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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2017 6:00 pm 
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Colin what do you think of this helmet

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01M0XV3F4/?tag=ho01f-21

There's a couple of other guys in to welding that I wanted to ask but can't recall who it is. I think it's Hitch and Dave but no too sure.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2017 6:58 pm 
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Let's put it this way. It's pretty well half the price of any others I've seen. The guy who's done the review seems to like it as well.
It has to be worth a go for occasional use I'd have thought.



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2017 7:23 pm 
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even tho they are 'solar powered' they take 1-2 batteries, I have the Clarke flame design one (CWH7) and use it for mig and tig

got mine for around £35 some years ago

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Clarke-CWH7-Ac ... B004TKUDL8

its all en compliant and all that jazz, tbh get the best you can afford as you only have one set of eyes and even a few mins exposure can give you arc eye - what is like some grinding salt in your eyes - but you know that

watch out for that hot slag too,



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2017 9:04 pm 
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One of the downsides of super cheap head-shields is availability of the inner and outer cover lenses.
Another downside is poor life span from the batteries. That looks like its a sealed unit so batteries won't be replaceable. If the batteries fail it wont darken or will flicker when welding.
Some of the higher priced one are also sealed, but I imagine made using much higher quality batteries, so have a good lifespan, easily 5+ years.

If you don't have a massive budget, have a look at a couple of the Parweld branded ones, manufactured to a price for sure, but the advantage of being a well known brand stocked by most suppliers. Also look at SWP branded.

I have two I mainly use, Esab globe arc, which is a flip front dual shade, and a Phantom XL, auto, by no means an expensive unit, about £80-90, but very good.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 10:45 am 
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Hi,

Thanks for asking Argyll and a very good question.

I'll be the first to admit I'm a dinosaur; I was taught arc welding over 50 years ago on Oxford oil cooled 3 phase industrial welders. It's only about three years ago I bought a modern auto darkening welding helmet which I use for my bigger welding jobs such as the metal railings I welded up last year; I've got mixed feelings about using either a full helmet of hand held mask; I find using the helmet to be rather cumbersome although if I was doing a lot of welding the helmet is the one I would use but for small welding jobs I still like the hand held mask for convenience. My helmet cost £35 brand new from Rufforth Auto Jumble; one thing I dislike about the helmet is finding a place to safely store it because it does take up quite a bit of space and could become easily damaged or covered in all kinds of dirt. The hand held mask is no problem to store.

For over twenty years I've been using the hand mask supplied with the SIP Weldmate; it's not a big mask but has served me well; about six months ago I changed the lens on the hand mask; the lens supplied was always much too dark so I bought four new "Shade 10" lens through eBay as seen here;

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Welding-Lens-Lense-Helmet-Mask-Glass-Filter-4-1-4-x-3-1-4-Shades-Clear-/142197249892?var=&hash=item211b9dd764:m:mpaemdXrTgOV1KG8ruqWPQQ

For DIY welding the hand held mask will be cheapest way to go and safe once a bit of welding experience is gained; the downside of a hand held mask is "arc eye" this is where the arc is struck before the mask is in position giving a blinding flash; all the apprentices I worked with in the training center suffered various degrees of arc eye but all became good welders. An automatic darkening helmet eliminates arc eye because the helmet is already in position.

To answer your direct question the helmet you added the link to appears to be excellent value for money in fact it's virtually a give away at the price; the battery life is stated as a minimum of 5,000 hours which is a heck of a long time when it comes to DIY welding in fact I doubt I would weld 5,000 hours in twenty years but my concern would be not the welding hours but the shelf life of the battery; DIY welding is done infrequently; when I welded the railings I bet the actual welding time was less than two hours; a lot of welding can be done in a short period of time.

Because you are new to arc welding Argyll I would suggest starting with basic kit then you can build on this as you gain experience; if you fancy one of the auto helmets and can afford it then it's entirely your choice; I'm so used to the hand held mask it comes as second nature to me and the transition to a full welding helmet I find rather difficult to accept. If you do go for the auto helmet as Hitch has already said I would go for the best you can afford; cheap usually is cheap longer term; buy cheap buy twice?

Please take extra safety precautions; the welding light is dangerous to both eyes and any bit of exposed skin; I wear a baseball cap turned backwards whilst using the mask in order to get the mask close to my face; heavy gloves are a must not only for protection from the welding light but to protect from burns; if welding on the ground which I do mostly ensure ankles and bottom of legs are fully covered; try to avoid breathing in the welding fumes; ensure ventilation; I open the garage doors during welding because the fumes build up very quickly into a dense fog; don't cut corners with safety in any way because one way or another you'll suffer for it.

