Eye Protection

Someone recently asked about eye protection for hot work. I lost
the request. I have a pair of AUR-92 glasses which are supposed to
br the best for enamelers and glassworkers. These are available


Not cheap but good.

I learned about these from an orchid post 1n late 98.

The older glassworkers glasses were didymium also available from
the above site. There is also a co in Houston that sells special
glasses for the same use but with a layer of gold flashed on to
block the IR . I’ll have to refind these people and repost. Jesse

Jesse, On the advice of a fellow Orchidite I bought some of the
gold didimium glasses. (sorry, I forget who it was who posted,
with 40 messages a day to read I have trouble remembering my
children’s names) The glasses are great! They do allow a moderate
amount of sodium flare to come through, but I like that 'cause it
helps me with depth perception when trying to heat alabastro and
filligrino rods without damage. I will tradeoff the sodium flare
for IR any day, much less tiresome to the eyes. Their URL is:


For about AUR-92, go to http://www.auralens.com
They also have about other types of safety lenses,
magnifiers, etc. - product specs and prices. You can order items
on line.

I’m a glassworker and have worn Aur-92’s for nearly 6 years.
There’s only one word to describe them: fantastic. Far and away
better than straight didymiums (which I switched from), and no
comparison to dark welding glasses.

You might consider going to the source (the manufacturer) to
have all your questions answered, including being able to see
spectral analyses of the wavelengths their different lenses

Hope this helps.
Rene Roberts

I wear glasses and wear an Optivisor for most of my jewellery work. I
usually wear prescription safety glasses for eye protection I would
like some better eye protection for when I am using my flex shaft
and when I am polishing etc. I was thinking of a face shield, but
that will not fit over my Optivisor.

Any suggestions?

Milt Fischbein
Calgary Canada

Hi Milt,

You might try a full face shield & add some of the 'stick on’
magnifiers that were discussed a few days ago. I don’t remember the
source that was mentioned, but I do know that stores that sell
welding supplies & dive shops for scuba divers sell them. Welders
sometimes use them on the inside of their welding helmets & scuba
divers put them inside there dive goggles.


Hi All,

I recently read in a popular “How to” jewelry book that filtered
safety glasses should always be worn during any kind of soldering to
protect your eyes from the light of the flame. I recall my eye
doctor some years ago mentioning the same thing, however I thought
it was only for very high temperature soldering. What is the opinion
of this forum - should we all be wearing them each time we solder?

Hi Tom or Grace;

The problem with soldering is mostly due to “sodium flare”, the
orange in the flame that occurs when the sodium in the flux or boric
acid burns off. There is a certain amount of ultraviolet light also.
And the problem is exacerbated by working with magnification, since
it concentrates the undesirable light. Look into Auralens, I don’t
have the web site off-hand, but I’m sure somebody here will give it
to us. They make glasses called Dididium. They have a light rose tint
to them, and they really don’t cost that much, and you can send them
your prescription, or they have plain lenses. I haven’t gotten around
to getting some, but it’s on my list of things to do. I’ve tried them
and they’re great.

David L. Huffman

What is the opinion of this forum - should we all be wearing them
each time we solder? 

I only use them when I am using Oxy/Acet, propane/air does not seem
to cause a discomfort to my eyes.


if you do that you will loose your sight quickly as you know the eye
needs light to filter info if you deney it you will strain your eyes

Since the lens of oxy acty welding and brazing are recommended to be
at least a number/shade 5 or 6 and if I remember most sunglasses are
about number 4. Any time you are using an oxyfuel flame it would be a
good Idea to wear some eye protection. Mostly if you are doing it for
any extended periods of time. as the are now pushing the cobalt and
iridium for glass/bead workers. Back in the day when we were firing
coal fired boilers. We were issued a set of cobalt blue shielding
glasses to work the fires and keep the glare down. I don’t think any
high intense glare from whatever source is any good for the eyes. But
thats my opinion!

As I’m not a doctor, and never played one on TV that is


What is the opinion of this forum - should we all be wearing them
each time we solder? 

Yes, indeed, in my humble opinion. Eye protection, from sodium
flare, sputtering chemicals, projectiles, etc. is absolutely

I am a Lampwork Glass Beadmaker (and beginner silversmith) and I use
a pair of AuraLens’ AUR-92 glasses for work in soft glass. I really
like them. They completely filter sodium flare and I can distiguish
between glass colors and temperatures better with these than with
Didymium lenses. I bought a pair with large lenses that fit over my
readers and also protect from glass shards.

The website http://www.auralens.net has all kinds of technical
to help you choose the proper type of protection for the
work you do. They cater to glass and metal workers.

I have no connection to them other than that of a very satisfied

Donna Sutton

In chilly Tampa Bay, Florida, where air conditioning season is
finally over.

