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Thread: What number shade do you use?

  1. #1
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    What number shade do you use?

    I've been trying to learn with my shade set to 12 and im just going all over the place! i cant see the weld pool or the path im on. I even tried to attach a super strong LED light to my helmet but that is useless as soon as the arc starts.
    What level filter do you use?
    and What is safe for 3/32 to 5/32 sticks?

    Side question... do magnification lenses help? ( im not particularly wanting to be 2 inches away from my weld )
    Last edited by OldNoob; 07-24-2022 at 09:44 PM.

  2. #2
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    Re: What number shade do you use?

    I use 9 - 10 under 200 amps 10 - 13 from 200 amps on up. Sometimes duration or indoors verses outdoors comes into play.
    Clean inner and outer protectives covers should be new also. That will also help.

    If you need readers not welding then yeah the help when welding. I use safety glass readers that are full lenses and not bifocals.
    Last edited by Freebirdwelds; 07-24-2022 at 10:05 PM.
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    Re: What number shade do you use?

    What he said ^^^, I would also add that parasitic light entering from the rear of your hood is a big problem also, I found some old leather chaps or something to make a curtain for the back of my hood to block it.

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    Re: What number shade do you use?

    Somewhere around 11 for most mig, as the covers get pitted up I may turn it down between 9-10. 5/32" or bigger 7018 ,12-13. Tig, which I don't use much, 9-10. That's with a Lincoln 3350 Viking, which is a really clear view hood.

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    Re: What number shade do you use?

    So long as I'm not using pulse, I just set my Optrel on Auto-pilot and don't worry about it. Adjusts itself on-the-fly.
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    Re: What number shade do you use?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oscar View Post
    So long as I'm not using pulse, I just set my Optrel on Auto-pilot and don't worry about it. Adjusts itself on-the-fly.
    I wondered about how well that Auto feature worked. Optrel is on the short list of the hoods I'm looking at as an upgrade/replacement to my old hood.

    Which one do you have?

    Sent from my Lincoln Buzzbox using Tapatalk

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    Re: What number shade do you use?

    Quote Originally Posted by CAVEMANN View Post
    What he said ^^^, I would also add that parasitic light entering from the rear of your hood is a big problem also, I found some old leather chaps or something to make a curtain for the back of my hood to block it.
    Yep! I have a leather "curtain" on the back of my hood.

    Sent from my Lincoln Buzzbox using Tapatalk

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  13. #8
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    Re: What number shade do you use?

    All of the above and clear lenses. The plastic ones fog with age and need to be changed even if they look clean.
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  15. #9
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    Re: What number shade do you use?

    I use 11 on my fixed shade. On my autodarks, I generally start at 11 and go down from there if needed.

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    Re: What number shade do you use?

    Quote Originally Posted by 52 Ford View Post
    Yep! I have a leather "curtain" on the back of my hood.

    Sent from my Lincoln Buzzbox using Tapatalk
    do you find that body heat is kept inside while using the curtain? And how do you get the heat out?

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  18. #11
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    Re: What number shade do you use?

    I use a leather cover over backside of hood to block the sunlight it also stops sparks hitting my head too.

    Most stick welding I use #10 .
    Today my hood is adjustable

    In the past I used #11 gold lens.

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by OldNoob View Post
    I've been trying to learn with my shade set to 12 and im just going all over the place! i cant see the weld pool or the path im on. I even tried to attach a super strong LED light to my helmet but that is useless as soon as the arc starts.
    What level filter do you use?
    and What is safe for 3/32 to 5/32 sticks?

    Side question... do magnification lenses help? ( im not particularly wanting to be 2 inches away from my weld )

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  20. #12
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    Re: What number shade do you use?

    Miller has an "AWS Shade Selector" that will at least get you started in the right ballpark.

    http://www.millerwelds.com/-/media/i...e-selector.pdf

    It's going to depend on the individual person, the amperage being used, the material type being welded as well as the prep. Ultra shiny surfaces are going to make everything brighter, and things with lots of nickel look way darker than say Titanium/Aluminum. Nearby surfaces can affect it as well, the AWS had a blurb I saw once about how painted surfaces near welding shouldn't be painted with a certain type of paint due to increased reflectivity of UV light but I don't remember where I saw it.

