General Welding masks

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Safety, UV Shades etc

NB. Gas welding goggles are only about shade 3 or 4 and entirely unsuitable for electric arc/MIG/TIG welding

ARC can be about the worst for intensity (thus skin UV burns and eye damage, temporary or permanent), requiring a 12 to 14 shade

MIG, depending on power setting, from Shade 9 to Shade 13.

Auto-darkeing helmets

Auto-darkening masks/helmets have transformed electric MIG/TIG/ARC welding in the last ten years or so, now becoming more affordable (typ. £50 budget; £200 top-of-the-range)

This Hornell Speedglas illustrated below is one of the best available, with a full set of controls for shade (9-13), sensitivity and delay, making it very suitable for MIG welding. Also has a large visor area and side-panes + easily changeable front screens and filter glass inside. It's a Hornell Speedglass 9000 series (Swedish) and obtained for £100 on eBay when less than a year old (originally £220 in 2006).

Some Hornell AD helmets have a fixed shade which can be increased using a different internal shade filter.

Some Hornell helmets have integrated breathing equipment.

Some Hornell AD mask/helmets are sold under the BOC brand name.

Typically these types of welding mask/helmets offer fair light & vision prior to striking up, and darken down to the pre-set shade within a couple thousanths of a second... making lining up and preparation for striking up much easier than a fixed dark shade mask. 10/11 shade setting is normal for general MIG bodywork welding, occasionally 9 at very low powers.

Even in normal light when not darkened AD helmets still offer full UV protection

Hornell ADMask 01.jpg

Hornell ADMask 02.jpg

Simple masks and helmets