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Welding lenses

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Dexter The Dog, Jul 27, 2013.

  1. Dexter The Dog
    Joined: Jun 27, 2009
    Posts: 195

    Dexter The Dog

    After way too many years away from it, I'm getting back into doing some metal work.
    Problem is, my eyesight is not what it used to be. Progressive lenses are great for everyday life but are really causing trouble for welding.
    Tonight I was practicing gas welding moulding holes with 1/16" steel rod
    Can't focus through glasses and goggles together. Ended up just wearing my sunglasses which I know is not good.
    The lens in my goggles is a cobalt one that I got from Fournier's for gas welding aluminum but I can't see that causing the focus problem
    Anybody have any suggestions on what may help?

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  2. try welding helmet with magnifying lense???...think can get some for cutting goggles too..
  3. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 18,029


    I wear bifocals in the shop, and use 1.5-2.5x magnifying back lenses in my helmet, as needed, but that is arc. Similar ones should fit a gas setup, if not the same ones.
  4. Blue One
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 11,021

    Blue One
    from Alberta

    Get yourself down to the store and buy a pair of standard single prescription over the counter reading glasses, try a 2.50 0r maybe a 2.75 strength and use them for welding, your eyes will thank you.

  5. 33sporttruck
    Joined: Jun 5, 2012
    Posts: 532


    X2 on the reading glasses. The ones from the drug store are usually small enough to fit under welding helmets and goggles (for Gas Welding) Getting the goggles in place over the glasses is an aggravation but they do make goggles with a flip up lens. Once the glasses and goggles are in place, just flip up the lens holder when needed..... Jeff
    Joined: Jan 19, 2009
    Posts: 466


    I wear tri-focals (I'm 70). When welding I wear prescription single vision reading glasses and 200/250 mag lenses in my helmet. I use a flip-up with mag lenses for gas welding too. Multi-vision lenses are a no no for welding.
  7. ken1939
    Joined: Jul 5, 2008
    Posts: 1,558



    Here is what you need to do to make this right.

    1. Get and exam from your optometrist. Tell him the ranges you weld at.
    You have to know the full acuity for both distance and near to make a proper pair of eyewear.
    2. Based on that prescription, get a pair of near vision glasses. These lenses can be made for either near vision or intermediate which is more arms legnth.
    3. Wear proper eye and face protection (helmet, auto darkener at HF for under $80)

    Pop in magnifiers may not work 100% mainly because they are magnifiers and do not come in every power that can be prescribed. Add Powers, or Reading powers are all depth of field. Meaning the higher the power the closer it is to your face. This does not mean, however, it will be the right power for you. For example, if the mags come in 1, 1.5, 2. 2.5 you are out of luck if you need a 1.25, 1.75 or a 2.25. It really matters.

    Mags also do not take into account your actual distance acuity and may not work as well as a prescription pair.

    This may also help in needing an additional light source to see the weld area.
    40 Coupe Since 69 likes this.
  8. mickeyc
    Joined: Jul 8, 2008
    Posts: 1,211


    I use my full face grinding shield with a tinted lens over my perscription glasses while gas welding. I find this helps me focus better than anything else I have used.
  9. Woob
    Joined: May 11, 2004
    Posts: 353

    from Falcon, CO

    I also wear progressives but have a pair of "computer glasses" that are ground for focusing at one distance, similar (I think) to what ken1939 is describing. I have no problem with either under my welding helmet, but noticed you referenced "goggles".

    When I'm using the torch, I too have to choose between using goggles for protection or using my prescription glasses to see anything more than a blur. Although heavier after while than goggles, I imagine the best case scenario may be to just pick up another helmet and put a lighter shade lens in it for gas work.
  10. dtracy
    Joined: May 8, 2012
    Posts: 223


    I too am blind in one eye and can’t see out of the other. I use goggles that are specifically designed to wear over my glasses and they are easy to use considering. Ken1939 sounds like he knows what he’s talking about.

