Welding helmets (Hobby use)

Hi all, I'm thinking of getting one or two welding helmets for X-mas. I've got a Dayton welder in the barn that I've used a little,
with an old flip style helmet. My son (age 14) has gotten into metal working and would like to try welding. There are a huge number of options. Here's one review. http://www.mrwelderreviews.com/review-best-rated-auto-darkening-welding-helmets/
From which I'm thinking of the Antra for ~$50, or perhaps the classic Miller for a bit more. Your thoughts?
TIA George H.
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I may be the least qualified to respond on this. My welding helmet is about 5 years old, and cost $35. I had just read a review of both high and low e nd helmets ands the bottom line was the reaction time/eye protection was th e same, but the ergonomics was the difference. Within a year of very occasional use, the headgear inside the helmet fell apart. The fix is to buy a quality replacement for $30 or so. That puts t he price range back in the total for a name-brand with the good parts. So I think if I were buying today I'd be shopping in the $100 range just to get decent hardware that will hold up.
On Tuesday, November 17, 2015 at 9:14:08 AM UTC-6, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

king

elmets/

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I've had two HF automatic hoods. The cheaper one did not easily have a way to change the batteries and I destroyed it trying to cut the compartment open. The more expensive one ($10 or 15 difference) was easy to change batteries, but I managed to break it after a couple years it was quick enough to go dark, but was slow to go light when you shut off the arc. I liked the cheaper one better for that because there are some thin metal welding methods that really benefit from being able to see the weld bead/spot very quickly ater the arc shuts off. I bought a Miller automatic and I like it fairly well, but I bumped something with it welding under a trailer, and broke the adjustment knob off. I still use it all the time, but I can't lighten the shade easily anymore. LOL. Your mileage may vary.
Regardless of what you decide to use I truly believe an automatic wedling helmet improved my welding more than anything else except maybe learning what duty cycle means and that I just need to stop welding and let my machine cool down when it starts throwing a bad bead whether it has shut down or not.
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I feel I need to add that the larger the viewing area the better. Regardless of the type or brand of hood.
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On 11/17/2015 10:41 AM, Bob La Londe wrote:

I agree with Bob on the viewing area. I bought a Harbor Freight automatic helmet several years ago and like it.
I also wear glasses and use safety glasses in the shop. If either of you wear glasses, make sure there is room in the helmet for your glasses.
Paul
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On Tuesday, November 17, 2015 at 1:39:42 PM UTC-5, Bob La Londe wrote:

That's great, Thanks Bob, (and Gunner, Rex, Paul, Steve.) I'm pretty much a welding idiot. My house came with a Dayton buzz box, (with a mis-wired plug.) I made a few bad welds, and then two that are ugly, but still holding, and haven't used it since. (I guess I better make sure it's still working and mice haven't made nests everywhere inside.)
Any other essential piece of kit I need?
George H.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Welding gauntlets (I buy 2-3 pairs of the HF ones a year, they hold up just as good as the more expensive ones I've used)
Long sleeve treated cotton or leather shirt/jacket to keep you from getting a burn from the UV and sparks. (I actually use wildland firefighting shirts, they are either a treated cotton or Nomex type material, and they are usually much cheaper than the same thing sold at a welding supply.
Scrap steel and a solid table with a vice for practicing and testing your welds.
Grinder w/flap wheels (the great equalizer for the beginning welder)
--
Steve W.

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For completeness, a chipping hammer and wire brush are essential for stick and flux core welding. A cotton cap and leather shoes help protect you from hot sparks. When I sit down to weld small delicate stuff I wear a long leather apron and shoe spats.
Since I can't dedicate a space only for welding I use firebricks to set up a temporary one shaped like a small barbecue pit. The sides deflect the wind, conceal the arc flash from neighbors and help hold pieces in place.
Magnetic angles and C-shaped Vise Grips are often very useful. Clamps made for welding have copper-plated screws to keep molten spatter from sticking.
I got by with one 4-1/2" angle grinder until taking on larger projects. Then I added a 7" one with dish wheels to remove metal fast and a couple of cheapo 4" grinders permanently set up with a cup brush for rust and a cutoff wheel to erase small mistakes. The original 4-1/2" grinder has a fairly fine disk for smoothing anything that could snag skin or clothing. I don't use flap wheels much only because the edge of a solid disk smoothes inside corners better.
Unless you are only repairing cracks the steel has to be cut to size first. Either a chop saw or a 4" x 6" bandsaw will serve for that. I prefer the bandsaw because it's more versatile and accurate. I use mine a lot for woodworking, with a 6 TPI blade it will smoothly and accurately cut 6x6 posts and landscaping timbers.
-jsw
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On Wednesday, November 18, 2015 at 8:04:01 AM UTC-5, Jim Wilkins wrote:

Got it, thanks. We've got a small angle grinder, I've mostly been using a reciprocating saw for slicing metal. If things get serious a chop saw would be nice.
George H.
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My tool collection grew as projects demanded. The ones I listed were enough to fabricate a sawmill, a log splitter, and a bucket loader for my tractor.
The chop saw's advantage is that it will cut thinner or harder steel better, though both of those are tricky to weld. Its disadvantage is the shower of glowing sparks that may force you to use it outdoors. Fortunately my biker neighbors don't mind its loud noise.
-jsw
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On Wednesday, November 18, 2015 at 9:43:12 AM UTC-5, Jim Wilkins wrote:

I bought my house from a very private man. He didn't want people pawing through his stuff, so he left it all behind. My tool collection grew by a factor of 10 or more. Lotsa wood working stuff, but all sorts of other goodies too. (A list would only make you jealous.) I've been giving or trading it away to friends and neighbors, but I still have more "toys" than I have time to play with.
George H.

