Gas Welding aluminum - Goggles??

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Jacin
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Gas Welding aluminum - Goggles??

Post by Jacin » Sun Feb 09, 2003 10:50 pm

ANyone care to tell me what type lenses are you guys using to gas weld aluminum???

I am told the old Cobalt blue lenses are a "No No" ( I think lack of UV protection was stated)

The "Tinman" website sells a NEW (modern?) Lense especially for aluminum, ( a wee bit pricey) but was wondering what everyone else might be using.

Thanks!!

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Hackasaw
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Re: Gas Welding aluminum - Goggles??

Post by Hackasaw » Mon Feb 10, 2003 3:51 pm

So do you really think those "special" lenes are a wee bit pricey?


I think they are EXHORBITANTLY PRICED falling into the snake oil category....... backed only by take my word for it and send me WAY TOO MUCH MONEY.

I use my welding hood, same one I use for my heliarc attempts.
I see a lot of people that have really dumb signatures they add to their posts on many forums. Why?

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Re: Gas Welding aluminum - Goggles??

Post by Greg_S » Tue Feb 11, 2003 12:20 am

Hi Jacin,
I don't have the answer here for you but I've had this discussion with many, many people and I often wonder if each persons vision to color must not come into play some.

I started gas welding aluminum back when I was around 14 years old with no instruction and back then, nobody trying to pre-convince me it was some kind of 'black art' that required special anything. I just used the standard issue torch goggles that had always been on the torch cart, some good ole Forney aluminum flux in a glass jar and started repairing aluminum air conditioner lines instead of replacing them. That was a whole lot of years ago and I still don't see the need for some kind of special lens to see past the flux flare that others speak of. BUT, back to my original point. Perhaps other people's eyes pick up on it and it IS a big stumbling block for them that the proper lens tint can eliminate. I have to admit that years ago after hearing about special lens for this purpose I did try some different tinted (colors) sunglasses just to see if some shade might actually make some kind of difference for me but I didn't get any encouragement from those experiments.

While we're on the subject of gas welding aluminum, I only started doing it because we didn't have a TIG in the shop at the time. After being in the panel forming tool business for years, I've had the opportunity to speak with the most respected people in that trade. Many of them feel gas welding aluminum is a better deal for custom panels they are joining. I don't argue that fact because each person finds what works best for them but you will never convince me when they then start saying that the panel and weld integrity are better afterwards than TIG welding. And many of them did make that claim. Make my Cobra body TIG welded together!

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Jacin
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Re: Gas Welding aluminum - Goggles??

Post by Jacin » Tue Feb 11, 2003 12:20 pm

Thanks for your input Greg.
I have only ever TIG welded aluminum (well I did a wee bit of MIG but that's not what I want to explore here)
Anyways I have talked to many craftsmen whom it appears that the general consensus is that Either will Work BUT gas wels are somewhat softer and as such are less prone to cracking especially if you have to do any work to the panel post welding. I did TIG weld my seat together (.050" 5052) and once I got the hang of it - It turned out fine.
However I am just on the fence here and was contemplating the Pro's and Con's once again. I think maybe I should just try it with my "normal" lenses and go from there.
Thanks again for posting - I do appreciate it.

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Jacin
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Re: Gas Welding aluminum - Goggles??

Post by Jacin » Tue Feb 11, 2003 1:25 pm

Pricey? Well for a cheap skate like me that's an understatement! I haven't heard all that much about them. I don't personally know enough to determine if they'd be a help or not. I hate doing certain stuff the hard way and if they woul dmake life easier I would more easily justify blowing the dough.

Personally I love my Jackson Autodarkening Helmet and even though that bad boy wasn't cheap I will never be without one. I also know not everyone who has used one shares that opinion.

Maybe I ought to just try the plain vanilla lense and go from there.

Thanks Hackasaw!

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Jim_Popa_N_CA
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Re: Gas Welding aluminum - Goggles??

Post by Jim_Popa_N_CA » Tue Feb 11, 2003 3:10 pm

Jacin

I've had the tinmans special lens for gas welding Al for a couple of years now.....They are pricey, but, they ELIMINATE all of the orange flare so that you get a good view of the weld.....

Jim

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Re: Gas Welding aluminum - Goggles??

Post by captainkirk » Tue Feb 11, 2003 6:46 pm

I think the last post that makes the statement that the special glasses are good at taking the glare away is the correct answer, it's not so much a "safety" issue it's more of an issue of the lights wavelengths that you wish to attenuate in order to see the weld better. The problem with welding aluminum is that it doesn't give much indication of its current temperature just prior to turning into a molten slag heap, nad falling to the floor. I don't know the expense of the gogles in question, but if they were acurately designed and made in small batches then your paying for a "speciality item" cost is usually recovered in one job that goes well because you used the correct equipment. I personally have one of the auto darkening welding hoods with settings for welding (all the shades) torch work and grinding. It was pricey, but I have never regretted the purchase, all my welding has been better since I bought it.
Purchase price is very dependent on a large number of factors, but it all boils down to "The one with the most tools Wins"......and I intend to win!

