TIG Welding Helmet

I am a new TIG Welder. I just purchased a Lincoln Precision TIG 185.
It has lot's more capability than I have skill at this point. When I
bought it I got an auto darkening helment with a #10 lens. It seems
like it is a little dark. A friend told me I should get an adjustable
that goes down to #8. Does anyone with more experience have any
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None of the adjustable lenses go down to #8.
#9 - #13 is the common range.
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Ernie Leimkuhler
/Nomex underwear: ON
I am also very new at TIG welding. I will never really be a weldor though.
I bought two expensive ( >US$300) auto darkening helmets in succession. Adjusted to their minimum shade, I simply could not see what I was doing. When I replaced the electronic module in one of the helmets with a shade #9 gold lens, suddenly I could see everything clearly. My welding improved dramatically after that.
Your Mileage Will Vary
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I want to thank you for helping me immensely--indirectly. I do a lot of flux-core welding, and I have never been able to see the puddle very well. I use a Harbor Freight helmet (much cheaper than yours) with diopter correction lenses installed. Based on what you said, above, I decided to try the hand-held filter that came with the welder, and WOW! I can see. So I started playing with my auto-darkening setup, and this is what I found. Counting the protective front plastic and the diopter lenses, I have to look through six surfaces--all were dirty, and some were scratched. Cleaned it all up, and my welding is improved. The biggest plus is that my welds go where I want, instead of wandering around in the haze.
All this time I thought it was the smoke from the flux-core, and I was trying to put up with it.
Reply to
Leo Lichtman
You are welcome!
That is what I found as well.
Seeing is good.
It makes me cringe every time I see someone arc weld without a helmet on _American Chopper_. "I'll just close my eyes. That'll work!"
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