Wanted Cheap Welding Helmet, Auto Darkening, for Stick and Wire Welding

Discussion in 'For Sale & Wanted' started by choppergirl, Jul 13, 2017.

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  1. Jul 13, 2017 #1

    choppergirl

    choppergirl

    choppergirl

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    ON YOUR SIX ★★☠★★★★☠★★ AIR-WAR.ORG
    Looking for a cheap used auto darkening welding helmet that won't flash me using a basic stick welder or a HF wire welder light range, about the only thing I'll ever use it for to try my hand at welding.

    I pretty much gave up on welding because I couldn't see !@#$% through a passive old skool helmet; maybe I won't get so discouraged right off the bat if I have an auto darkening helmet.

    They're like $40+ at HF tho :-/ Maybe someone out there that welded all their life has a collection of a dozen or two on their wall.. and only 3 that are their go to favorites.

    PM me here or mail me at my email address in my signature if you got something dusty you wouldn't mind putting in a box out in the mail and never seeing again. Can pay via Paypal.
     
  2. Jul 14, 2017 #2

    kent Ashton

    kent Ashton

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    Sorry, don 't have an extra ,but you could try changing the shade on your passive helmet and check Craigslist for a used auto helmet. The batteries can be changed on the HF helmet by buying two little coin-battery holders and soldering them on

    The HF helmet is pretty good but will flash you if the sensor is blocked by your hands or the tig cup. I understand the expensive helmets have 4 sensors vs 2 on the cheapies. The Hf is a little finicky when using low-power tig
     
  3. Jul 14, 2017 #3

    Little Scrapper

    Little Scrapper

    Little Scrapper

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    It's not your hood. Welding is an art, period. I can borrow you a auto helmet but I'm telling you straight out, you need practice. I've been to multiple schools, certifications etc. It's just practice.

    That said, the best fixed lens I own is the gold filtered one, but that won't make you a good welder. Welding makes you a good welder.

    Run beads.......no excptions. Beads teach you skills for fillet and lap joints. Fillet and lap joints teach you skills for tubing joints.

    Practice kiddo. Practice.
     
  4. Jul 14, 2017 #4

    don january

    don january

    don january

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    Hard to practice if you can't see what your doing. My Dad left a helmet your welcome too. it's probably older then you are but that's fine. I believe he used a #11 shade lens and it's far from auto but half the fun is getting the rod or cone in place and getting the hood down before you flash your eye's.;)( it does have a flip lens front) welding hood.jpg Like I said CG it's your's just pay for the shipping. Don
     
  5. Jul 14, 2017 #5

    choppergirl

    choppergirl

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    We have a passive one. I have no depth perception when all I see is pitch black blank. All I know is I'm holding a long stick at several thousand volts and my piece is grounded everywhere. Anywhere that tip hits is going to be the wrong place and light up and stick to the piece.

    Therefore, I want an auto darkening helmet. Not a flip up and down passive one. Already tried flip up and down passive one, not going to work for me. I suppose I could try finding a plate glass not nearly as dark, or placing a super bright 500 watt halogen light illuminating the piece (my next attempt I may look directly at one of those 500 watt portable shop lights with hood and see how much sight picture of something held up to it gets through).

    Otherwise...

    Turn out the lights to complete dark, and try walking across a room and landing your finger right on someone else's nose without poking them in the face or eye or missing them completely. That's about what it's like for me. Pin the tail on the donkey with a 10,000 volt tail.

    Therefore, the want ad.

    My Poverty Road Plan

    Yesterday I scrounged together the parts for a little pull behind trailer for my riding lawnmower, and I thought instead of drilling and bolting it all together like I normally would do, it would be a good opportunity to try my hand at a little welding again, to attach a 90 degree V below the chassis made out of bedframe L channel to support the axle (axle at the bottom of the "V") about a 9 inches below it. I don't have to weld it, I can do it with all with holes, bolts, and rivets, but I thought here's an opportunity where it might be neater to weld it.

    If I make my hitch about 6 feet long, then I can use my riding lawnmower to move about 22 pieces of 10' roofing tin, or 10' 2x4's and 4x4's and other framing wood and rafters, etc.. for a 10x20 barn lean to I'm rebuilding (tree fell on it long ago) to move my plane project into. Then I won't have to carry every single piece a block... one by one... through the jungle to my almost cleared out construction site... let gasoline do it.

