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Orion welders vs laser

Anyone have any experience using an Orion welder. The new models look
like a nice alternative to a laser. Any thoughts from those currently
using a laser.

Will the Orion welder be able to handle most general repair jobs
that come into the shop and assembly work on small scale

Appreciate anyone’s thoughts.

Many Thanks

I personally do not understand why anyone would buy a laser welder
when you can buy an Orion. First of all it is thousands of dollars
less and you can do everything that you can do with a laser. I
actually think you can do more. You are limited in size by what fits
through the armholes of a laser and if you accidentally hit a stone
you can damage it with a laser. I have the microscope and the shield
so I can get into every nook and cranny I need to get into. Once you
get past the learning curve it is the perfect tool.

I feel it was worth every penny. You can make your money back in
repairs alone in no time.

Regina R. Malone
Regina Rose Designs

I personally do not understand why anyone would buy a laser welder
when you can buy an Orion. First of all it is thousands of dollars
less and you can do everything that you can do with a laser. 

The advantage of a laser is its precision, consistancy, and line of
sight welding. If you can see it, you can weld it.

I have an Orion PA230 and I cant say enough good things about, It
does have its down falls.

First, electrodes do get dirty, so your either having to buy lots of
electordes and keep a stock sharpened, or constantly resharpening
the ones you do have. Also, buy your electordes from an online
welding supply shop, WAY cheaper than getting them through a jewelry
supplier and they are the same thing. Changing electrodes is quick
and easy, but it does take a little bit of time.

Arc consistancy is not there, you can have a great bead going, then
BLAM it creates a cavity in the work piece, or the arc strays, change
the electrode and get back to work filling that hole or depression.

Line of sight welding is NOT possible. You have to physically touch
the piece with the electrode. If your welding with an arc welder into
a hole, you have to control the arc so it doesnt hit the side walls
of the hole. This is where a laser will stomp the arc welder with the
heel of its boot onto asphalt covered in acid, then shoot it with its
own laser directly in the eyes, setting it on fire, leaving it for
the scavangers to eat.

This is for you silver guys…silver is just plain hard to weld,
dont get me wrong, you can do it, it just takes practice. Since I
dont work in silver, but my brother does, he uses the Orion for
tacking up stuff before soldering, for this it does an excellent job.
Gold welds pretty good, havent used this on plantinium yet, im sure
it does great there.

Lastly, the new line of Orion welders look cool as all can be, but
they are about 1/2 the price of an entry level laser…might as well
save up and buy the laser. Id love to play with one to see how the
new features work out on it.

For the record, I use the Orion for Stainless and Titanium…it has
been a game changing machine for me, but these are easy metals to
weld in all aspects of things.

Hope this helps,

About the laser and size issues, I almost forgot to mention, we have
worked on some fairly ginormous belt buckles with our laser. Also a
silver dresser set…hand mirror, horsehair brush and tortoise shell
comb. And silver candlesticks, the kind with hollow weighted bases,
though NOT candelabra or punch bowls, LOL! If we can maneuver it into
the chamber, we can usually find a way to deal with it. Ours is a
desk top, and the hand holes are not really all that small, and the
chamber is adequate for most jewelry applications, and clearly more.

As for mistakenly hitting a stone…udderly smooth hand cream as a
shield works great, and we haven’t really had a problem. We have re
tipped a LOT of prongs in the laser the last year with no issues.

We are so glad we have it now that QVC et al are selling all those
rhodium plated silver rings with highly included diamonds in
them…we must size 4 or 5 a week, and we really did not enjoy doing
that with the torch. And retipping those things…without the laser,

Peggy Wilson
Harbor Jewelers

We evaluated the Orion and laser welders for our shop. We knew that
we would have a learning curve for either device. We are a tiny
store, 2 goldsmiths and no other staff except our part time
accountant. Repairs and antique restorations are a big part of our
revenue stream. We realized last year that with the prices of Lasers
coming down, and the availability of leasing arrangements, that we
could easily make that lease payment with just a few more repair jobs
each month. Due to the labor saving aspects of the laser, we have
more time for our custom work, an even larger revenue stream. It was
either another employee or the laser. The laser doesn’t need a living
wage, does not have a car that breaks down or a significant other to
fight with. It just hums along every day with no attendance or
personnel problems and it never whines, complains or picks a fight.
We love it.

Peggy Wilson
Harbor Jewelers

Many Thanks!!! to all who responded to my request… It would seem
that I personally would not be happy unless we went with a laser.

Again, Thanks!!!