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  • Welding with style

    Sue Casement, 3M Storyteller

    Derek Baker, 3M Technical Service Specialist, holding a Speedglas helmet
    Welding with style

    Photo: Derek Baker, Technical Service Specialist

    • Derek Baker and Todd Miska lost a friend in 2011 when a Chinook military helicopter carrying him and 37 others was shot down in Afghanistan. Derek and Todd honored their friend, and all fallen warriors, in an unexpected way – they developed the Tribute Welding Helmet.

      Derek and Todd had previously worked together to create a series of welding helmet designs, including Razor Dragon, Future Combatant and Aces High.

      The story began when Derek visited shops as a 3M tech-service specialist. He saw welders with decals and hand-painted graphics on their helmets. They told Derek it was their best option to show personal flair. Welders want to reflect their often edgy style – and show their love of muscle cars, poker or their country.

    A welder wearing a Speedglas helmet
    A welder wearing a Speedglas helmet

    When Derek’s 3M team jumped into creating personalized welding helmets, he tracked down Todd Miska. Derek knew that Todd was behind the graphics for a goalie helmet rocked by a friend’s son.

    It was the perfect partnership – Todd had ideas for design and Derek had ideas from welders. “The original designs we had from another company just weren’t tough enough,” Derek says.

    The first round designed with Todd featured graphics of skulls, flames and metallic dragons.

    A welder wearing the Wild-N-Pink designed Speedglas helmet

    For the next design round, they saturated the helmets with color and created a new line for women. Women welders often use Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welding. The Wild-N-Pink artwork reflects the finesse and detailing that goes with that style of welding.

    A welder wearing a Speedglas helmet
    “With every design, we thought about what that means to a welder. They are buying it as an extension of themselves. We always had a person in mind when we designed each helmet.”

    Learn more

    Check out more designs from Miska and learn about innovative welding safety products.