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Keeping Hood Lenses Clean when Working with SMAW or FCAW

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  • Keeping Hood Lenses Clean when Working with SMAW or FCAW

    Greetings,

    I am having a big problem keeping my lenses clean on my miller digital elite helmet when doing SMAW or FCAW. I was wondering if anyone could offer any tips. It seems like after a short time (often only a couple long welds) the flux has built up on the lens so much that it makes it hard to see the puddle. Perhaps its my head position or weld position that is off. I am not a pro welder, just a hobbyist, so I am most likely doing something wrong. When using FCAW or SMAW, I find I **** my head to one side and get pretty low to see the puddle and what it is doing. I tried backing off but then the MIG gun obscured the weld puddle and I was practically welding blind with ... predictable ... results.

    So anyone have any idea what i am doing wrong or is this a common problem that someone knows a good tip on?

    Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    Ventilation . Keep a fan on low speed drawing the smoke away from the weld not by your helmet. Also, stabilize your arms for steadiness and keep your head further away. Dave

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    • #3
      Keeping you head out of the smoke is the key. Make sure you don't cause a draft across the weld area itself though or you will get allot of porosity.

      Scott
      Fab Manager
      Welders360.com

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      • #4
        It seems that getting stuff on the helmet and lens is inevitable, unless there is a good way to exhaust the smoke. I wipe down my helmet with ArmorAll, both in and out and it makes cleaning it much easier.

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        • #5
          I stick weld in tool and die 8-12 hours a day and don't get any smoke on my hood. The guy next to me gets his covered and is always complaining he can't see because of the film. He asks how i keep mine so clean and i say i keep my head out of the smoke and use my arms out farther. I bought my hood in '79 and it still looks like new but it has 32 years of use on it...
          Bob Wright

          Spool Gun conversion. How To Do It. Below.
          http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...php?albumid=48

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          • #6
            Ok. Setting up a draft is a good idea. I can try that. So what is the best way to clean the lens now that it is dirty?

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            • #7
              I wipe mine on my shirt ..

              What do replacements cost?

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              • #8
                The original Lemon Pledge (the stuff WITH the wax still in it) works pretty good to clean cover lenses. Dustbane also makes a good glass cleaner.
                Big Blue 400D
                Trailblazer 302
                Miller S-32 suitcase
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                Lincoln LN-7 (BIG suitcase)
                Victor torches
                Lincoln 350MP with 35' push-pull gun
                Lincoln PrecisionTIG 375
                Spectrum 1000 plasma cutter

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                • #9
                  I use plenty of warm water and mild soap on a soft rag to clean my cover lenses then dry with a soft rag as well. I found that using lens cleaners and paper towels will scratch the lenses. I learned the hard way by ruining a set of 180.00 polycarbonate lenses for my eyeglasses that way.
                  Blondie (Owner C & S Automotive)

                  Colt the original point & click interface!

                  Millermatic 35 with spot panel
                  Miller 340A/BP
                  Victor O/A torches
                  Lincoln SP125
                  Too many other tools to list

                  03 Ram 1500
                  78 GS1000
                  82 GL1100 Interstate

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                  • #10
                    Paper towels !

                    Originally posted by Blondie_486 View Post
                    I use plenty of warm water and mild soap on a soft rag to clean my cover lenses then dry with a soft rag as well. I found that using lens cleaners and paper towels will scratch the lenses. I learned the hard way by ruining a set of 180.00 polycarbonate lenses for my eyeglasses that way.
                    Blondie, The lense cleaner is OK, It's the paper towels ( wood fibre ) that scratched your lense !

                    ........ Norm
                    sigpic
                    Sunrise Outside My Shop In Delhi, Ontario

                    - Arcair- K 4000 CAC.

                    - LN-25 Wire Feeder

                    - Lincoln Ranger 8- Engine Drive- CC\CV:



                    - Lincoln Power Mig 180C
                    - Spoolgun.
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                    www.normsmobilewelding.blogspot.com

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                    • #11
                      Everything that others have said. Buy a stack of replacements, they are cheap. I clean mine with my hand, my glove, my shirt, etc., whatever is fastest. When they get to really scratched I put new ones in. Sometimes I can't believe the difference when I change the clears.
                      MM250
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                      RCCS-14

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                      • #12
                        "Anti-Fog"

                        Originally posted by kraythe View Post
                        Greetings,

                        I am having a big problem keeping my lenses clean on my miller digital elite helmet when doing SMAW or FCAW. I was wondering if anyone could offer any tips. It seems like after a short time (often only a couple long welds) the flux has built up on the lens so much that it makes it hard to see the puddle. Perhaps its my head position or weld position that is off. I am not a pro welder, just a hobbyist, so I am most likely doing something wrong. When using FCAW or SMAW, I find I **** my head to one side and get pretty low to see the puddle and what it is doing. I tried backing off but then the MIG gun obscured the weld puddle and I was practically welding blind with ... predictable ... results.

                        So anyone have any idea what i am doing wrong or is this a common problem that someone knows a good tip on?

                        Thanks in advance.
                        Torch Wear makes an "Anti-Fog" lens cleaning paste that you apply to new lens covers, and helps significantly. I use my old trusty Fibre-Metal Pipeliner hood for SMAW, FCAW, and CAC-A, and save the $$$$$ Miller Hood for GTAW and MIG. The lens covers can get expensive for those "Big Window" hoods.

                        I think Cyberweld sells the Torch Wear Lens paste.
                        "Bonne journe'e mes amis"

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                        • #13
                          I'm Blind

                          Take your face out of the Puddle

                          They gave you arms so don't have to put your face in the puddle.... Increase your face to puddle distance by the length of your arms
                          Bobcat 225
                          The rest is bright RED "Tig & GMAW"
                          Just got a new Hypertherm 30

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                          • #14
                            Hillbilly69,
                            That's good advice provided you can see at that distance. Myself if I weld that far away I can't see well enough to weld.

                            As davedarragh has said I only use my "Big Window Elite" for TIG welding. For everything else I use a 25.00 Jackson helmet. By the way the new Jackson headgear is a big improvement over the original.

                            The clears for the Big Window Elite are expensive in my opinion but the clears for the Jackson are cheap, I think I pay somewhere between .50 and .75 a piece for them.
                            Blondie (Owner C & S Automotive)

                            Colt the original point & click interface!

                            Millermatic 35 with spot panel
                            Miller 340A/BP
                            Victor O/A torches
                            Lincoln SP125
                            Too many other tools to list

                            03 Ram 1500
                            78 GS1000
                            82 GL1100 Interstate

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                            • #15
                              Miller Elite

                              Love My Elite for years. The only problems I have Is the inside cover. While changing lenses out its hard not to mare the very sensitive inside lens. I gently on a clean surface carefully install then put scotch tape around sides to keep grinding dust from getting in between the auto-darkening and cover lens. The outer cover gets gets wiped on my sleeve a lot but too much arc splashes makes it hard to see as i tig. That is when I Know it is time to replace.Click image for larger version

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