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post #1 of (permalink) Old 10-16-2002, 10:36 AM Thread Starter
 
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Newbie welding question - Auto-dark helmet or no?

I just picked up my welder a couple days ago. It's a Lincoln Pro-Mig 135. So far I like it. It came with a cheesy hand held face shield that will obviously need to be replaced with a helmet.
Should I buy an auto-darkening helmet? I've seen the Lincoln bottom of the line ones in my area for around $127. I think it would make learning to weld a lot easier, but is it worth the $100 extra for the auto-darkening convenience?
I was watching Monster Garage on the Discovery Channel (cool show) and noticed that even though they have a budget for good tools, they still had regular welding helmets.
Having a ton of fun laying beads and practising. Going to pick up some more scrap steel today to practice on. [img]images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 10-16-2002, 10:46 AM
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Re: Newbie welding question - Auto-dark helmet or

I have never used an auto dark hood myself, but i have acouple of buddies that have. They said it was a waste of money. They still get welding flash alot. Its not too bad but enough to bother them.
post #3 of (permalink) Old 10-16-2002, 10:56 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Newbie welding question - Auto-dark helmet or

Sorry for my lack of knowledge, but when you say "welding flash" does that mean that the helmet is slow to darken when the arc is first struck?
The specs on the one that I was looking at says it darkens in 1/25,000th of a second [img]images/graemlins/shocked.gif[/img]
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 10-16-2002, 11:03 AM
 
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Re: Newbie welding question - Auto-dark helmet or no?

i have a auto darkening helmet i would never go back to the cheezy fixed or flip lense ones it makes it so much easier to tell what you are doing because you can see right up to the pioint of striking the arc i often hold pieses with one hand and the stinger with the other when tacking things together the flash i think they are refering to is very small i have never paid attention to it or even thought about it also you can weld in the dark with a auto helmet you strike an arc and the hot lead will produce light (since the helmet lightenes you can see) enough to properly align the stinger then you can weld
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 10-16-2002, 11:04 AM
 
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Re: Newbie welding question - Auto-dark helmet or

they are nice if you can spare the $$$, but you have to be alot more careful where you leave them, and take better care of them.

Ive never gotten flashed using one, and ive used one a little bit.

heres a cheap tip, im weldeding some stuff outside right now, ive got a quartz floodlight setup right next to the diff im welding, so even with my hood down, I can see where im striking the arc..

youll figure it out, and make strong welds with or without the auto dark hoods.

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post #6 of (permalink) Old 10-16-2002, 11:22 AM
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Re: Newbie welding question - Auto-dark helmet or no?

I started out with a regular helmet that the welding shop was nice enough to give me cause it was a demo that was hanging on the wall.

I have since gotten an autodarkening helmet. I have yet gotten flashed using it. There are still times that I lift it to know where I am but for the most part I can see everything pretty well.

I do the same thing as suggested before by useing a light. I'm welding outside right now and Its a bit dark out there. I set up a light and put it behind me so that its not facing me. I noticed that when It was to close the flash was brighter but not harmful.

Now,I got my auto helmet for free but they can be expensive. My buddy found a lends on Ebay really cheap. he just had to find a helmet to fit.

Good luck welding. It takes time. I still have my good/bad days while welding
post #7 of (permalink) Old 10-16-2002, 11:22 AM
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Re: Newbie welding question - Auto-dark helmet or no?

I started out with a regular helmet that the welding shop was nice enough to give me cause it was a demo that was hanging on the wall.

I have since gotten an autodarkening helmet. I have yet gotten flashed using it. There are still times that I lift it to know where I am but for the most part I can see everything pretty well.

I do the same thing as suggested before by useing a light. I'm welding outside right now and Its a bit dark out there. I set up a light and put it behind me so that its not facing me. I noticed that when It was to close the flash was brighter but not harmful.

Now,I got my auto helmet for free but they can be expensive. My buddy found a lends on Ebay really cheap. he just had to find a helmet to fit.

Good luck welding. It takes time. I still have my good/bad days while welding
post #8 of (permalink) Old 10-16-2002, 11:26 AM
 
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Re: Newbie welding question - Auto-dark helmet or no?

I do not weld that often so the flip hats and me do not do well at all. I love the auto darkening helmets and think they are worth the extra money. Your welds start off a lot better. No problems with weld flash yet, the helmets I used are about $300 though. I am also an electrical guy, so sparks and me do not get along well. In the electrical world, sparks mean something is starting to fault-get the _____ outa there you know!!
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 10-16-2002, 11:34 AM
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Re: Newbie welding question - Auto-dark helmet or no?

I've used auto darkening helmets since they first came out, but only used one make called SpeedGlass. These are not cheap however but well worth their money. I doubt whether you'd find a SpeedGlass for under $200 though.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 10-16-2002, 11:41 AM
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Re: Newbie welding question - Auto-dark helmet or no?

I still use my normal hood that looks like a skull, so it scares away the neighbor kids as I weld [img]images/graemlins/shocked.gif[/img]
When my dad retired out of the local Naval ship yard, he went back for awhile as the welding instructor. He told me they have a whole shelf of the auto helmets sitting there because the welders won't use them.
I guess it can also depend on the machine, my previous mig was always hot, so you would want the lens down before starting, but my new 220v Hobart is cold until the trigger is pulled, so I can place the tip, flip the hood and pull the trigger easier than before.
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