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brian Rupnow
08-04-2017, 03:34 PM
Gradually, over the last 10 years my eyesight has deteriorated to the point where I simply can't see the weld puddle properly when I am electric welding. I have a pair of "walking around" glasses (trifocals), and a pair of "Computer" glasses (bifocals) and they both do their job very well. Neither work very well when I'm electric welding. I have been hearing for years now about "cheater lenses" which snap into the inside of a welding helmet to improve ones vision. Yesterday, I decided to check this out, so I drove down to my welding gas supplier to ask about them. They had a selection of these "cheater lenses" in different strengths, but the sales clerks were a pair of Bozo's. They didn't know what strength of lens to supply, but they didn't want to open any of the packages to let me try them to see what worked for me. They had one set of lenses which was a diopter 2.00 which had been opened previously, so for the princely sum of $6.00 I bought that one and brought it home. It fits into a slot in your helmet, right behind the normal lens. My helmet is an auto darkening type which can not be adjusted for greater or lesser clarity. Today I ran a test, with the cheater lens in place, and it does make a tremendous difference in how well I can see the weld puddle. I don't weld that much anymore, but it's going to be nice to see the weld puddle and the joint between the two pieces being welded clearly. I just thought I'd give a heads up to all of you fellows approaching your 70's who are experiencing the same vision problems while electric welding. The fix may be as simple as a $6.00 cheater lens.---Brian
http://imageshack.com/a/img922/4968/zqutPC.jpg
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn294/BrianRupnow/IMG_0855_zpspxhjfvbs.jpg (http://s307.photobucket.com/user/BrianRupnow/media/IMG_0855_zpspxhjfvbs.jpg.html)

Hal
08-04-2017, 03:58 PM
I remember as a kid putting on welding helmet that had a pair of "cheaters" installed. They about made me sea sick :)before I figured out what was going on.

Hal

Joe_B
08-04-2017, 04:10 PM
If you are nearsighted like me, you can just take off your glasses and everything looks bigger.

Oldguy
08-04-2017, 04:38 PM
I've been wearing glasses since my arms started getting too short about 30 years ago. My progressive lenses work fine for just about everything except welding. It's really hard to look through the lower edge of the glasses and get your head in a position to see through the window of the welding helmet.

Since the dollar store is only a mile away, I tried all of the dollar cheater glasses and picked a pair that allowed me to focus about 18 inches away. Problem solved and they are now my welding glasses. Someday when I'm near the welding store I may stop by and see if they have a cheater lens in the same diopter. Or maybe not.

Glenn

ncjeeper
08-04-2017, 06:14 PM
I put a 1.5 in my helmet 3 years ago.

lakeside53
08-04-2017, 07:57 PM
Yep.. I use 1.75's in my helmet.

boslab
08-04-2017, 08:46 PM
I first got cheater lenses after watching one of Jodie's excellent vidio son welding tips and tricks, wearing reading glasses under a lid was a pain as the things force you into the weld due to focal length, even though I use them I have found that a really brightly lit weld comes second, you'd think it wouldent help but it does, I use a halogen spot lamp in an old anglepoiise, chalking the weld on steel helps too if it's rusty or black (you should really clean it I know!) I've also found the silver pencils work too, a line each side of the weld like landing lights on a runway, you know which way to head (although I've got lost a few times and it looks like I could have done with air traffic control), failing eyesight is a bloody neusance.
Think I messed my eyes up looking at molten steel daily, you use a visor but your never quick enough to avoid a flash of liquid sunshine when you don't know when it's going to appear.
Looking at red hot steel damages your eyes too, cateracts, macular degeneration are apparently definitely linked to the infrared.
Wonder how long it will be before there is no optical Appature in a welding helmet, just a forward facing camera and a lcd screen in the hood? Suppose it's feasable,
Mark

alanganes
08-04-2017, 09:43 PM
[Snip stuff]
Wonder how long it will be before there is no optical Appature in a welding helmet, just a forward facing camera and a lcd screen in the hood? Suppose it's feasable,
Mark

It's being worked on, I'm actually surprised that such things are not out already. The technology certainly exists and is pretty inexpensive. I've posted this video before but it's pretty interesting if you've not seen it. This is from almost 5 years ago, so the hardware has come a LONG way since then:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygcm0AQXX9k

It starts out a bit slow, but the welding portions are pretty interesting.

BigMike782
08-04-2017, 10:03 PM
The guys at the LWS are bozos because YOU did not bother to find out what diopter you need?

TGTool
08-04-2017, 10:09 PM
The guys at the LWS are bozos because YOU did not bother to find out what diopter you need?

Doesn't everyone keep a diopter checker in the drawer just so you can deal with bozos when you meet them?

