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Why Do Welders Wear Jeans – 5 Reasons to Wear Jeans

Over the years I’ve worn all kinds of pants when welding from your normal cotton cloth pants to denim jeans. If you’re new to welding you might be wondering why do welders where wear jeans while they are welding? Does it protect them in some way or is it just for the looks.?

Many welders wear jeans because it is made of a tightly woven cotton fabric called denim that does not burn easily. It also protects well against Ultraviolent and Infrared radiation, lasts a long time, and is more affordable than wearing fire retardant clothing.

Whether you’re new to welding or have been doing it for a while and looking for welding pants that will hold up to these tough conditions then keep reading. I’ll also share a special tip at the end of the article that will help you get more life out of your jeans.

5 Reasons Why Welders Wear Jeans

If you’re a welder you know how important it is to wear clothes that will hold up against the harsh conditions of welding. If you’ve never welded in your entire life it is important that you know how to protect yourself from all the dangers of welding.

Below are my top tips as to why you should wear jeans when welding.

1. Burn Through

To start jeans are made of a tough cotton fabric called denim. Cotton by nature does not burn easily. This doesn’t mean it won’t burn but it takes along more than just a few sparks to catch them on fire.

As your welding sparks will fall from your weld. With bare skin or plastic types of fabric such as Polyester, these sparks will melt through and burn you. I’ve personally had this happen to me when I was welding with a pair of sweat pants on.

However, the worse part about wearing the wrong pants is the slag. Sometimes when your welding small pieces of metal can break off and land on your pants.

In most cases, this slag will likely burn right through Polyester types of clothes but with jeans, it will take all more time to burn through.

2. Radiation Protection

Jeans also do a great job of protecting your legs from getting burnt from the radiation welding gives off. Welders burn and melt metal between 10,000 and 15,000 degrees.

As a result, the welder puts out ultraviolet and infrared radiation that can give you sunburn. I’ve personally had this happen to me a few times and it does not feel good.

The bad part is most people’s legs don’t get a lot of sunlight, especially your upper legs. If any part of your legs is exposed it will get burnt.

However, jeans do a great job of protecting your legs from this intense radiation. I recently had an employee who learned this the hard way when he had a hole in his pants and had a 2nd degree burn on his leg.

3. Long Lasting

Jeans are also a strong and durable material. This means they will last a long time. More so than other types of pants you might weld with like 100% cotton pants.

The thing I found with 100% cotton pants is that they are thin and don’t protect as well as jeans will. I’ve found people who weld with 100% cotton pants typically go through 2 to 1 over welder who wears jeans.

The only downside I’ve found to jeans is that they tend to tare somewhat easy if they get snagged on something. If you happen to get a hole in your jeans you’ll want to patch it with something before you start welding.

Quick Tips: I’ve found a rag and duct tape to work the best to protect your leg from welding flash if you happen to rip your jean while at work or at home.

I guess it’s like they always say, duct tape can fix anything, or at least till you can get a new pair of jeans.

4. Affordability

Next, you also have to look at the affordability of your clothes. If you’re planning to wear fire retardant clothes be prepared to spend some money as this type of clothes can get quite expensive.

For a decent pair of fire retardant pants your looking at between $50 to $200. If you work 5 days a week you’ll need at least 5 to 6 pairs of pants and you can see how expensive this can get.

Now let’s look at what a pair of men’s work jeans cost.

As you can see men’s work jeans are much cheaper running between $22 to $33 a pair. Buying 5 or 6 pairs of these pants can be much cheaper.

Important: This does not imply that jeans are fire-retardant material.

So if cost is important to you then jeans are a great way to go. Later in this article, I’m going to cover where to get your jeans at.

5. Rotation

Finally, the last thing to consider is the rotation of jeans you’ll need. If you have a job that requires you to wear durable pants then jeans are a great way to go.

As I showed in the last tip jeans are a lot cheaper alternative to fire-retardant pants. If you have a job that requires you to wear them then you’ll want to buy several pairs so you can keep them in a rotation.

For example, I have 11 pairs of jeans. I use one pair each of the 5 days of the workweek. The next week I wear the second 5 pairs and wash the five from the week before.

The extra pair is just in case I have to work an extra day in the week or tear a pair of pants.

Why Do Welders Starch Their Jeans

Want to know a simple way to toughen your jeans up even more. Then you consider starching them to help strengthen them. Why should you do this?

Starched jeans will make them more rigid and tough. It will help protect your legs from getting burnt from falling slag and sparks. It also helps to resist stains and keep them cleaner.

So if you want to add an additional layer of strength to your jeans then have them starched.

