Choosing Your Welding Hood
- by Karl
There are so many choices concerning the contemporary welding hood. Really, when it comes down to it, it is not so much the hood itself but the lens you will see through.
There are multiple makers of welding lenses today. Some of those lenses are solid glass, some of those lenses are plastic, some are glass with coverings on the glass. Some lenses have a green tint, some have a gold tint, some have a maroon tint and so on. The variations of lenses also come with variable pricing as well. Welding hoods are also composed of various materials causing the actual to have different weights as well.
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Let me deliver to you the helmets that I believe are the best for each different situation and why as we dig into this subject. The solid glass of old is still the best for working with TIG welding. Due to the nature of the welding arc being obscured from time to time by the movement of the cup, the lens has a tendency to flash on and off. This is not so much damaging as it is a nuisance to the vision of the welder.
When it comes to welding, safety is always the number one priority. That’s why you need a reliable welding inspection service to help keep your workplace safe and compliant. At Industrial Welding Inspection of San Diego, we have more than 20 years of experience in the industry, so you can trust us to get the job done right. We use the latest technology and equipment to ensure that your welds meet all safety standards, and we’re always available to answer any questions you may have. Contact us today for a free consultation!
There are some hoods that proclaim the ability to stay darkened even under the environment that TIG welding of MIG welding produces. Let me tell you from my professional experience as a long time TIG welder, that when you use some of the advanced techniques that an expert welder uses, an auto darkening lens is not the best choice. I always find myself going back to the solid filter glass of a fixed shade. I personally like the # 10 shade. You will have to experiment for your own preference when it comes to the shade of your choice and what works best for you.
I try to use the auto darkening lenses as much as possible, especially when using stick rod processes. I welded on jobs where one simple accidental arc strike outside of the weld zone got you run off if detected by the welding inspector. Using a quick change lens can save you from an embarrassing and costly situation like that.
Let’s look at the solid lens first. Solid Lenses have been around since the time of torch and brazing were used. It was not the protective hood that was a staple of the mechanic/welder but the goggles and his lenses used to get a better picture of his puddle in the days of brazing and oxygen gas welding. The solid lens is cheap and efficient. It is not fancy but still very effective.
I still find myself going back to the solid lens for certain welding processes. It works well with any basic hood and can be a good place to start for the inexperienced welder. Better yet, the welder that does not have much money when getting started.
The shades of fixed lenses usually range from 9 to 12. There are some 5 and 8 shades but I would not recommend using anything less than a 10 when welding high voltage electricity. You may not feel the immediate affect of the damage that can be caused by using the lighter shades of lenses, but the damage is being done and will catch up with you much later in life. Please take that seriously.
One of the very popular fixed shade lenses of all time has to be the gold plated lens. You find a difference in the visuals of the puddle when comparing the different lenses. The gold lens appears somewhat gold and orange in nature. The old green style appear as just that, greenish blue. There are solid lenses designed for exotic metals like aluminum that are somewhat different than the nominal carbon series. You don’t have to have one of these but I tell you just to inform you. I have a lens still today that is a plastic lens that has a gold laminate covering but the puddle does not appear gold, it appears maroon colored. The only problem with it, it is not bright like the normal shade 10. It appears along the lines of a shade 11.
Industrial Welding Inspection of San Diego
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There are so many choices concerning the contemporary welding hood. Really, when it comes down to it, it is not so much the hood itself but the lens you will see through. There are multiple makers of welding lenses today. Some of those lenses are solid glass, some of those lenses are plastic, some are…