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Old 05-05-2009, 08:17 AM
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PLEASE buy a welding respirator!

I have long been wearing a respirator when welding. If someone is welding anywhere near by me I will put my respirator on. This is SERIOUS stuff guys!

A little basics:

If you are welding ANY metal on late model cars, you are welding "galvanized" metal. The galvanizing process is where the metal is coated with a "sacrificial" metal. This sacrificial metal is designed to fail, instead of the metal it is protecting.

Galvanizing uses Zinc as it's sacrificial metal. Weld thru primer is 90+ ZINC!

Think about this, welding "Fumes" are airborne particles of METAL! When you are welding, you aren't breathing in harmless "smoke", you are taking into your lungs METAL.


The helmet I prefer has little room for a respirator so I have used a 3M disposable vareity for years. They cost about $22 each. But I recently found that they have one available for only about $13.49 available at your local ACE hardware stores part number 8515.

PLEASE guys, pick yourself up one of these masks and when not in use put it in a zip lock bag. And don't get it mixed up with a simple dust mask, it looks pretty similar. Don't be thinking that a regular old dust mask is going to do the job, spend the bucks and get the real thing.



TURN ON THE FANS!

And get air movement, pickup a box fan that you can set near where you are working to make some air movement. You don't want the fan blowing on your work, that will blow away the shielding gas. Just setting it on the floor blowing "by" the work area will do wonders.

This is not for "comfort", this is serious business and your health may be at risk if you don't follow the simple rules of keeping air movement and wearing protection! PLEASE, you don't want to jeopardize your future health on some stupid car! You become an old man faster than you can imagine! Don't be stupid when you are young and feel invincible.

Edit: I want to make something clear. I presented this as a "future" health sort of thing because so many young guys think they are invincible and will abuse themselves thinking "old age" is something a million years away. This in no means makes zinc fumes like asbestos and not harmful without years of exposure. Zinc fumes can KILL YOU in ONE exposure!!! ONE time welding up a floor inside an inclosed car in a garage and your loved one could find you knocked out and near death with damaged lungs that will NEVER repair! THIS IS SERIOUS STUFF!!!

Brian

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Old 05-05-2009, 08:39 AM
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I never knew there was a safe way to weld galvanize.. so I'v never welded it, got respiratiors tho so I'll use them for welding too now....
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Old 05-05-2009, 08:41 AM
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ive never worn anything when i welded... but i dont do it that often and im only eighteen. so yeah kinda stupid. buy i will take these tips into account next time me or dad are weldin
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Old 05-05-2009, 08:53 AM
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Oh, and another welding safty tip... when using a battery operated auto dark lense, keep good batteries in it... I tried to weld with mine with old batteries, and it kept flashing off and not working right... new batteries always...

I don't like working with the solar powered auto darks.. I was using my dads 1 day ( dark outside, and working outside with a work light ) and it stopped flashing dark...
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Old 05-05-2009, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 83SILVRADO
ive never worn anything when i welded... but i dont do it that often and im only eighteen. so yeah kinda stupid. buy i will take these tips into account next time me or dad are weldin
Start RIGHT NOW protecting yourself like you are a bubble boy! Buy a number of pairs of full protection goggles, a box of two strap particle masks for sanding and buffing, the welding respirator, AND shooting range style ear protection. But a FEW of these and have them sitting around the shop so you don't have to go across the room to get one.

START NOW doing this, get into the habit of it NOW.

There is nothing harder to watch than an old bodyman walking across the room! I work with a guy who is so screwed up, he is so busted up his life is over right now, at about 5 years older than me and can barely get in and out of a car!

This stuff adds up, it is like saving pennys, next thing you know you have a whole jar full, one penny at a time.

And this isn't just about zinc, FUMES are airborne metal particals!!!!!


Brian
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Old 05-05-2009, 10:05 AM
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Brian, do you got the 3M number for the compact unit you got?
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Old 05-05-2009, 10:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MARTINSR
Galvanizing uses Zinc as it's sacrificial metal. Weld thru primer is 90+ ZINC!
You will regret getting poisoned w/zinc- if you think the flu is bad, it's a walk in the park compared to how s----y you feel after inhaling zinc vapor.

While it's not gonna be fatal unless you really work at it, the effects are bad. Although you do recover from it, I don't know if there's any non-reversible harm done- and chancing it would be a serious mistake, IMO.

