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    • Brad Eden

      WELCOME NEW UJ MEMBERS   06/25/2017

      It seems the word is out and UJ is enjoying a steady stream of newly Registered Members. Welcome to all of you, and we are all looking forward to your positive participation. I strongly suggest you review the Board Guidelines that have been in place since 2002. The most significant thing being that UJ is a NO POLITICS BOARD. LInk:  UJ BOARD GUIDELINES   Also UJ stays afloat mainly through Member Donations. Once a Donation is made you are placed in the Contributing Member Group with extra Priviliges. I am getting very few new Donations so hopefully this will spur that on a bit. Link:  New Members/Donations/Priviliges
topdog1961

Any welders among us?

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topdog1961

My 16 year old son has always struggled in school, mostly because he always hated it.  I’ve had to pretty much push, pull, and drag him to his Junior year.  But now he seems to have found his niche at a vocational high school, studying welding.  It’s one of the best high school vocational welding programs in the country.  His grades are good and his instructor says he is one of the few that are naturally gifted, he has “the touch”.  He says my son is working hard and is a pleasure to have in class, one of his best welders.  He had zero welding experience before school started in August, and I have none.  Now he wants an auto-darkening welding helmet for Christmas.  In looking on-line, I see a huge range of prices.  Amazon has them that seemingly have good reviews for as low as $45.  Yet some go for as high as $3-400.  An e-mail to his instructor asking for advice got the brief response that (like most things in life) you get what you pay for, and that Lincoln is always a good choice. But looking on-line I see that Lincoln helmets range from $75 to $400, for what seemingly are the same features, auto-darkening, solar powered helmets.

 

If any UJer’s have welding experience, given his circumstance, any recommendations?   

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garyRI

I use a cheap auto dark helmet for auto body work mig welding. Asked the guy where I buy welding gas if cheap helmets are safe. He said "yes" as far as the auto dark function is concerned but accessories, like the head band, hinges & plastic body of the helmet are marginal. So recommend you compare units with that in mind.

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Don Steese

I know nothing about welding helmets but am so very happy for your boy!!  Glad to see any kid who seems to have found his calling!!

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Hettmoe

With what you have shared about your son, and knowing nothing about you, I would recommend getting him the very best that you can afford. It seems like it would be a tool, instead of just a plaything, and as his instructor already said........

I have experience with Jackson Brand , and I don’t think that you would have a problem with their products, or Lincoln.

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VizslavsBird

Started out with the cheapies and got by.  Have worked my toward the upper end of hoods but still don't have the "top" end.  The quality of glass in the lenses in my opinion is just like binos or scopes, you get what you pay for.  My suggestion is stay with Lincoln, Miller or Jackson brands.

 

Get the largest field of view you can afford in self darkening.  Make sure the head gear is easy to change as it seems to be the part of hoods that wears out the fastest.  Also, get extra plastic shields as they get pitted from welding splatters and smoked over too.  Inside shields get dusty and need replaced.  Because I am welding daily, I change shields at least once a week.  Its amazing how well you can see with clean shields.  Most people change those shields yearly.

 

From personal experience, buy local.  If you have a problem, a local supply house will often take care of you quickly.  A welders best friend is a good relationship with his supplier.

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NCgrouse

The auto-darkening helmet i use for trap modification and welding up small jobs was $50 at Harbor Freight. Does everything I need it to do, and is quite comfortable. Should be fine.

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dogrunner

I would go with a cheaper one for now, he can always upgrade later. A good welder can usually find work. 

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BlacknTan

I don't weld as much as I used to, but I use a Speedglas. My eyes are important to me, and I want to reduce the risk of damage and getting flashed because of a poorly placed sensor as much as possible. Many guys still use a standard hood and nod their head to get the shield in place, though.

 

Best of luck to your son in his chosen trade. The professional welders I know do very well!

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25/06

I welded  for a contractor  summers on millwright projects while going to college.

 

My suggestion would be as follows:

 

Give him a gift certificate to a good welding shop or better yet meet him after class and go the store with him and work with a salesman.

 

He will get a bigger kick out of that than anything under the tree. A good pair of Gauntlets would be a nice gift for under the tree and all you need is size.

 

As for helmet get what works for the classroom environment and looks COOL. That way weather or not it is appropriate for his working life, he can keep it on a shelf and say his old man got him that when he was first starting out.

 

If this is his vocation he will own a pile of helmets over time. Lenses are expendable as the heat and light eat them up fairly fast. As applications change he will have helmets that adapt to hard hats, work with air ventilators  and what ever else is dreamed up in the future.

 

Encourage hearing protection!.... I am hearing impaired mainly because of welding/construction and not shooting. I always wore hearing protection while shooting hardly ever working.

 

This can be a great high earning enjoyable career path.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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walt lister

If you are in a manufacturing area that has a good sized welding shop, ask the foreman/supervisor if you could take your son on a tour since he is interested in becoming a welder. Welding was a part of my job as a Toolmaker/Jig&fixture builder and I would have been thrilled to show an interested kid around. A helmet recommendation from the guys in the trade would be worth listening to.

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MAArcher

I'd go with a cheap Harbor Freight one and tell him when he knows for sure what he want's, you'll get it for him.  

 

I would take the money you save and get him a SCUBA lesson.  If he likes it, I'd get him enrolled in an under water welding program.  From what I understand, if he can be disciplined, work hard and perform saturation diving, he could be wealthy and retired before he's 30.

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mccuha

I don't know anything about welding but I just got back from out west and I sure wish I was a welder. If he can become good at it then send him off to the west in the oil fields and can in several years make a fortune. I know a couple of guys that go to some big projects out of state and do very well as a welder. I wish I was his age and worked hard to learn that skill. I would be off to make a small fortune and enjoy my later years even more.

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NECarson

I'm not a welder, but I can weld...

 

I have a cheap HF auto darkening hood, and have used nice hoods.

 

Get him a nice one. The cheap ones work, if you're welding a few times a year. The nicer (Miller, Lincoln, Jackson, Speedglass) helmets are sturdier, more comfortable, and have better glass.

 

Like was mentioned, he'll wind up with many over his career, get him one that looks cool.

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topdog1961
3 hours ago, MAArcher said:

I'd go with a cheap Harbor Freight one and tell him when he knows for sure what he want's, you'll get it for him.  

 

I would take the money you save and get him a SCUBA lesson.  If he likes it, I'd get him enrolled in an under water welding program.  From what I understand, if he can be disciplined, work hard and perform saturation diving, he could be wealthy and retired before he's 30.

 

We've heard that. And this boy loves water. We have a pond and he's swam in it since he was in diapers. He spends a lot of time in it in the summer and half of that he is under water. He can swim like a fish and at 6'3 and 145 he's built like a torpedo. 

 

Thanks for the advice. Considering he's only been doing this less than 4 months and he only is in weld lab about 3 hours a day, and some of that is book work, I'm leaning towards the below  moderately priced Lincoln helmet. Unless someone knows of a good reason it would not meet his needs. It comes with extra lenses. If he keeps up the good work for another year and a half and graduates with weld certifications I'll buy him any helmet he wants, considering what we've been through to get him there. 

image.jpeg

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