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Old 08-20-2013, 10:37 PM   #1
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Default Eye Protection for Welding

I moved to a new shop about a month ago, and one of the biggest changes in my work-load is MIG welding exhaust work. Whether it be custom dump pipes for race cars, or making reproduction exhausts for standard cars which the dealer doesn't have access to any more, I'm getting to the point where I need to invest in some quality eye protection.

The biggest issue for me is compact size, as I'm a bit over 6 foot, and the vast majority of my work, is under a lift, with the exhaust tacked into place, and finish-welded on the car, with the suspension loaded. I don't have a lot of room to work, and I have to use a mirror to weld up the top portion.


So, currently I'm either borrowing a mask like this:




Or using a pair of blacked out sunglasses. I really prefer the blacked out sunglasses, as I have a lot more maneuverability, and less light is blocked out. I guess it's a double edged sword. I want to see as much as possible, but not cook my precious eyes.



I'm pretty much against auto-darkening. I may be pretty immune to flash, but I have no intention of staring at a bead, and having the mask quit on me. It's not a big deal to me to have to pull down the mask, or prop up the sunglasses, so solid state viewing is fine by me. My other issue is having a big viewing area. The classic 3x2 inch view welding mask might be great for bench welding, but it just doesn't work under a car. The less light reduction the better, as I like to watch my bead, to make sure it's nice looking as well as functional.




So, I know this site has a lot of welders, so what are you using?

Small size; fits over my normal glasses; and minimal blocking of light (just enough to be safe) are my criteria. Thanks guys.
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Old 08-20-2013, 10:55 PM   #2
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Ehh no on the glasses. Unless you plan on being a scar face because a tiny piece decided to fly off and land on your nose and burn halfway through it. Find a good light mask that fits around ur face and wear that.

If you insist though perhaps a pair of dark glasses made for watching the sun during solar eclipses will help? I'm not sure how dark they are.
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Old 08-20-2013, 10:58 PM   #3
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This guy doesn't look too bad....

Forney 55684 Welding Helmet, Titan Fixed, Shade-10, Red and Silver - Amazon.com Forney 55684 Welding Helmet, Titan Fixed, Shade-10, Red and Silver - Amazon.com







My issue with sparks are them going down my shirt. I do what I can to prevent drips, and make sure I don't stand under the work. I do have a nice quarter-sized burn on my chest though, from a shirt-fire caused by a rust flake.
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Old 08-20-2013, 11:01 PM   #4
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Being that the shop welder is at 120amps, shade 10 might be too little? Probably better protection than sunglasses though.

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Old 08-20-2013, 11:04 PM   #5
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Fawk, so few masks have non-auto-dimming options. How often do issues present themselves?
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Old 08-20-2013, 11:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2ndGearRubber View Post
I'm pretty much against auto-darkening. I may be pretty immune to flash, but I have no intention of staring at a bead, and having the mask quit on me. It's not a big deal to me to have to pull down the mask, or prop up the sunglasses, so solid state viewing is fine by me. My other issue is having a big viewing area. The classic 3x2 inch view welding mask might be great for bench welding, but it just doesn't work under a car. The less light reduction the better, as I like to watch my bead, to make sure it's nice looking as well as functional.
Well. This is the biggest shame...

Either way i still HIGHLY suggest this glass. Jackson Safety W60 Truesight

It can be had on
amazon amazon
for a little over $300 with the helmet.

I literally wear this thing all day long and not even once has it ever flashed me. (over 3 years now)
You can set shade, delay, and sensitivity with a click of a button. It also has a battery gauge so you know when it's getting low. I am not a fan of the solar ones. I've used them (even the millers) and they're not as good as this.

The viewing area is much bigger than you'll ever need. The color is perfect too. It doesn't make the arc look blue, or any other silly colors. It's as close to real as possible being "light amber" or so i call it.

Other than that, i've only tried other auto darkening lenses. Out of the ones i've tried, this one is the best. So i bought it.
I've had the non auto darkening, but it's hard to flip a mask down when you're head is stuck somewhere. It's also hard to make a clean start when you can't see where you're starting.

Oh and don't buy anything from harbor freight.


To prevent molten metal going down your shirt, i tape a little bit of cloth, or leather onto the bottom of the mask. That way it hangs down and kind of directs nastyness away.

Last edited by Erat; 08-20-2013 at 11:11 PM. Reason: Can't spell worth a shit.
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Old 08-21-2013, 02:05 AM   #7
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If you're doing anything but looking down on a weld, you should really look into the proper helmets. The red one linked above look like its actually made for welding upside down. There's a whole group of helmets specifically molded for upside down/sideways welding.
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Old 08-21-2013, 08:10 AM   #8
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So, the red mask which has a giant chin guard is some-what win? I suppose the slightly clearer "10" shade isn't going to cook my eyes to fast?
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