Hi Orchid land, i am considering buying an Orion 150s pulse arc welder. I cut and polish my own cabs and set them in sterling silver using 19 gauge sheet and wires from 16 to 12 gauge wire. Is there anyone out there who has used one of there. Here are a few samples of what I do. I am thinking of tacking together first and then soldering all at once or flat out welding. I want to know whether this machine will work for me. Thanks, Vince LaRochelle, Oregon, usa
I look forward to any replies you receive to your post as I too would like to buy a pulse arc welder for the same reasons as you. I like your pendant…Rob
I don’t have an Orion, we use a PUK 3, but I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t work for you in that capacity. The PUK doesn’t care too much for big welds on sterling, but it tacks it just fine. I used the Orion machines at a show a couple of months back and know that the newer technology is much better (you can size most silver rings and such) at sterling than what I’m using. The newer PUKs are also supposed to handle sterling better, but I’ve not had the opportunity to use one and mine is still doing what I expect it of it so I’m not in a rush to upgrade.
I have to be cautious as I reply.
My experience is vastly more laser than pulse arc, but I had the chance to do a seminar at Stuller, and had the chance to spend some time on a couple of the Orion machines, and I am pretty certain that they will do the welding you desire, very well.
I have used LaserStar machines for @ 20 years, and I found that with a bit of coaching from the Orion reps at the seminar, I could do a very acceptable rechannel of a Sterling, opal set ring.
I often use the laser to “tac” components, which I then can solder with the torch, even making minor tweeks to the light weld. I see no reason at all to expect that the pulse arc would not do this equally well, from my very limited experimenting on the Orion.
I also can see how in many applications you should very easily fully weld components with the Orion and skip the torch entirely, as I do with the laser for some of my work.
Now, as I said, I am neither an Orion owner, not a very experienced pulse arc welder, but as someone with a great deal of time on the,laser, I was quite impressed with the potential of the pulse arc for exactly the type of work you have described in the first post.
I’ve owned the 150S and over the yars have moved to the 200i2. Can’t complain. The new generation 15os has a lot more features, including I believe rapid fire and a basic screen which echoes the PUK format. It should do just what you are asking of it.
It must have been a couple of yrs ago when i had a need to join the pointed corners of 999 ag by
25,1000 thoin together as per the attached jpg. All dropped stamped from some lovely victorian dies I acquired some 30 yrs ago.
- I spent a whole morning with the UK agents in B’ham asking them to show me how this similar welder would do this work. The PUK from Germany.
Despite their best efforts there was no way it would produce a technically robust weld, ie one that would stand a 180 deg bend. I reform many things after brazing so the joints have to be ductile.
2.The reason was that the higher heat conductivity of the metals the poorer the weld. Turning it to its max still didnt get the results I needed.
- I then sent the identical parts to PUK H/O in Germany for them to repeat. Likewise a poor result.
These capacitive discharge welders under argon are fine for tacking prior to normal brazing.
At the UK price of £3000. just not worth buying. as the jigging time is the same .
Yes on higher resistance gold alloys the will re point stone claws. Not my work.
so the outcome for me was to use an 18ct white gold solder paste! not placements with the melting point around 850c. did the job just fine. also because these items will be vitreous enamelled at 750C.
So rob, the only way to be sure it will do what you want is to make up your samples and get their agents to demo it for you. Standard practice in the engineering world for new kit.
This is given to the factory operative to use. If he does get it to work, then they buy it. If there are difficulties they dont.
I love your piece! Wonderful result with an economy of means.
Not to tell you what to do and far be it from me to tell someone not to buy a new tool, but $5K is a fairly steep go and I’m wondering whether an assembly such as in your piece couldn’t be accomplished by assembling the piece on a metal tray, perhaps with paste solder, and then firing it in a kiln. Interested in what others would say about this.
I’ve used these welders for about 4 years. I was initially attracted to the technology for doors that it could open and as an augment to my standard practices–rather than as a substitute. I’ve learned to build-up metal which has been useful for making catches and new forms as well as working with torch sensitive materials like plastics and organics. It has also sped up some of my standard production methods in much the same way as the OP had mentioned. These welders can open possibilities if you are open to exploration. In the end, I use my welder all the time but I would not consider it as a replacement for some existing processes such as soldering.
I have an Orion and yes it sure will do the tacking no problem as well as welding but I think if you set your sights on tacking and then a solder it will go a lot faster. The welder will do things though you will be amazed at that cant be done with just solder.
I have been intensely using an Orion 150sII for several months constructing Plique-a-Jour
frames for enameling. Aside from the tiniest cloisonne wire, flattened 18 & 16 gage fine silver wire
attach like a charm. I am working in 1mm x 1.5mm wire construction. I must have clean
joints for my designs & the Pulse Arc does that for me. It fills in gaps from hasty fitting, and does
not produce all the running solder slop that needs cleaning later. I suck at soldering anyway.
It also saves me from all the depletion steps to get the silver to come to the surface.
Expensive to enter this technology? Yes. Is my finished product vastly improved. Yes x10.
Note; Orion states that there are issues with tack welding silver due to the dissipation of heat that
silver inherently has. I can’t speak to that & haven’t really needed to tack.