    Frame up a plyboard floor up on concrete blocks to go in there (or just lay down some corregated cardboard boxes for a floor), to park my plane on to work on it, and the wings on a table. When it's done, remove the table and floor, and I can keep my plane stored on the finished converted boat trailer in there, and just back up with a truck, hitch it up, pull it out, and drive it to the EAA airport 7 miles away, or the small town airport 13 miles away, when I want to fly (just like Volmer did), and then back it all into the barn when I'm done. No hanger fees. That should bootstrap me to the point of local flying; after that or along the way, I can accumulate all the pieces for a 40x20 pole barn hanger into my Hanger Hope Chest Kitty, and buy a 15K 1000'x200' 10-15 acre flat field (already found one for sale 2 miles from me), grade me out a grass airstrip, and build my 40x20 pole barn hanger on it. Build out airplane empire from there.

    Or stay super cheap instead, and build an enclosed trailer on top of my boat trailer frame, and roadtrip my plane to really more scenic airport locations to fly out of (Atlantic Beach/Appalacian Mountains/Tennessee/Helen, GA Balloon Festival/Stone Mountain/Air Shows and Fly-ins/Sun N Fun, etc).

    [​IMG]
     

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    Last edited: Jul 14, 2017
  6. Jul 14, 2017 #6

    Little Scrapper

    Little Scrapper

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    I use an 8. As long as it's UV protected shade is irrelevant. Go.as light as your eyes can take. Again, just make sure it's UV capable.

    I have auto helmets but once the spark hits it turns dark so......it's not the helmet type. For under $15 you can change lenses. What size lens do you have? I might have one for you.
     
  7. Jul 14, 2017 #7

    Little Scrapper

    Little Scrapper

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    CG, have you read this thread?
    https://www.homebuiltairplanes.com/forums/showthread.php?t=27823

    You may want to try a cheap high powered light and beam it on the work. We welded for decades before auto helmets, try the cheap fixes first.

    I can tell you this about my personal helmets. My $99 Miller Classic Auto helmet is better than a $300 ESAB I borrowed. Maybe things have changed the last few years but even the cheap auto helmets are pretty good.
     
  8. Jul 14, 2017 #8

    Pops

    Pops

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    Like they said, its not the helmet, you just need some instruction. Just like flying, its hard to learn by yourself. I have seen a lot of good woman welders.
     
  9. Jul 14, 2017 #9

    bifft

    bifft

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    I currently use a harbor freight autodarkening helmet, but before that used to just take things out in the sun for a very cheap and very high powered light. Not that I weld very often.
     
  10. Jul 14, 2017 #10

    pictsidhe

    pictsidhe

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    A fancy helmet won't magically make you a good welder. I taught myself to stick weld with a passive helmet, after teaching myself OxyAcetylene. My current cheapo helmet failed in passive mode 2 years ago, it was my first and I've not bothered to fix or replace it yet.... Get stick close, flip helmet down, move that last 1/2" near blind. A bright light shining on the start of your weld can help if you really struggle with the position and flip technique that I use in awkward, dark places. It's way cheaper than a flash helmet. Best welder I ever met was a friends wife.

    As Scrapper said, practice, then practice some more. Grab a scrap piece of angle, grind the rust off, and run beads along it till your welder complains about the duty cycle. Do something else, while things cool off, then do it again. When you've got the hang of that, find some plate, and write stuff, maybe even try a picture. I am lousy with a pencil, so that's my excuse for not trying pictures!
     
  11. Jul 14, 2017 #11

    dcstrng

    dcstrng

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    I’ve used the cheapest HF for flux-cored and stick with no complaints, but it almost immediately flashed me when I tried it on TIG (now have a middle of the road Eastwood that seems pretty stable, but about three times the cost of the HF if you catch it on sale). Guess TIG has a different heat/frequency or something – techno-gizmos and I are from different solar systems, so I just use whatever works… Also have an oldie-goldie passive, but can’t recall the last time I used it…
     
  12. Jul 14, 2017 #12

    gtae07

    gtae07

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    I've been using the cheap HF hood for TIG and it works just fine so far.
     