Where To Get Jeans for Welding

Finally, you might be wondering where to get jeans for welding, and for this, I have two possible solutions.

1. Ask Your Uniform Supplier

Your first option is to talk to your uniform supplier at your place of work. For example, at my shop we use Cintas.

They offer a wide range of different uniforms but they also can get you jeans if your workplace allows you to have them. I have a few workers who prefer jeans over 100% cotton pants because of well they work at protecting them.

On top of that, they will wash them, and keep fresh new pants in rotation for you every week. If you can do this it will be a lot cheaper than buying them yourself.

2. Amazon

The other option you can look at is buying them on Amazon and keeping them in your own rotation. If your place of work does not provide uniforms you can try this option. Here are a few pairs I recommend.

I recommend picking up 10 to 11 pairs. That way you can keep 5 fresh pairs in rotation each week while you wash the five you wore from the week before.

Can Welding Give You a Tan or Sunburn – Complete Guide

If you’ve ever had a sunburn you know how painful it can be. A welding flash can have the same reaction. I’ve personally experienced this several times over the years. From being burnt on my face, neck, arms, and even my chest. However, all of these incidents happened because I failed to take the proper preventative measures to protect myself. So can welding give you a sunburn?

Welding can burn your skin from the Infrared and Ultraviolent light that it gives off. This happens because of uncovered skin either directly or indirectly from reflective surfaces. You can protect yourself by keeping your skin covered, avoiding reflective surfaces, and putting up welding barriers.

So whether your want to avoid burning your skin by looking for some simple methods to prevent this issue or because you are suffering from a welding burn right now and you’re looking for some relief keep reading.

How Welding Gives You a Tan or Sunburn

When it comes to welding it produces a very intense bright light. This light is actually liquifying metal at extremely high temperatures between 10,000 to 15,000 degrees. Believe it or not, that’s actually hotter than the surface of the sun.

Along with this bright light welding also gives off Ultraviolent and Infrared Light both of which you cannot see with the naked eye.

Ultraviolet light is produced by very hot objects such as the sun or by a welder. However, don’t be alarmed the UV produced by a welder is very low and can be blocked much like protecting yourself from the sun.

Then you have IR or Infrared light, which is produced by the heat a weld gives off. You can’t see it but you’ll most likely feel it.

In most cases, UV and IR will be blocked by your welding gear but if you would happen to have exposed skin on your neck or arms it will burn it if it received too much.

How Close Do You Have to Be to Get Flash Burn From Welding?

This all depends on how close to the weld and how intense the welding is. If you are close to the weld and the welder is running at 800 amps it won’t take much to get burnt. Five to ten minutes of direct exposure would likely burn you.

If you’re 100 feet away and only running at 200 amps then it will take a lot more to burn your skin at that distance. However, this doesn’t mean you don’t have to worry about anything.

The golden rule I tend to live by is this…

Golden Rule: If someone is welding around you, whether close or far away, always treat it as a weld that can burn you.

If you follow this simple rule you will avoid getting burned on your skin or eyes. I’ve had employees in the past who’ve made this mistake thinking they’re far enough away and yet they still burn their skin and eyes.

Now you might be wondering how can you protect yourself from this harmful light? Keep reading.

How to Protect Yourself From Getting a Welding Sunburn?

The best way to protect yourself from welding burns is to take preventative measures to avoid these problems altogether. So here are some simple to protect your skin and eyes.

1. Keep Your Skin Covered

The first tip is to keep your skin covered at all times. In most cases, a cotton or leather long sleeve shirt, pants, and gloves will protect most of your skin surfaces.

I also like to use welding sleeves as extra protection as well. Welding sleeves are additional covers that go on your arms. Below is a set of sleeves I typically wear.

Your arms are one of the closest body parts to the weld and when your welding the spatter that comes off of your weld can often burn holes in your sleeves. With holes in your sleeves, you become more susceptible to burning your skin.

I use these to add an extra layer of protection and keep the intense heat off of my arms.

You’ll also want to invest in a decent welding helmet to protect your face. A good welding helmet blocks UV and IR light so you don’t burn your face. This is probably the other closest part of your body to the weld. Below is the helmet I use.

I personally like this Jackson Welding Helmet because it covers my neck well and prevents a lot of harmful light from coming up from underneath me.

2. Avoid Reflective Surfaces

Next your need to watch out for reflective surfaces that could harm you as well. Most people don’t think about it but the clothes you wear can cause your skin to burn.

White Clothes. I had one employee who wore white T-shirts to work and found out the hard way the next day. Since white is a reflective color it would reflect just enough light off of his shirt onto his neck and face.

