Trouble seeing puddle
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Long Island, Socialist Republic of NY
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    Trouble seeing puddle

    Im having a tough time seeing what's going on with low amp DC TIG welding on steel. I learned TIG backwards, I learned Aluminum first and I'm finding steel a bit tough.

    The machine is a TA Arcmaster 300 ACDC which I was welding .030 steel with using a gas lens, #7 cup, 3/32 Red, Ar at 15 cfh. Helmet is a Jackson Hellraiser with a Nexgen Autodarkening lens set to shade 9. The lens protector is a bit dirty, but not terribly.

    I tried the machine at 30 amps and could see nearly nothing, just the arc. Setting it on pulse with a peak of 80 bottom of 20, 50% ontime and 100-250Hz helped me see a bit.

    I've never had a problem seeing while welding aluminum at 30 amps. The entire weld zone is bright and I can see all that's happening. I had the same problem with my dynasty. I even could see fine while welding soda cans together with a 10 amp peak.

    Do I need to get a lower shade fixed lens for low amp steel? Could it be the lens cover? I feel like I'm welding with a blindfold on.

    Thanks.
    TA Arcmaster 300
    CM3
    XMT 304
    S22P12 suitcase feeder
    X-Treme 12VS
    Optima pulser
    TA161S
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    Stihl 020AVP, 039, 066 Magnum

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    441

    Re: Trouble seeing puddle

    first change the lens cover, it makes a huge difference, never go below 9 shade when Tig welding , you only need to see part of the cup and about 1inch in front of the weld.

    maybe you also need a cheater lens

    another thing.. more stick-out and a bit more torch angle then aluminium
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    www.becmotors.nl
    yup, I quit welding.. joined welder anonymous

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
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    815

    Re: Trouble seeing puddle

    ............ How old are you and when was your last eye exam?

    Thanks,

    Hobo
    Lincoln SA200's... at least 15 - 20. They come and go. Growing partial to the "Short Hoods" in my old age. Last count on Short Hoods was 13 in possession.

  4. #4
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    Long Island, Socialist Republic of NY
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    Re: Trouble seeing puddle

    45 yo. Needing cheaters doesnt explain why its OK with Aluminum but not steel. Is the AC arc brighter?
    TA Arcmaster 300
    CM3
    XMT 304
    S22P12 suitcase feeder
    X-Treme 12VS
    Optima pulser
    TA161S
    Maxstar 150STL
    Hypertherm PM45
    OP setup
    Stihl 020AVP, 039, 066 Magnum

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    SoCal-LA
    Posts
    8,923

    Re: Trouble seeing puddle

    Quote Originally Posted by Drf255 View Post
    45 yo. Needing cheaters doesnt explain why its OK with Aluminum but not steel. Is the AC arc brighter?
    Yes, the AC arc is brighter. That is why I continue to believe it is easier these days to learn starting with alum.

    That being said, I am 56, and use a #2 cheater and a #2 strength reading glasses combined when doing thin steel. And I use a #10 gold filter. Autodarks don't have the clarity for me, but that may just be me.

    And get your face right in tight. Holding the torch at arms length don't work.
    Weld like a "WELDOR", not a wel-"DERR"
    MillerDynasty700DX,Dynasty350DX3ea,Dynasty200DX,Th ermalArc400GTSW,LincolnSW2002ea., MillerMatic350P,MillerMatic200w/spoolgun,MKCobraMig260,Lincoln SP-170T,PlasmaCam/Hypertherm1250,HFProTig4ea,MigMax1ea.

  6. #6
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    Dec 2010
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
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    815

    Re: Trouble seeing puddle

    That's my next suggestion --- Go to a Gold Mirror lens, AO, Cobalt Blue, etc. Reflect the glare as much as possible.

