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Welding Health and Safety: Welding Helmet Care

The Voice: Hey, Kevin. What's wrong?

Kevin Caron: Good Lord, I can hardly see out of my welding helmet! When you MIG weld for awhile, all the metal sparks from your welding, along with the smoke and dust, tends to gather on the little safety glass in the front of your helmet. Man, is that filthy!

There's a little clip on the inside of the helmet. It allows you to just pop the lens out - these are cheaters.

The Voice: What do you mean by "cheaters"?

Kevin Caron: I wear glasses normally, but instead of wearing my bifocals inside the helmet - and you older guys know what I'm talking about, trying to weld in there with bifocals ? these lenses are plastic, prescription ground reading lenses, basically.

This is a two diopter, the same as my bifocals. They clip right inside so I can see what I'm doing without needing my expensive glasses inside the helmet with me. You clip those out, and you don't even have to look at them to get them out.

This is the auto-darkening lens that clips inside the helmet. If you look on the front of it, you?ll see the little solar panel. That's what actually gets power from the arc, and that's what turns the lens dark; pretty cool.

The Voice: Does every helmet have that?

Kevin Caron: No. Some of them have battery power. There?s a little battery inside the helmet and an on-off button. It also has a sensor in the front of it to turn the helmet light or dark.

This one has the sensor, too. I think it's on that side. This auto-darkening lens runs on the solar panel, so you never need a battery.

Next is the little safety lens, which comes out from the front. You give it a push and it pops right out.

The Voice: Let me see that up close. Wow. No wonder you couldn't see.

Kevin Caron: Yep. And here's what things look like with a new lens; big difference, eh? So this guy goes in the trash and this just snaps in on the front.

The Voice: Where can you get the replacement lenses?

Kevin Caron: I get mine down at the welding store; the Miller store where I buy all my gas, my wire and everything else. I think you can find them at Home Depot sometimes, but not very often. Also, if you Google for safety glasses or safety lenses for welding helmets, you ought to be able to find plenty of them that way.

When you put your auto-darkening lens back in, make sure the solar panel goes to the outside, not to the inside. That's really surprising when it happens.

And then, if you have cheaters, you just put those back in. Oh my, what a difference.

Back to work.

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