Reflective Surfaces Around You. Next, you also need to think about the reflective surfaces around you while you are welding. If you’re welding aluminum it can reflect the light and cause it to burn your neck and face even if you have a good helmet and welding shirt on.

To avoid these issues you may want to consider using neck and overhead covers to protect yourself. Below are a couple of options I’ve used in the past.

You can learn more about the neck covers and overhead covers by checking them out here on Amazon.

With these kinds of covers, you’ll protect your neck and head from reflected UV and IR light.

3. Put Up Barriers

The final tip is to protect yourself from other people who are welding around you. While neck and overhead covers work well for this as well sometimes what you need is a barrier between you and the person next to you.

Here are a few options to consider.

Wood or Metal Block. The option I use in most cases is a wood or metal block. In my shop, we use 2 foot by 4-foot sheets of wood to block welds or 1/8″ sheet metal of the same size.

With this option, it will block the light out completely. However, if the people welding around you are moving constantly there is a better option.

Welding Curtains. With welding curtains, they block out a majority of light but are also easier to move around. I prefer the dark green curtains as opposed to the brighter yellow or orange curtains because they keep the brightness of the weld down.

You can learn more about these welding curtains here on Amazon.

How to Treat a Welding Burn?

Now that you have some options to help protect yourself from getting burnt in this next section I’m going to go through some tips to help you treat your welding burns.

1. Clean the Burn Area

The first thing you’ll want to do is clean the burnt area. The reason you’ll want to do this is that a welding shop is not the cleanest place. If you have a cut or scrape you wouldn’t want dirt on that either.

Start by wiping the area with a clean rag that has cool soapy water. I personally don’t like to use hot water because it doesn’t feel too good on the burn.

2. Aloe Ice

Next, I like to use Aloe Ice on the burnt area. Aloe will help moisturize the burnt skin. Below is a bottle of the stuff I use. You can learn more here on Amazon.

What’s nice about this aloe is that it gives a nice cooling effect after it’s been applied. In most cases applying this a few times over the next couple of days will fix the issue.

However, if you’ve been burnt really bad you may want to go on to the next option.

3. Burn Cream

If you’ve been burnt really bad then you may want to use a burn cream. Below are a couple of the options I’ve used in previous situations.

With burn cream, it is an over-the-counter option you can use to put on the burn area and it will give some relief from the burn. I rarely have to do this but if the aloe isn’t working then this is your next option.

4. Bandages and Dressing

If things are still not getting any better then consider using burn relief dressing that allows you to wrap the burn and protect it.

I’ve never had to use these options but if you’re in this situation then this will allow you to wrap it and keep it out of any harmful light and not make the situation worse than it already is.

5. Seek Medical Attention

Finally, if the burn is not getting better or worse then it may be time to seek medical attention. A lot of times a quick trip to your family doctor will allow you to get a prescription medication to use.

If the situation is severe then seek immediate medical attention. I’ve had employees who’ve dealt with this kind of pain in the past and if you are experiencing severe burn pain on your skin and eyes you’ll want to take care of it immediately.

How Long Does a Welding Burn Last?

Over the years I’ve dealt with varying degrees of different welding burns. Some not so serious and some very painful moments. However, here is what I’ve found when it comes to how long these types of burns will last

A welding burn will last between one to two days in most cases depending on the severity of the burn. With proper treatment and medication, it will heal faster than if you do nothing. If the pain persists after 1 or 2 days seek medical attention.

I can remember one time in particular where I burnt my face in December of all times and it felt painful. This happened because I neglected to wear a welding helmet and used my hand to cover the weld.

Covering a weld with your hand once or twice may not do much to burn your skin but if you do this a whole bunch of times as I did it can burn your skin without realizing it.

And like a sunburn, it’s oftentimes much later when you realize that you’ve burnt your skin and that something is wrong.

Can Welding Burn Cause Skin Cancer?

This is a common question most people have as welders since they are around the harmful bright lights. So can welding cause skin cancer?

Welding produces Ultraviolet and Infrared light that are known to cause skin cancers. Overexposure to these harmful lights can increase your chances. Protect your arms, chest, neck, and face. Finally, check your skin for any irregular spots and report them to your doctor.

To learn more about this check out this article on

My best advice is to take the preventative measures I’ve covered in this article and that will give the best chances to avoid cancer.

However, this doesn’t mean you will be free of it. Take time to look at your skin to make sure you are not forming any irregular spots. If you do see something irregular then report it to your doctor.

I like to do this when I shower at the end of the day. Doing this regularly will help catch it sooner and allow them to remove it before it gets too serious.

Final Thoughts…

If things like burning your skin and getting skin cancer scare you just remember that you prevent a lot of this stuff by just taking the proper safety precoutions.

