"Seeing" the puddle

I was wondering how some of the weldors (persons who weld) in this group are
coping with diminishing vision? I am 52 years old and about to go to the
eye doc to get some new glasses. I started wearing glasses at about 42 and
progressivly my vision gets a bit worse with each visit to the doc which I
understand is pretty common for this age bracket. Now I'm still at the
stage where I only need glasses for reading. So my main interest is in
close up work. I primarily TIG weld and want to go to the doc's armed with
good advise about what's working for my fellow weldors. Seems that my
regular "reading" glasses are not working when I weld. Right now I have a
1.5 diopter lens in my hood and wear 1.5 diopter reading glasses on my face.
That works pretty good but want to know if there is a better way to go as
far as seeing whats going on at the end of the tungsten. Thanks in advance.
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When I took TIG at the local CC I found that with a regular 4"X4" window hood and a #4 magnifier lens hot glued to the center of the window I essentially had a bifocal hood. The top and bottom parts were normal vision if it were necessary. The instructor had us do some eye muscle stretches for about a minute or two every day and recommended proper eye nutrition including the eye formula vitamins. I find focusing on the glittering puddle to be confusing for my weakening eyes so I concentrate more on quickly judging the distance the puddle really is and forcing a focal point not allowing a blur for very long. If I have to, I stop and raise the hood to get a clear point of focus then go back at it using the same eye "settings".
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What you're doing now is what most people wind up doing. Precision welding is generally closer work than reading, so you need more correction. Since you only need that correction while wearing the helmet, having the extra correction in the helmet makes sense.
I have a large window auto darkening helmet. I use a standard magnifier in the lower part of the window, sort of a bifocal arrangement. That lets me see well close up when doing TIG, yet I can still see for the arm's length jobs too by just nodding my head slightly.
Note, I also wear bifocal perscription glasses in regular life, so in effect I have 4 different powers I can choose by how I position my head when welding. It can get cumbersome and awkward at times, but what are you going to do when you reach our age?
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Gary Coffman
I am 63, and have 1.75 dioptre for normal reading. For close work, I have a pair of 2.50 glasses. There is no problem wearing them under the hood. In the past, bifocals were used with no problem. My kit also includes goggles that will accommodate specs.
Steve R.
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I've gone to progressives and a large glass. It's only a problem when I have to do overheads. Randy
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Randy Zimmerman
I too wear progressive in Polycarb as a 100% protection with/without additional gear over them.
Slight rotation changes focus. THese have lasted me 2 years now - plan on a new set soon. Suspect I'll keep these since they are progressive - they might do different duty later on. Otherwise - have next lenses in these next time.
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Rod: Buddy, I don't see your problem as being with respect to your glasses. How well do you see in the dark? I use a #8 shade for welding 20-40 amps. It blocks _ALL_ of the IR and UV Radiation's. Even if you were welding at 200 amps. Try dropping the shade number until you can see to weld without seeing spots. :)
Rod Ryker... It is reasoning and faith that bind truth.
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Rod Ryker
Thanks all for responding. I will tweek my vision gear and mention to the optometrist that I do close work and need a stronger script and a regular script.
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