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Welding glasses with oxy/acetylene?


#1

Am I right in my understanding that it is necessary to wear shade 5
welding-type eye protection any time you are using acetylene with
oxygen (not room air), such as a Little torch?

Thanks,
Noel


#2

It is a good idea if you’re doing a lot of it, say more than three
or four heats/day or any time you work with platinum or palladium the
heat required is such than an appreciable amount of energy is lost to
far blue/UV radiation neither of which is any good for your eyes.

BTW I would recommend shade 6, not much darker visually, but they
make a big difference over shade 5…

Oh and untill they perfect eye transplants I don’t think it’s
possible to over protect your eyes. Just my opinion, YMMV.

Cheers, Thomas.
Janstrom Designs.


#3
Am I right in my understanding that it is necessary to wear shade 5
welding-type eye protection any time you are using acetylene with
oxygen (not room air), such as a Little torch? 

If you look at the health and safety regulations for torch work, all
torch work should be done with shaded lenses from shade 3 to 5
depending on the type of work (soldering, brazing or welding) and
temperatures involved.

James Binnion
@James_Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


360-756-6550


#4
Am I right in my understanding that it is necessary to wear shade
5 welding-type eye protection any time you are using acetylene with
oxygen (not room air), such as a Little torch? 

If you’re using a regular sized welding torch, you’d want that
filter just so you can see what you’re doing. With a little torch,
the flame is so tiny that you need not worry about it as needed
protection. If you find things too bright too see what’s happening,
then use some sort of filter so you can see. Oxy acetylene flames can
be hot enough, especially if you’re using it as a neutral or even
oxidizing flame, such as might be the case with platinum, that they
can begine to give some ultraviolet, but these low levels would be
blocked by any glass lens, shaded or not. Any modest sunglass lens
that offers UV protection would do it too. A larger flame may also
send out enough radiant heat (infrared) that you’d want some sort of
protection (is the flame hot enough, and your face close enough, that
you feel the heat? if so, wear something) that you’d want protection.
But again, for the sizes you’re talking about with the little torch,
it doesn’t take much. A shade five is fine if you’re torch welding
steel or doing something else equally high temperature. if you’re
soldering gold or silver, though, with a shade five you won’t be able
to see what you’re doing, which would be a pretty good sign that
you’ve got too much filter…

by the way, it was fun seeing you at SNAG.

Cheers
Peter


#5

Noel

According to the OSHA website and the “welder’s manual” (I don’t
have it with me so can’t cite the specific title right now), you need
either shade 4 or 5 when working with oxy/acetylene.

page 15, near the bottom, “gas welding” gives flame size for guidance
as to selection of appropriate lens darkness.

Keep in mind that the danger is not necessarily the visible light,
but the “radiant energy” produced by the flame.

Hope this helps!
Karen Goeller
No Limitations Designs
Hand-made, one-of-a-kind jewelry


#6

I was wondering the same thing- I just bought a “little torch” last
month myself. I called several welding supply businesses to inquire
about it, none were able to answer. My question is does the majority
of UV light come from the flame, or does it occur when using an
oxyacetylene torch to do things like weld or cut steel? The metal
turns white-hot when welding or cutting steel but that obviously
isn’t the case when soldering silver or gold.

Kenton


#7

Noel,

It is my understanding that the higher the heat the higher the
radiation. TIG and MIG welding require a # 10 - 12 lens. Quite hot.
Quite dark.

Using a cutting torch or gas welding with a large tip will require a

5 lens to protect your eyes from this radiation and to reduce the

glare. When using a small cold flame such as a Little Torch I
generally use a # 2 lens primarally just to cut the glare of the
flame allowing me to be able to see the puddle and the flow of the
filler material being used.

Not to mention to also protect the eyes in the event of the hot
metal popping.

Good question.
Duck


#8

Hi Noel,

I use some glasses from Aura Lens, the aur-92. You can see them on
their website

http://www.auralens.net/e_gw_aur92.cfm

I have been using them for years and have been very pleased. You
definitely need some shading for that bright light when you first
turn on the torch and are adjusting the flame. I was also having
some itchy eyes when soldering for longer periods of time which I was
told was like getting a mild sunburn on my eyes. The glasses gave me
the protection I needed. Talk to the guys at Aura Lens. They have a
variety of protective glasses.

Hope that helps-Carrie Nunes
www.carrienunes.com


#9

I stumbled upon the use of dydinium glasses while soldering. It cuts
the orange color of the flame so I see what is going on better. I
never used anything but my regular eyeglasses for years until I took
a beadmaking workshop and used them. I wondered if they would be good
for metals so I tried them and liked what I saw.or didn’t see.

the orange flame. Has anyone else used these?

Susan
www.ThorntonStudioJewelry.com


#10

I spoke with my eye doctor today about this, and inquired if the
clip-on UV blocking shades would protect one’s eyes. She replied that
the UV blocking clip-on’s that they sold would probably be sufficient
to protect your eyes as long as you weren’t soldering platinum or
welding/cutting steel while wearing them.

Just wanted to throw that info in.

Kenton


#11

Hi all, would the same be true for oxegen/propane torches?

Vince.