Welding can hurt you but so can a lot of other things as well. Just follow the tips and you will give yourself the best chances at staying safe.

Do Safety Glasses Protect You From Welding Flash – How To Check & What To Know

If you’re new to welding you may not know that you need to protect your eyes from welding flash. This flash can be harmful to your eyes and even burn them. This is something I’ve personally experienced, however you might be wondering what can I use to protect myself from this flash? Will a pair of safety glasses or even sunglasses protect you from welding flash?

Safety glasses won’t protect you from welding flash because it emits ultraviolet and infrared radiation. This radiation can’t be stopped by clear plastic safety glasses, sunglasses, or any other pair of normal glasses. To protect your eyes you will need glasses with a shade 10 lens or better.

The last thing you want to do is make the mistake of using the wrong kind of glasses while welding or even just tacking a few pieces together. This can be a painful mistake so in the rest of this article, I’m going to share why safety glasses and other pairs of glasses don’t protect you from welding flash, and what will protect you.

Why Safety Glasses Won’t Protect You From a Welding Flash?

When it comes to safety glasses it’s easy to think that something like this would protect you from harmful bright flashes but that is not the case.

When a welder makes an arc it gives out a bright flash that contains two types of radiation, infrared and ultraviolent. These two types of radiation can be very dangerous if not protected from correctly.

So what are these types of radiation and how do they work.

Infrared Light (IR) is long-wavelength radiation that is typically felt by the warmth it gives off. It’s invisible to the naked eye but even low amounts of this radiation can cause the eye to turn red and swell up. This type of light can also pass through clear objects like safety glasses and harm your eyes.

Ultraviolent Light (UV) is short-wavelength radiation that cannot be seen by the naked eye. This type of radiation is produced by high-temperature surfaces like the sun or a welder. Welding creates a temperature between 10,000 and 15,000 degrees. This radiation will penetrate only the surface of your skin but will pass right through clear objects like safety glasses.

Safety glasses are meant to protect your eyes from dirt, dust, and debris but when it comes to harmful weld radiation like infrared and ultraviolet rays they won’t do anything to protect you.

Can Sunglasses Protect You From Welding Flash?

Now you might be thinking what about a pair of sunglasses?

Sunglasses will typically have a darker lens but they are nowhere near dark enough to block out infrared and ultraviolet radiation. Most sunglasses are between category 3 or 4 lenses. A shade 10 lens or greater is recommended for welding purposes.

Sunglasses are also not meant to be used while welding or even as safety glasses for that matter. So what will happen if you try to weld with sunglasses?

Since the lens is not strong enough to blog out UV and IR radiation you burn your eyes. The welding flash will also burn your skin just like a sunburn.

The big problem with sunglasses is that some people think some protection is better than no protection and this couldn’t be further from the truth. Don’t fall for this misconception and only use equipment that is designed for welding purposes.

Can You Use Oxyacetylene Goggles for Welding?

Another big misconception is that you can use oxy-acetylene glasses or goggles for welding. However, these glasses are not meant for welding with either.

Oxyacetylene glasses and goggles are not meant to be used when welding. Most oxy-acetylene glasses only have a shade 5 lens. While this is strong enough to use while torching and brazing they are not strong enough to use while welding. A shade 10 lens or higher is required for welding.

The reason for this is that an oxyacetylene torch only reaches temperatures of around 3000 to 5730 degrees. A welder will generate temperatures between 10,000 to 15,000 degrees. That’s 3 to 4 times hotter than oxyacetylene.

With hotter temperatures come higher amounts of Ultraviolent and Infrared light radiation.

What Kind of Glasses Can Protect You From Welding Flash

So now that you know that safety glasses, sunglasses, and even oxyacetylene won’t protect you from welding flash, you might be wondering are their glasses that will protect you?

For starters, these glasses must be a shade 10 lens or higher. I personally use a shade 12 because my eyes can be a bit sensitive to bright lights.

Also, these kinds of glasses can’t be found down at your local Wallgreens. You will have to get them at a local welding store on places like Amazon that sell them as well.

Related Article: Want to learn more about which shade lens you should use while welding check out this guide.

Here are a few options to consider.

Melgweldr Auto Darkening Welding Glasses

The first option is the Melgweldr Auto Darkening Welding Glasses. These glasses use auto-dark technology that darkens the lens when you strick the arc with your welder. When the glasses aren’t in use they will automatically lighten the lens.

These glasses work great for tacking things together, tig welding, and doing small and tedious jobs.

However, while they do block out harmful UV and IR light it can still be harmful if you’re welding around reflective surfaces or other people welding since the glasses don’t do much to protect your eyes from the sides.