Bad juju.
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Old 05-05-2009, 10:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matt167
Oh, and another welding safty tip... when using a battery operated auto dark lense, keep good batteries in it... I tried to weld with mine with old batteries, and it kept flashing off and not working right... new batteries always...

I don't like working with the solar powered auto darks.. I was using my dads 1 day ( dark outside, and working outside with a work light ) and it stopped flashing dark...


That is certainly good advice but it only reinforces a common mis-conception about auto dark helmets to relate it to safety. Whether or not a lens goes dark rapidly, or at all, does NOT affect the safety of these things. Even after they have been on the market for well over twenty years this old myth still plagues these helmets and some people still will not trust them thinking their safety depends on the electronics which it does NOT. The UV and IR protection is a function of the lens material and the rays are absorbed by this material whether or not the lens is even turned on, so while failure to go dark may be annoying it is not dangerous and will not burn your eyes.



Sorry about getting off the subject,

MartinSr is on to a topic I have preached (and practiced) for many years and the warning is right on target! I have have been welding since 1968 and I have have known several welders who have ruined their health welding, this can happen a lot faster than people think. Welding on body parts is some of the most dangerous welding most people are likely to encounter and the Zinc from newer body metal is just part of the problem because even older cars present serious dangers. From Lead in old paint to Zinc on galvanized metal there are dangers hidden in almost all welding but car bodies can be especially bad for the part time welder who would be least likely to protect himself. Welding galvanized can do serious harm and can kill you (most certainly has killed people) in a very short time, sometimes even a few minutes exposure can make you really sick. Longer term exposure to metal fumes can cause Liver, Kidney and Nervous system damage which usually is irreversible. Make no mistake about it welding can be dangerous but it does not need to be, these fumes are relatively easy to deal with and the respirators mentioned will do the job.
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Old 05-05-2009, 10:38 AM
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good post great advice.
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Old 05-05-2009, 10:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldred
That is certainly good advice but it only reinforces a common mis-conception about auto dark helmets to relate it to safety. Whether or not a lens goes dark rapidly, or at all, does NOT affect the safety of these things. Even after they have been on the market for well over twenty years this old myth still plagues these helmets and some people still will not trust them thinking their safety depends on the electronics which it does NOT. The UV and IR protection is a function of the lens material and the rays are absorbed by this material whether or not the lens is even turned on, so while failure to go dark may be annoying it is not dangerous and will not burn your eyes.
I know, still hurts my eyes, and leaves a huge spot in my vision tho
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Old 05-05-2009, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matt167
I know, still hurts my eyes, and leaves a huge spot in my vision tho
Is this w/o a helmet or what?

I thought the harmful part is blocked, regardless.
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Old 05-05-2009, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cobalt327
Is this w/o a helmet or what?

I thought the harmful part is blocked, regardless.
with the helmet... if my welder is turned on, my helmet is down, with the auto dark, no reason it shouldn't be...

the harmfull part is blocked, but because it's so bright it does hurt my eyes.. it might be just me, my eyes are very good, but sensative to light.. even being outside on a bright snowy day can hurt my eyes
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Old 05-05-2009, 11:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyclopsblown34
Brian, do you got the 3M number for the compact unit you got?
I don't have it with me but I'll get it to you.

On the helmets, I have been preaching the accustrike helmet for years.
http://accustrike.com/



About $100, never needs anything. I have tried autodarkening helmets, a number of them, I don't like them one bit. I have tried cheap ones, expensive ones, I just don't like them. Too dark to begin with, I don't like the weird changing back after the weld, no actually it is more than "don't like", I hate them.

Brian

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Old 05-05-2009, 11:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cobalt327
You will regret getting poisoned w/zinc- if you think the flu is bad, it's a walk in the park compared to how s----y you feel after inhaling zinc vapor.

While it's not gonna be fatal unless you really work at it, the effects are bad. Although you do recover from it, I don't know if there's any non-reversible harm done- and chancing it would be a serious mistake, IMO.

Bad juju.
ONE good exposure and you are SCREWED! And YES we are talking death! It would take a bunch, like welding in a floor inside of an enclosed car or something like that, but YES you could be KILLED!

PLEASE guys, keep that air moving and wear protection!

Brian
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Old 05-05-2009, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MARTINSR
It would take a bunch, like welding in a floor inside of an enclosed car or something like that, but YES you could be KILLED!
Unless I'm missing something, we're in agreement.

A whiff or three will make you wish you hadn't. You would have to "work at it", i.e. "like welding... in an enclosed car or something like that..." to kill yourself.

That I'm here to type this is proof of that.
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