    We only TIG at work, I run a #9 for anything under ~60amps and bump up to a #10 for 60-120amps. One of my coworkers just told me he uses shade 13 all the time. I don't know how he can see what he's doing but his welds look fine so who knows.

    As far as a cheater goes I use a 1.5x, I don't need reading glasses at all, but the average thickness I weld is ~0.035" so the cheater helps with eye strain. Cheaters are personal preference in my experience, one of the old timers does need reading glasses but he uses the bifocal part of his safety glasses instead. Another old timer uses a 3x cheater and reading glasses to weld which I assume is like looking through the wrong end of binoculars.

    Edit: I found the AWS blurb about paint, it's in their safety and health fact sheet #42.

    https://www.aws.org/library/doclib/f...tober-2021.pdf
    Last edited by Thoriated Wolfram; 07-25-2022 at 09:44 AM.

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  22. #13
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    Re: What number shade do you use?

    Quote Originally Posted by 52 Ford View Post
    I wondered about how well that Auto feature worked. Optrel is on the short list of the hoods I'm looking at as an upgrade/replacement to my old hood.

    Which one do you have?

    Sent from my Lincoln Buzzbox using Tapatalk
    I have the e684, Crystal 2.0, and Panoramaxx CLT 2.0. The Auto-pilot works great, so long as you're not using pulse, since it has a finite switching speed. When I say "pulse", I don't mean the totally incorrect notion that some people have about using one's hand to turn an arc on-and-off, which is NOT pulse (when the arc completely extinguishes and then is re-established is called "stitch welding"). I mean machine-based pulsed currents whereby the current ramp up/down is very very very fast. If it's too fast and frequent, the Auto-pilot might not be able to keep up, so I just leave it off when I used machine-based pulse. For non-pulsed TIG it is the absolute best when using a foot-pedal because it will obviously darken itself as you ramp up, and lighten as you ramp down, so your view of the puddle and surrounding area is the same regardless of the amperage level, so long as you are within the bounds of the maximum darkness shade. The e684 can darken to 13, and lighten to 4, and the Crystal 2.0 and Panoramaxx CLT both darken to 12 and lighten to 2. All three have a "bias" knob whereby you can shift the whole auto-pilot curve either down or up depending on your taste; so if it doesn't darken as much as you'd like when set to "0" you go towards the "+", and if it darkens too much, you turn the knob towards the "-" , and the auto-pilot takes care of the rest.
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  24. #14
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    Re: What number shade do you use?

    I was watching a video of a guy welding in what appeared to be one of those "..stan" countries. And he was laying down some very nice beads but he was just welding with regular sunglasses. no gloves or long sleeves and wearing sandals.
    i wonder how ling he can keep that up.

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    Re: What number shade do you use?

    Great videos
    I like the one with female welding in 2 piece bathing suit. Looks great but there no fun that night.

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by OldNoob View Post
    I was watching a video of a guy welding in what appeared to be one of those "..stan" countries. And he was laying down some very nice beads but he was just welding with regular sunglasses. no gloves or long sleeves and wearing sandals.
    i wonder how ling he can keep that up.

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    Re: What number shade do you use?

    Quote Originally Posted by BillE.Dee View Post
    do you find that body heat is kept inside while using the curtain? And how do you get the heat out?
    Good question. Im wondering this also.
    I use a homemade denim cap from a old jeans leg it covers my ears but it gets awfully hot. the only advantage is it absorbs some of the sweat
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    Re: What number shade do you use?

    Quote Originally Posted by OldNoob View Post
    Good question. Im wondering this also.
    I use a homemade denim cap from a old jeans leg it covers my ears but it gets awfully hot. the only advantage is it absorbs some of the sweat
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    I can think of a few times I would of loved to have that. Not for every day, but I'd keep it on the truck.
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  30. #18
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    Re: What number shade do you use?