If you’re doing bigger welding projects I don’t recommend these glasses.

Spargos Welding Goggles

Your next option is the Spargo’s Welding Goggles. Are a better option for quick tacking and use. They cover the eyes from all sides to prevent any kind of light from getting in.

The set above is also using auto dark technology that automatically dims and lightens as you weld. You can also adjust the darkness to higher or lower shade settings.

However, these goggles are not good for any type long term welding. They will protect your eyes but they won’t protect your neck or face from getting burnt. If you want complete protection then check out the last option.

Jackson Safety Welding Helmet

Your last option is the Jackson Safety Welding Helmet. This is the exact welding helmet I use.

I like it because it completely covers my face and neck and has a large viewing area where the glasses and goggles mentioned above have relatively small viewing areas. On top of that, it’s fairly priced and fits very comfortably.

On the downside, it does not have the auto dark technology and if you plan to do a lot of tacking and small welds this helmet may not be the best option for you. However, if you want the best option of not burning your eyes, face, or neck then this is a great option.

What To Do After Welding Without a Mask – 5 Actionable Tips

Over the years I’ve welded without a mask a handful of times and I can honestly say I’ve learned my lesson. Exposer to welding flash can burn your eyes, your skin, and even cause permanent damage. The question is what do you do if you have been welding without a mask?

Welding without a mask for long and even short periods of time can burn your eyes and skin. Use skin lotion and eye drops to help soothe the pain. If the pain persists contact your doctor as they will be able to prescribe eye drops that will reduce the pain.

Now that you know what the effects of welding without a helmet are I’m going to share 5 tips that will help you protect your face and eyes. So keep reading.

Can You Weld Without a Mask

To start you don’t want to weld without a welding mask, even if it’s just a few tacts. I know there can be times where you might think that all you have to do is make a few tacts but that’s where things can go wrong. This flawed thinking can lead to a lot of problems that are happening right in front of you.

This happened to me once when I was doing a job welding flower pot holders. This job required a lot of tacking which made it fairly hard to use a welding helmet, and at the time I didn’t have an auto dark helmet, which would have made the job a whole lot easier.

As a result, I decided to forgo the helmet and just rely on closing my eyes and or holding my welding glove over the weld. At the time I didn’t know what pain I was about to inflict on myself.

When you get burnt by welding flash it’s like getting a sunburn, you usually don’t know there is a problem until there is already a problem. You can only imagine what happened next.

Later on that night I had what looked like a severe sunburn on my face. Being December this looked kind of odd but that was the least of my worries.

Later on that night I went through some unimaginable pain when I learned that my eyes were burnt. If you’ve never felt this it’s kind of like someone threw a bunch of sand in your eyes and you can’t get it out.

Your eyes will have a reddish tint to them, your skin will feel like a sunburn and in extreme cases, your eyes and face will look puffy.

That moment taught me a valuable lesson, never weld without a welding mask even if you just have to tack a few things together because it doesn’t take much to burn your face, and eyes.

1. Use Your Welding Helmet

Minimize the Damage. The first thing you need to do is continue using your welding helmet. I know this sounds like simple advice but most welders typically fall into this situation because you might be doing something tedious and flipping your helmet up and down every other second takes a lot of work.

Even if you’ve been welding without your helmet for an extended period of time put your helmet back on. This will minimize the damage you are inflicting on yourself.

Second Hand Flash. Another thing to consider is the second-hand flash you might be getting from other welders around you. Even if you’re not welding the light from other people welding can reflect off walls and other surfaces causing you to get welding flash.

This means you don’t even need to be looking at the weld itself to burn your eyes. The reflection is enough to burn your eyes. To prevent this keep your helmet on. You can also put up a welding curtain or some other sort of barrier between you and the weld.

Helmet Covers. The final thing you can do is add helmet covers. These are add-on covers you can put on your helmet Often times you can get flash brunt from second-hand flash around you. With helmet covers hanging above and on top of your helmet it will help protect you from this.

A neck cover clips on the bottom of your welding helmet to protect you from getting flashes from under your helmet. A top cover will clip onto the top of your helmet and goes down to cover your neck. This will help prevent flash burn if someone is welding behind you reflecting off a surface behind you.

2. Use Skin Protection

The next thing you can do is to use a skin lotion to help protect your face, neck, and hands. There are also things you can do while you are welding, and after welding to help protect you.

Sunscreen. The first thing you can do is to apply a strong sunscreen that will give some protection from the flash. A welding flash is not the same as sitting out in the sun on a 90-degree day. A weld can run between 10,000 to 15,000 degrees at the arc.

To help protect against this try using an SPF 100 or above. I personally like using this sunscreen on Amazon to help protect me.