JRouche
08-05-2017, 01:08 AM
Thanks Brian for the detailed write. JR

Paul Alciatore
08-05-2017, 02:43 AM
About 8 or 10 years ago I noticed that my eyesight changed. I found that I was no longer nearsighted as I had always been. I found that I could see the road and road signs better if took my prescription glasses OFF. Even earlier than that I started to notice that I really needed my glasses for close-up work. And, with the advent of computers and the need to spend a lot of time work with one, I needed a different prescription for the intermediate distance of a computer screen. My bifocals worked OK for near (book reading distance) and far, but not for the computer screen which was between them.

I talked this over with my eye doctors but finally gave up. They do not think in terms of that intermediate distance. They test and prescribe for book distance (arm's length) and far off (infinity). I honestly think they don't even know how to prescribe glasses for an intermediate distance. Their equipment is just not set up for that.

I went to Wal-Mart. They have "readers" of various powers and you CAN try them out. I simply put them on and looked at something with fine print at about the same distance as my computer screen. When it was clear, I bought that pair.

They are rated in diopters, just like the welding inserts that you examined. Go to Wal-Mart or a drug store and try out some readers at the distance that you need for welding. Remember their power in diopters. Then just buy the inserts of that power.

PS: Since I am now legally licensed to drive without glasses, I no longer get prescription lenses. It is a lot more convenient to have readers of various powers for different distances. I keep them at the places where I use them. Several pairs in the shop for different tasks. Actual readers at places where I read things (kitchen, "library", etc.), glove compartment, etc. I carry a pair for actual reading in my shirt when I go out. I can have a dozen pairs of these readers for less cost than one pair of prescription glasses. And at less than $10 apiece, I don't have to worry about breaking or scratching them: just toss them and grab another pair. Funny thing is, I almost never break or scratch them. The cheap readers seem to live a charmed life.

Ian B
08-05-2017, 03:18 AM
This sounds interesting, I wasn't aware that they were available.

To those who've bought them, is the diopter of what you buy for the welding helmet the same as your prescription glasses for the same distance? I have "normal" specs, also reading specs that focus at a sort of welding distance - these are what I'd like to replicate.

Just to muddy the waters further, my left & right eyes are different "strengths" - do you get one insert lens per side, and can you mix & match?

Ian

Black Forest
08-05-2017, 06:14 AM
When I went to my welding supply store here in Germany they wanted me to bring in my prescription before they would sell me the cheater lens. It is possible to order a cheater lens with different strengths for each eye. I didn't do it but they said it was available.

deltap
08-05-2017, 07:17 AM
It is critical to see well to get a good root pass in pipe welding. When doing position welds in tight spots I would use different powers of readers to adjust for the distance from my eyes to the weld. My bifocal glasses would not work for all the variables involved in this work. Never did like the helmet cheaters.

metalmagpie
08-05-2017, 11:16 AM
About 8 or 10 years ago I noticed that my eyesight changed. I found that I was no longer nearsighted as I had always been. I found that I could see the road and road signs better if took my prescription glasses OFF. Even earlier than that I started to notice that I really needed my glasses for close-up work. And, with the advent of computers and the need to spend a lot of time work with one, I needed a different prescription for the intermediate distance of a computer screen. My bifocals worked OK for near (book reading distance) and far, but not for the computer screen which was between them.

I talked this over with my eye doctors but finally gave up. They do not think in terms of that intermediate distance. They test and prescribe for book distance (arm's length) and far off (infinity). I honestly think they don't even know how to prescribe glasses for an intermediate distance. Their equipment is just not set up for that.

I went to Wal-Mart. They have "readers" of various powers and you CAN try them out. I simply put them on and looked at something with fine print at about the same distance as my computer screen. When it was clear, I bought that pair.

They are rated in diopters, just like the welding inserts that you examined. Go to Wal-Mart or a drug store and try out some readers at the distance that you need for welding. Remember their power in diopters. Then just buy the inserts of that power.

PS: Since I am now legally licensed to drive without glasses, I no longer get prescription lenses. It is a lot more convenient to have readers of various powers for different distances. I keep them at the places where I use them. Several pairs in the shop for different tasks. Actual readers at places where I read things (kitchen, "library", etc.), glove compartment, etc. I carry a pair for actual reading in my shirt when I go out. I can have a dozen pairs of these readers for less cost than one pair of prescription glasses. And at less than $10 apiece, I don't have to worry about breaking or scratching them: just toss them and grab another pair. Funny thing is, I almost never break or scratch them. The cheap readers seem to live a charmed life.

