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Concerning Welding Helmets

Discussion in 'The Tool Shed' started by Ol Fogie, Mar 17, 2021.

  1. Mar 17, 2021
    Ol Fogie

    Ol Fogie 74 cj5 304, 1943 mb

    Southern...
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    I have been researching which welding helmet to buy. I see that I certainly need one with auto darkening. I also see most of the better helmets have variable shade settings. My question is how do you know what shade setting to use? Do you use different settings for mig, tig, stick, or aluminium verses steel? :study:
     
  2. Mar 17, 2021
    73 cj5

    73 cj5 Not ready for the junkyard yet

    Clinton, Mississippi
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    Ol Fogie likes this.
  3. Mar 17, 2021
    Admiral Cray

    Admiral Cray I want to do this again.. Staff Member

    Bainbridge...
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    The more sensors the better and yes I use different settings from MIG and TIG...
     
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  4. Mar 17, 2021
    supertrooper

    supertrooper Member

    moreno valley, ca
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    The most common shade is 10 and is a good starting point. The actual shade you use is a combination of personal preference and how high the welding amperage is. I usually use 9 for tig welding sheet metal and 10 to 11 for everything else. Look for a hood with at least 4 sensors. If the arc light get blocked from the sensors you'll get flashed. With more sensors its less likely to happen especially if you are in a weird position or under a vehicle.
     
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  5. Mar 17, 2021
    Bigdaddy13

    Bigdaddy13 Member 2021 Sponsor

    So.Cal
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    I had a cheap Home depot auto-darkening helmet fail on me. Got flashed pretty well.

    Swapped over to a standard non auto-darkening with a nice large window and it's been much better (lighter weight, too).
     
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  6. Mar 17, 2021
    47v6

    47v6 junk wrecker! 2023 Sponsor 2022 Sponsor 2021 Sponsor

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    This is what I bought 6 years or so ago. 3M Speedglas 9100 Helmet w Auto Darkening Filter 9100X - 06-0100-20SW The new ones claim that you can see color better. I paid about 500 bucks for it and at the time that was more than I paid for my welder, but I was getting "micro" flashed by the Harbor Fight ones. It was not a full on flash all the time, but at the end of the day my eyes burned and by morning it felt like there was gravel in them.

    The side windows are nice, but honestly if there weren't there I wouldn't notice. The adjustable setting works fine, the quality over all of the hood is fine. I have no complaints. I run about a 9 for Tig as long as its not stainless and 10-11 for Mig depending on amperage. I never use it for grinding, I have a pair of safety glasses and a full face shield for that.

    Incidentally, I wear safety glasses under my hood most times as well. When you pull up your hood, stuff jumps off your weld sometimes and can even get under your hood. Also, when grinding your tungsten for Tig welding after your stuck it in the puddle and you're irritated, you don't have to remember to put them back on...

    Also, thorium is bad. Its radioactive and the grinding dust is too. It emits beta and alpha particles that if they get inside you can create problems. Thorium dioxide
    decay and daughter product chart https://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2004/1050/thorium.htm
    Wear gloves and don't stick your fingers in your mouth via smoking tobacco or food without thoroughly washing. Also the dust on the ground from this that you walk in gets tracked all over.. same deal.

    Use lanthanated or ceriated tungstens instead and buy a cheap grinder attachment for your dremal or a dedicated one. Stops wandering arc and is worth every penny.
     
  7. Mar 17, 2021
    Dave Deyton

    Dave Deyton Member

    Fuquay-Varina, NC
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    I have that Speedglass helmet also. Got it used and it's about time to replace it. A friend got the Optrel Crystal 2.0 very impressive, but expensive.
    I use cheaters in the lenses also. Bifocals don't work for welding because you are constantly looking in and out of the puddle. My welds improved when I quit wearing the bifocals and went to straight 3.0 magnifiers.

    Good advice on the tungstens and grinding.


    Dave
     
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  8. Mar 17, 2021
    PeteL

    PeteL If it wasn't for physics, and law enforcement... 2022 Sponsor 2021 Sponsor

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    I understand the hazard of Thorium, but I'm ignorant of how it enters the picture here. Please explain?
     
  9. Mar 17, 2021
    47v6

    47v6 junk wrecker! 2023 Sponsor 2022 Sponsor 2021 Sponsor

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    increases current capacity and decreases contamination Thorium Containing Welding Rod (1990s)
     
  10. Mar 17, 2021
    47v6

    47v6 junk wrecker! 2023 Sponsor 2022 Sponsor 2021 Sponsor

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    I am looking at the optrel Optrel Crystal 2.0 Welding Helmet 1006.900 as well. Seems very reasonable for what it is. I finally replaced the batteries on my speedglas hood after all these years. Its really a quality hood.
     
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  11. Mar 17, 2021
    Dave Deyton

    Dave Deyton Member

    Fuquay-Varina, NC
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    Those batteries last a long time. Mine still works, just beat up form years on jobs before I got it. Straps are getting worn out lenses scratched. Got a lot more out of it than the $50 I paid for it. I think the Optrel would be the last helmet I will ever buy.

    Dave
     
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  12. Mar 17, 2021
    ITLKSEZ

    ITLKSEZ Hope for the best, prepare for the worst

    Liberty Lake, WA
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  13. Mar 17, 2021
    Fireball

    Fireball Well-Known Member 2023 Sponsor 2022 Sponsor 2021 Sponsor

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  14. Mar 17, 2021
    montanacj

    montanacj Member

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    I'll second this I have thre Miller basic helmet and it works well. I just changed the batteries after several years of use and was happy to find they were just basic AA or AAA but not some crazy watch battery.
     
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  15. Mar 19, 2021
    teletech

    teletech Member

    Santa Cruz, CA
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    I can share that the ArcOne helmets are garbage. The cool new shade where you can see color and the price was reasonable but only 2 sensors, mounted too low, so it's easy to get flashed. Also just generally poor build quality, sometimes resulting in the lens assembly slipping so the sensors wind up even more shaded. The adjustment knows are also too easy to move, I keep moving the helmet an turning the shade up. Just don't do it.
    I might need one of those Optrel helmets.
     
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  16. Jun 27, 2021
    Ol Fogie

    Ol Fogie 74 cj5 304, 1943 mb

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    Do any of you use a 3m or similar respirator under their welding hood?
     
  17. Jun 27, 2021
    teletech

    teletech Member

    Santa Cruz, CA
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    North makes a low-profile n99 unit and I've seen others as well. When welding crusty stuff or stick welding it really does help keep the smoke out of your lungs. I use it less often than I should but some.
     
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  18. Jun 27, 2021
    FinoCJ

    FinoCJ 1970 CJ5 Staff Member 2021 Sponsor

    Bozeman, MT
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    God isn't that the truth...my wife has been helping a bit in the garage recently and been commenting on how dark it is in there unless its afternoon with direct sunlight coming in with the garage door open. She said maybe its time for a garage upgrade...new garage door, new lighting and some other electrical, and some interior paint....
     
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  19. Jun 27, 2021
    ITLKSEZ

    ITLKSEZ Hope for the best, prepare for the worst

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    I use an n95 mask when welding. I’ve haven’t used a full respirator in years; I used to wear one at work when welding galvanized steel when I couldn’t move it outside.
     
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  20. Jun 30, 2021
    JeepinJewels

    JeepinJewels New Member

    Post Falls, ID
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    Miller makes a welding halfmask that works well.
     
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