Side Note: Even though you are using sunscreen while welding this doesn’t mean you can weld without a helmet. A helmet is still going to be your best protection.

Using sunscreen will help protect any uncovered areas you might have.

Skin Lotion. Welding can cause your skin to dry out just like a sunburn. Even if your skin is not in direct contact with the flash it can still dry your skin out.

It’s important that you apply a skin lotion to help protect your skin. When your skin gets flash burnt you need to add moisture back into your skin. To do this you need to find a strong skin moisturizer like this one on Amazon.

I like to apply this every day after I take a shower at the end of a long hard workday. I put lotion on my hands, face, arms, and neck.

However, if you’ve been welding without a helmet and protection putting lotion on immediately after welding can help as well.

3. Use Eye Drops

Next, you’ll want to consider eye drops to help relieve the pain and moisturize your eyes. There are also some natural options as well here that I’ve seen some of my welders at my shop use.

Dry Eyes Protection. The first is dry eye protection. There are several over-the-counter eye drops that you can use here. Here are just a few to consider.

One I use all the time is the Rohto All in One Solution. I’ve used this one a lot over the years. It gives a bit of a stinging sensation at first but as the drops set in they give a cooling and relieving effect.

IF your want something a bit cheaper with max strength and redness relief then the Rohto Max Strength also works great as well.

If you’ve been welding without a helmet these can keep the eye lubricated longer to hold of the pain. Theses aren’t a complete solution to arc eye but its better than nothing.

Prescription Eye Drops. If you’re eyes are burnt severally then you will need to see a doctor. They will be able to review your situation and prescribe something much stronger that will numb they eye and give some relief.

Side Note: Never take prescription eye drops more than perscribed as they could harm your eyes and cause permaniate damage.

Having these drops can help relieve the pain but just remember to use them with caution. My doctor was very clear about this. He said over the counter eye drops can have the power of a pelet gun. Prescription have the power of a rifle shot.

So be careful with these drops and only use them how your doctor has perscribed them.

Natural Solutions. Finally, if you don’t have access to a doctor to get perscription eyedrops then you may be able to try some natural methods.

One I see a few my employees use from tiem to time is breast milk and if don’t have that avaliable you could try vitamin D milk. Using a dropper you can put a few drops in each eye to help take the edge off of the pain.

I’ve also tried using potatos as well. To do this you’ll have to slice the patatos down to small pieces so they can sit on your eyeball. Its claimed that the juices in the patato can relieve the pain. I’ve personally never had that much luck with it but if your looking for options give it a try.

These options can give you some relief like the over the counter drops but they aren’t a permanate solution.

4. Contact Your Doctor

If you’ve been tacking without a helmet all day then you could be in for some big issues. However this doesn’t mean that you need to wait till the pain sets in to do something. Here are a few things you can do.

Contact Your Doctor. If you think that you eyes are burnt but your not feeling the pain yet then call your doctor ahead of time. Don’t wait for the pain to set in. You can call your family doctor or even an eye doctor.

Both of these people will able to look at your eyes ahead of time and give you medication to help sooth the pain before you fully sets in.

I know like a lot of people in the welding proffession we tend not to go to the doctor unless their is no other option but flash burnt eyes are nothing to mess around with.

Emergency Room. If you eyes are really bad and your doctor is not avaliable you could try the emergency room. I had one employee in a previous job with got flash burnt so bad that his eyes had swollen up.

Any kind of light inflicked a lot of pain and he had to wrap his head in a black cloth to shut out any light. After a few days his eyes did heal but if would have just taken preventative measures it probably would have happen or even gotten as bad as it did.

5. Prepare for the Long Night

The final thing you can do is prepare for the long night and if you’ve even lived through this it can be extremely painful and unpleasent. However their are some things you can do to prepare for this.

Eyes Drops. First, you’ll want to have your eye drops sitting on the sink in your bath room. These could be prescriptions or the over the counter ones I mentioned.

Put the drops inyour eyes to help relieve the pain and take the edge off. Don’t try to open your eyes as this will cause the eye lids to move over the burnt surface of your eyes causing more pain.

Prepare a Wet Cloth. Second, have a wash cloth sitting by the sink waiting. This way when the pain sets in you don’t have to fumble through closets to find this stuff.

If the pain does come you’ll want to make the wash cloth cold and wet. This will help relieve the pain a little and take the edge of. You’ll want to fold the wash cloth and lay it on your eyes.

Keep Your Eyes Shut. Once you’ve taken the eye drops and prepared the wet wash cloth lay down in bed and place the cold damp rag on your eyes.

From this point on you’ll want to keep your eyes closed as long as possible. It may hurt but the more you open your eyes the more pain it will cause.

