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Studio Versions Laser Welder


#1

Howdy, howdy,

Lately I have noticed that the various laser welder companies have
been introducing smaller, less powerful “studio” versions which sell
for considerably less than the larger high powered models. Which
makes me wonder from a practical standpoint what exactly do the
higher powered units do that the smaller versions cannot?

Is it that the higher powdered units can do the “jobs” (whatever they
may be) faster and also perhaps be able to weld a wider variety of
metals?

How about when used in a shop that does a lot of repair business…
is there a huge advantage to having 100/120/150 joules rather than
50/60/80 joules?

Any explanations of the differences and pros and cons of these
welders is very much appreciated.

Thanks,

Joseph Bloyd
JNB Studio
Battle Ground, WA


#2

I also have been looking into the smaller laser, I have used two
different machines in the past and worry about the smaller less
power machine. I spoke with someone who has the machine and they love
it. It does not weld large silver pieces fast. It does not shoot as
fast but in reality for a small shop I don’t need the speed. Most of
my work is gold and platinum and it does that with no problem. To
save 10 or 15 grand I’m going for the smaller machine. If I get
something that I cant do I will send it to a friend that has the
larger machine and pay them, the interest I’m saving on 10k will more
than pay for it. Hopefully I will make my final decision soon and
have the machine next month. Get in touch with me off line if you
want and I will let you know.

Good Luck
Bill Wismar
www.metalbendersgallery.com


#3

Studio laser -vs- full size lasers

The first and most obvious difference in a true table top lasers is
that it has close to half the power that the full size unit. With
this decrease in power, you will have to use silver laser wire to be
able to weld silver. The Studio laser welder will weld 10K, 14K,
18K, 22K, 24K, Platinum, titanium and stainless steel very easily.

The Studio laser will weld 3 welds per second while the full size
version will weld up to 20 welds per second. Full size units have
pulse shaping which is good for metals which show micro-cracks when
welded. Some steels and white gold benefit from this feature. All
laser welds benefit from the use of Argon and the studio has a
fantastic argon delivery system.

The full size versions have more bells and whistles but they both
extremely precise and your welds are exactly the same on both a full
size and studio size laser. They are both extremely accurate. They
are both very powerful. You can drill holes in 3mm thick gold rings
and fill porosity. You can drill out broken drill bits with both.
You can re-tip prongs with the stones in place. You can rebuild
channel walls quickly and easily. The disadvantage is the Studio has
a smaller welding chamber but it is more than sufficient for all
jewelry applications.

The Studio laser takes 110V and is easily moved from your store to a
home studio. It fits into your trunk or back seat of your car. This
makes it practical to take to shows for quick repairs or
modifications on necklaces.

If all you do is sterling silver, the studio may not be the machine
you want. If you do a variety of all metals in a medium volume work
environment, the Studio Laser welder would be an excellent tool and
should be considered.

I hope this has helped answer your questions.

Best regards,
Phillip Scott G.G.
Technical Support
Rio Grande
1-800-545-6566


#4

Hello Joseph,

My Laserstar 2000 series compact is 80 joules. I have never used it
at more than 280 volts and usually use it at around 200 to 230
volts. I think it goes as high as 400 volts. If I had more power I
would just blow holes in my work, so I really don’t know why a
jeweler would want a bigger unit.

You ask if a more powerful unit is faster. I don’t find a laser
especially fast, other than saving on cleanup. I can do a lot of
jobs much faster with a torch. But there is a lot you can do with a
laser that you cannot do at all with a torch.

Stephen Walker


#5

As a former sales rep for one on the laser companies, a 50 joule
machine will service 99% of your needs. There are not a lot of jobs
that actually require more than 10 joules of power. Think of a welder
like your car, while your car can deliver speeds up to 100mph, the
wear and tear on a 4 cylinder as compared to an 8 cylinder is far
greater at that speed. Same holds true on a welder, only reason to
buy a bigger more powerful machine is volume of welding (and ego of
course) The only issue that you will run into on a 50 J welder if of
course silver. (but there are tricks around that) The benchtop units
are great, and work as well as the floor models. What should be your
concern is where and how the beam is delivered and at what point is
the power of the beam is measured? Last issue to consider is your
budget, in order to get a good machine that will be serviceable by
you, better consider a budget of $18-20,000. If the flash lamp goes
on a lower end machine it may have to be sent back to the
manufacturer for replacement. So ask about service and do not forgot
about consumables.

Best
Paul DeFruscio


#6

You mentioned sterling. All I do is silver (to enamel). I believe I
want a laser to attach bails, jump rings, fittings, tunnels for
chains.

I don’t forsee wanting to do great long seams in silver.

What’s the take on a studio version handling the fitting sized welds
in silver ??

Thank you
Justine

PS: Has anybody see any sort of “how to” that will let me see how one
works?


#7

As an owner of a Laserstar, I just wanted to point out that 3 welds
per second is painfully slow. You also can’t get the metal to flow
(microscopically) untill you get to about 7-8 welds per second. (HZ)
After taking two pieces together, I go back and weld the joint, then
fill it, then hammer it. Typically, machine is set on 4.5-5 HZ for
filling and then 7-8 for hammering and polishing. After finishing a
joint, I almost dont have to polish on a buff machine. My machine is
an 80 Joule machine. It’s too much. Next time 50J. Max. The only
application I have come up with for that much power is to laser drill
holes and it just doesn’t need to be THAT strong for gold. I don’t
work much with silver but the laser is a great application for that
or any other problematic joints. Steel, steel to gold, Platinum (I
always had trouble with untill I bought a laser welder), silver. The
one nice thing is that with no firecoat, you can do a while you wait
job and never turn the buffer on.

Stanley Bright
A&M Jewelers
Baltimore, MD


#8

I appreciate the answers from all of you who responded to this
thread.

Now - a question for everyone. Have you seen the “NEW” laser welder
on the Gesswin website. It appears to be a full size unit with specs
comparable to the full size units from Rio or Rofin or Crawford but
at about 1/2 the cost.

I suppose that new technology may make it possible to produce a
welder that compares to the units from the major manufacturers but at
a significantly lower cost. Perhaps some of you who are experienced
with laser welders might look at the specs for this unit and let us
know what you think.

I have a question for Paul DeFruscio.

Paul, part of your post states:

What should be your concern is where and how the beam is delivered
and at what point is the power of the beam is measured? 

What are the answers to the above? How should the beam be delivered
and what point should it be measured at?

Disclaimer: I have no association with the above mentioned companies
other than having bought tools or supplies from some of them.

Joseph Bloyd