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PostPosted: December 23, 2018, 3:49 pm 
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I've come to the conclusion that part of the reason my welds don't look consistently pretty ("consistent" as in "more often than just dumb luck") is because I can't see when I weld.

Is this the hint that I need a better welding helmet? Better / different lighting? I'm already forced to wear reading glasses under the helmet.

Help -- what are your tips and tricks here (besides hire a good welder)???

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PostPosted: December 23, 2018, 4:21 pm 
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The only thing that really helps me is LOTS of light directed at the area to be welded.
Can be tricky to get enough light and still have the auto-darkening helmet work properly.
My helmet is not from HF, it is decent quality but not top of the line.
I have to set the filter toward the light end of the scale for TIG or I still cannot see what I am doing. :BH:
The other thing that helps me a lot is always being able to have my weld at the top surface.
So once the frame is tacked up enough I will use my rotisserie to rotate it as needed for final welding.

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PostPosted: December 23, 2018, 6:15 pm 
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Location: Carlsbad, California, USA
I would second everything Richard mentioned.

Light is the biggest for me. Your depth perception seems to be effected by the lenses of the helmet (I use a cheater lens - look that up if you don't have one already), so a strong light is a necessity for me. The cheater lens gives me the clear vision and magnification I need. As to lights, I've tried the cheap, hardware store, clamp-on lights, another 110V, clamp-on with high intensity bulb, and now I'm using a magnetic, COB LED light from Eastwood.
Attachment:
File comment: Eastwood COB LED light
Eastwood light.jpg
Eastwood light.jpg [ 24.7 KiB | Viewed 3822 times ]


It's not as strong a light as the high-intensity one, but it is the most flexible, and the light can be focused from a small circle to a wide area beam. The magnet is very strong, and the the flexible stem makes it particularly useful. It is battery operated, so no cord is needed, and thus not there to get in your way (or melted). It's about $20 on sale.

Cheers,

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PostPosted: December 23, 2018, 7:33 pm 
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Lonnie-S wrote:
...(I use a cheater lens - look that up if you don't have one already), so a strong light is a necessity for me. The cheater lens gives me the clear vision and magnification I need.
Cheers,


okay...

Changed lens covery things, cleaned the windows, and ordered a cheater lens per suggestions. Looking now for lighting -- right now I've got 2 x zillion watt halogen lights I could press into service here, but I want to weld the metal, not melt it. So looking at LED's.

Anyone try one of those LED's that mounts on the helmet or MIG handle?

Thanks again!

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PostPosted: December 23, 2018, 7:42 pm 
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Yep, agree with everything said so far.
I too use a cheater lens inside my auto darkening helmet, got tired of putting reading glasses on. I've also adjusted the darkness level to the light side. I also use a trouble light with a LED light bulb in it. I found the LED bulb doesn't trigger the auto darkening as easy as the incandescent rough duty bulb did.
See what works for you, try different things, you'll find a solution!

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PostPosted: December 23, 2018, 8:59 pm 
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Joined: July 4, 2006, 5:40 pm
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Location: Novato, CA
The other day I made the worst weld of my life, repairing the exhaust on the M.G. Under the car, couldn't see a thing, just hit and miss, mostly miss. Fortunately, I could see fine with the grinder. I do my best welds on bright sunny days.


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PostPosted: December 23, 2018, 9:18 pm 
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"The grinder and paint make the welder I ain't"????

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PostPosted: December 24, 2018, 10:43 am 
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In tough areas, I have been known to Duct-tape a free HF LED flashlight (who really cares about weld splatter?) to my MIG torch. One problem with auto-darkening lenses is that too much light, if in the wrong location, will activate the lens BEFORE you strike an arc. That happens a lot when I use my Halogen shop light.

Lots of light helps because your iris closes, giving you a much better focal range.

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PostPosted: December 24, 2018, 12:47 pm 
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Location: BC, Canada. eh?
Oh, thank God - I thought I was the only one with these problems! No matter where I need to weld, it's ALWAYS in a dark shadow, no matter how bright the shop is, and almost any light I use to illuminate the weld site is powerful enough to activate my auto-dark lens. My solution was identical to Lonnie-S's - the same flashlight. It's enough to light up the site, but not enough to activate my lens.

It's hell getting old, ain't it? :BH:

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PostPosted: December 24, 2018, 9:56 pm 
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zetec7 wrote:
It's hell getting old, ain't it? :BH:


Yes. And my older friends assure me that I'm still a "spring chicken." Jeez.

I note some conversation where LED's are less likely to trigger the auto darken feature than, say, incandescent or halogen. Probably 'cause there is no single white-hot wire thingy in them?

The corrective lens shipped today. Turns out that everyone seems to be selling my welding helmet under different names w/ a few different features, but at least the lenses / protective stuff all seems to fit them all. I went to Lowe's today and saw 2 helmets with the same plastic hood, but different features (head mount, etc).

Didn't there used to be colored filters that could be used for specific applications instead of, say, auto-darkening?

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PostPosted: December 25, 2018, 12:28 am 
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geek49203 wrote:
Yes. And my older friends assure me that I'm still a "spring chicken." Jeez.


I'm getting grief from the other end of the age scale. Our Son and his family were over today to pick up Christmas stuff as I'm under the weather, and won't be going anywhere tomorrow. SWMBO just happened to mention that "Grandpa" (me) was going to be 70 on my next birthday the end of January. Moxie (our middle Granddaughter, 8 yrs. old) thought about that for a moment and said something to the effect of "Gee, Grandpa! You're close to Death!!!" Truth from the mouths of babes! :lol:

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Last edited by ngpmike on December 25, 2018, 11:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: December 25, 2018, 9:22 am 
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lighting is #1.
Better to have the light far enough away that the sparks don't ruin the lens.
Consider a corded (no battery to go bad or charge), outdoor home security flood light mounted to a 2x4 stand for under $20 like this: https://www.ebay.com/itm/100W-LED-Flood ... fresh=true

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PostPosted: December 27, 2018, 1:17 pm 
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Location: BC, Canada. eh?
I kind of like the idea of some kind of light attached to the MIG handle - it wouldn't have to be too powerful, if its light was directed right at the weld pool area. Hmmm...gonna have to ponder on that idea!

As for getting old, well, it is hell for sure...but it beats the alternative. :roll:

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PostPosted: December 27, 2018, 1:25 pm 
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Princess Auto (and likely Harbor Freight) helmets have a separately purchased lens holder with extra clips that hold your cheater lens in place. I have them at work.

I bought my own helmet from KMS Tools, and merely fabricated some thin sheet metal U-clips that hold the cheater in place. Although this one fogs up a bit easier because the cheater lens is right close to the screen, I think the other style says clear better because there is more air moving around. Or I could just stop breathing.

I also now have cheaters in my Oxy-Actylene goggles too. The "getting old" thing ain't what it's cracked up to be.

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PostPosted: December 27, 2018, 3:11 pm 
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I didn't have the clips so I had to improvise. A dab of clear silicone in each corner of the cheater lens, set in place, let cure over night. I have no issues with fogging up from sweating unless it's a blistering 75*-80*F outside. :D

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'If man built it, man can fix it'
"No one ever told me I couldn't do it."
"If you can't build it safe, don't build it."

Perry's Locost Super Che7enette Build
Perry's TBird Based 5.0L Super 7 L.S.O.
Perry's S10 Super 7 The 3rd
Perry's 4th Build, The Topolino 500 (Little Mouse) Altered


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