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Old 09-10-2017, 01:17 AM
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bfjou812 bfjou812 is offline
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Default Welding with vision impairment

Had to do some stick welding the other day , I'm an industrial maintenance mechanic. About 4 years ago I lost the sight in my right eye due to a retina detachment.
#1 I haven't done a lot of stick welding in about 8 years .
#2 I was right eye dominant
#3 How do you deal with the lack of depth perception when welding,any tricks or suggestions? I was doing flat , vertical up and horizontal with 7018, 1/8 dia. rod. The welds didn't look too bad ,but were not up to standards. By the way ,these were on some non -critical structures.
Any suggestions or ideas are welcome.
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Old 09-10-2017, 01:32 AM
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"depth perception" I don't know.

no joke.
In general when people are having problems seeing, Adding a 500 watt back ground light helps a lot, the halogen shop lights, by now there maybe some good LED shop lights.
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Old 09-10-2017, 09:41 AM
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Some people use cheaters in their hood lens or just a pair of cheaters to help seeing. Not sure if it helps with depth perception though.
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Old 09-11-2017, 02:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bfjou812 View Post
Any suggestions or ideas are welcome.
I don't really have any advice so you'll have to settle for a little bit of encouragement.

Almost 50 years ago I got to know a guy who had lost all of his central vision in both eyes and even some of his peripheral vision in each eye. I actually worked with his wife & she thought he & I should be friends.
This was a fellow with a bad temper, a near encyclopedic memory and as much determination as anyone I've ever known.

Our acquaintance began when I was trying to assemble a Heathkit stereo amplifier, knowing zero about electronics & I ran into some problems either with my work or possibly some defective parts, or both. His wife brought him around to help me figure it out.

This began a long friendship that started off with me watching Carl draw electronic schematics with his face turned sideways using a magic marker, from memory, and using only half of his peripheral vision. We did eventually get that amp working.
Later he decided to go back to college; he needed transportation so he bought a Sears garden tractor & drove himself all over Lubbock & the Texas Tech Campus. After tiring of the slow speed he switched to a bicycle. Scared me to death watching him ride it but he stayed alive and proved us all wrong.

Along the way, he lost his voice box to laryngeal cancer and had to develop a novel way of speaking, which he did by practicing on me. He got frustrated at times but eventually it was just another speedbump for him.

I don't recall that he took up welding but he did operate a table saw for small projects; never saw him rip any 4 x 8 sheets but he did pretty much whatever he pleased. One Christmas he built jewelry boxes for my daughters & an ammo box for my son, to hold his BB's. My younger daughter, now in her 40's was talking about her jewelry box just a week or two ago.

Later he bought a new 12 inch Craftsman lathe and off he went, learning to operate it. Over the years he introduced me to several college kids with varying degrees of vision problems, all the way up to total blindness. I got a glimpse into the way those kids went about their business & how they adapted to those handicaps. It was inspiring to watch.

My point is that I gained a lot of respect and faith in the visually impaired.
Those who wanted to do almost anything badly enough seemed to be able to develop ingenious ways to compensate for the lack of vision or for very limited eyesight. Their fingers became their sensors and their ability to memorize layouts and patterns were far beyond mine. It required a lot of patience & it took them longer to get some things done but eventually they could do almost anything if they really wanted to. I learned to never doubt whether he or they would eventually succeed. Just stay out of their way & give them time.

I have little doubt that you can do the same. It might take a little electronic rigging, such as a couple of cameras to present 2 views of the weld joint & project them into your helmet. Or something like that. You might find that you could work better by viewing it on a monitor. I can't imagine what Carl & his buddies could have conjured up if they had had access to the technology that we have today but I am sure it would have been impressive.

As I said, I offer only encouragement but it is based on those observations from 40 & 50 years ago.
"In the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king", the saying goes.
But he shouldn't take his subjects for granted because they very likely have undeveloped talents that most of us never think about using until we are forced to.
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Old 09-11-2017, 05:45 AM
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I will offer some encouragement too. I have a friend who has some Vision impairment too. I am not sure how much, but he is an crane operator. And he is a pretty good one too. I was hearing that he might have to stop because the state is not renewing his endorsement because of his eyes, however they test him. Anyways, he has never given me any reason to worry while he was operating the crane swinging steel over my head.

I think determination and practice behind the helmet will help you do whatever you want.


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Old 09-12-2017, 06:56 AM
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My dad has been blind in one eye since he was thirteen. He has been welding all of his adult life and never had a problem. So I know it can be done. I would say just practice.
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Old 09-13-2017, 09:43 AM
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Not quite the same, but the few times I had to weld with a patch over one eye, moving my head sideways slightly would give a bit of depth perception. YMMV
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Old 09-15-2017, 01:51 AM
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Thanks for all of your replies. I too get frustrated when I can't do something I've done for years and know I'm capable of . It's not just welding but almost anything that I do. It sucks when you can't put a screw back in the hole because you can't judge where the hole is. I do agree about the practicing. That has helped me some along with a lighter shade lens setting when doing MIG. It seems that if I get real close to my work I see better. maybe a cheater lens is part of the answer. I'm going to try that in a few days. Again thank you all for your help.
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