Using a Welding Mask to Watch a Solar Eclipse

Save Phace Welding Mask

This Monday the 21st the moon will fully eclipse the sun for a narrow band across the US, during a “complete eclipse” you can actually look at the sun if it’s fully behind the moon without any protection and not be harmed because the sun is completely covered. However if even a tiny sliver of the sun is visible, which will be the case for the other 99.9+% of the country at any given time you will need to wear serious eye protection. You can check out the American Astronomical Society (AAS.org) for legit vendors of “Eclipse Glasses” but it’s not pretty, from their site Note: It is now too late to buy solar viewers in time for August 21st. Virtually all vendors are sold out, whether or not they’re listed as such below. See our pinhole projection page for other ways to enjoy the partial phases of the eclipse.

 Eclipse Shadow Path

Good news is this is just another excuse to buy that Iron Man Welding Mask you’ve been thinking about! Unfortunately you probably can’t order anywhere online and have it by Monday but perhaps one of these masks at Home Depot can be ordered for a local pickup this weekend. While there are a wide range of price points for welding masks the important specification to note is mask must be a 12 or 13 shade for sufficient protection from the sun. Darker the better but at 14 you may not be able to see much. Welding Glasses or Dark Green Face Shield rated IR3 or IR5 are not going to be protective enough for staring at the sun and can cause serious eye damage. ***WARNING*** if the auto darkening doesn’t come on and stay on (with no flickering) you are not protected so make sure it works correctly. 

 

Welding Shade Adjustment

Masks like the Save Phace have adjustable shade controls (9-13) so just make sure to crank it up past 12 and with the most sensitivity possible! If your mask does not have an adjustable nob check with the manufacturer to get the rating.

We are not scientists but the team at NASA has a bunch of them and we believe them, which is where we are getting our info – (https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/safetyViewing with Protection — Experts suggests that one widely available filter for safe solar viewing is welders glass of sufficiently high number. The only ones that are safe for direct viewing of the Sun with your eyes are those of Shade 12 or higher. These are much darker than the filters used for most kinds of welding. If you have an old welder’s helmet around the house and are thinking of using it to view the Sun, make sure you know the filter’s shade number. If it’s less than 12 (and it probably is), don’t even think about using it to look at the Sun. Many people find the Sun too bright even in a Shade 12 filter, and some find the Sun too dim in a Shade 14 filter — but Shade 13 filters are uncommon and can be hard to find.”

Enjoy the Eclipse Monday as it passes overhead but be Safe doing it!!! Check out Ohio Power Tool for all your Safety & PPE needs.

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Comments

  1. Shyrel says:

    Wonderful idea! You are a genius!

  2. Larry Lutz says:

    I don’t get why blogs are saying you must have a shade 13 or higher? The Lincoln site says that all lens shades block all UV and IR light. Is the issue something other than UV light?
    http://www.lincolnelectric.com/en-us/support/welding-solutions/Pages/helmets-eye-protection-detail.aspx

  3. MasterEngineer says:

    Airgas has shades IN stock up to 14. I would not recommend Harbor Freight Chinese welding helmets. Your eyes are too important.

  4. Hong Ky says:

    As a welder , i do not recommend using welding mask for other purpose of welding. it may look great for solar eclipse but it isn’t designed for that. use at your own risk

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