I CAN'T SEE WHAT I'M WELDING!!!

by Bob Moffatt


What you just saw is what you should be able to see while you're welding. You should be able to see the edges of the weld. You should be able to see the height or the crown.


You should be able to see where your torch is, your filler wire. You should be able to see everything around your weld. A while back we did a video for entry level people getting into TIG welding. And one of the reoccurring questions was I can't see, I can't visually acquire what I'm supposed to be looking at. Either it's not clear or for whatever reason but it was a great comment and it came up several times.


So today we want to address a couple of issues here that should help you in acquiring a clear vision of your weld pool. So one of the first things we come across in this issue here of visual acuity is how long of a weld do I need to make and at what angle am I going to be looking at it. For comfort I need to be at arms length, it just makes sense to me because I'm comfortable I am able to move. I've seen some people they get right up here and get their face up crammed up there and I don't agree with that because of fumes and they always have to readjust their body. So let's talk about arms length and being in a comfortable zone here and being able to see and weld for distances comfortably.


So the first thing is we need to find that focal point. Whether you wear bifocals, trifocals, straight readers, no correction what so ever we've got to find clear focus at arms length whatever you use. So here is a perfect example of me going to make a weld here and I'm in a position that I'm comfortable with. My line of sight as I'm sitting here is right into this. I can see where i'm going the entire way I'm comfortable at arms length. Now one thing I don't want to do is get up here, if I'm forced into this position because now I'm looking over the top of the cup. The cup is in my way, I don't want to lay down here I'm mean I could but that's not comfortable to me. Again I just want to get myself in some kind of position where I can see I'm comfortable and I can make this weld. I can actually see the edges of the plate.


The edges of my weld, the weld crown, filler wire, cup, so from a vision and a comfort standpoint this is what I'm very comfortable with. Again I can see where I'm going, I can see what I am doing. I'm at arms length, I'm not in some weird position I was able to move smooth. Another issue would be cover lenses, cover lenses need to be kept clean. If you're one of these folks that throw your stuff around in the dirt, dust and get it all scratched up you might be having a serious problem when you strike an Arc. If you're looking through a hood and everything seems to be fairly clear and then you strike and Arc and its a bright blur, you're probably getting a reflection from all the scratches. Or off all the things that got on the plastic so keeping your lenses clean, these plastic ones are replaceable they're fairly inexpensive. Taking care of your hood is a big deal so that you can see. But if you have a bunch of scratches on your lens, this one has a fair amount right in the viewing area. You probably are getting a burst of light or a refraction off the scratches here. You can probably wipe them off one or twice, but each time your wiping them off your scratching them. I've seen people they just get a paper towel and they go scratch the daylights out of it. I can assure you that's a problem after a while.


This one is perfectly clean we just took the film off it and it is like super bright. Keeping them that way is going to be hard, I don't ever lay my hood downwards laying towards the cover lens. I kind of set it off to the side where it is up. If I out it away that evening I might but a cloth over the top of it or put it in a area where it's not going to get sparks thrown on it or something like that. That could be one of the issues, is keeping a clear cover lens. Let's talk about the shade of the lens, cause that seems to be a big issue with some people. And again this is kind of a personal thing because of how sensitive your eyes might be to the Arc.


If I'm welding and there are charts that reference where your lens should be as a general guideline. If you guys want access to the chart look in the description below this video. So if I'm welding at real low amperage and I'll say low amperage from 30 to 120, I could probably get by with a number nine shade. As soon as I start getting up above 150 to 180 I should be interested in changing it to a ten. If I'm up above 200, 250, 300 amps, I would probably need to entertain thoughts for going to 12 and 14. Again it is a personal preference and when you're talking about the shade of a lens a number nine, number ten the higher the number the darker the lens goes.


You can try out different shades, you can try out different hoods before you buy them. It's a big investment again it's one of those personal pieces of gear you use for welding everyday your comfort, your visual acuity. Now one more thing we can talk about as far as visual acuity let's talk about cheater lenses for a second. I use one every now and then it is good for some close up work.


It allows me to see extremely fine detail, I don't like using them all the time. But they do make a good viable difference to me so cheater lenses again its one of those age thing versus how strong it is. And you can definitely like go try those out.


So we've talked about visual acuity, where to position yourself so you can see. We've talked about cover plates, darkness of filter lenses. I hope this helps, if we can help in any way please get a hold of us in the comments. Thanks for your subscription to Weld.com. Check us out on Facebook and Instagram.

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