I have a pair of prescription Aura 92s.These are an advanced
dididium formula. These work well for glass working but I have
problems with them for silver brazing. I have trouble seeing the
metal color temperature with them and I have found that others seem
to have the same problem. They do remove the yellow sodium flare. The
website is: http://www.auralens.net/ ( this is not working well for
me in its current form) call and ask for Mike. He is well qualified
to advise you.

another mail order co: http://www.rx-safety.com this is also
http://www.phillips-safety.com which has a different website ??

look at welding equipment. Modern clear plastic (polycarbonate)
safety lenses work pretty well as a bare minimum to reduce UV
intensity – use tinted for large flame brazing which will reduce the
UV levels further. For looking into a really hot furnace or kiln you
will really also need IR protection which these do not provide.

same company different ! website.

OSHA and all other safety organizations concerned with oxy-fuel
brazing (soldering in our terms)require that at filter of at least a
shade 3 be worn while brazing. The major damage will come from
infra- red light (heat) and will literally cook the interior of the
eye. Soldering does not generate much if ultra violet as the
temperatures are too low but there is some and it is bets t filter
that as well. The bright yellow light is from sodium in the flux and
is not as dangerous as it is annoying. A shade 3 filter will take
care of all of these problems. Unfortunately a shade 3 is still dark
enough to be difficult to see what you are doing when not looking
into the flame so you will need to brightly light your work area to
be able to see what you are doing.

Most sunglasses are a shade 2 and do not conform to the ANSI spec
for filter glasses in that many do not filter out infra red or ultra
violet to the required degree.

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


I only use them when I am using Oxy/Acet, propane/air does not
seem to cause a discomfort to my eyes. 

You should always be using some sort of eye protection not just doing
hot work. Clear poly carbonate safety glasses gives fairly good
protection against UV with small flames. see my other post.



should we all be wearing them each time we solder? 

I think you should wear eye protection all the time for almost all



I wear safety glasses all the time, some to keep debrie out of my
eyes, like diamond dust or flying chunks of materials. I have two
sets of filtered glasses one with dididium glass and the other set is
just protective polycarbonate lenses with filters.

Most people don’t know how bad you can damage your eyes with out
proper protection.

I also wear various respirators when and where necessary.


I’m not sure that eye protection is needed when brazing (soldering)
jewelry items. The flame isn’t that bright, one needs to concentrate
on the color of the metal rather than looking directly at the flame
and the amount of time needed to braze isn’t that long anyway - or
at least when working in a one person studio and not on a production
line. Maybe I’m wrong, but why waste money that you don’t have to?


Perhaps it would have helped had I said, I normally wear glasses and
they are coated for scratch and UV resistance. The only time I put on
the filtered glasses is when I use Oxy/Acet, with my normal glasses
the energy level produced by a Propane/Air torch does not bother my

You are right though, you should not be in the shop without eye
protection, I thought the question pertained to emissive protection
glasses, i.e. torch goggles. Maybe I didn’t understand the question?


Hi Grace and Tom.

The electromagnetic radiation we expose ourselves to in the shop
affects three different tissues in the eye and varies with the
portion of the spectrum under consideration. The tissues are the
cornea, the lens and the retina; and the spectral segments infrared
(heat), visable light and ultraviolet.

Heat is absorbed partially by the cornea but very strongly by the
surface layers of the lens, causing a very specific type of
cataract. For that reason lampworking bead makers should wear
infrared absorbing goggles as, you can be assured, Dale Chuhuly and
his workers do.

The visible portion of the spectrum passes through the cornea and
lens with little interruption unless we have cataracts. However the
retina, which absorbs the light in the process of seeing, can be
damaged by the light itself. The energy content is greatest in the
short (blue) wavelengths and the damage is directly proportional to
the intensity and exposure time. Consequently the retina has little
risk from the red-orange light of heat treating and silver/gold
soldering but great risk from the intense blue-white light of
platinum soldering, founding and welding. Real welding protection is
essential for platinum work while a lesser filtration is optional for
silver/gold work.

Ultraviolet light is strongly absorbed by the cornea where it can
easily cause a sunburn, as in the typical welders “flash burn”.
There is also some evidence that UV exposure accelerates the
development of cataracts.

Electric welding is a double whammy; not only is there UV to protect
yourself from, but the high intensity blue-white light can directly
burn the retina. UV protection needs to be wrap-around style–if the
arc can see your cornea it can burn it, you don’t have to be looking
at it. The retinal burn can happen in a flash (so to speak) and if
you happen to be looking at the source itself your central vision is
in bad trouble. I’ve seen electricians with permanent macular burns
when they inadvertently caused a big spark while “just doing their

So the message is: if you’re working with a major source of
infrared–filter; if you’re working with white hot materials and
techniques–filter; and if you’re heat-treating your tools or
soldering silver and gold filtration is optional so do what is
comfortable to you.

Dr. Mac