    Quote Originally Posted by BillE.Dee View Post
    do you find that body heat is kept inside while using the curtain? And how do you get the heat out?
    It can get pretty toasty in there. Whenever I can, I have a fan moving air in my direction to get rid of welding fumes (I almost exclusively stick weld), so that helps a lot. I cut the leather strips long enough that I can tuck them forward and they sorta lay on top of the top band of the headgear, so the back of my head can still get air.

    Something like this would probably work really well: https://www.amazon.com/Arctic-Air-Fr...657&psc=1&th=1

    Saw it on TV the other day.

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  32. #19
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    Re: What number shade do you use?

    Quote Originally Posted by Freebirdwelds View Post
    I can think of a few times I would of loved to have that. Not for every day, but I'd keep it on the truck.
    https://www.sportsmansguide.com/prod...-new?a=2259165 these are pretty sweet. Aught to be a bit cooler than denim.

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  34. #20
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    Re: What number shade do you use?

    #10 is the most common general purpose shade. There can be differences between different brands that affect how well you can see. Under 100 amps maybe a #9, over 250 amps a #11 and heavy gouging a #13. Some people like the gold lenses but if the gold scratches you can get flashed. There have been a few threads on here where different brands of auto helmets seem to have differences in how dark the lenses are even when they are set to the same shade.
    For keeping back light out you could always use a leather helmet like this. A balaclava under the helmet won't stop glare from bouncing off the inside of the helmet into your eyes.

    https://weldfabulous.com/tillman-500...elding-helmet/
    Last edited by Welder Dave; 07-25-2022 at 11:33 PM.

  35. #21
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    Re: What number shade do you use?

    Black stallion makes a helmet glare guard that goes around the back of your hood but still lets you flip it up.

    I've never used it but one of the guys here has it on his hood. It looks a bit cumbersome but I could see how it'd be pretty handy outdoors during summer. Doesn't look like it gets as hot as other options out there but it's only made out of flame resistant cotton so it might not last very long for some of you heavier duty out of position guys. It also looks like a nice way to trap sparks/spatter between the back of your head and the guard if you run a bunch of overhead.

    https://www.blackstallion.com/produc...rd-detail.html

  36. #22
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    Re: What number shade do you use?

    I had the same issue. The two changes that were suggested to me that really worked great for me were to
    1- get plenty of light. Sunlight or other really powerful artificial light,
    2- I was advised to get the Lincoln 3350 welding helmet.
    Both were worth it.
    In addition, I use cheater lenses in my helmet and I stop as much light leaking in back of the helmet.

    All these made a huge improvement for me. Amazing how much better one feels when one's errors are at least just due to lack of skill rather than being compounded by lack of seeing the puddle.
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    Re: What number shade do you use?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thoriated Wolfram View Post
    Black stallion makes a helmet glare guard that goes around the back of your hood but still lets you flip it up.

    I've never used it but one of the guys here has it on his hood. It looks a bit cumbersome but I could see how it'd be pretty handy outdoors during summer. Doesn't look like it gets as hot as other options out there but it's only made out of flame resistant cotton so it might not last very long for some of you heavier duty out of position guys. It also looks like a nice way to trap sparks/spatter between the back of your head and the guard if you run a bunch of overhead.

    https://www.blackstallion.com/produc...rd-detail.html
    The hooded welding jacket from them is even better, and less cumbersome, but does block airflow, so it gets hotter. But overall its worth it. I added velcro strips to my welding helmets and to the edge of the hoodie, and it stays put and will block 98% of all ambient light. Even when it's super duper hot, I still use it since its worth it.
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  38. #24
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    Re: What number shade do you use?

    Is that what you wear when graduate welding college? Instead of flipping a tassel from one side to the other, they flip your helmet down.

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    Re: What number shade do you use?

    This thread has been v helpful. That Black Stallion hood looks silly, but Iíll probably end up getting one soon! FWIW, I use 1.5 magnification safety glasses which is perfect (for me) for working at armís length, then a 1.0 magnification cheater lens on the helmet so I can see better when I move in to weld.

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