  11. aaggie
    Joined: Nov 21, 2009
    Posts: 2,531


    I wear tri-focals and they are useless under a hood. I took my RX to the optical department at the local Wal-Mart and they made me a pair of glasses using the close up bi-focal for the entire lens. I selected the large industrial frames and polycarbonate plastic lenses and it cost about $25.

    They work great under the Lincoln self darkening hood. Off the shelf readers would work OK for people with equal eyes. My left eye is weaker than the right so I have to have different strengths.
  12. Mindover
    Joined: Jan 18, 2009
    Posts: 1,625

    from England

    I have struggled with welding goggles and glasses for the last few years. I recently bought a flip up welding helmet which I have found to be a godsend. I also use cheap reading glasses.

  13. racer32
    Joined: Sep 22, 2007
    Posts: 745


    I tried to get my optometrist to understand that I needed my glasses (bifocal) to work at typical shop distances. He doesn't "get it" and tried to put me in trifocal. Time to find one who does...i'm tired of sticking my face right next to hot metal and flames. Single-vision lenses that allow me to see from about 2ft-5ft are going to be my next "shop glasses"...bifocals are useless under gas-welding goggles.
  14. Dexter The Dog
    Joined: Jun 27, 2009
    Posts: 195

    Dexter The Dog

    Thanks everyone
    I have pair of readers so I'll try them under a helmet.
    I did see a Ron Fournier video the other night. He was wearing a goggle with a helmet style head bracket
    The goggle part was spring loaded and slid forward on rods to raise it over his glasses
    I'll contact him to see if he made it or of its something that is available

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  15. Blue One
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 11,021

    Blue One
    from Alberta

    I don't like the headgear style goggles myself although some guys love them.

    They will fit over most glasses and also allow the use of standard welding helmet cheater lenses if needed.

    Jackson is one company that makes-sells them.

    Attached Files:

  16. rustyangels
    Joined: Sep 28, 2010
    Posts: 178


    As an alternative , I use the green one piece shield that's a #5 shade from Oberon
  17. Dan Timberlake
    Joined: Apr 28, 2010
    Posts: 1,307

    Dan Timberlake

    Weren't the cobalt (blue?) lenses discontinued because they did not filter out some bad light wavelengths , at least when gas welding aluminum ?

    I wear my Walmart readers under my auto dark helmet for ARC, MIG or TIG.

    I love the rectangular mag lens in my gas goggles. I got some a little stronger than my readers
  18. Bobert
    Joined: Feb 21, 2005
    Posts: 820

    Member Emeritus

    I had tried using progressives when taking a mig class in Junior College and can attest to them not working. Having had recent cataract surgery, I have reading glasses that should work well, at least in the left eye. The other has had complications including a detached retina. The Ophthalmologists reaction ought to be interesting when I ask about resuming welding.
  19. terryr
    Joined: Feb 8, 2007
    Posts: 286

    from earth

    You can get clear magnifying lenses that fit into the welding helmet behind the tinted glass. Try different ones in the store at the distance you weld.
    Much better than fiddling with glasses.
  20. Blue One
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 11,021

    Blue One
    from Alberta

    They work, but this is not the best advice.

    Glasses are always in the proper placement and distance in front of your eyes to work properly.

    Magnifying cheaters are not and are at varying distances from your face depending on how they are positioned.

    This makes your eyes "work" harder to find the focus zone and can be hard on them, eye fatigue can be a factor.

    Glasses are the better solution.
  21. M224SPEED
    Joined: May 12, 2010
    Posts: 171

    from Missouri

    What Terryr posted is the route I went a few years back ,and what a fantastic problem solver it was.
  22. I wear trifocals and it is a pain, if you add a cheater lens to your helmet, them you can look through the top section of your glasses, which gives you the proper correction and the cheater brings everything closed so you can position your head further from the smoke and fire like you did when you were young and your eyes worked properly.
    What I hate is that you can't get a cheater for the helmets with the big lens.

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