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Even with my limited personal experience with welding, I’ve always been a fan of Miller helmets. One, they seem to be pretty rugged, and two, helmets like the Titanium Elite series Silver (Model 234939) don’t look like the stuff that was handed out in shop class back in the day.

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This brain bucket features an aluminum heat shield that protects the analog lens in high amperage 300 plus amp operations and a silver-colored shell reflects heat to keep the helmet (and the noggin inside) cool(ish). The 234939 also has a quick-release snap-off frame for easy-access lens changes.

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It’s a good looking, well-designed helmet that will keep your head out of harm’s way, and if you’ve got around $270 you can have one of your very own. Just don’t expect it to stay Lancelot-shiny for very long; it is meant to be used in a welding shop, after all.

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Titanium Elite series Silver, Model 234939  [Miller]
Street Pricing [Google Products]

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Blazer’s line of utility torches are powerful little monsters — you can adjust the flame from a smoky, match-like burn to a nearly-invisible jet of 2,500-degree plasma, hot enough to turn steel into a molten puddle. They run on easily-obtainable butane and can handle everything from soldering heavy-gauge wire to applying heat shrink.

You’ve got to be careful with this little bugger, but it’s a kick-ass tool for electronics techs, hobbyists, and anyone who needs to apply a bit — or a lot — of precise heat. Street pricing is about $40.

Blazer GB-2001 [Blazer]
Street Pricing [Google Products]

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It seems almost everyone has come out with some kind of configurator these days. Dell lets you design your own laptop, car manufactures let you design your car, even ice cream parlors let you design the perfect cone — so it makes sense that Tregaskiss has a configurator that lets you design your own Mig gun.

The configurator has four steps that allow customers to customize their Tregaskiss brand Tough Gun line Mig torch according to amperage, cable length, neck style and a few other options.

Step 1:  Select amperage, cable length, and handle and trigger styles
Step 2:  Select neck length and angle, plus nozzle, contact tip and liner styles (and wire size)
Step 3:  Select a power pin style for their wire feeder
Step 4:  Review and print the provided part number or contact Customer Service for additional assistance and ordering

It’s a nice setup that lets the pros or more experienced welders get exactly what they need without having to worry about mix/match issues associated with hunting it down in a static catalog.

Torch Configurator [Tregaskiss]


Skulls and welding go hand in hand.  There’s just something “right” about a welder strapping on a flaming death skull and wielding fire to hook metal together.  Miller clearly gets it. They also get that no matter how cool it looks, the functionality needs to be there as well. They achieved both with the Digital Elite series helmets, but they’ve now added more skulls to the lineup with the Wicked model 241462.  We approve.

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You may have seen optical tables on TV or in a lab somewhere — thick metal-topped tables with threaded 1/4″ holes spaced every inch or so.  They’re very flat and stable, and the grid of holes allows you to precisely place equipment.

Strong Hand Tools’ BuildPro Welding Table is reminiscent of this design, but instead of threaded holes, the ground-steel 5/8″-thick plates have CNC-machined 5/8″ through-holes spaced in a grid every 2″ apart.  The table is flat to within 0.004” per foot, and the hole spacing is accurate to ±0.0015″.

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I’m not sure why this welding helmet is painted this way;  I’ve never seen one quite like it, so I wonder what the artistic statement is.  Not that it really matters — the helmet will still do its job even if, worst case, the paint burns off.

If it had slightly different colors it would remind me a great deal of those dazzle-painted ships back in WWII.  Either way, reader Cchauvet won’t have trouble finding this one in a pile of plain old gray helmets — which is probably the point.

Toolmonger Photo Pool [Flickr]


Welding gear is expensive — even if you start with a basic unit, all the accessories you need will cost you some more of your hard-earned bucks. Wouldn’t it be convenient if there was a complete package that could hook you up with everything you needed? Here comes Lincoln Electric with the Lincoln Welders Backpack.

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When wire welding, the material you put into the weld is just as important as the skill you do it with — the wrong stock can actually make a great-looking weld that won’t hold up very well.  McKay makes it easier to choose just the right stock with the announcement of two new lines of aluminum solid welding wires and TIG cut lengths:  Smootharc 4043 and Smootharc 5356.

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Not sure if you’ve sharpened your tools or drill bits to the perfect angle?  This universal grinding gauge from Silverline Tools will help you check.

Made from heavy-duty 14ga stainless steel, the grinding gauge can check 55°, 60°, 90°, and 120° internal and 60°, 90°, and 120° external angles.  Silverline manufactures their tools for the UK so the etched graduations read in metric.

Five bucks will buy you this gauge at Jack’s Tool Shed.

Universal Grinding Gauge [Silverline Tools]
Universal Grinding Gauge [Jack’s Tool Shed]
Via Amazon [What’s This?]


We’re big fans of custom tools. Not only do they say something about you as a tool guy but they’re a fun way to set yourself apart from the herd. This fine example of a custom welding helmet from reader Lungofish struck us as a sweet way to get art into the shop. He writes about the process:

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