  13. Jul 14, 2017 #13

    pictsidhe

    pictsidhe

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    CG, your mower won't last long towing heavy loads. Nor do those mowers like getting rained on. There's a pulley under the forward/reverse knob that will seize up and stop it changing 'gears'. Make your access truckable. A 'little' job to keep you busy.
     
  14. Jul 14, 2017 #14

    TFF

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    Auto darkening are so nice. Never had a problem with TIG and cheap ones. Without one I have to put a halogen light aimed at the weld spot if in a shadowed. A friend who was a welder for 50+ years could not strike a bad arc if he had too, but one of the last times he welded he used my cheapo HF helmut and was amazed. Putting it in perspective he had retired and just did odd jobs when I learned how to; add another 25 years. He made it almost to 100 and could still weld better than me at 95. CG start visiting welding shops and any one you know who has a bad HF welding helmut. All you have to do is pop out the unit, carefully cut open the seem, and get to the batteries. I would add external replaceable batteries. These things have a shelf life and if you store them in a dark space it drains the batteries faster than the solar panel can maintain. it can't really charge as the batteries are not rechargeable. Besides being the sensor, its a battery maintainer. You will find one locally if you keep hunting.
     
  15. Jul 14, 2017 #15

    kent Ashton

    kent Ashton

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    SeveraL youtubes on replacing HF helmet batteries.
     
  16. Jul 14, 2017 #16

    Hephaestus

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    When I was learning SMAW at first the old school instructor took away our auto dimming helmets - made us use the old school flips.

    There's actually some theory behind it - that first flash is the brightest, if you're mid flip when it happens you don't get the initial Flash. There's theory to the old madness ;)

    I have 2 nice auto dimming helmets, but my go-to is always my fibremetal hardhat with the small fixed lens.
     
  17. Jul 14, 2017 #17

    Little Scrapper

    Little Scrapper

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    Auto helmets only help to strike an arc, then it becomes the same as a $5 helmet from a rummage sale. Welding happens AFTER the arc is struck.

    You can always tell the hobbiest from the pros, pros know it's all about practice not equipment. I realize that's not the "cool" answer people want to hear. I'm not cool, that's why I'm honest and un-merciful. Experience.

    Put a number 8 or 9 lens in and practice because when the hood turns dark you'll be welding regardless of helmet.

    You cannot out-spend practice, it's impossible wity any art form. It's been my experience that most hobby welders run about 5 beads then jump to welding stuff. It's really ridiculous, art requires practice. It's hard. It's challenging. That's what art is.

    Tell a local plumber you'll haul an old water heater away from him. Strip the jacket and insulation. Cover the entire surface with beads focusing on constant improvement. Weld with intention. Use the crappiest helmet you can find so when you do get a better helmet you'll actually feel the difference.

    Jimmy Hendrix pracriced guitar from sun up till sun down even after he was famous. He earned the right to be a guitar God. See what I'm saying?

    Or not.
     
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  18. Jul 14, 2017 #18

    Little Scrapper

    Little Scrapper

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    They were not invented when I learned to weld. We managed.
     
  19. Jul 14, 2017 #19

    Pops

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    Welded for a living many years welding boiler tubes on coal fired electric power plants. I always use a #10 inside and if outside in bright sun use a #11. You will never see a auto darkening hood. Some very hard welds to get. Some places not enough room for a hood so use a hood sock. Lowered down between tubes and helper would have to put the rod in the stinger and bend to the right shape for you. Some places you have to bend over and weld back between the back side of your legs. Use mirrors, etc. Some place you even have to hang upside down and weld . All 100% xray. You will not get this in welding school.
    I went to Babcox and Wilcox welding school in the late 60's.
     
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  20. Jul 14, 2017 #20

    Little Scrapper

    Little Scrapper

    Little Scrapper

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    I've spent a lot of hours welding in hospital chases and shafts. I'll never forget the heat. It was murder! I doubt I could handle that again. And yeah, they don't teach that in school. Practice. Practice. Practice.

    The scars on my back from gouging bolt ends and Uni-strut brackets look.like I went through a wood chipper.
     

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