Fall Asleep. Finally, try to fall asleep. Sleep is the best way to get through the pain. When you wake up in the morning the pain will usually be gone. The eyes tend to heal fast so the more sleep you can get the faster all of this will heal.

Is Soldering as Strong as Welding and When to Use It

Over the years I’ve welded all kinds of stuff from hog gates, trailers, and even metal trees for the Columbus Zoo. Yes, you heard that right. However, when it comes to something like soldering my experience is a bit lacking. The question is if you can solder something and hold just as well as welding something?

Solder melts at around 360 degrees Fahrenheit, unlike welding which melts at around 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit. As a result, the solder does not penetrate like a weld which will melt into the steel causing it to bind itself to another piece of metal.

Now, this doesn’t mean soldering doesn’t work, it actually works great for certain situations that welding wouldn’t. So in the rest of this article, I’m going to share the difference between the two and when to use them.

Is Soldering as Strong as a Weld?

Soldering is not going to hold like a weld would. There are a lot of reasons for this from the temperature, the type of metal that is used, and the process that are used are completely different.


The first major difference between soldering and welding is the temperature difference. According to TWI-Global, the optimal temperature to solder at is around 600 degrees Fahrenheit.

When comparing this to welding it can range in temperatures around 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit. To give you some perspective the surface of the sun is around 9,941 degrees Fahrenheit.

This is hot enough to melt metal and fuse it together with another piece of metal.

Type of Metal Used

Next, the metals used in soldering and welding are very different from each other. Soldering uses a mixture of tin and lead. This metal is used for everything you solder.

However, welding uses the same metal that you welding on. For example, if you’re welding mild steel then you would use a steel wire, if you were welding stainless steel then you would weld with stainless steel wire, and if you would weld aluminum then you would use an aluminum wire.


Finally, you have the process that soldering and welding use and they are very different.

To start, soldering uses a hot iron that melts the filler metal. As the metal drips on the surface of the metal it hardens creating a joint. A soldered joint will typically just lay on top of the metal to form a joint.

When you’re soldering it also doesn’t require a positive and negative ground, unlike welding which does. You can learn more about how the welding process works in this article.

With welding, it creates an arc the instant the filler metal comes in contact with the base metal. From there it creates a pool of metal at an extreme heat of 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit causing the filler metal and base metal to fuse together.

At this heat is will form a solid joint that can be many times stronger than a soldered joint.

When Does It Make Sense to Solder

Soldering has many uses from soldering wire splices, circuit boards, plumbing, jewelry, and a whole lot more. So when does it make sense to use soldering vs welding?


To start you have to consider what kind of metals work best for soldering. Here is a shortlist of metals you can solder.

  • Tin
  • Gold
  • Silver
  • Cadmium
  • Palladium
  • Rhodium
  • Copper
  • Bronze
  • Lead
  • Nickel
  • Berylium

If you are trying to join any of these materials together then soldering is your best option. You can also weld other metals like low carbon steel or zinc but they don’t hold as well as the list mentioned above.


Soldering is the best option when it comes to anything electrical. Solder is a great conductor of electricity. On top of that, it works great at getting in those tiny places to bond wires together.

If you have a circuit board that you need to reattach a wire to or a wiring harness that needs to be fixed soldering it is your best option.

No Weldable Materials

Solder also works great when it’s something that is not a weldable material. For example, you wouldn’t weld two copper water lines together. Cooper is a very soft metal and the welder would just burn right through it.

The same goes for electrical stuff link circuit boards and wiring. Most wire is made of copper and it would disintegrate if you were to try and weld it.


Solder also works great for making or fixing jewelry. Again you wouldn’t try to weld jewelry together as it would likely melt the whole thing.

The great thing about solder is that it can attach itself to the metal without deforming the other piece of metal.

When Does It Make Sense to Weld

When it comes to welding it has a lot of great uses from welding structural beams, creating solid joints to hold the metal in place, to artistic projects.


First off, if you are trying to join two pieces of mild steel together then a welder is going to be your best option. Here are just a few materials you can weld together?

  • Mild steel – a36
  • Harden steels – AR400
  • Stainless Steel – 304 grade
  • Aluminum

All of these materials can be welded.


Welding also works best if you want to have strength in it. For example, you wouldn’t want to solder a skyscraper together. Welding joints will penetrate the metal deeper and form a stronger bond.

If you want something to hold in a permanent position and support things then welding is the best way to go.

A few years ago I build a bunch of shelves for my basement and in that case welding is the best option to hold it together.


The other great thing about welding is that it can make some very beautiful colors when using certain levels of heat. This look can be very decorative and appealing to the eye.

