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If you use a laser welder


#1

If you do laser welding.

Laser welding is a boom to our industry in addition to the customer.
It’s far better to have something laser welded than using a torch.
The reasons:

95% of the times adjacent stones don’t have to be removed when using
a laser welder, whether as using a torch you would.

There is no seem and therefore the item is as it was before being
cut. Ring sizing is a perfect example. It was a size 7, now it’s a
size 5 and it is as though the factory made it a 5. No seem.

Being no heat is sued other parts of the object aren’t susceptible
to being ruined, burned, stressed or weakened.

It’s a win win situation.

The caveat? The machine to do this costs nearly $30,000, about $30 a
day over 5 years. So you need to take in more money.

You take in more money by either producing more work per hour, and a
laser machine will do that.

You should also get more money because you CAHRGE more, which you
should.

My suggestion is this:

If there is no advantage to the customer, don’t charge more. There’s
no advantage to laser solder/welding a jump ring closed. But it does
save you time.

If there IS an advantage to the customer, charge more. There is an
advantage to sizing a ring with a laser. It was never cut. So my
suggestion is to charge 50% more for the simple things if done by a
laser. It’s an advantage to the customer. And for those weird ones,
charge what you like!

In our price book a simple laser weld is $45 and each additional
laser weld is $25. More complicated laser welds are $75 and each
additional welds are $35.

I met a fellow who retiped a woman’s platinum prongs using my book.
He charged $630 to retip all of her prongs and she said “O.K.”.

It took him 20 minutes.

On many occasions a customer will have to decide whether to have a
piece of jewelry laser welded or soldered with a torch. How to
explain the advantage to the customer? They probably can’t tell the
difference when it’s delivered. Here’s how:

Ask them this:

“Mrs. Jones I want to give you an example of the difference between
a solder using a torch and heat and using a laser. If I was to give
you a chocolate bar and break it in half, how would you fix it to the
best of your ability?”

Here you’ll get answers like rubbing the 2 pieces together, using a
match and melting the pieces together, all leaving a less than
desirable end product. Here’s the answer to give-I love analogies.

"Mrs. Jones, one way of fixing your chocolate bar back like new
after it was broken in half is to go GET the actual mold the factory
used, lay the chocolate bar in the mold, heat it on the stove until
it’s melted and let it sit. Voi La! It’s just like it was back from
the factor, one solid piece that has never been broken. Although we
don’t melt your ring, the end result is exactly the same.

So which way would you rather have your ring sized? Your way or our
way?"

I love visual words.

Buy a laser welder, it’s a no brainer.

David Geller


#2
Laser welding is a boom to our industry 

I DO hope you meant to type “boon”. Too many things have been going
"BOOM" in the world the last couple months… Our industry doesn’t
need such escitement, I think (grin)

There is no seem and therefore the item is as it was before being
cut.

While I agree with you that in general, laser welds are usually far
superior to solder joints, I’d caution people to understand that like
any tool, the laser has it’s limits. And while there isn’t a solder
seam, there is still a weld. The metal is NOT exactly as it was
before being cut. The crystal structure of the weld is quite
different, and this is significant in terms of stresses in the metal.
Depending on the type of metal, and the capabilities of the laser,
some welds are going to be quite brittle, unless you then take the
time to anneal it the old fashioned way. And some metals, notably
white golds, can be quite balky sometimes about welding cleanly with
no porosity and bubbles and defects. It can be bothersome sometimes.

Also, while some weld joints in things like sizing seams are quicker
than soldering the seam the old way, quite often they actually take
MORE time than just flowing solder into the seam. It’s not always a
time saver for ring sizings. But if you take the time to get a good
weld, and then if needed, stress releive it enough so it won’t be
prone to cracking, THEN you’ve got a piece of metal that’s
functionally as good as the original. But it’s quite possible to
spend twice as much time doing this as it would have taken to just
solder the thing… Remember that laser welds also need the same
time spent with emery to clean up the joint before polishing.

And a comment about your guy who charged 600 plus for 20 minutes
work with retipping. Are you suggesting that we should use this as a
model to aspire to? I’d call that highway robbery, and suggest that
charges as outlandish as that may be part of why some portion of the
public is sure that all jewelers are crooks.

Peter Rowe