auto darkening helmet broke after 30 minutes of use

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Paul Wheaton, May 30, 2004.

  1. Paul Wheaton

    Paul Wheaton Well-Known Member

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    My 12 year old son is excited to learn about welding. So excited, that at Christmas he bought me an auto darkening helmet. A couple of months ago we went to a neighbor's who had a good stick welder and we practiced welding together. The new helmet wouldn't stay up when we were inspecting the welds. So we kept tightening the knobs on the sides. After a couple of times, one of the knobs broke off.

    It was plastic and cheesy. The auto-darkening part worked okay. Just the plastic helmet part seemed lame.

    We took it back to the farm store where my son bought it and got a refund. We looked at the other ones and they all had plastic knob stuff on the sides.

    We drove to oxarc yesterday to look at the proper stuff only to find that they were closed. Then it occured to me that it would be better to talk to you guys than talk to a sales man.

    Is there a brand I should be looking for? Are they all plastic these days? Any advice?
     
  2. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    Had a similar problem with my helmit a ways back till I roughed up the contact surface where the friction happens, mine is plastic handle with metal threads.
     

  3. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    ................If you will look on the right side of Most helmets there will BE a small hole there that anchors the Stop mechanism to keep the helmet "UP" when not in use. I would visit your local welding store (not TS) that sells gas, rod, steel, etc. They should have the replacement kit for any helmet and maybe even show you how to set it up. ...fordy... :)
     
  4. cashcrop

    cashcrop Well-Known Member

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    I made my living welding for 5 years. I never used an auto darkening lensed helmet till my last yr. I have owned 2 helmets almost a 3rd. The first one was a Jackson. Next one was a Huntsman.

    The most improtant thing is to have a balanced helmet. I had the first helmet maybe 2 months before I bought the second and reallized that I was more fatigued w/ the Jackson helmet. Having a gold lense is more important to me than auto darkening!! The auto darkening helmet I used at work seemed to have a gold like lense so, I ordered an auto darkening helmet through work but, it wasn't the same and they sent it back. The gold lense will make things clearer for some reason. I do however think Huntsmen and Selstrom helmets are better welding helmets! At least 5yrs ago that is. I felt my Jackson was poorly designed and constructed. Don't let the fact they are made of plastic fool you!!

    My Huntsmen helmet in certain parts got so warm it melted and distorted the plastic slightly but, I welded things hot! Ran my heat UP and my wire out FAST! i wouldn't hesitate to use it today to weld with!

    Another note: My father was a high school industrial arts teacher back when they could really teach kids skills so they could join the work force when they graduated high school. He taught all the metals & welding classes. He had a regular helmet w/ a gold lense....he never owned a auto darkening lense(they are nice but, not neccessary).

    Katie
     
  5. punkrockpilot

    punkrockpilot Well-Known Member

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    I got a $50 auto darkening helmet (on sale) from Harbor Freight 2 years ago and have used it almost everyday at work. No problems, it's not the greatest helmet but it works. I change the clear lenses often and always hang it up when I am done with it.
    Greg
     
  6. Oilpatch197

    Oilpatch197 Well-Known Member

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    ...I got a Jackson helmet, a POS for sure, the big problem is the plastic locking mechinisims, over tighten the locks and you twist the threads off, and you have to go to the welding store for another plastic kit. Blah for plastic, I want somthing much more durable.
     
  7. Gary in ohio

    Gary in ohio Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Any that doesnt say made in China..

     
  8. Zack

    Zack Well-Known Member

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    I have always used Fibermetal, they have worked well for me. EZ to get parts for also.
     
  9. mary,tx

    mary,tx Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Don't know about your specific helmet, but with an auto-darkening helmet, you don't need it to flip down easily like a normal helmet. Could you add/replace the washer with a cork washer or one made of silicon rubber that has more 'stick' than plastic on plastic? I weld a lot, but not daily, perhaps a lot only a couple of days a month. Though many have used normal helmets for years and years, I LOVE the auto-darkening feature since I can do several welds and operations without lifting my helmet--a real time saver for more complex fabrication. It also comes in handy when I occasionally burn a hole in thin material and need to fill by welding, resting a moment, then filling again. I watch it cool a bit, then fill some more while I can still see what I am doing. It would take forever to fill in my mistakes with a traditional helmet.

    Also if someone is teaching, the learner can observe what is going on without having to cover up too soon or too late.

    Dale (DH of Mary, TX)
     
  10. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    I've got an auto darkening helmet I bought from Northern Hydraulics. It is a Hobart and I have had nothing but good luck with mine. I have welded for years and have every brand helmet mentioned here. I don't use anything but the auto darkening one now. I don't strictly weld for a living but I do use it for work and hobby.