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Welding Helmet query

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Cobra

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#1
I have been using a basic 3M Speed glass helmet for MIG welding for the last several years.
Seems to work OK for most jobs but do have to say that I get flashed not rarely.
I bought a new multi system and yesterday was trying out the TIG on some steel.
Didn't go so well. The lens would only infrequently darken - got old real quick.
Is this unusual? Do I need to get a new helmet for TIG?
I tried it with stick this morning and the helmet worked great.
Thanks
Jim
 

Ray C

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#2
Auto darkening hoods need to be rated for AC and DC TIG. Almost any hood will work on any kind of AC process or anything that has high-frequency flickering and flashing. Any kind of DC Stick process will work because of all the flickering that take place. The light from DC TIG is steady and continuous and many sensors won't be triggered by it.

For example, there are about 4 versions of harbor freight helmets. The 2 cheapest ones won't do DC TIG but the other 2 work fine.

You must read the specs of the hood/sensor.

Ray
 

Groundhog

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#3
I've got an old Speed Glass that I use for a little mig but mostly tig. Never been flashed. I'd say the lens is either bad (maybe batteries bad?) or the settings are wrong. Like I say, I've never had a bit of trouble with my Speed Glass (it is about 7-8 years old), I'm really pleased with it.

If you need a pdf of the instructions if that would help.
 

Groundhog

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#4
Just read Ray C's post. As far as I know all Speed Glass helmets are good for AC and DC, and are good for very low volatges and amps. (mine is a 9100). All Speed Glass (and I think all helmets sold in the US now) provide UV protected even if the lens does not darken. So, you cannot get flash burns to your eyeballs.
 

Cobra

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#5
I've got an old Speed Glass that I use for a little mig but mostly tig. Never been flashed. I'd say the lens is either bad (maybe batteries bad?) or the settings are wrong. Like I say, I've never had a bit of trouble with my Speed Glass (it is about 7-8 years old), I'm really pleased with it.

If you need a pdf of the instructions if that would help.
This one must be either really basic or old as there are no adjustments to the lens.
Jim
 

Cobra

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#6
Auto darkening hoods need to be rated for AC and DC TIG. Almost any hood will work on any kind of AC process or anything that has high-frequency flickering and flashing. Any kind of DC Stick process will work because of all the flickering that take place. The light from DC TIG is steady and continuous and many sensors won't be triggered by it.

For example, there are about 4 versions of harbor freight helmets. The 2 cheapest ones won't do DC TIG but the other 2 work fine.

You must read the specs of the hood/sensor.

Ray

Thanks Ray. Looks like I'm in the market for a new hood if I don't want to learn TIG with my eyes closed!

Jim
 

Ray C

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#7
Thanks Ray. Looks like I'm in the market for a new hood if I don't want to learn TIG with my eyes closed!

Jim
That would be quite a trick. If you pull it off, let us know.

-There's always pulsed TIG if your machine can do it but, I would really recommend learning straight TIG first. Getting the heat set properly for pulsed TIG is probably tricky for a newcomer unless you had a tutor to get it setup for you. It will however, trick the sensor to keep the lens dark.

If you do aluminum on AC (or if your machine does aluminum via pulsed DC) any hood will work.

One other thing to watch for, is to make sure none of the sensors get blocked while your welding. There are at least 2 small sensors near the lenses. Sometimes you get into crazy positions and end-up blocking one of the sensors. It takes both of them to see the light to trigger the shade.

Ray
 

jcp

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#8
Well pleased with a Razorweld RWZ-5000. Extra large lens, TIG compatible, 4 sensors, shade adjustment 9-13, battery and solar power, grinding mode, sensitivity adjustment, delay adjustment, low battery warning, comfortable headgear assembly. $100.00.
 

Cobra

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#9
Thanks Ray. I did go out this morning and get a new helmet.
Amazing how much better this works when you are not squinting because you're afraid the lens will not darken!
Thanks again for the help.
Jim
 

Ray C

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#10
Thanks Ray. I did go out this morning and get a new helmet.
Amazing how much better this works when you are not squinting because you're afraid the lens will not darken!
Thanks again for the help.
Jim
You're welcome...

If your new hood has a grinding setting, be very careful with it. When in grinding mode, it might not get triggered by any kind of welding process. I have several hoods and they're all like that. I for one, hate with a passion, that stupid setting because it's flashed me more times than I can count.

Fortunately, the UV front lens protects you from immediate danger and just makes your eyes light sensitive for the rest of the day.

Ray
 

ericc

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#11
I have a fixed shade old school welding mask for low amp TIG. Actually, I usually only use the auto dark for stick. There are lots of tricks that you can do for low amp TIG. Use a big glass, use a gold lens, and light the working area with a large halogen light. Also, you can start on a copper block and walk the arc over if you don't have HF and a pedal. I have found that I don't need auto dark at all if I have a pedal and HF. Just touch, back off, and hit the pedal.
 

GunsOfNavarone

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#12
Ive been using a Speedglas 9000 for about 11 years....never loved it and they aren't cheap. Sometimes its finicky and i get flashed, i believe it only has one MAYBE 2 sensors. I bought a cheap one on Amazon that, to be honest, i like more AND its solar, can't tell you how many times my Speedglas went down and i didn't have TWO batteries. I just bought an OPTREL PANORAMAXX and i gotta say, blows away ANY helmet I've used. The auto setting (senses the amperage & adjusts accordingly) actually works great. The lens setup is sort of like a goggle within a helmet so you have FULL 180 degree vision. It has "true color" so no more green vision. I turned on the twilight setting and its so much easier on the eyes. It slowly goes clear instead of snapping off. Can't say enough about this hood. Also has FIVE sensors and is RECHARGEABLE. I have about 20 hours under it and is even started to put a dent in batteries. LOVE IT!
 

Doubleeboy

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#13
Got an ESAB Sentinel A50 a few months ago. It replaces a working perfectly Jackson NegGen which is about 11 years old. The ESAB is best helmet I have used. Wait for a % off day on ebay and they can be bought for good price.
 
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