Purchasing a laser welder

I am contemplating the purchase of a laser welder for a job
shop…are ther any comments from current owners? I will be a silent
partner in this business so I am looking to see if there are pitfalls
or things that a non bench jeweller should know. Also, are there
groups of jewellers who volunteer their time and experience for an
expereienced benchman who is contemplating this job shop? Any
business advice would be appreciated.

The laser welder is invaluable in a repair shop. Everyday one
discovers a new use for the versatile tool. I find it much more
practical for repairs than for production, but again, it is still
extremely useful for welding bails to pendants with heat sensitive
stones and pearls after setting, etc.

I have yet to have any real problems with the laser welder in our
shop, and we have been operating it since May of this year. We
purchased it from Rio Grande, because of their exceptional reputation
and customer service, as well as good references on the product.

The only pitfall to owning a laser welder that comes to mind, is the
initial investment, but I find if you run a busy shop it will pay
itself off in no time as it speeds up your productivity and repair

Feel free to contact me with more questions, I love our laser welder.

Sara D. Commers
Minneapolis, MN

I have a laser welder (B&D Sales Power Laser) and have been very
happy with it. I am surprised that anyone would want to be a silent
partner in a job shop. Generally speaking, even if the shop is
charging more than the area average its hard to make much money.
People do it because they like it not for the money. Its unusual for
a third party to invest thinking they will get a good return. It is
unusual for a shop owner to personally take home much more than
$100,000 annually, and that is all of the profit above goldsmith
wages and expenses. That would leave little for a silent partner. I
would also wonder why someone opening a shop would need a silent
partner. The initial setup costs are not terribly high and so why
share with someone who is doing nothing? I’m sorry if this sounds
harsh, but maybe it takes an outsider to point out the painful truth.