View Full Version : Plasma Cutting with Auto Dark Helmet
04-30-2004, 08:03 AM
I bought a Miller auto dark helmet (adjustable 9-13) a year or so before I found this site. Wondering now if I should have gone with a Speedglas, but the money is spent.
I tried my new Cutmaster 51 after it showed up on Tuesday and found that there was a 1 or 2 second delay before darkening after the arc started. When welding, it darkens instantly. Is this a problem?
Seems I remember reading here or at "the other site" that the UV protection is always there and the shade (auto dark) is more for comfort? Or do I have that all wrong and the darkening also increases the level of UV protection?
Just kinda left me feeling a bit "exposed" with that delay.
For plasma cutting I use #7 shade glasses. Works for me.
Not sure but I believe there was a post on the Hobart or Miller racing site about the reaction time of the auto hoods while plasma cutting. I tried finding the thread but no luck. Maybe someone remembers it and can point you in the right direction. If what memory I have left serves me correctly, I think the general concensus was to not use the auto hood for plasma cutting.
04-30-2004, 11:29 AM
With mine, I use a #5 shade face shield. most of the "arc" is below the work piece.
05-01-2004, 06:12 PM
Ive tried to use my auto dark on plasma cutting but didnt work I stick to #5 safety glasses.
Two votes for #5. Huh! I got to try that.
05-02-2004, 12:25 AM
Yup, I use glasses too.
05-02-2004, 07:58 AM
I began using a full face tinted shield-its just like a flip up grinding shield, but all #5 tint, so it gets used in my oxy-acty welding and cutting as well. It offers the eye protection, plus that all important splatter protection from those pesky sparks. I really like it better than goggles, cooler to use in the summer as well.
neimad....................... iIHAVE A JACKSON THAT WILL LET YOU USE IT FOR CUTTING PLASMA/OXY-ACY............... 5 TO 6 SHOULD BE ADIQUATE..........
I don't think your auto darkening will go that low........ Goggles for oxy/acy cutting should be appropriate or even a full clear face shield over the goggles to dispense with the sparks on exposed skin............ Gloves are pretty much a necesity also.....
05-04-2004, 01:18 PM
I just set my Optrel on #5 and it seems to work fine. I like it because I don't have to change helmets between plasma and mig or grinding, just hit a switch. I guess I'm getting lazy.:D
05-04-2004, 01:56 PM
AWS recommends around a shade 5, I think. The autodark MUST provide high UV protection at all times to meet ANSI. Not that this is an issue for the maker -- it is tremendously difficult to make materials that are very transparent to UV in the first place. Your regular acrylic or polycarb safety glasses provide fair UV protection themselves, and many brands are treated for additional protection.
That said: for low amp cuts, I usually use tinted safety glasses (UV and IR blocking) when plasma cutting in bright light, and go darker with higher current or in darker environments where the plasma jet is dazzling. when I can (sometimes the work position won't allow) I also use a grinding shield for full face protection from sparks.
Funny note on UV: the only common non-metalic materials that are particularly good reflectors of UV are clothing washed with brightening detergents (the brighteners reflect blue, violet , and UV well) and, of all things, clean plaster of pasis. Most plastics are very good absorbers (though not good enough that extra absorbtion isn't added for long term, high exposure situations like welding)
05-04-2004, 02:39 PM
When I first got my Spectrum plasma cutter, I assumed the autodarkening helmet was still the way to go. It got to be a real pain in the Heinekin, though, because it would flash on and off since, as noted, most of the arc is below the material and it would see it and then not see and then see it, etc.
Now, I use a #5 full-face grinding shield. Funny, it was just a coincidence that I had it available, and now I see others have learned it's a good tool for the job, too.
05-04-2004, 03:00 PM
I found these numbers from a miller article:
Amps Minimum Shade
05-04-2004, 03:07 PM
I'm glad to see at least one other person here is using their Optrel Satellite to it's fullest potential... :D It really is all it is advertised to be. ;)
05-04-2004, 11:12 PM
Right on Aaron,
I not only like the adjustments, it is the most comfortable helmet I have ever worn. It is right up there with vanilla ice cream.:cool2:
05-05-2004, 07:24 AM
Thanks for all the responses. Guess I need to get a pair of shade 5's.
Where could I find an Optrel Satellite for a decent price. My son wants to start welding, so I think a second helmet is in order.
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