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Hey guys,

I'm still repairing rust. Last night I was working on repairing the floor pan under my convertible brace. I bought one of the short front floorpans to make a patch with, but it didn't have enough of the tranny-tunnel included to work. So, I cut part of the front off that I didn't need and butt welded it where I needed it.

Anyway, when butt welding a piece of thin sheet metal along an 18" seam, you kind of need to be able to see what you're doing. I couldn't see a darn thing through my #10 welding helmet. I tried putting the piece in front of my twin 500 Watt halogen spotlights even, and I still couldn't see it through my helmet. The problem is that with welder set at its lowest power setting to avoid burn through (except for a couple of spots /forums/images/icons/frown.gif) the arc doesn't throw enough light to see the piece.

In desperation, I finally grabbed my oxy-accetylene goggles and welded with them. I could see great. Heck, with the spotlights I could even see the piece without the arc on. I got the best looking bead I've ever made. After grinding, You can't even see the seam line on the bottom side (I left the top a bit proud for added strength).

The question is, am I risking my eyesight MIG Welding on the lowest setting with only the welding goggles on?

Opinions?

Phil

btw...it didn't "hurt" to look at the arc if that means anything, with the goggles on.
 

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I'm assuming you did this last night. Since you didn't wake up in the middle of the night screaming in agony because you couldn't open your eyes, I'd say you are OK from the experience. However, I think you still may jeapordizing your eyesight.

Maybe give a call to your local welding supply shop. IIRC they sell lenses in #8 and #9, which sounds more like what you would want/need.
 
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What shade are the O/A goggles? You may have to go to a #9 for your shield, or get an autodimmer
that adjustes between #9 to #12. I love mine. Pricey but worth it imo.
 

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Yes, you are hurting your eyes. Cutting goggles do help. I know what you mean about being able to see, but, it only will get worse with the cutting goggles. Go to your welding shop and get a lighter lens for your shield. There is a difference.....As the guys at the welding supply place for help. They can guide you to the right light filter lens.....
 
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One other thing you may check is the lens in "auto-darkening" requires a battery to function. This little AAA battery (in most cases...) provides the current charge to change the material inside the glass frame to provide the instantaneous change in flitering. Your battery may be dead and the lens locked in fulldark mode.

Just a thought to check before you spend more money and time in a potentially unsafe mode....
 

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Phil,

Just go to a lower number arc welding lens (if you're still using the old-fashioned helmets like I do)...

IIRC, I use a #8 for low-amp TIG welding when OOP, which usually means lousy peripheral lighting...

My understanding is that the lenses not only dim the arc, but they block certain wavelengths of light which can be harmful to the eye...I'm not certain the lenses for a oxy/gas torch have the same features...

IMO, always err on the side of safety...you only have two eyes, and as I've "seen" lately (with a friend who's losing his sight to diabetes), it's hell when they go..
 

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I'm going to agree withe the auto darkening helmet. My old #10 just sits on the cart waiting for someone to use it. I just use a little jackson helmet. MUCH better!!!
Don't risk your eyes, you'll need them to drive the mustang.
 

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I agree with 'camachinist'.

I too weld with the old style shield with the #8 lens. I have only gotten 'welders flash' a couple of times When you do get it, you won't want to get it again. You may have squeaked by this time, but I wouldn't push my luck. Now if you were just tacking, the torch glasses would be ok, IMO. But not for actual welding.

They also say blue eyes are more sensitive, I don't know if it is true or not. Both mine are brown. We may have to go to the David Bowe web site and ask him.
 

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Electric arc welding produces intense ultra-violet rays that will basically give your corneas a blistering sunburn. It is so intense that the reflection off the floor and surrounding metal will damage your eyes. You will wake up about 12 hours later all tearful and panicking because it feels like you have sand in your eyes. SWMBO will take you to the emergency room and you'll say "No, I don't have welder's flash" because you think that is the purple dot instead of cornea blistering. The doctor will explain it all to you because he has nothing better to do at 4AM Sat night/Sun morning.

After you spend the next day listening to TV instead of watching it, Your wife will gladly buy you a cool flaming-skull auto-darkening helmet from Harbor Freight/Northern Tools if you promise not to let this happen again.

This is all just a theory. I wouldn't know anything about this....
 

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At work, we have 1 fixed helmet and 2 auto darkening. The fixed gets very little use. When we use lower settings, we just turn down a knob and weld. It is a lot quicker than hunting the elusive spare lens. At home, I have a Hobart. It is a name I know, not like the ones from Harbor Freight. And the local dealers probably have them in stock for use today. As a side note, in the past, I have had eye burns from welding and I would not wish it on anyone. And now my eyesight is going away. Protect your eyes at any cost.
 

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man, i get a headache even with the proper mask
 
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The corneal burns heal in a couple of days. The damage to the retina can take years to manifest itself, and that lasts a lifetime.
 

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Do not use the OxyAcc goggles they're not blocking UVA and UVB the same way as a #8 to #12 Tig/Mig welding helmet.
Arc generate different spectrum that OXAC.
I used the OXAC goggles when I did my roller cage and floor pans, it was not for the long period of time, but I end up in the doctor with the eye drops and 2 weeks pain.
I will not recomment it. Use adequate halogen lights and # 8 glass. After my experience i invested 140 bucks and got Auto-dim helmet.
Just my 2 cents.
 

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Are you over 40?They make magnifiers for us seeing impared.
I sometimes use my reading glasses under my helmet.Robert
PS getting old is a bit**
 

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I'm a newbie at welding but I went ahead and got the autodarkening helmet because of all the posts read on this site about it being the best protection. Yes, it hurts to spend $140+ on a piece of equipment you may only use 10 or 15 times a year, but it is well worth it in the long run. I did the mufflers and tailpipe on my chebby this past week and it was great to be able to see while doing the job. I won't even mention about the nasty burns on my neck and chest and arm from the slag dropping down on me. Now if I can figure out how to stop that! Guess I better go ahead and get the gas cyl. for the mig set up so I won't have to contend with hot slag!
 
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