    Thanks,

    Hobo
    Lincoln SA200's... at least 15 - 20. They come and go. Growing partial to the "Short Hoods" in my old age. Last count on Short Hoods was 13 in possession.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Long Island, Socialist Republic of NY
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    2,902

    Re: Trouble seeing puddle

    it was a very bright day. Im wondering if my problem was light getting in my helmet causing my pupils to constrict.
    TA Arcmaster 300
    CM3
    XMT 304
    S22P12 suitcase feeder
    X-Treme 12VS
    Optima pulser
    TA161S
    Maxstar 150STL
    Hypertherm PM45
    OP setup
    Stihl 020AVP, 039, 066 Magnum

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Brooklyn NY
    Posts
    949

    Re: Trouble seeing puddle

    I've had a lot of problems seeing the puddle and I've come to realize that my main problem is in light entering the helmet and causing glare on the inside of my shield... I then proceeded to block off the openings, first a leather closure for the top, then a thing on top draping down both sides to seal the sides somewhat, but I still get some glare from my chest... and I also kind of suffocate because the helmet has less airflow and I also can wind up fogging the lens because of this so it's really not a great solution unless you have breathing apparatus under the helmet... however, it really did solve my problem and really did help me see much better..

    it's kind of like the difference of watching a movie in the dark or watching a movie with all the lights on.... honestly when I finished the stainless job that I was really having problems with though I removed much of my added stuff to the helmet because it was uncomfortable heavy and I couldn't breath, otherwise it was great
    miller 330a bp TIG
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    millermatic 185 MIG
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    snap-on YA5550 plasma cutter
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    etc....

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Long Island, Socialist Republic of NY
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    Re: Trouble seeing puddle

    Quote Originally Posted by shovelon View Post
    Yes, the AC arc is brighter. That is why I continue to believe it is easier these days to learn starting with alum.

    That being said, I am 56, and use a #2 cheater and a #2 strength reading glasses combined when doing thin steel. And I use a #10 gold filter. Autodarks don't have the clarity for me, but that may just be me.

    And get your face right in tight. Holding the torch at arms length don't work.
    Where would I get a cheater lens for my helmet?
    TA Arcmaster 300
    CM3
    XMT 304
    S22P12 suitcase feeder
    X-Treme 12VS
    Optima pulser
    TA161S
    Maxstar 150STL
    Hypertherm PM45
    OP setup
    Stihl 020AVP, 039, 066 Magnum

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    SoCal-LA
    Posts
    8,923

    Re: Trouble seeing puddle

    Quote Originally Posted by Drf255 View Post
    Where would I get a cheater lens for my helmet?
    I think the Jackson hoods use similar retainer plates as Miller does. So there is a clip to add a 2'x4.5" standard magnifier plate. Kind of dumb as the lens is 4"x5". Take a look inside to see if you have those clips at the center of the retaining plate.



    http://m.staples.com/Jackson-Replace...product_702682
    Weld like a "WELDOR", not a wel-"DERR"
    MillerDynasty700DX,Dynasty350DX3ea,Dynasty200DX,Th ermalArc400GTSW,LincolnSW2002ea., MillerMatic350P,MillerMatic200w/spoolgun,MKCobraMig260,Lincoln SP-170T,PlasmaCam/Hypertherm1250,HFProTig4ea,MigMax1ea.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Long Island, Socialist Republic of NY
    Posts
    2,902

    Re: Trouble seeing puddle

    Quote Originally Posted by turbocad6 View Post
    I've had a lot of problems seeing the puddle and I've come to realize that my main problem is in light entering the helmet and causing glare on the inside of my shield... I then proceeded to block off the openings, first a leather closure for the top, then a thing on top draping down both sides to seal the sides somewhat, but I still get some glare from my chest... and I also kind of suffocate because the helmet has less airflow and I also can wind up fogging the lens because of this so it's really not a great solution unless you have breathing apparatus under the helmet... however, it really did solve my problem and really did help me see much better..

    it's kind of like the difference of watching a movie in the dark or watching a movie with all the lights on.... honestly when I finished the stainless job that I was really having problems with though I removed much of my added stuff to the helmet because it was uncomfortable heavy and I couldn't breath, otherwise it was great
    The movie analogy make alot of sense. It's just odd that I can see fine with Aluminum no matter what.

    I only rarely need cheaters, but I'm starting to need them for anything closer than 8" to my face.

    It's really hard to weld when you can't see what's happening. Needless to say, I did alot of tungsten sharpening that day.
    TA Arcmaster 300
    CM3
    XMT 304
    S22P12 suitcase feeder
    X-Treme 12VS
    Optima pulser
    TA161S
    Maxstar 150STL
    Hypertherm PM45
    OP setup
    Stihl 020AVP, 039, 066 Magnum

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