Welding Helmet Advice

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revrnd
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Welding Helmet Advice

Post by revrnd » Thu Feb 23, 2017 1:12 am

I currently have a Lincoln Ultrashade helmet w/ 10 & 11 shades. My brother has an older Speedglas XL that auto tints (not sure of the shades). Up to now we've been just stick welding & had no issues w/ the shades. However last week he bought 2 new units, a Lincoln Power MIG 256 & their Precision TIG 225. While trying out the TIG & MIG processes, both of us noticed that we were straining to see the puddle. Would we be correct in thinking that the "light" being produced by the TIG & MIG is less that the stick welder that we have been using?

Can any of you steer us in the correct direction to look for replacement helmets?

TIA

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warmstrong1955
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Re: Welding Helmet Advice

Post by warmstrong1955 » Thu Feb 23, 2017 9:04 am

Get a hood that you can manually adjust the shade.
The lower the current/voltage, the lower the shade. Ambient light will effect your vision as well.
Smaller parts with my TIG, I do well with a 9 setting, or even a little less. Same with welding small parts with my MIG.
Bigger stuff, say with 045" bare wire on 1", I like about 12. Dual shield wire, a little closer to 11.
Stick welding, 3/32", 10 works for me. I've done a lot of field repairs using 1/4" 7018, and hard-facing with 3/16" & 1/4" electrodes, and I used a 13. Less than that after a day of welding, and lights had halos around them.

Bill
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SteveHGraham
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Re: Welding Helmet Advice

Post by SteveHGraham » Thu Feb 23, 2017 7:05 pm

My brilliant (i.e. obvious and sadly very slow) discovery: if you lay a bead on a piece of scrap before getting to work, you can adjust the shade before you start welding your workpiece.
Every hard-fried egg began life sunny-side up.

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BigDumbDinosaur
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Re: Welding Helmet Advice

Post by BigDumbDinosaur » Thu Feb 23, 2017 10:34 pm

I'm a dinosaur. I use the conventional flip-down helmet with a number 10 lens. Being an electronics engineer and knowing how the auto-darkening helmet technology works, I would never use one. I place great value on what little eyesight I have left.
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NP317
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Re: Welding Helmet Advice

Post by NP317 » Thu Feb 23, 2017 10:50 pm

BigDumbDinosaur wrote:I'm a dinosaur. I use the conventional flip-down helmet with a number 10 lens. Being an electronics engineer and knowing how the auto-darkening helmet technology works, I would never use one. I place great value on what little eyesight I have left.
I'm not sure what you are implying. Perhaps that a failure to darken the variable lens will damage your eyes?

My electronic darkening helmet has a basic darkness with no power on, that protects my eyes.
Is that what you are worried about?
~RN

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SteveHGraham
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Re: Welding Helmet Advice

Post by SteveHGraham » Thu Feb 23, 2017 11:29 pm

A helmet will protect you whether or not it darkens. The shading isn't eye protection. It's just to help you see what you're doing.

I'm not an electrical engineer, but as a lawyer, I should have realized immediately that the shading isn't what protects you. No company in this litigious country is going to sell you a helmet that burns your corneas every time you let the battery run down!
Every hard-fried egg began life sunny-side up.

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BigDumbDinosaur
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Re: Welding Helmet Advice

Post by BigDumbDinosaur » Fri Feb 24, 2017 2:32 am

SteveHGraham wrote:A helmet will protect you whether or not it darkens. The shading isn't eye protection. It's just to help you see what you're doing.

I'm not an electrical engineer, but as a lawyer, I should have realized immediately that the shading isn't what protects you. No company in this litigious country is going to sell you a helmet that burns your corneas every time you let the battery run down!
The auto-darkening technology is reliable. What it is not is infallible.

The liquid crystal panel that shades your view can develop "stuck pixels," just like the LCD panel in a TV or computer monitor. A "stuck pixel" will admit light all the time. You are entrusting your eyes to an electronic device that can (and eventually will, in most cases) fail. A conventional helmet with an intact lens will always work.
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BigDumbDinosaur
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Re: Welding Helmet Advice

Post by BigDumbDinosaur » Fri Feb 24, 2017 2:32 am

NP317 wrote:
BigDumbDinosaur wrote:I'm a dinosaur. I use the conventional flip-down helmet with a number 10 lens. Being an electronics engineer and knowing how the auto-darkening helmet technology works, I would never use one. I place great value on what little eyesight I have left.
I'm not sure what you are implying. Perhaps that a failure to darken the variable lens will damage your eyes?

My electronic darkening helmet has a basic darkness with no power on, that protects my eyes.
Is that what you are worried about?
~RN
Please see my reply above to Steve.
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SteveHGraham
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Re: Welding Helmet Advice

Post by SteveHGraham » Fri Feb 24, 2017 9:55 am

If every pixel fails, your eyes are still protected.
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warmstrong1955
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Re: Welding Helmet Advice

Post by warmstrong1955 » Fri Feb 24, 2017 10:07 am

SteveHGraham wrote:If every pixel fails, your eyes are still protected.
True, if it's a ANSI approved hood. I don't think that's a requirement at this point though.

Speedglas, Lincoln, Miller etc, all ANSI approved. Horror Freight....I doubt it.
Easy enough to look.
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SteveHGraham
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Re: Welding Helmet Advice

Post by SteveHGraham » Fri Feb 24, 2017 10:13 am

Here is my take on that: Harbor Freight helmet batteries are known to fail, but we haven't heard about a wave of HF helmet lawsuits, and we haven't seen people on the Internet, screaming, "HARBOR FREIGHT SCORCHED MY CORNEAS!" I wouldn't be too worried about whether they're approved. They're doing the job.

Now that I think about it, I replaced my HF hood because I tried to use it and it quit darkening. I saw the light from the arc, but I didn't get "flashed" with UV.

Some guy on the web cut out the embedded HF battery and installed one he could replace. I should do that with my old hood.
Every hard-fried egg began life sunny-side up.

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SteveHGraham
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Re: Welding Helmet Advice

Post by SteveHGraham » Fri Feb 24, 2017 10:18 am

It's kind of an interesting subject, now that you bring it up. The helmet manual does say it's approved. On the other hand, it says to wear ANSI-approved goggles under it! I never noticed that before.

Danged lawyers. Wear a helmet. Wear goggles. Wear a respirator, an airbag, diapers...
Every hard-fried egg began life sunny-side up.

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