Welding lenses as substitutes for glasses

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West Allis, WI (WDJT / CBS Newspath) -- Shade 14 welding lenses were a golden ticket for Advanced Welding Supply in West Allis.

The Theisen's in northeast Cedar Rapids was sold out of any tinted welding lenses, which typically go for a couple dollars.

That's because those lenses are the best alternatives to those special, hard-to-find cardboard eclipse glasses for viewing Monday's eclipse.

Shade 14 is so rarely used in welding, that most hardware stores don't carry it. Advanced Welding Supply VP Chris Albanese told CBS 58 that the eclipse is the only reason he ordered extra.

"The reason I did have a few was for an eclipse but I didn't think it would be this extreme." Albanese said. "Right now, we're probably getting about 25 calls a day. It's just people out of the woodwork that have never called a welding supply story before saying I heard you might have it. They're trying every resort they might have."

Albanese says he wishes he had ordered more. When he saw just how big the demand for shade 14 lenses was, he called his suppliers but no one could get him anymore in time.

He says he doesn't care that some of these customers have no interest in welding.

"We sell propane for a gas grill. Most people have that at home." he said. "Even if they're coming back for that, that's cool and if they don't come back, at least they know where they come their protection for the eclipse."

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