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In the never-ending quest for effective and comfortable protective eyewear, I find myself increasingly drawn to the aesthetics of the old school glasses with round lenses, metal frames, and mesh sides, like this:

Image 1 - Vintage-Safety-Glasses-Original-Metal-Frame-Side-Guards-Steampunk

While I very much like the look and I suspect that the mesh side shields have the advantage of good ventilation, I am wondering if anyone here has experience actually using them or if there are known issues with the kind of safety glass used back when these were made. I mean, aesthetics are one thing, but not worth more than one of my eyes.

Any thoughts?

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Those bring back some memories of shop classes. I never had any issues other than being dirty. They didn't collect dirt like the polycarbonate trifocal safety glasses I wear now and didn't scratch up as soon. 

One of my friends broke the frame on his so we shot a lens with my 5mm Sheridan pellet rifle. The pellet didn't penetrate or shatter the lens however some fragments did fly off the inside and caught in the tissue paper we put behind them.

I have zero idea what our test actually means for effectiveness, I haven't shot a polycarb lense so can't compare. 

All I have is old kidhood memories and subjective opinion, nothing objective. My opinion is they were pretty good safety glasses I don't recall any kid suffering an eye injury in any shop class wearing them. And we heard about any injury in a shop class of any kind. Examples of good safety practices were high priority. Schools from middle through college had strong industrial and occupational programs and lots of different shop classes offered. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Well, I’ve ordered a pair from eBay, and they would be here an about a week. We shall see. 

One thing I can say with confidence, however, is that I will never be as effortlessly cool as Claude Raines. 

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I have a few pair of the old torch goggles. They are pretty cool in my opinion. Usually need a good cleaning and elastic strap. So long as the lenses aren't sparked up. Have a few pair like john pictured too but without the side shields. I haven't used them seriously to know how safe they really are.

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Actually, I think saftey eyeware that hugs your face is the best.  Those old glasses were pretty snug fitting and welding gogs clear or tinted with the elastic don't allow any chance of a bb or grit in.  I've had a welding sputterball stick to my eye once and it was no fun.  Cheap junk safety glasses caused that one.  It bounced around under them until if came to rest on my peeper.

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I tried to get some goggles done to my prescription a few years ago. It was not a success: the focal length was wrong for anvil work, the division between long and short distances was right smack in the middle of my field of vision, and I couldn’t get them to stop fogging.

My eye doctor just confirmed that I don’t really need prescription safety glasses. Since I no longer use a respirator with straps that press on the earpieces of my glasses, these became an option. Fingers crossed. 

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  A little dish soap on a cloth rubbed on your lenses and then buffed off with a clean cloth when dried will help with, if not eliminate that fogging.  Sorry if this has been mentioned b4.

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Tried it. Didn’t work. 

(My supervisor at the time was a scuba diver who gave me a bunch of suggestions, none of which worked, alas.)

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On 2/12/2021 at 4:39 PM, Frosty said:

One of my friends broke the frame on his so we shot a lens with my 5mm Sheridan pellet rifle. The pellet didn't penetrate or shatter the lens however some fragments did fly off the inside and caught in the tissue paper we put behind them.

I have zero idea what our test actually means for effectiveness, I haven't shot a polycarb lense so can't compare. 

Modern day safety glasses are tested with a 6mm ball weighing 0,86 gram at a speed of 45m/s. I dont think I would really like the old ones, they look great, but having something block my peripheral vision is a nono for me. 

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Hmm. Since momentum = mass x velocity, the momentum in the modern test is 38.7 gm/s.

A little google-fu tells me that the Sheridan pellet rifle shot a 5mm lead ball (0.743 g) with a muzzle velocity of 205.9 m/s (675 fps). I don't know how far Frosty and his friend were from the glasses when they shot the lens or whether the gun was pumped to full pressure, but let's assume that the pellet hit the lens at merely half of the maximum velocity. That's 102.95 m/s, so the momentum would have been 76.49 gm/s. I think I'm on reasonably safe ground.

As for the peripheral vision issue, an eye doctor told me some years back that peripheral vision only registers light & dark, color, and movement. I don't know how much the metal mesh interferes with perceiving those, but I'll keep you all posted.

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Strangely enough, my eyes have actually gotten better over the last couple of years, going from a -2.25 to a -1.50. Still need a +2.25 for reading, though.

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5 hours ago, JHCC said:

pumped to full pressure

Well YEAH it was, distance was about 30', the pellet was the semi conical ended penetrator type. rather than the spittoon shaped distance/accuracy shape. At full pressure 8 pumps it'd put a hole in some car doors. It's a pretty lethal pellet rifle if you can hit your mark. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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I use Elgin Ruckus earplugs: they have a 26db noise reduction, they have a bluetooth connection to my phone for music, and they don't rub the top of my head or interfere with hearing protection or a face mask. And they keep the scale out of my ears.

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6 hours ago, JHCC said:

As for the peripheral vision issue, an eye doctor told me some years back that peripheral vision only registers light & dark, color, and movement. I don't know how much the metal mesh interferes with perceiving those, but I'll keep you all posted.

I have had glasses since I was 4 or 5 years old, so I am used to seeing fuzzy when I look to the left and right. The first time I got safety glasses the plastic on the side drove me mad because something was blocking the fuzziness. I was just enough to stop me seeing movement from around my glasses. The ones I have now are as clear as can be on the sides and they work much better.

And very funny also, my eyes have also gotten better the last 4 years, only at -6,75 and -6 now.

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