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Re: Gas Welding aluminum - Goggles??

Post by Doug4d3s » Sun Aug 08, 2010 8:16 pm

This topic is old I know, but anyway.

I just received a tinman TM2000 welding lens. They're still expensive, and they still work great.

I paid $145 for the 2" x 4.5" lens. The orange flux glow is totally gone, and you can see the metal heat up and melt very clearly. The filtering is very specific; other orange things like an acetylene-only torch flame are still fully visible.

FWIW I did not every try any of the other aluminum-welding goggles. The cobalt lenses aren't available anymore and the didymium glassworking glasses get mixed reviews for this use. The Henrob site sells a cheaper pair of plastic glasses they say work better than regular green lenses, but even they admit that the tinman lenses are the best out there.

The lenses don't make welding thin sheet easy,,,, but they do move it from the realm of "practically impossible" to "possible, but requires some practice".
I don't know how the old-timers did it without them.
I would kinda like to try a pair of the cobalt goggles head-to-head with the tinmans, just to see what the difference is.
~

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Re: Gas Welding aluminum - Goggles??

Post by steamin10 » Mon Aug 09, 2010 1:32 am

Um, first cobalt glasses are for screening Ultraviolet that radiates from any flame. (Furnace glasses) The problem is they are not dark enough for the plasma concentration available from an arc, and the light frequency is off. So the color cast by hot flux is not the same as the color of Helium excited by an arc. So the question is really about intensity and color. I used my HF adjustable shield, (admitted POS) but it allows adjustment from 9-12. That is plenty to work for me, and showed me Helium is brighter than a regular arc. I cannot vouch for special 'glasses', but I think they may be based on the color shift aluminum gives. (flux).

I use special rods to gas 'weld' aluminum, but they are about 98% tin and some other alloy that can bond to aluminum, so it is really soldering without the melting of the base aluminum. I do not He-arc as my machine does not have freq. I do mig Al with Argon cover, and it is bright also.

Like most things, some things are hazardous. UV can destroy your sight over time. Nuff.
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Re: Gas Welding aluminum - Goggles??

Post by Doug4d3s » Mon Aug 09, 2010 3:32 am

steamin10 wrote:Um, first cobalt glasses are for screening Ultraviolet that radiates from any flame. (Furnace glasses) The problem is they are not dark enough for the plasma concentration available from an arc, and the light frequency is off. .....
Well, the issue here is only about gas-welding aluminum, and the problem of the necessary flux that involves. For this use, the cobalt lenses and the didymium lenses are either not very effective and/or safe.

I have not found solid info yet--but from what I have read, the UV and IR light from an oxy-acetylene gas-welding torch is generally not significant enough to require special eye protection. UV sunburns simply don't occur with gas-welding, and IR levels considered potentially harmful to the human eye are roughly 100 times higher than the UV levels assumed to be hazardous.

I can understand wanting IR eye protection around a glassworking furnace or steel furnace, but even fairly small examples of those things give off HUGE amounts of IR and heat compared to a welding torch.

-------

The zinc-based soldering rods can work for some things, but not everything. The solder is very hard and brittle and prone to lifting or cracking if it is flexed much.
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Re: Gas Welding aluminum - Goggles??

Post by Doug4d3s » Sat Aug 14, 2010 1:52 am

Even though I already have the tinmans, I have been casually searching for any other cheaper options that are useful.

There is one other lens specifically for torch-welding aluminum, that users say works much better than regular lenses.

Phillips makes a lens type named Alloweld, that claims to also help reduce the orange flare.
http://www.phillips-safety.com/store/in ... Path=41_67
Problem is, it's not much cheaper than the TM2000's... Phillips wants $100 for a 2" x 4.5" lens. Unlike the tinmans, it is available in a few different shades towards the lighter end.

Most people into gas-welding aluminum say that the tinmans are by far #1, but I could not find any comparisons bewteen the tinmans and the Allowelds.
~

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Re: Gas Welding aluminum - Goggles??

Post by aribert » Tue Aug 31, 2010 10:35 am

Lacking TIG access (always used the shop at previous employers) for the last 4 years, I bought the Tinman's lenses - I figured my eyes are worth it. My opinion is that looking thru the Tinman's lenses was the same as looking thru the welding hood lens while using the TIG.

I've only done a few pieces gas welding about the same qty that I did with the TIG but for me TIG was much easier to get to and control the heat. One of my projects was relocating a trans mounting boss on the tailshaft casting for a later vintage trans that I put into my '61 Ford so that I could reuse the existing trans crossmember. I should have preheated the entire casting with my cutting torch (don't have a rosebud) before trying to weld - by the time I was done I had heated the entire casting up anyway before the tip put enough heat into the boss/ trans tail shaft to actually get a good weld puddle.

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