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55 2 Dr HT Long Island, NY
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been watching a variety of YouTube videos for my quest to learn how to weld and repair sheet metal and noticed that the use of ear protection is very inconsistent. I am noticing there are more people using it for grinding and cutting metal. I didn't think of the noise level to be loud - but I already have some hearing loss so I don't want to make it worse. Something that bothers me more is the noise level of my air compressor which I have posted about previously and I should use ear protection when in use (standard 87 decibels brought down to around 84 using a phone app). I attached a guide below.

As an aside I also watched Fitzee doing sheet metal stitch welding without a welding helmet which surprised me. I couldn't tell if he was closing his eyes when pulling the trigger but I thought that was very unsafe.

What is the general view on ear protection?

Art
 

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Ear plugs are cheap- use them.
A welder at work years ago had a dingleberry enter his ear canal when he was welding overhead. Gave him a lot of grief and had ringing in his ear for the rest of his life.
 
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🐔County, TN. 55 Bel Air Sport Coupe
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I didn't always, but for years now I use ear protection for a lot of tools. Angle grinders, die grinders, air chisel, mowing the lawn or doing other things on the tractor and more. Funny note about angle grinders, my wife and I were watching a show on TV and there is this loud noise coming from a shed/garage. I told my wife that it's an angle grinder. She was really surprised that I was right. Can't remember if the guy using it had ear protection on, I don't think so. They also showed the guy mig welding and it was easy to see that it wasn't set up right, I forget, but I think the wire speed being way too slow.

I have some hearing loss and tinnitus constantly, usually I don't notice it until I think about it. Other times it's so friggen loud that I can't even begin to try to focus on something else to help ease the ringing.
My compressor is outside but just an hour ago I was next to it while it was running and it doesn't bother me a bit, I think because it's a much lower pitch. The most noise it makes is when it turns off and the relief valve opens Do you happen to have one of those compressors that are direct drive (no belt) and/or oil less? That's all I could afford at the time and bought a used one. The next day I put it up for sale and got my money out of it. Kept looking until I ran across a 1972 Saylor-Beall 5HP 80 gallon. It had a knock if I let ALL the pressure out of it until it got up to around 30+psi so I rebuilt it with made in USA parts (most of them anyway). Sure is nice to have parts available for a 50 year old compressor! Also real nice to not have to use the little old 1HP Sears one. :)
 

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I have suffered from Tinnitus for quite a long time that came on suddenly as a result of a neurological condition, so I am probably more sensitive than many about hearing issues. I wear ear protection for anything that will cause moderate to loud noise, from grinding to using a chop saw (wood or metal), even if I'm going to be doing a lot of hammering on steel.

I have always work appropriate eye protection given that the wide range of things I do could cause serious damage to my eyes...and even so I've gotten various chemicals including gasoline and metal slivers in my eyes...
 

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It is not the occasional loud sounds that are an issue....it is the cumulative. I wish I could talk to my younger self and tell him to use the ear protection.
It would also make life easier for those around you
 

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55 2 Dr HT Long Island, NY
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I didn't always, but for years now I use ear protection for a lot of tools. Angle grinders, die grinders, air chisel, mowing the lawn or doing other things on the tractor and more. Funny note about angle grinders, my wife and I were watching a show on TV and there is this loud noise coming from a shed/garage. I told my wife that it's an angle grinder. She was really surprised that I was right. Can't remember if the guy using it had ear protection on, I don't think so. They also showed the guy mig welding and it was easy to see that it wasn't set up right, I forget, but I think the wire speed being way too slow.

I have some hearing loss and tinnitus constantly, usually I don't notice it until I think about it. Other times it's so friggen loud that I can't even begin to try to focus on something else to help ease the ringing.
My compressor is outside but just an hour ago I was next to it while it was running and it doesn't bother me a bit, I think because it's a much lower pitch. The most noise it makes is when it turns off and the relief valve opens Do you happen to have one of those compressors that are direct drive (no belt) and/or oil less? That's all I could afford at the time and bought a used one. The next day I put it up for sale and got my money out of it. Kept looking until I ran across a 1972 Saylor-Beall 5HP 80 gallon. It had a knock if I let ALL the pressure out of it until it got up to around 30+psi so I rebuilt it with made in USA parts (most of them anyway). Sure is nice to have parts available for a 50 year old compressor! Also real nice to not have to use the little old 1HP Sears one. :)
I have one of the newer Craftsman 60 gallon compressor that uses oil and a belt - but still way too loud - rated at 87 decibels. I also have a 26 gallon Craftsman professional that was super quiet - around 77 decibels. The compressor motors are of similar power - so I don't get why the 60 gallon is so loud. As for air chisels - I worked as a mechanic in a Cadillac shop in my early 20's and I felt my ears would bleed when people used them. No one used ear protection in those days and I give credit to that tool for any hearing loss I have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I appreciate all your responses - my lesson from it is better safe than sorry. I will make it a habit of using ear protection going forward. My hearing loss is in one ear and I usually face my wife with that ear when she is yelling at me - so there is a small benefit :).
 

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I have hearing loss and recently caught a case of tinnitus, mostly in my left ear but it’s in both. Hearing loss if from 8 years in the Army and countless hours of loud music in my youth and grinders/air tools, etc, in my middle years. Tinnitus developed after my neck fusion surgery so it’s hard to blame that on lifestyle.

But I wholeheartedly concur that hearing protection is a must. And GOOD protection, not just a dirty cotton ball crammed in your ear holes either.
 

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Rubber and foam don't provide much protection and run high risk of bacterial infection and impacting ear wax, causing a whole lot of other issues. There are class actions against the foam insert companies and neither of these ate recommended by ENTs.

Headphones, whe awkward and sometimes not as comfortable, are the preferred option, but ypu should still clean them sweat can accumulate in them as well...
 

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Rubber and foam don't provide much protection and run high risk of bacterial infection and impacting ear wax, causing a whole lot of other issues. There are class actions against the foam insert companies and neither of these ate recommended by ENTs.

Headphones, whe awkward and sometimes not as comfortable, are the preferred option, but ypu should still clean them sweat can accumulate in them as well...
Yes, I find the little ear plugs never go into my ears far enough to hold (yes I squeeze and roll them). The ear muffs go on in an instant and stay where they are put. 3M 30db rating. Very comfortable. One pair hanging at the angle grinders and one at or on the little tractor where I can't forget them. Should put another pair at the bench grinder. Tried some noise canceling headphones years back but they didn't work. I think the newer ones might work better, and cost less too.
 

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I have hearing loss from 40 years in a machine shop because back in the 70’s the company did not require that, but finally in 2009, they cracked down hard on them, but the damage was done. By all means, young guys, please wear them speaking from experience.
 
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