American Welding Society Forum
Been welding with a stick welder and torch all my life but finally broke down and got a MIG for the light stuff so I didn't have to fight the heat distortion of the torch. I threw on my trusty stick helmet (shade #11 lense) and almost welded the piece to the bench because I couldn't see well enough. I've tried several different places on the net and am getting conflicting info on how low I can go on the shade # for a 125 amp MIG (anywhere from #7 to #10). I will be using both gas and flux core and will probably approach the high end current if it works as well as I hope compared to the stick. Any help would be much appreciated (email okay)!
A #10 should work fine. When I was going through weld school, the instructor gave us the recommended shades for each process. But his advice was to start with the darkest one and change to lower shades only if we couldn't see the puddle well enough. That will provide the most protection for your eyes. If #11 isn't working for you, go to #10. If #10 isn't working for you go to #9. If you weld all day with a light shade and your eyes feel like they are full of sand at night, switch to a darker lens.
Thanks for the reply! I know the "sand in the eye" feeling very well. Some 35 years ago I made my living welding on a production line where piece work over a certain threshold got you extra money and I managed to flash myself too many times when in a big hurry. Since that time it has been mostly recreational and fixing stuff for myself and friends. To this day I still love to weld and experiment with different things.
also remember, when you weld thin material, the arc won't be as bright as when you weld thick material. that's because of the amperages. personally, for thin material and using a standard lens, #10 is good for me. with an automatic lens, #11 is good for me. some guys in my shop like to use #10 in their automatic helmets for everything. i use #10 in my auto helmet and i'm almost blinded! and if you go with the plastic lenses, they're inexpensive, so go buy an assortment and try them out.
5 oct 01 has end of thread with more on this subject.
In my auto shade lens I have always prefered #10.The hood I have is adjustable from #9-#13.In lower amperage welding the arc can be harder to see depending on the eyesight of the individual, causing you to wander out of the area to be welding.If you are using a #10 and getting your eyes burned then you should definitely go to a darker shade.You only have one set of eyes and when they're gone,they're gone!
Before I started using auto shades I prefered a #10 lens with the gold plating on it.For my eyes this made the arc a blueish color instead of green which I thought enabled me to have better vision of the puddle and surrounding area.
Every welder sees differently and as we get older so does our sight.My suggestion is to use whatever shade is comfortable to you as long as you don't get the "sand in the eyes" effect because the more you get that then the sooner you will quit being a welder.(you can't see,you can't weld)
Thanks Folks! I went down and got a #8,9&10 shade today. I'll give them a try this weekend and see what works for me.
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