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Thread: How dark should it be?

  1. #1
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    How dark should it be?

    Hey guys,

    Been welding for a few weeks now, and was given an auto-tinting helm that seems to only have one setting. I believe it is a 3M Speedglass 100 series (?), and it has a single "ON/SHADE" button that you press to activate the auto-tint (upon striking an ARC). However, it seems like all I am seeing once it tints is the arc and everything else around it is virtually black, which makes it extremely hard for me to follow where I am going with the bead.

    As far as where I am typically welding, its outdoors and during the day. I have a canopy overhead to block direct sunlight, but it can still be bright outside at times (this is South Florida after all). Could this be a factor or do I need to look into another helmet? Speaking with other welders, I am told that the area around the arc should "illuminate" enough to see where you are going. Not sure if this is true considering I've only used one type of helmet so far.

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks,

    Clint

  2. #2
    It should say on the lens what shade it is.. 9,10,11,12 or 13.. Its probably on the darker end of the scale.. I use a shade 10 but everyone is to there own on what there
    eyes adjust to and how sensitive they are.. Usually a shade 10 or 11 is sufficient for most arc welding or mig welding. When you get up into the 200 plus amperage range you will have to go darker on the shade of the lens you are using.. You need to be able to see around your weld puddle.. If you can't see good you can't weld good..
    If you can see it, You can weld it.........


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  3. #3
    A lot depends on the type of welding you are doing and the current you are using. Most adjustable helmets start around shade 9 and go up from there.

    Dan
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  4. #4
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    Ah yes, I did forget to mention that I'm MIG welding and the shade# is shows is "10" right above the ON/SHADE" button.

    I figured 10 was about mid-range for most folks, but there is definitely something wrong because I really can't see where I am going. I thought maybe it was a matter of my eyes adjusting after awhile, but that isn't happening.

    I suppose maybe I will have to go to the local weld shop and check out other helmets, although is a way to "fake" the intensity of an arc in order to test new helmets before buying them?

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by cscallin View Post
    Ah yes, I did forget to mention that I'm MIG welding and the shade# is shows is "10" right above the ON/SHADE" button.

    I figured 10 was about mid-range for most folks, but there is definitely something wrong because I really can't see where I am going. I thought maybe it was a matter of my eyes adjusting after awhile, but that isn't happening.

    I suppose maybe I will have to go to the local weld shop and check out other helmets, although is a way to "fake" the intensity of an arc in order to test new helmets before buying them?
    Not sure on any way to fake test the shade of a lens, but you can put on a autodarkening helmet and set the intensity to high and look into a light or the sun and get a pretty good idea of how dark that particular shade setting is.. A shade 10 is on the lighter side of the spectrum..
    According to the specs on your helmet, it should have settings for shade 8 through 13.. You might try a lighter shade setting and see how that does for you..
    If you can see it, You can weld it.........


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    Grizzly Drill Press
    Northern Industrial 14'' Dry Cut Saw
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    To many Hand Tools (ditto)
    28'' x 48'' x 1/2'' Top Welding Table
    Not near enough Shop Space

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Stiltner View Post
    According to the specs on your helmet, it should have settings for shade 8 through 13.. You might try a lighter shade setting and see how that does for you..
    That's what I thought at first, but further research showed that there are two models close to what I have. The one I have is only one shade. I think the other one specifically has settings for 8-13 as you pointed out, right above the lens on the inside.

    Ah well, I'll do a bit of experimenting and see what happens.

    Thanks all for your feedback


    - Clint

  7. #7
    Senior Member gilly's Avatar
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    A 10-11 shade is good for mig, maybe you need to get a bright set of shop lights. I use the ones on a stand from Harbor Freight to light up my work better. They work pretty good and i feel like my eyes are protected at that shade.
    Guy

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  8. #8
    Do you have access to another helmet to do a comparison? A bit hard to figure out whether it is the helmet or maybe just your eyes needing a lighter shade.
    Is it OK to want to break something just so that you can weld it back together?

  9. #9
    i shade 10 should be plenty light

    Its not going to look like daytime behind that filter more like night time with a arc guiding you lighting your way
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by WookieWelding View Post
    i shade 10 should be plenty light

    Its not going to look like daytime behind that filter more like night time with a arc guiding you lighting your way
    And maybe this is the problem, there isn't enough of the "guiding light" (at least in my own observation) to see where I am headed. So, the question is, is there too much ambient sunlight outside for that particular helmet, or are my eyes still relatively new and need to simply adjust to the changes. Like I said, maybe it would be better to check out other helmets to see what works, because if I can't see where I am going with my welds, whats the point? I don't have an indoor, artificially lighted area to weld in so I can't compare that either.

    In any case, thanks for the feedback Still in the experimental phase I guess.

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