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Choosing a laser welder


#1

I’m about to spring for a laser welder. I’d like to know who’s using
what. What make and what size. Why did you choose that one. Now that
you’re using it what do you love about it? What do you hate about
it? What would you change about it if the designers asked you?

I don’t mind making a less than perfect choice on a small tool but
for something this size there’s no “do over”.

Thanks - Justine


#2

At Casting House we have 3 Crawford Laser Star lasers. Opt for a hood
over binoculars regardless of the brand. We couldn’t be happier with
our lasers. They are capable of ridiculously accurate welds; very
smooth too. I’ve tested the Rofin. It’s very nice as well. The
important thing is that you tell the salesman what you are doing with
it, primarily. Some lasers work better than others with silver, for
instance.

Jason


#3

I worked for 5 years on a Crafford Laser Star, pre-pulse shaping
model. I believe it was the 6000 series. When I purchased my own
laser I chose the Crafford Bright Star 1000 series. It is not their
high end Laser Star series, and lacks some of the bells and whistles,
but it certainly gets the job done. It has only the basic setting,
and the two most basic pulse shaping settings: ramp up for silver,
and ramp down, which works great fro white gold. It is an 80 Joule
Laser, and works far better for me than the older, far more expensive
laser that I was used to. I am quite satisfied with this laser. I
have used the newer Laser Star models, with full pulse shaping, but
find there is no real need for all the extra pulse shaping settings.


#4

Justine,

I bought a Zahntech laser five years ago. Best thing I have ever
done. I researched it for about a year. I tried many of the other
lasers on the market and found the Zahntech to be the most soundly
built and best design. The glove box opens from underneath to allow
you to weld larger items and make it easy to clean. Many of the
other laser units have consumables that drive up the price and use of
operation. The Zahntech uses distilled water as a coolant and that
is the only consumable and you only have to change it every year. It
has the power and settings to weld anything. I do trade work and have
used it to repair impossible repairs on old antique pieces and new
pieces. I only use my torch to anneal an cast. I would not change
anything as far as the design goes. If you are doing production work
they offer a cooling unit that I purchased but have never used. It
never gets hot. They also sell a silver alloy that they make and it
is great for SS. Check em out they may be able to get you in touch
with another jeweler in your area that has purchased one. The
Zahntechs are true production machines that are being used all over
the world and the other units seem like toys compared. I do not work
for them I just love my Laser welder.

Cheers
J Morley


#5

I had a friend call me today about a laser job he needed to get done.
It seems their laser “blew up” and started spewing water. They tried
to get some warrantee work on it only to discover the company that
manufactured it is no longer in business.

What ever laser you decide to get, make sure the company is sound
and won’t leave you holding the bag if things go south.

I use a Laser Star 7000 series and I couldn’t be happier. The
customer service is top shelf as is the machine itself. True, the
deionized water is a bit on the expensive side, but they gave me info
on how to find alternatives locally, specifically at Whole Foods. I
still use their DI water, though. Not worth the risk to try to save a
few nickels, imho.

With a laser, just like a rolling mill or any other tool you buy,
you get what you pay for.

Dave