Introduction: Guest Welding Hood

Picture of Guest Welding Hood

If you have a welder, you will have new friends who need you to weld things for them. They need to protect their eyes while you are welding and are often curious about what you are doing. But, you probably have only one welding hood. This Instructable tells how to make a hood from corrugated cardboard for your friends to use.

Step 1: Layout for Cutting

Picture of Layout for Cutting

I used the side of an old cardboard box that was at least 16 inches by 16 inches. The dimensions and other details are legible from the photo. The pie-shaped pieces with the wavy lines will be removed and discarded.

Step 2: Make the Cuts

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The yellow lines show the cuts to be made. The black thing is my lockback knife.

Step 3: Break the Cardboard for Folding

Picture of Break the Cardboard for Folding

I placed a framing square over the fold lines where the sides or wings begin. I held it down firmly and used my other hand to crease the cardboard. Do this on all four sides of the 6 x 8 inch front section.

Step 4: Crease the Tabs

Picture of Crease the Tabs

Crease the four tabs also. They will be used in gluing the hood together.

Step 5: Glue the Sides Together Using the Tabs

Picture of Glue the Sides Together Using the Tabs

Pull the four sides up and glue them by folding over the tabs. Make the joints as tight as possible. Check them with a bright bulb to be certain no light gets through the joints. You may use hot glue or carpenter's glue. The hot glue hardens faster than the carpenter's glue dries. I used some packaging tape to hold the tabs down. You may need to use larger C clamps.

Step 6: How It Appears When the Joints Are Finished

Picture of How It Appears When the Joints Are Finished

You will have a box with slanted sides. These are known as hopper joints, like the hopper on a grain mill.

Step 7: Trim the Excess

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Trim the pointy corners with a scissors or a knife.

Step 8: Install the Lens

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Go to a local welding shop and buy a #10 shaded lens for a welding hood. The smallest size (2 x 4 1/2) works fine. If the shading is little stronger than #10, that is fine. Do not go with a much weaker lens, as for gas welding. A lens is only a couple of dollars. Align the lens 1 1/2 to 2 inches below the top fold in the cardboard and mark its outline with a pen. Cut out a hole in the cardboard for the lens.

Step 9: Make Two Cardboard Overlays to Hold the Lens

Picture of Make Two Cardboard Overlays to Hold the Lens

Make two cardboard frames to overlay on the lens. The opening in them should be a little smaller than the actual size of the lens. Glue one on the inside of the hood, and one on the outside of the hood. These will hold the lens in place and seal it so no light gets around the lens.

Step 10: Make a Wooden Handle

Picture of Make a Wooden Handle

This handle is made from ordinary 2 x 2 stock. I used a spokeshave to round the bottom portion of the handle. The flat where it attaches to the front of the hood is cut at an angle so the handle angles out away from the user's chest rather than straight down. Glue the handle to the front of the hood. There will also be a screw from the inside of the hood.

The yellow arrow points to a 1/4 inch hole for hanging the hood on a finish nail in the wall.

Step 11: Add Reinforcement and a Screw

Picture of Add Reinforcement and a Screw

Cut a piece of Masonite or thin plywood to reinforce the mounting of the handle. Place it on the inside of the hood and glue it to the cardboard. Drill a hole and run a screw through the Masoninte and the hood into the handle.

Step 12: Hang It on the Wall for Storage

Picture of Hang It on the Wall for Storage

Here you see the finished hood hung on my workshop wall. When someone needs something welded, they really appreciate being able to watch with this extra hood.

An optional final step would be to mask the lens and paint the hood a dull black inside and out. The hood serves well without the paint, too.

Although only cardboard, this hood is more than rugged enough for its intended use.


The GulleyF made it! (author)2017-08-21

Great design and instructable! We used these as a team at my work to make welding hoods for the solar eclipse. They turned out exceptionally well and worked wonders! They were a big hit at the office

Phil B (author)The GulleyF2017-08-22

Thank you for the report. They look good.

astral_mage (author)2013-09-26

nice idea tho can buy the the same shield 4 abut 10 buck tho. plus im a ex welder. i had so much retaina ( the rods at back of the eyes) burn out. that a yr or so a go i went an bought a auto darkening helmet.

cjs1298 (author)2013-02-03

This seems like a good idea. My uncle has a small gasless MIG welder and only one helmet, now can actually get a good first welding lesson from him and not turn around and clench my eyes shut during each weld.

Phil B (author)cjs12982013-02-03

Thanks. It will be good for watching, although the very small arc from a wire feed welder, gas or no gas shielding, makes the joint area very difficult to see, even for the person welding.

bigbodysmallbrain (author)2012-07-06

i would be very wary of using this for a couple reasons 1. sparks from welders are known to jump ~40 feet and if any thing flammable is around it will catch on fire, 2. the arc can and will sunburn you withing 5 seconds from across the shop. 3.all safe "as by ANSI standards" should meet ANSI Z87+ standards, which ensure that helmets and lenses have passed independent testing to show they can survive high velocity impact from flying objects, provide 100% ultraviolet and infrared filtering . 4. a acceptable welding hood is around 30 bucks which is worth it for friends/customers safety. maybe i am just a sticker because all this stuff happened to me at one point or another .

Phil B (author)bigbodysmallbrain2012-07-06

Thank you for the information. I have not used this a great deal, but it has worked well the few times someone brought some small job to weld and wanted to watch.

cool2000 (author)2011-12-18

can you use something else for the lens like paper?

Phil B (author)cool20002011-12-18

While enough paper might block the light to prevent eye damage, the purpose of a hood for guests is so they can watch and see what happens during welding. Paper would be too opaque for that.

bowmaster (author)2010-01-03

Awesome idea!!! I would add a small cardboard shield over the hand to prevent sunburn. Other then that it's prefect. I might put a head strap on it and wear it to weld.

ctm53 (author)bowmaster2011-01-28

cool i will probably do this, but cardboard and sparks!! what if your friend gets too close and it catches on fire!!