This can be hard to do but when done it the right looks great. This is something you just can’t do with solder.

Final Thoughts…

So if you are trying to figure out if solder is strong enough to hold or if you should use a welder then use this article as a guide to help you get started.

What Happens if the Feed Roller Tension Is to Tight, Loose, or the Wrong Size – Complete Guide

If you have a MIG welder you know that it has a set of feed rollers on it the pull the wire from the wheel to the lead, to the weld gun where it ultimately welds a bead. However, what you may not know is how important these feed rollers are.

I learned this the hard way one of the very first times I was putting a new roll of wire on my welder. I replaced the wire and noticed that when I was welding the wire wouldn’t feed through the welder correctly. It would start and stop causing breaks in my welds.

What I had come to find out was that I was smashing the wire. This caused the wire to widen and small parts of it to break off. As a result, it made it hard to push through my liner.

This all happened because I tightened down my feed rollers too tight. In the rest of this article, I’m going to cover exactly what happens if you tighten your feed rollers too tight, or not tight enough plus more so you can avoid these mistakes.

What Happens if the Feeder Roller Tension Is to Tight

If the tension on a MIG welder is set too tight it will cause the wire to flatten, making it harder to pass through the liner. This will cause small shavings of the wire to break off and plug up the liner. This could also cause the wire to brake and bunch up.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this article this happened to me once where it actually flattened the wire. This can cause a few big issues with your welder if this does happen.

Deformed Wire

The first problem is that can deform the wire. Welding wire is meant to be the size that it is. Everything from the tip to the liner depend on it staying the size that it is.

If it gets flattened because the tension is set too tight it will make it hard to pass through the liner and especially hard to pass through the welding tip. In some cases, it won’t even pass through the tip based on the tip size.


The second problem this will cause since the wire is being deformed is that it will cause tiny parts of the wire to break off as the wire passes through the rollers. These shavings can play havoc on your liner.

Over time they will bunch up and begin to plug up the liner. If you don’t catch this soon enough you have to replace the liner altogether.

What Happens if the Feeder Roller Tension Is to Loose

If the tension is not tight enough on your MIG welder then the wire will slip on the rollers and not feed through the liner. This could cause the wire to start and stop creating infrequent welds.

I’ve had this problem happen to me a few times over the years and it can be a bit annoying. Here are a few reasons this might be happening to you if you’re experiencing this issue.

Loose Tension

The first problem is that you probably don’t have the tension on the feed rollers tight enough. In order for the feed rollers to pull the metal wire through the welder, it needs to be tight enough to grab the wire.

To tighten this to the correct setting just follow me step below on how to set the tension correctly on your MIG welder.

Tension Not Hooked Up

The other reason this could be happening is that the tension isn’t hooked up. This usually happens to me when I’m putting a new spool of wire on the welder. I run the wire on and forget to set the tension altogether.

This is a quick fix since you just have to pop the tensioner back on and you’re good to go.

What Happens if I Use the Wrong Size Rollers

If you are using the wrong rollers on your MIG welder they may be either too tight or loose on the welding wire. A smaller roller size may cause the wire to become deformed and break off small shaving and to bigger roller size will cause the wire to slip and not pull through the lead.

If this is the case here are a few things you can do to fix this.

First, check the size of your wire. Make sure it’s the correct wire size that you intended to use.

Second, check the roller size you are using. The wire size should be stamped on the side of the roller you are using.

Third, change the roller. If the wire size and the roller size are not the same numbers then you need to pull the rollers off and put the correct size on. A lot of times a set of rollers will have two different sizes on them. For example, on one side you might have .035, and on the other .045.

If this is the case all you may have to do is take the rollers off and just flip them around.

How to Set the Tension on the Feeder Rollers

Now that you understand what happens when the wire feed rollers are too tight, loose, or even the wrong ones you need to know how to set the welder to the proper tension so you don’t run into this issue again.

1. Loosen the Tension

To set the feed roller tension on a MIG welder start by loosening the tension on the rollers. If the wire is slipping then it is too loose. Tighten the wire till it starts feeding though.

2. Remove the Ground Clamp

Then remove the ground clamp from your table. In order to set the tension, you’ll need to use your welding table and you don’t want the wire to arc while this is happening.

3. Squeeze the Tigger

Finally, keeping the weld tip face straight down at the table and squeeze the trigger. As the wire comes out it should start to curl around like a spring. If the wire doesn’t do this then tight the tension till you start to see the wire curling up.

As a side note, some welders have built-in tension settings for all the different wire types, such as stainless steel, and aluminum. If this is the case then you can set your tension to those settings but for good measure, you can do the test I mentioned above to double-check yourself.