Clue: Readers are straight magnifiers. Focal length = 1 meter / diopter. If you want to focus at half a meter get a 2 diopter. If you want to focus at 18" (0.45 meters) you'd need about 2.25 diopter.

metalmagpie

michigan doug
08-05-2017, 11:19 AM
If you are nearsighted like me, you can just take off your glasses and everything looks bigger.

This trick only works if:

1. You are between -1.00 and -3.50'ish
2. You have minimal astigmatism
3. The two eyes have similar amounts of near sightedness

michigan doug
08-05-2017, 11:20 AM
I've been wearing glasses since my arms started getting too short about 30 years ago. My progressive lenses work fine for just about everything except welding. It's really hard to look through the lower edge of the glasses and get your head in a position to see through the window of the welding helmet.

Since the dollar store is only a mile away, I tried all of the dollar cheater glasses and picked a pair that allowed me to focus about 18 inches away. Problem solved and they are now my welding glasses. Someday when I'm near the welding store I may stop by and see if they have a cheater lens in the same diopter. Or maybe not.

Glenn


Do you wear only the dollar store cheater glasses? Or do you put them over your progressives?

Thanks in advance,

michigan doug
08-05-2017, 11:26 AM
About 8 or 10 years ago I noticed that my eyesight changed. I found that I was no longer nearsighted as I had always been. I found that I could see the road and road signs better if took my prescription glasses OFF. Even earlier than that I started to notice that I really needed my glasses for close-up work. And, with the advent of computers and the need to spend a lot of time work with one, I needed a different prescription for the intermediate distance of a computer screen. My bifocals worked OK for near (book reading distance) and far, but not for the computer screen which was between them.

I talked this over with my eye doctors but finally gave up. They do not think in terms of that intermediate distance. They test and prescribe for book distance (arm's length) and far off (infinity). I honestly think they don't even know how to prescribe glasses for an intermediate distance. Their equipment is just not set up for that.

I went to Wal-Mart. They have "readers" of various powers and you CAN try them out. I simply put them on and looked at something with fine print at about the same distance as my computer screen. When it was clear, I bought that pair.

They are rated in diopters, just like the welding inserts that you examined. Go to Wal-Mart or a drug store and try out some readers at the distance that you need for welding. Remember their power in diopters. Then just buy the inserts of that power.

PS: Since I am now legally licensed to drive without glasses, I no longer get prescription lenses. It is a lot more convenient to have readers of various powers for different distances. I keep them at the places where I use them. Several pairs in the shop for different tasks. Actual readers at places where I read things (kitchen, "library", etc.), glove compartment, etc. I carry a pair for actual reading in my shirt when I go out. I can have a dozen pairs of these readers for less cost than one pair of prescription glasses. And at less than $10 apiece, I don't have to worry about breaking or scratching them: just toss them and grab another pair. Funny thing is, I almost never break or scratch them. The cheap readers seem to live a charmed life.



Most optometrists can design your specialty glasses to work at whatever distance you want. I do that routinely. Depending on your pupils size and age, note that everything past 4-8 feet is just your "driving" prescription. So you really have to define the distance you're interested in as "intermediate". After my first year in practice, I started insisting that the patient use a tape measure instead of just estimating for specialty glasses. As a group, patients are terrible at guessing distances, and for specialty glasses, 4" one way or the other sometimes matters.

It's all about the distance/focal length.

Of course, some eye doctors just like to do easy/routine/fast stuff, and don't want to spend the time to get the specialty stuff properly sorted out. It's not that they can't, they just don't want to.

michigan doug
08-05-2017, 11:32 AM
This sounds interesting, I wasn't aware that they were available.

To those who've bought them, is the diopter of what you buy for the welding helmet the same as your prescription glasses for the same distance? I have "normal" specs, also reading specs that focus at a sort of welding distance - these are what I'd like to replicate.

Just to muddy the waters further, my left & right eyes are different "strengths" - do you get one insert lens per side, and can you mix & match?

Ian


The inserts are not available in a left power/right power configuration.

The inserts are the same strength left and right, and the assumption is, you have your distance correction taken care of by your glasses. That puts your two eyes on a "level playing field".

If you're over 45'ish, the insert power is definitely not the same as your distance diopter correction. Maybe....if you wear a bifocal or progressive addition lens, maybe the insert is the same as your prescribed bifocal power.

michigan doug
08-05-2017, 11:36 AM
Clue: Readers are straight magnifiers. Focal length = 1 meter / diopter. If you want to focus at half a meter get a 2 diopter. If you want to focus at 18" (0.45 meters) you'd need about 2.25 diopter.

metalmagpie


That's assuming they have their distance vision corrected by glasses, and does not account for depth of field effects. But your math is correct for calculating the simple focal length. The depth of field effect usually makes it so that you need a little less power than the simple math would predict.