It would be funny though...

Phil B (author)ctm532011-01-28

People who bring something for me to weld and wish to watch stand far enough away that sparks do not come near to them. My clothing is in more danger of catching fire. Thanks for looking and for commenting.

Phil B (author)bowmaster2011-01-28

I would probably give friends gloves before I would add a cardboard shield for the hands. This is for the person who wants to watch for the duration of only one or two welds. No one will be using this all day. The danger of sunburn is pretty small. Thanks for looking and for commenting.

Phil B (author)bowmaster2010-01-04

Thank you for your comment.  This is merely for people who need something welded and want to watch.  I could offer gloves to protect against UV ray exposure on the hands, but they usually stand several feet away from the arc, anyway, so their exposure is reduced already.  Because it is for guests, they really would have no need of a headband.  I have another hood with a headband that I wear when I am welding something.

walkthewalk (author)2008-12-30

I ended up buying some gas goggles and switching out the 3 shade for a 10. I figured my guest would be far enough away not to get splattered.

walkthewalk (author)walkthewalk2009-05-13

I take it back. Don't use goggles. My buddy was sunburned on his face when he was watching me-- even though he was 4-5 feet away.

Phil B (author)walkthewalk2009-05-13

I have sometimes done a little welding while wearing short sleeves, but have read that a person should keep his arms covered. Burning of the skin from the rays of the arc light are the reason.

Bryan Smith (author)2009-03-30

Very Clever!!! Looks similar to the ones offered with the cheap welders from adds in the old do-it-yourself magazines.

Phil B (author)Bryan Smith2009-03-30

Thanks. It is a "good enough" solution. It does not get a lot of use, but is good enough for those times it is needed.

rocknrollskwurl (author)2009-02-18

i am going to make this... i want to teach my dad to weld, but he cant learn from paper! he has to see

Phil B (author)rocknrollskwurl2009-02-18

Thanks. Let me know how it works out for you.

skunkbait (author)2009-01-29

Another great ible! We only have one helmet, but frequently have 2 or 3 of us involved in the project. I'm going to point this one out to my kids so they can make a couple of spares.

Phil B (author)skunkbait2009-01-30

Thanks, Barry. I recently saw #10 lenses like I used in this Instructable for less than $2 at Home Depot. Just save some old cardboard boxes, and you are in business. (If you do not have one piece of cardboard large enough, you can glue up smaller pieces, too.)

skunkbait (author)Phil B2009-01-30

I've always got extra cardboard around. I use it in my shop when working under vehicles, or working on leaky motorcycles. It saves having to clean the concrete. We always go by Sears (and Lowe's ) and pick up empty appliance boxes. But I'll try to stop by Home Depot soon and pick up some lenses. This'll be a good project for the kids. They have lot's of friends from church who are welders, so they might make a few as gifts.

Pazzerz (author)2008-12-30

Good job! Looks just like the piece of %$*& that came WITH the new MIG I got for Christmas. You would think that if they were going to supply one, that it would at least be a normal welding mask. Go figure.... Anyway, you did good.

Phil B (author)Pazzerz2008-12-30

Thanks. I would encourage you to ask for an auto-darkening hood when your birthday comes. Auto-darkening hoods are wonderful. Then use the factory issue welding mask that came with your MIG for the benefit of guests who want to watch. Welding goes better when you can use two hands, even with a MIG machine.

Pazzerz (author)Phil B2008-12-30

Actually, after I come back from PA (visiting the parents) I'm going to buy one of those auto-darkening hoods. I have to reroute some wiring in the shop to make a 220V outlet for it by the door, to be able to weld on the concrete outside when needed. My shop is 10x20 and full of flooring for the house (my winter project), so once I get that out and the rest cleaned up I'll be turning metal again. I also have a small metal lathe and a mill.

Whatnot (author)2008-12-30

Perhaps a shroud over the handle might be an idea, after all the onlookers don't handle the stuff so would not have leather gloves on, but they don't want molten metal splattered on their hands either I imagine and that can happen. Just a thought.

Phil B (author)Whatnot2008-12-30

Onlookers are usually behind me by the necessity of space limitations and far enough away that splattered metal will not reach them. If I am splattering that much metal, I probably have the heat turned up way too high, anyway. A greater danger would be sunburn on bare skin due to the intense light. But, the duration of exposure for a simple welding repair is too short for much of a problem.

fwjs28 (author)2008-12-29

very innovative.....5*

Phil B (author)fwjs282008-12-29

Thank you. This came to be when a friend made an appointment to bring me the swivel rocking mechanism for a recliner. It had broken and I agreed to weld it for him. He also had once taken a vocational test that suggested he would be suited for welding. I wanted him to be able to watch, but I did not want to buy another commercial welding hood. I spent a couple of dollars on a lens and cobbled together a cardboard hood. The Instructable features a newer, neater version. The first one turned out pretty over-sized.

fwjs28 (author)Phil B2008-12-29

cool....sound like something i would do (if i welded).....

Phil B (author)fwjs282008-12-29

It is so handy to have a welder available whenever you need one that it is worth whatever it takes to get one and to begin to learn how to use it. When you do not have one you tell yourself you do not need one. If you get one, you find all sorts of things to weld.

jessyratfink (author)2008-12-29

This is a great idea! Turned out really well. :D 5 stars + featured!

Phil B (author)jessyratfink2008-12-29

Thank you.

About This Instructable




Bio: I miss the days when magazines like Popular Mechanics had all sorts of DIY projects for making and repairing just about everything. I am enjoying ... More »
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