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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2017 9:29 am 
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Hi,

It's only a few years ago I bought my automatic welding helmet having spent the last 50 years or so using a hand shield. Possibly if I was to do lots of stick welding on a regular basis then I would settle with using the helmet. I'm used to using both hands for welding whilst gas welding (oxy/acetylene) where I needed to hold the welding torch in one hand and the welding rod in the other hand; with stick welding I use one hand to hold the electrode holder and the other hand the shield. It's not difficult to put a shield down then pick the shield up again and something I'm so used to doing I never give it a thought.

I find wearing the helmet uncomfortable and cumbersome; the head band needs to be adjusted tightly enough to keep the helmet on my head but also extra tight to allow the helmet to be flipped without being dislodged from my head; it's having the band around my head like a clamp I dislike the most; the auto darkening is a very good feature of my helmet and avoids "arc eye" but I got over the arc eye period very quickly whilst learning to weld so only occasionally do I now suffer a welding flash; perhaps I'm the only one who prefers to use the hand shield but whatever method is used it's imperative to have good eye protection.

Many times I've held two parts together with one hand and tacked using the other hand either looking away or closing my eyes but this obviously isn't recommended; recently I've bought triangular shaped magnetic clamps which are very useful for positioning parts being welded otherwise I use whatever is to hand like bits of angle iron and a pair of small clamps; larger items usually stay put whilst being tacked; it really comes down to individual preferences; I was taught with a hand held shield and it's stuck with me. Any skin must also be protected during stick welding; I've used rigger type gloves for many years for hand protection and never yet set fire to them; I have a proper pair of welding gauntlets but keep forgetting I have them.

I recently bought an oil cooled welder it being a Pickhill Bantam (Oxford) 180A; this is a brilliant welder but incredibly heavy so I made a wheeled trolley for it; unfortunately when I switch this welder on it immediately trips the "B" curve mcb; I've now bought a pair of 32A "D" curve mcb's and also a brand new 16 way metal clad consumer unit; once the weather warms up I'll install the new consumer unit and upgrade the mcb for the welder adding it's own dedicated circuit plus I'll add a spare for my heavier machinery to avoid the breaker tripping. For over twenty years I've used my faithful SIP Weldmate 140A stick welder but I always wanted an oil cooled welder; the SIP did everything I needed regarding welding but ever since my apprenticeship days I've wanted an oil cooled welder so now with funds readily available I've indulged myself. This oil cooled welder is head and shoulders better than the SIP but then it should be given its cost and it's rated as industrial quality; striking an arc with the oil cooled welder couldn't be easier and it maintains a lovely arc; as I finish the weld and draw the electrode away the arc follows the tip of the electrode to about an inch long before letting go; it's most impressive also the oil filled welder can be left switched on all day if needed without fear of of it cutting out.

Inverter type welders are now very common and come with all kinds of electronic wizardry such as easy arc strike; these welders are powerful but also very light and have decent duty cycles whilst being cheap to buy even for a home workshop; so knowing about inverter welders why did I buy the big heavy oil cooled welder which trips the breaker; well I simply do not trust electronics and certainly I don't trust anything with a circuit board installed; my oil cooled welder will see me out. I gave my SIP welder away to a friend who will enjoy using it.

I've said many times arc welding (Stick) isn't really difficult once the basics are quickly picked up; as soon as a decent bead can be put down then the rest is easy enough; one thing about learning to use a stick welder makes using a MIG child's play so I'm informed; I've never used a MIG or TIG welder;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fUAHkUfTps&t=755s

Above is a very interesting welding tutorial; pity the guy doesn't understand decent language which to me as a prude spoils the whole video but the content is valid and worth watching especially for a novice welder.

One project I'm seriously considering for this year is to design and build my own 4hp circular saw bench so it's highly likely I'll be welding and if so I'll add the story as it unfolds.

Kind regards, Col.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2017 1:01 pm 
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Col I was using a hand held for a small job and ended up with arc eye. reflection of the white walls. Never again and never did.



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2017 1:44 pm 
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Hi,

Sorry to hear that scruff and a hard lesson to learn. :cb

I've only suffered mild "arc eye" and this whilst learning to weld; I still do get the odd flash mostly because I tend to do my welding on the garage floor meaning crouching down whilst trying to keep my balance. wearing an helmet though should prevent arc eye which is a big benefit to a novice welder.

Kind regards, Col.

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SOME PEOPLE ARE SO POOR ALL THEY HAVE IS MONEY.


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