Dave C
08-05-2017, 12:40 PM
That's assuming they have their distance vision corrected by glasses, and does not account for depth of field effects. But your math is correct for calculating the simple focal length. The depth of field effect usually makes it so that you need a little less power than the simple math would predict.

That last line probably accounts for why I have had to return new glasses because wearing them gave me a headache. I'm 76, diabetic, unevenly farsighted, and have more astigmatism in the left eye, and wear trifocals. The doc probably cringes when he hears that I have an appointment for an exam. I can't weld for crap anymore.

danlb
08-05-2017, 01:24 PM
Was it mentioned that you can use helmet cheaters WITH your prescription glasses? You can.

I have reading glasses that take care of my astigmatism, but they focus a little too far away for welding. For some reason I TIG weld best when I'm fairly close to the arc. Adding a low diopter cheater lens lets me get closer and still use the prescription lenses.


Dan

wombat2go
08-05-2017, 02:18 PM
I recently bought the insert lens which fits correctly in the Oxy-Acet goggles.
https://app.box.com/s/zhwp43awj74kygf8us3zh5bfmbsyir38
I took a punt on +1.75 d, and it is about right.
With bright light I can work with fairly sharp focus between about 350 and 500 mm.
I aim a 150 Watt halogen work lamp on my little brazing table, and that helps to "stop" the eyes down.
I no longer need eye glasses under the goggles.
Glasses under goggles were a nuisance for me as they fog up also fall off when putting on and removing the goggles.

brian Rupnow
08-05-2017, 02:21 PM
I am wearing my prescription glasses along with the cheater lens in my helmet.---brian

Oldguy
08-05-2017, 03:07 PM
Do you wear only the dollar store cheater glasses? Or do you put them over your progressives?

Thanks in advance,

Doug -

I bought the dollar store readers with enough power that I can use then alone under my welding helmet. Have to change back to the progressives to see the rest of the shop when I take off the helmet.

A note for those who need different correction in each eye: buy two pair of the dollar store cheaters, one pair that corrects for each eye. Then swap out one of the lenses. You now have a pair of "$2 specials". If you know someone who needs the opposite correction, give them the other pair.

Glenn

boslab
08-05-2017, 11:08 PM
It's being worked on, I'm actually surprised that such things are not out already. The technology certainly exists and is pretty inexpensive. I've posted this video before but it's pretty interesting if you've not seen it. This is from almost 5 years ago, so the hardware has come a LONG way since then:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygcm0AQXX9k

It starts out a bit slow, but the welding portions are pretty interesting.
Fascinating how all the ideas I've ever had are already done, I think I should give up!, perfect vision system for a welding robot, the thing could teach itself, damn there I go again,
Thanks
Mark

michigan doug
08-06-2017, 04:33 PM
Was it mentioned that you can use helmet cheaters WITH your prescription glasses? You can.

I have reading glasses that take care of my astigmatism, but they focus a little too far away for welding. For some reason I TIG weld best when I'm fairly close to the arc. Adding a low diopter cheater lens lets me get closer and still use the prescription lenses.


Dan


It depends....

Mostly, the insert cheaters work best in addition to the distance correction, not without the distance correction.

JoeLee
08-06-2017, 04:56 PM
I have a 2 X in one of my helmets for tedious TIG welding. It works great as long as the helmet is perfectly centered on my head. Lean to one side where the weight of the helmet may shift on my head and it's instant blur.

JL...........

rohart
08-06-2017, 08:22 PM
I've got astigmatism and long sight. My method is to wear my everyday varifocals, with a cheap pair of 1 dioptre glasses on top. I use a sports elastic on the cheap glasses to hold them on. A bit uncomfortable, but it works.

Lets me get nice and close to the tig arc, which I need.

But also, I tried auto-darkening helmets - not the expensive ones, couldn't afford those - and found the vision was really poor. So now I have a selection of straight glass, from 8 thru 12, some gold. Much better.

I'll have to look into these cheater lenses. They sound like the bees knees.

garyhlucas
08-06-2017, 10:03 PM
Was it mentioned that you can use helmet cheaters WITH your prescription glasses? You can.

I have reading glasses that take care of my astigmatism, but they focus a little too far away for welding. For some reason I TIG weld best when I'm fairly close to the arc. Adding a low diopter cheater lens lets me get closer and still use the prescription lenses.


Dan
I picked up the narrow lens welding helmet in the shop the other day and noticed I could see much better than I expected with my varifocal glasses that I wear after cataract surgery. Turns out the shop guy was having trouble seeing and had installed 2.0 diopter lens in the helmet!