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............

You won't make -me- jealous, I have more toys than space to store them. I wasted the morning digging around for wiring harnesses I made to test a solar panel controller and then put away until time to install it, which I've finally gotten to.
(Amazon.com product link shortened) Its price was $19 when I ordered it, $29 on their website the next day.
-jsw
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On Wednesday, November 18, 2015 at 1:11:11 PM UTC-5, Jim Wilkins wrote:

Haybine and serious dump trailer went to the neighbor down the road.. lots of help with various things. Little cement mixer, planar and industrial size router table with many bits, to the guy who put on a new roof. 1/2 a dozen other buckets/ box scrapers and rakes that I still drag around with my tractor. The coolest thing is 'my' John Deere 400 backhoe. She is a tired old gal though. At the moment one of the side arm cylinders has blown it's seal. I'm not sure if that's something I can fix myself or not.
George H.

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On 11/18/2015 2:57 PM, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote: ...

...
Not sure what you're referring to as the "side arm"; one of the bucket lift cylinders or the rest-steadies or the boom swivel???
Which ever, there should be no _major_ issue in installing a seal kit; they're threaded but you may need some serious torque to break an oldie loose...
I did give replacing seals on the JLG 40H 40-ft manlift main extend and lift cylinders to the Deere shop in town simply 'cuz don't have a crane arrangement to pull the 174" stroke 2" bore main cylinder out the end of the boom. They ended up having to take it to the local hydraulics shop as they weren't able to break the seal nut loose, either. Took the other shop three days but they finally did get it.
I've done the lift cylinders on the Deere 4440 w/ 148 bucket; they were a piece o' cake even after almost 30 yr although it's in pretty near pristine condition for a late '70s tractor...
--


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On Wednesday, November 18, 2015 at 5:17:25 PM UTC-5, dpb wrote:

Sorry the stabilizer cylinder one on each side... fairly small.

I blew out the crowd cylinder a few years ago. I took it to the local JD industrial repair shop, and it was a bit of a nightmare. It took them three tries (and a good part of the summer.) to get it installed and not leaking.
George H.

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On 11/19/2015 8:47 AM, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Those shouldn't be _too_ bad, but again, if it's been outside forever and they've been left "as-is" with the environment those tend to operate in they'll probably be pretty well "growed together"...

...
"Stuff happens" when things are old, particularly...
I'd have taken the lift straight to the hydraulics folks excepting I don't have a lowboy that'll take it nor do they while the Deere folk do and pickup/deliver repair work gratis (well, it ain't exactly free but at least it's in the shop bill :) ). We deal with them all the time anyway as well as are working farm....
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On Wed, 18 Nov 2015 13:11:35 -0500, "Jim Wilkins"

Very cool, George. Congrats.

Why didn't you leave the harness with the controller, duuuuude?

I love beating the price hikes. New vendors on eBay usually put stuff up for a song to get the feel of pricing, so if you buy one early, it's 20% of the end price. My backup controller was $13 delivered, but doesn't have an LCD.
Thinking about moving to a smaller water heater (20g) which can be heated with lower power elements fed directly from a 24v solar array. Hot water is nearly half my electric use, which now averages $41/mo.
--
The most powerful factors in the world are clear
ideas in the minds of energetic men of good will.
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On 19-Nov-15 1:48 PM, Larry Jaques wrote:

snipped

Sounds cheap, how much is off grid power? I'm guessing you are US based?
We pay about $0.27 per kW.hr here in Australia.

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Yes, Oregon, USA. It's not so much the cost of off-grid power, it's the concept of being entirely self-sufficient during the coming grid crises. 1) The increasing age/fragility of our electrical grid and 2) terrorism loom just off the bow of our future. The grid has suffered 362 attacks between 2011 and 2015. Granted, some of those are from kids wanting to see a transformer explode, but look at this article: http://tinyurl.com/pc9pfyv (Crom, I hate listening to broadcast news, but it can carry tiny tidbits of actual information.) Metcalf wasn't a simple attack and cost over $15 million to repair.

Grid power is just $0.06 here. Thinking of adding another 400W to 1kW ($600-2,200) to the whopping 45W of power I now utilize. Selling unused assets for it.
--
Cogito, ergo armatum sum.

(I think, therefore I am armed.)
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wrote:

This is true. Maybe Sunday...
--
The most powerful factors in the world are clear
ideas in the minds of energetic men of good will.
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