With all due respect to Mr. Bob Staley, it seems he has become
somewhat "troubled" by my suggestions and he wishes to move this
discussion to a higher level. Let me take this opportunity to be
alittle more precise.
My statement "filling the chamber with inert gas" was a figure of
"When activating the inert gas flow on a 6000 or 7000 series
LaserStar Workstation, the system precisely releases a continuous
flow of inert gas* into the "welding zone / focal plane" creating a
"cloud" of atmosphere in the area where welding will be performed.
This gas will continue to flow replenishing the cloud until the
operator has released the footpedal device which also indicates under
normal circumstances that the current "hot light" discharge has been
*(possibly Argon, yet many users are benefiting from Nitrogen which
is also an import gas used in the casting of Silver)
Mr. Bob Staley is using an older model of laser welding
machine...vintage 1998. I know this since I sold him the machine.
The gas delivery system in current generation LaserStar Workstations
have a "proprietary" gas delivery system which eliminates the
possibility of "hits" on the movable gas nozzle and eliminates the
need for operators to have to fumble attempting to correctly position
the nozzle. This older design did not always ensure consistant nor
correct direction flow of the gas, hence his frustration when using a
inert gas and suggestions that he achieved no benefits on gold or
Using a inert gas only improves the laser welding process while
helping to reduce any "contaminants" from influencing the homogeneous
weld quality. Micro-welding can in fct occure using a laser without a
inert gas, yet at a minimum it improves the "cleanliness" of the
welding area and in many cases enhances the welding results.
Secondly, it is import to clarify that I was not implying that one
must "max out" the laser system to weld silver. I was only
identifying what levels of energy output are recommended to provide
the operator with the widest range of "pulse energy" to complete
most, if not all, of the laser welding jobs which may come across
Silver solder wire will greatly assist your bonding process. Be
sure to have a diameter small eneough to properly flow the material
using the laser.
Many of you have heard the term "there are many ways to skin a cat".
This also holds true when approaching laser welding tasks. If we
were to ask 10 experienced laser welders to perform the same welding
task, each would achieve acceptable results, but have arrived at the
end result using different combinations of parameter settings,
alignment skills, and multi-step welding techniques to produce the
I do not profess to be a practicing bench jeweler, yet I have been
involved in laser welding since 1994 and have assisted many jewelry
manufacturers as well as retail mfg. jewelers advance their
"processes" for bonding alloys. I bring my suggestions to the table
based upon my own experiences and draw upon the feedback and
experience of the 1200+ "laserstar users" our company has been
servicing since 1994 in the jewelry, dental laboratory,
aerospace(NASA), automotive, tool & die, and micro electronic
I wish LONE good luck and our LaserStar Learning Center is always
available to assist users of all make and model of laser machine.
Executive Vice President