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#120224 - 01/15/08 03:14 PM Re: Emergency welding [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
thseng Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/24/06
Posts: 899
Loc: NW NJ
AFLM covered it pretty well, Blast.

You want a "welding helmet". They even have electronic ones which use some type of LCD technology to darken automatically when the arc is started.

The welding arc is literally as bright as the sun and there is no way you can watch for even a moment without a nice dark filter. There is a ton of UV so cover your skin unless you like sunburn - or use SPF 1,000,000 sun block.

So, minimum PPE, even for an emergency, would he helmet, leather gloves and long sleeves. No synthetics. Helps to wear a baseball cap backwards under the helmet to keep sparks out of your hair. Oh, and no shorts or sandals.

- Tom S.
Mora Knives & Adventurer Series Survival Gear

"Never trust and engineer who doesn't carry a pocketknife."

#120227 - 01/15/08 03:23 PM Re: Emergency welding [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
Dan_McI Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 12/10/07
Posts: 844
Loc: NYC
Originally Posted By: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor
Its not only eye protection that is required for electric arc welding. A full face shield is required to protect the face from the UV light generated from the electric arc as well. Electric arc welding requires a much stronger light filter than gas welding googles. A full flip up/down face mask with a very strong light filter (the light filter is normally so strong that it is completely opaque to normal lighting conditions, hence you cannot see what your doing until the electric arc is struck). With gas welding, the goggles glass filters are much more opaque. So generally you can see what your doing in normal light conditions before introducing the light produced from the Oxyacetylene flame of the gas welding tip. Gas welding temperatures are some what lower and don't really produce UV light during the welding or brazing process. If you are doing any electric arc welding a proper full face mask is required. There should also be no exposed skin in direct line of sight of the electric welding arc either. This include all electric arc welding including MMA, MIG and TIG.

I've used both an oxy-acetylene torch and an arc welder with insufficient eye protection. Grabbing a torch without a proper set of goggles was not something that ever bothered me. Been there, done that, did not see spots. Never tried to arc weld without a mask, but sometimes when you are working on something with someone else who is welding, you don't turn your face away as quick as you should. The arc welding glass is so opaque under normal lighting conditions, that you need the mask so you can find the work using your free hand. In some situations, I might risk not having the right eye protection. Having a makeshift mask would be better. If you had a face shield of any type, you might be able to create a mask.

#120228 - 01/15/08 03:36 PM Re: Emergency welding [Re: thseng]
SwampDonkey Offline

Registered: 07/08/07
Posts: 1268
Loc: Northeastern Ontario, Canada
The flash from an ARC welder is a real danger.

Between college terms 25 years ago I worked at a low-end fabrication sweatshop where we made portable metal buildings (I think they were going to be schools in the far north).

Everything was bolted together by labours (me and my friends) and then ARC welded by a certified welder. The welders used full facesheilds but us labours were often close to the welding operation and exposed to the ARC flash. Often your eyes would hurt/burn (felt like hot sand in your eyes) after work so we started to wear sunglasses on the job to cut down on the flash. In reality the welding operation needed to be screened from the other unprotected workers but being inexperienced we did not know that.

The worksite had a lot of air quality problems (zinc welding dust, paint fumes and engine exhaust) and defective equipment, working there for a summer made it an easy decision to go back to school in the fall.


#120229 - 01/15/08 03:40 PM Re: Emergency welding [Re: Dan_McI]
Eugene Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 2823
I've seen people weld blind. Some small welf ot just tacking something in palce you just place something between the arc and your eyes and go for it. You can make a long bead out of sereral short ones if you have to do it that way, might not be pretty but would hold to get you out of the woods.
You should ideally have a face mask and long sleeve clothes as well as the Uv rays will burn any exposed skin. The football player in my high school shop class that had one of those shirts with all the little holes in it to let air in gave himself a spotted tan.

#120230 - 01/15/08 03:43 PM Re: Emergency welding [Re: Blast]
Eugene Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 2823
Originally Posted By: Blast
I was looking at some welding goggles but they said they were for oxy/acetylene welding only. Can someone tell me what's the difference between eye protection requirements for differnt types of welding, especially DC or AC welding versus gas-based welding?


The different types of welding produce an arc of different intensity and color temperature so the goggles ideally should match. If you want something compact for emergency use then there are simple face shields that you have to hold with one hand (gloved with long sleeve shirt of course) which are pretty small and flat. I have one as it was the freebie that came with my welder.

#120262 - 01/15/08 06:32 PM Re: Emergency welding [Re: Eugene]
Paul810 Offline

Registered: 03/02/03
Posts: 1428
Loc: NJ, USA
Iv'e heard of welding (really brazing technically) done with car batteries, jumper cables, and 5 cent nickles. I've never tried it though.

#120267 - 01/15/08 06:54 PM Re: Emergency welding [Re: Eugene]
ducktapeguy Offline

Registered: 03/28/06
Posts: 358
Everyone else covered it pretty well. Oxyacetlyne is just a dark filter to allow you to see better, MIG/TIG/ARC has a UV filter to block the UV light from the arc. I've seen dumb people do quick welds without protection, just looking away, but it's not recommended. It's just like swampdonkey described, having a piece of sand in your eye. In reality, it's a sunburn on your eyeball from the intense UV light, and it hurts a lot (I guess you know who the dumb person now). It's not permanent damage, but it's not something you want to experience.

If you want to get started in welding, definitely go for the auto-darkening hoods. The auto-darkening feature is actually more for comfort, the clear shield already blocks out the UV light even when not dark. I don't think I can ever go back to having a flip up hood flying off my head evertime I wanted to run a bead or tack.

These portable welders will stick metal together, but if your goal is to learn how to weld those probably aren't the best to start on.

#120281 - 01/15/08 08:47 PM Re: Emergency welding [Re: Eugene]
kmat Offline
New Member

Registered: 04/09/07
Posts: 58
Loc: Spring, Texas

What time do your neighbors go to bed??? Maybe you could use their battery. I have a welding hood you can borrow and several fire extinguisers to put you out. I know you have a first aid kit, I've seen you wash a cat!!

One who investigates alternative destinations (Lost)

#120300 - 01/15/08 10:45 PM Re: Emergency welding [Re: ducktapeguy]
OldBaldGuy Offline

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 5695
Loc: Former AFB in CA, recouping fr...
"...go for the auto-darkening hoods..."

A friend once had one of those fail to darken, had a couple of miserable days after that. I don't know how those things work, but his didn't...

#120302 - 01/15/08 10:49 PM Re: Emergency welding [Re: thseng]
OldBaldGuy Offline

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 5695
Loc: Former AFB in CA, recouping fr...
"...to keep sparks out of your hair..."

No worries there for me...

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