Cheap auto mask/cheap standard mask...

New to welding for about a year now I got a bog standard cheapo helmet
[filter shade 10] with my 150amp MIG welder. Fine, but it wasn't easy
getting things going. Then I bought a cheapo auto-darkening. Great,
problem solved. But today I was patching a hole in the sill of a
mate's car and having real problems getting a decent straight weld
along the edge of the plate I was attaching to the car. On reflection,
and it occured to me that I couldn't really see what I was doing! Got
home and tried the old discarded standard helmet, and by magic I could
see what I was doing again!! Different world.
I can't justify the money for a decent auto mask, so, I think from now
on, I'm back to the basic #10 lens and a 500w halogen lamp to get me
Nothing much here, just needed to say it.
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You need an auto dark helmet with adjustable shades. My latest one adjust from a #7 to #13, I believe, It also has a fast/slow switch on it, but I just leave it at fast, never tried the slow setting. I usually set it on #9 as most of the welding I do is TIG, MIG, or a low setting (60 amp) DC ARC. I very seldom weld anything over approximately 1/8-3/16 inch thick anymore. And if I weld something heavy, I just use 6011 rods and even at 60 amps, you can burn through some thick steel if you want to. Even then I just leave it at #9, I haven't had "scratchy eyes" yet.
One thing I have to mention. I have been welding off and on for nearly 40 years and I can't get used to the auto-dark helmet. I still want to lift the helmet to look at the work.
Reply to
Diamond Jim
"garryb59" wrote: (clip) tried the old discarded standard helmet, and by magic I could see what I was doing again!! (clip) ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Are all the look-through surfaces clean on the auto-dark helmet? It's amazing how dirt can accumulate gradually and create a haze that makes it hard to see.
Reply to
Leo Lichtman
Yes, it seems to be ok, although there are some minor scrathes on the outside lens. I'm not too worried right now, content to go back to the original for now.
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Yes, I forgot to mention the mask I have is also adjustable from #7 to #13, but no fast/slow siwtich. Maybe I need a better quality one to get the full benefit. Ok for now. Garry
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Some times light will reflect off the inside of the lense and make it hard to see. Some helmets are wider than others, I have a small head so this is always a problem.
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I like to use soap stone or something like that to mark the weld line. The white shows up on most surfaces and gives you a guide.
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I use the gold lenses in my masks- they're a little pricey but I don't mind. They're also quite fragile- a little slag behind the cover lense will ruin one quick, with the resultant burned eyes. I've found that if I tape a cover lens on the front of the gold lens they'll last about forever; I use good quality electrical tape and run a strip all the way around the edge of the two lenses. A second cover lens in front and it's ready to go..
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