This is a really good thread, I'll try to add something new. I have been using one of the auto darkening lenses for about 5 years now and have found that although the shade can be adjusted the color of the shade cannot. I think this is what makes it hard to see the seam. I also thought that my eyes were going bad like oldred. I would turn the shade down to #9 and still have trouble seeing the seam. I tried a helmet with a regular #10 shade the other day and it really made a big difference in what I could see while I was welding. It was better for both mig and tig. I then tried a lense with the gold coating. It was a #12 and the penetration and puddle actually showed up better than with the lighter lense. I think that is because the gold coating reflects the light generated from the arc back down to the work which illuminated it. Another thing that I don't like about the auto-dark lense is that when you are in close quarters with alot of obstructions and you move your head an such a manner as to block the arc from the light sensor in the helmet and it goes from dark to light while you are welding. SURPRISE. Here is something else to think about, It may not be just the UV that causes cancer. One day I was tacking something overhead without my helmet on and a molten ball of weld spatter landed on my nose. It burned in rather quickly and left a hole which did not fully heal for several months. I didn't give it much thought until I went to a dermatologist a couple of years later and during his checkup he found a spot there that was cancerous. Coincidence? It is the only place that I have ever had a skin cancer. And not to scare anyone further, but I recently read that exposure to fumes generated during welding, cutting or brazing is thought to be associated with ALS, (Lou Gehrig's disease). It is known that manganese poisioning can produce symptoms of parkinsons disease or MS. One study found that 40% of all welders showed some symptoms of manganese poisioning. One more thing, I would try one of those chin activated helmets but with the way i mutter to myself and chew on my tongue while I am working I would wind up with flashburn for sure.
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BE different....ACT normal.
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Last edited by powerrodsmike; 11-13-2005 at 12:22 AM.