#12

Noel:

Am I right in my understanding that it is necessary to wear shade
5 welding-type eye protection any time you are using acetylene
with?oxygen (not room air), such as a Little torch?

I use the Smith Little Torch and wear welding-type eye protection
when lighting the torch. After the flame is like I want it, I take
off the glasses. Mine look like safety glasses, but the lenses are
dark.When I light my torch I light the acetylene first, then adjust
the oxygen to proper mix; however, I have a friend who has the same
torch and he opens the oxy a little bit then adds the acetylene to
light it.When he does that, he doesn’t get that bright white flame
that I do, but then I’m just a beginner and he has a number of years
of experience.

Carolyn

PS My glasses are not #5, they are #3.?5 is too dark, you can’t see what
color the flame is.


#13
When I light my torch I light the acetylene first, then adjust the
oxygen to proper mix; however, I have a friend who has the same
torch and he opens the oxy a little bit then adds the acetylene to
light it. 

I also open the oxy a little bit first, and that avoids those
lovely, lacy black soot swirls that float everywhere. I don’t have as
much ventilation as I’d like in my studio, so they’re not sucked
out, so that was a must.

But I don’t wear anything more than my regular eyeglasses with UV
protection. I’m reconsidering that, based on what I’m reading here.


#14

Vince,

Yes, the same is true for propane/oxy. Heat is heat. Propane/oxy.
will burn cooler the acetlyene/oxy. A #2 or #3 lens will be sufficent
with Propane. When silver brazing the glare from the flux makes it
almost impossible to see the silver puddle flow without a dark lens.
Use the darkest lens that allow you to see the puddle.

Duck


#15
Yes, the same is true for propane/oxy. Heat is heat. 

Respectfully-- I do not know anyone who uses dark glasses when
soldering with oxy and propane. When using oxy acetylene, the flame
is bright enough to leave serious spots in your (my) vision even if
not looking directly at it. This is just not the case with propane,
for whatever reason.

I’m sure it would do no harm to wear didimium glasses or Auralense
glasses, and if it seems like a sensible precaution, go for it, but I
do not believe it is at all necessary. Anybody got documentation that
it is?

Noel


#16

Heat is heat, true. But there’s a 1,000*F difference in temperature
between oxy-propane and oxy-acetelyne. The flame you see with
oxy-acetelyne is the same temperature as the surface of the sun,
which means it’s radiating far more into the ultra-violet range than
a oxy-propane flame is. The energy level is higher.

And it was precisely that the flame of the oxy- acetelyne left spots
in front of my eyes that I started calling the welding shops and
ultimately my eye doctor to inquire about the necessity of UV
blocking lenses.

The spots were my first warning sign.

Kenton


#17
I do not know anyone who uses dark glasses when soldering with oxy
and propane. When using oxy acetylene, the flame is bright enough
to leave serious spots in your (my) vision even if not looking
directly at it. This is just not the case with propane, for
whatever reason. 

American Welding Society and OSHA both require shade 3-5 for brazing
(our soldering) there is no differentiation for fuel type as they
all emit light that can damage your eyes when brazing.

Three sources for eye strain/damage from light radiated by torches,
the work and the brazing surface.

Infra Red, ie heat probably the biggest danger in brazing cooks the
eye.

Visible light, more a cause of eye strain than damage at lower
levels but can damage if bright enough with long enough exposure
think platinum soldering.

UV, not a big amount of UV from brazing operations and most plastic
lenses (safety glasses) are pretty good at stopping it.

Aur92 and Didymium lenses are glass lenses that are visible light
filters, they don’t much of anything about UV or Infra Red. They are
specifically designed to knock down the yellow sodium flare in hot
glass working and do a good job on the yellow flare from flux and
fire bricks.

If you solder all day every day you need to wear some form of shaded
lens (not didymium or Aur92) to knock down the infra red.If you are
soldering platinum then you need to where at least a shade 5.

James Binnion
@James_Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


360-756-6550


#18
would the same be true for oxegen/propane torches? 

No. The flame of an oxy-propane torch is a lot cooler than an
oxy-acetelyne flame. It doesn’t have an energy level that can damage
your eyes. Oxy- acetelyne may be another matter entirely. As for
myself I’ll play on the safe side and get those clip-on UV blocking
sunglasses. They are rated as a #3 glass.

Kenton


#19

Hi Noel

I know you have had a lot of answers on this, what I find useful is a
pair of what appears to be sun glasses from the local welding shop, I
believe they are a 3 filter, and they are for torch work. It works
well for me and I can get my glasses on under them, and no spots
since I have started using them. Think they ran about 20, but it has
been several years since I bought them.

Terry


#20
The spots were my first warning sign. 

Yes there is a difference (Propane 5,111 F Acetylene 5780 F) but it
is no where near the temp of the surface of the sun which is 5,780 K
or 9800 F. The oxyacetylene flame radiates very little UV but is very
bright in the visible spectrum and this is the cause of the spots
you saw. Any bright enough visible light source will damage your
eyes. A UV blocking lens can be clear in the visible light range.

UV is definitely a problem at arc welding temperatures (11000 F) but
not at oxy-gas temperatures. If UV was present in any significant
amount you would get a sun burn from your torch.

James Binnion
@James_Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


360-756-6550