Younger forum members will be able to give you up to date information as to what is available regarding modern welding kit; I've never used MIG or TIG welders due to only ever welding mild steel or a bit of cast iron; for DIY arc welding I find the Screwfix electrodes excellent value at around £8 per box; I use mostly 2.5mm size rods which are fine for angle iron and box section etc.

Pity you don't live nearby Argyll otherwise I would have been happy to give you a quick start at welding; arc welding isn't difficult once the first weld is successfully laid; knowing the dangers up front is a must; personal safety and also environmental safety regarding stored combustibles and anything which will explode or ignite in the welding area; only arc weld in dry conditions.

Good luck Argyll; I'll be very interested to watch your progress; you'll definitely pick up the basics pretty quickly once you start welding. :thumbleft:

Kind regards, Col.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 11:09 am 
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I got a solar powered auto darkening welding mask from JTF for about that price about 5 years back. I can't see an actual make anywhere on it or the box it came in. They still sell them.
Mine does not take batteries and unlike most of the cheap junk from JTF seems to work very well. It gets used quite a bit for a weekend 3 or 4 times a year. It would be a bit flimsy for 'professional' use but a massive upgrade from a standard welding mask for a DIY user.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 4:43 pm 
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Hi,

I've just come out of the garage after a happy session today; whilst in there I took a couple of pictures of my welding helmet and hand mask as seen below. As I said previously I've been welding for over over 50 years and these two items do all I need regarding eye protection. The helmet is adjustable for speed of darkening and also darkness of the lens. Any mask or helmet just to get you actually welding Argyll will be OK and you don't need anything fancy as long as it affords proper protection; it's not a good time of year to be welding here in the UK unless a big workshop with ventilation is available; at only 3.5C here on the valley the temperature is too cold to be playing outside or to have the garage doors wide open for ventilation; I now store the helmet in a plastic bag and both helmet and mask at last have a proper home in new cupboards I've just installed. I must be getting soft because in my younger days I was out on my big bike in all weather. :cb

Kind regards, Col.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 5:56 pm 
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There is one benefit of a mask that makes all the difference, you have both hands free to work with

I have a scare on the back of my heal from where a bit of slag jumped down the back of my shoe now that hurt

regarding moisture and low temps, I was taught to pre heat and drive off the moisture, welding is dark art

iKN.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 6:30 pm 
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flash22 wrote:
There is one benefit of a mask that makes all the difference, you have both hands free to work with

I have a scare on the back of my heal from where a bit of slag jumped down the back of my shoe now that hurt

regarding moisture and low temps, I was taught to pre heat and drive off the moisture, welding is dark art

iKN.


Another thing is that if you're MIG welding it's easier using both hands to hold the torch.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 6:52 pm 
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Thanks guys, certainly food for thought.

It's not the case of having a tight budget it's just something I'll rarely use.

I need to weld a steel beam on the bottom of my galvanised trailer. It's been on my drive for months but one's things led to another and I haven't got round to it yet. I've bought a welder all I need is the gloves and mask.

I think I'll buy it. I don't think I can go wrong for £16


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 7:20 pm 
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Hi,

Go for it Argyll and enjoy learning how to weld; its wonderful being able to securely mate metal to metal so easily but a lot more difficult if you weld in the wrong place and need to remove it. :lol:

Kind regards, Col.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 7:31 pm 
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grind the galv back as its nasty stuff when it oxidises, play with some scrap first before you commit - been there, done that, and spend hour(s) cleaning up the bird splatter



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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 9:11 pm 
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Having two hands is 20x times better. How on earth do you tack something together easily with a handheld shield? :lol:

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 8:57 am 
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Hi,

Hitch wrote:
Having two hands is 20x times better. How on earth do you tack something together easily with a handheld shield? :lol:


Thanks Hitch; easy after 50 years of practice. :huray:

Kind regards, Col.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 9:36 am 
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Having been taught stick and gas welding at school in the 60s, now its just MIG, it was always goggles or hand held, just like Colins, about two years ago I bought a similar helmet, to the one for sale I did pay about £60 for it, the batteries are replaceable and there are numerous dials on it for different shades, time delays, etc, its light, I can wear my glasses underneath, for close up work, and as said it leaves both hands free. I am firmly in the camp of buying the best you can afford, especially when it comes to personal protection, I would not buy one so cheap, sorry, IMHO.


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