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Pulse arc laser comparison


#1

This weekend at Stuller’s Bench Jewelers gathering I had my first
opportunity to sit down and use a pulse arc welder, the Orion 150s.
My daughter who is apprentice got a chance to use the Orion 150.

I have roughly 10 years experience laser welding. I do not set
myself up as any authority, but I figure I have enough experience to
be able to make a fairly decent comparison.

We had a roughly 2 hour session, decided equally between an hour of
classroom discussion of the technology and the machines, and 1 hr of
hands on at a machine.

I welded both sterling and platinum. By the end of the hour I was
able to replace a channel on a sterling silver opal set ring,
without damage to the opal. Crude work, of course because I am a
novice with the tool, but quite serviceable and instructive.

I feel that in a very short time I could do nearly every repair that
I do now on the laser, with that pulse arc. The exceptions being
that the laser can weld in locations that no arc welder can reach.

I also feel that while it is possible to re tip using pulse arc,
that it seems to add quite a bit of risk, unless you are able to
pull the prong away from the gemstone to do the repair.

I even watched Blain Lewis weld a silver shank, and then beat It
mercilessly on a mandrel without it cracking.

My daughter Melissa, with relatively few hours at the laser,
although she’s already quite good on that machine, found jumping
onto the pulse arc quite easy herself.

The pulse arc welders have come a very long way since I first
researched the PUK welders a long time ago, and I can honestly now
see a shop or store going this route, instead of the far more costly
laser, and simply sending the occasional job it doesn’t do on to
someone with access to the laser.

I am NOT giving up my laser though, to jump to pulse arc. If on the
other hand we reach the point where we can expand the shop and add a
second machine, it will probably be a pulse arc machine.


#2

Good Thanks.


#3

There is a lot of overlap with the abilities of both types of
welders. Bothlaser welders and pulse arch technology have a place in
every shop. It often depends on your work flow and what your trying
to achieve with the welder.

They both also are very good at saving a lot of time at the bench.
They will also allow you to do things you can not normally do with a
torch.

Phillip Scott

Technical Support
Rio Grande
1.800.545.6566


#4

They will also allow you to do things you can not normally do with a
torch.

But neither will completely replace that torch. There are jobs that
they dofaster, and in some cases, better than the torch, but there
are other jobs that the torch remains the best tool for the job.

I will usually lightly tack weld a new setting into a ring, just
enough to hold it without need for any clamping, and then use the
torch to pull solder through completely to secure that setting.