This a GREAT thread,i think oldred covered most of it well.
One thing i didnt see and maybe there because i didnt read word for word every response is SAFETY glasses.
Most think it has no UV protection at all but it DOES to a certain extent.
It helps prevent weld flash as long as you are wearing ANSI Z87.1.
These have a polycarbonate in them to make them impact resistent and block a certain extend of UV rays,here is a good web page that is used to print out for safety training in industries all over,including pre training for certain shutdowns,outages and refuel/maintenance schedules in nuclear power plants and is used daily in our apprenticeship programs training.
VERY good read for anyone...
For those of you who like to just close those little tiny thin eyelids and tack?..pay special close attention to this part....
UV causes tumors of the eyelid. These squamous cell carcinomas are common and serious. A malignant melonoma will be fatal in most cases.
Another thing to think about safety and welding and any serious type of fabrication etc while in your home or garage or yard,your homeowners insurance will NOT cover you because they will consider you having a biz,or working industrial in a non commercial zone,also if your medical insurance can PROVE you were working unsafely?..they will also not cover your injuries.We all know too well how insurance companies work..they WILL get legaly out of paying anything if they can find a legal glinch,ive seen it over and over ,so always use safety no matter where you are at for the most part your own safety.
I also hear guys say"i wasnt looking at the weld so my eyes arent getting flash!!"
Wether your looking at it or not,if the light gets to you on the side,underneath..etc..it IS burning your eyes
One more thing i can think of,when buying the filter lense for your sheild,NEVER buy those "cool looking" mirrored type,gold or chrome looking,the slightest scratch on them that isnt even visible to the eye will make it useless,ive been there and done that and was out of work for 4 days because of a serious burn from TIG welding with it.
And if you need reading glasses regularly DO NOT wear them behind your sheild welding..it magnifies ,get the cheater lense made for it,they are designed to be put inside your shield and they are ANSI Z87.1,which means they have the polycarbonate in it to help block UV rays..those reading glasses do NOT,any plain glass only blocks 30% of UV rays,70% of the UV rays are penetrating.
Just remember,UV(Ultra Violet) rays are a source of radiation........