I finally got an auto-darkening helmet a couple of years ago when my old school helmet strap gave out, and the duct-tape fix I attempted failed and the helmet took a tumble off a hook and broke the glass screen. I was kind of worried that the screen could darken quickly enough to avoid a flash, so I developed a technique of looking through the screen to get everything all lined up and then looking slightly away (just shifting my eyes, not turning my head) and/or closing my eyes just prior to triggering the welder. By the time I looked back or opened my eyes, the helmet was dark and I felt safer. Now, not sure if this works 100% as well as an always-dark glass, and it does take a bit of practice to get in the rhythm, but for me at least, it seems to be okay.
1/2" was considered "sheet metal!"
The quote of the day 😁
I used to have a friend (R.I.P. John) who welded on huge boiler systems. I always thought of him as a heavy-duty welding guy. But now I'm thinking that he was a middleweight at best compared to @GrumpyOne!
Interesting history to them: until recently, they were standard practice for working in confined industrial spaces. It just came up the other day, as I was swapping "how bad was it" stories with my sister, a retired refinery maintainer. They use 6-packs of compressed air to feed the tubes now, but her older buddies remembered using rotary hand pumps, and you didn't dare slow down! Those were still in use in the 1970's.
In this day and age of so many internet and TV "experts," there is a whole generation of folks learning from watching people do things the wrong way and thus think it's okay. Look no further than guys like David Freiburger who now preaches the importance of hearing protection while still regularly working in a shop wearing flip flops. If that is someones first exposure to DIY stuff they probably think that is acceptable, unfortunately.
I'm getting married this year and had to have a conversation with the missus that I really do love the gold band we picked out for me, but there will be probably be more time where it lives on my dresser than on my hand. Once I explained what it could do she understood.
Good points! I am a pretty amateur hobby welder so anything fixtured is at a convenient working height but overhead welding (like on a lift) has it's own set of unique hazards I haven't thought about for awhile.