag melted into lenses. Went for another new pair glasses & doc kind of smirked & said - u were welding. Lesson learned. Now must wear them to weld anyway.
  9. Chappy444
    Joined: Jan 27, 2012
    Posts: 1,087

    1. Maryland HAMBers

    I am guilty of a very similar thing...
    A friend was closing his hot rod/body shop and was liquidating his tools, and equipment.
    he made me a good deal on a Millermatic 135 with the cart, and everything on the cart...
    tank, magnets, spools of wire, brushes, lube, auto darkening miller helmet, etc.
    First few times I tried to use the helmet I couldn't hardly see anything. I didn't use it for awhile and then had to change batteries. As I was taking it apart I notice that the magnifier was installed over the window...…. good grief... glad I am not the only one that does stuff like this.....
  10. Cliff Ramsdell
    Joined: Dec 27, 2004
    Posts: 1,183

    Cliff Ramsdell

    Did the exact same thing. Couldn’t see crap out of my auto dark helmet, $20.00 swap meet unit.

    My son got me a really nice one, works great. One day looking over the other helmet I’m like , “Hey, what’s this??!?” Plastic protector on the inside and outside lenses.

    Pull the the plastic film off, clear as day. What a dolt..

    Cliff Ramsdell
  11. Ziggster
    Joined: Aug 27, 2018
    Posts: 579


    I've gone through three helmets and still can't see much when welding (MIG). First I had a cheap non auto darkening helmet with a small field of view (they they it in for free when I purchased my Hobart Handler. Then a cheap auto darkening one from Princess Auto (Harbor Freight, and then a Linde branded one. Most welding is done in the garage which is relatively dark, and anytime I add additional lightening, my helmet will auto darken if I look at the light which is most annoying. I need to figure this out soon.
  12. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 17,696

    from California

    one thing when thinking of welding helmet lights try the lights at the local bike shop. they have some crazy bright ones that are very small. like the size of my thumb. the bike light I bought 10 years ago needed a battery as big as a beer can to power it. now they are tiny and just as bright.

    add me to the list of people going home to check their lens for protective plastic. :)
  13. On vacation now but when I get home Wednesday will check my HF auto helmet. Can hardly see thru it.

    Sounds like you are suggesting I read the operating instructions that come with stuff?
  14. Pete1
    Joined: Aug 23, 2004
    Posts: 1,764

    from Wa.

    I have often wondered why people pay for a fancy paint job and streamlined curves on a welding helmet.
    Are there people looking at you when welding?
    Are there people looking at you with the hood on and not welding?
    Do you wear it in era fashion shows?

    Another thing I have pondered. If you are in complete darkness and you strike an arc, does the light in the ice box go out?
  15. Great thread !
    Have had similar issues with focusing. Being nearsighted with blended lenses i wanted to use them with the Hobart self darkening helmet. I eventually just removed them and could see better.
    I find outside welding has a lot of back of the helmet scatter light or direct sun. A towel might be an option. Wish there was a tighter fitting helmet, or a back of the head piece, sort of a clam shell design. I wonder if this exists in any other application ?
  16. No but time contracts and you are marginally younger than if you didn't weld.

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