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Tig Welding


#1

Hello,

I have already searched all past archives for about all
types of pulse arc welding machines. I found one user who seems to
use a standard tig welder for jewelry repair/fabrication. I need to
know if this is possible with the following machine.

Miller dynasty 200dx.

  1. The amp range is from 1-200 A
  2. It welds both AC/DC with pulse
  3. It welds with argon.
  4. I can get a torch that holds.5mm tungsten electrodes. (If there
    are smaller send me a link.)
  5. It has a foot-pedal control
  6. It starts with high frequency.

I have the following questions about such a setup.

  1. Could you do intricate work with this tool? Like tipping, prong
    work, filigree?

  2. If the fine work can be done does it take someone with world
    class welding skills to accomplish this? Something i don’t have, but
    i am willing to practice until perfect.

  3. If you tap the pedal can you do quick welds like next to heat
    sensitive stones. I know the heat is intense for tig but it is also
    localized. But how localized.

I know that it is best to buy the right machine for the right job. I
want to know if it is possible because the miller dynasty is a top
of the line machine and not a cheap tig welder. I can just do so much
more than the arc welders for jewelry. I try to think outside the
box.

But not so far outside the box that I am cooking emeralds and
melting rings into lumps of junk.

Thank you for your time
Dax Gilbert


#2
I have already searched all past archives for about
all types of pulse arc welding machines. I found one user who seems
to use a standard tig welder for jewelry repair/fabrication. I need
to know if this is possible with the following machine. Miller
dynasty 200dx. 

I feel this will be too much of a machine for doing fine work on
jewelry. Plus TIG welding at this scale requires some mad skills, its
more of an artform than anything else. Im not saying your not gonna
be able to do it, but with zero experience youll ruin more stuff in
no time flat.

I suggest you check into the jewelry grade welders that Rio and
others carry, like the PUK line to name just one of a few. These will
have a smaller learning curve than a regular TIG will. Plus with the
small form factor, its ideal for getting into tight places.

Now if your really serious about getting a TIG welder that will do
more than just jewelry but stay on the small scale, check these guys
out.

http://www.pro-fusiononline.com/products/dualarc80.htm

ultra low amp (0.01A), talk about hella cool, I want one but Im sure
they are a pretty penny.

P@
www.patpruitt.com

PS: search for micro TIG welder and micro plasma welder


#3

I’m also interested in this question. I have a Miller Syncrowave 250
which I use for small and large bronze and steel pieces, not any
precious metals at this point. I don’t have a small enough torch
tip, but would consider buying one if it is feasible.

Kirsten
http://www.kirstenskiles.com


#4

I agree with Pat – that Miller machine is a real horse. But back in
the 60’s I was an Engineer with one of the Gas companies and we got a
mini plasma welder to sell. It was a 0 to !5 amp full range machine
that also could be used as a control unit with a bigger power source.
We had it set up to demonstrate and loved it ( hoped it wouldn’t sell
but eventually some one bought it- a BUMMER). I never saw another
one. It was really capable for as delicate work as you could imagine!
welded a lot of fine wire, shim stock and some heavy foil.

I don’t remember who made it or the price. It could have been as
early as 64 certainly within a year or so later- not earlier. Dream
about one of the Profusion machines.


#5

This is a fairly unexplored area. I have done some limited TIG work
on jewelry. I use a similar machine to the 200-DX but a little older
and less capable. A weldcraft WP-50 torch is a 50 amp air cooled
miniature TIG torch that is suitable in size. It uses 0.5 mm and 1
mm electrodes.

Kevin Lindsay has presented two papers at the Santa Fe Symposium of
Jewelry Manufacturing and Technology on TIG welding for the
goldsmith. He is quite willing to share what he has learned. I would
suggest you try to contact him.

http://www.santafesymposium.org/presentations.htm#title19

Jim

James Binnion
@James_Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


360-756-6550


#6

Dax,

I use a TIG for work on cast bronze pieces and the smallest I can
weld well is fingers to hands where the fingers are about the dia.
of a pencil lead. I will say that I am trying to weld a small lead
sized item to a larger “hand” piece so the heating speed of the 2
items are very different. So to give you my untried opinion, I don’t
think you can get enough heat control to do what you are asking
about, but with that said, I have NEVER tried it so I really don’t
know. Best way to find out is to give it a try!!!

John Dach


#7

I tried this route:

I bought a small TIG welder (Miller 150STH, about $1,500 including
argon gas connections), about the smallest portable TIG welder you
can get; bought a small torch (Weldcraft WP-50 torch, about $200)
that will hold very small electrodes (down to 0.5 mm).

General conculsions:

  1. VERY difficult to weld silver and/or gold with any accuracy, even
    at low amperages (10-20 amps)

  2. generally the pieces reached melting temperatures so fast, even
    at low amperage, that the pieces were destroyed

I should mention that I have been TIG welding bronze sculpture for
years, and consider myself an experienced TIG welder. I am still
playing with this jewelry-sized setup, but am no way near a point
where I can be confident that the metal pieces will not be damaged,
or completely blown away! I will post again on Orchid if I start to
make any headway - but looks doubtful at this point.

Any input from others trying the TIG welding route would be most
welcome.

Does anyone know an email address for Kevin Lindsay (who presented
papers on TIG welding jewelry at the Santa Fe Symposium)?

Jon Steel
http://www.dragonflybridge.com/Jewelry


#8

Hi Jon,

The Goldsmiths company did a technical report on TIG welding for
jewellers, see below

It is on CD for 10 UKP

It was mostly aimed at cutlery sized pieces and small sculptural
sizes and contains some good solutions to problems. It was not
relevant to ring sized objects though.

regards Tim.


#9
generally the pieces reached melting temperatures so fast, even at
low amperage, that the pieces were destroyed 

Do you have pulse parameter controls on your welder? Kevin’s
presentations and my experiments lead me to believe that it is
essential to have the ability to control your welding current with
pulse width and frequency adjustments to keep from melting the whole
piece. Also a spot weld (single pulse) mode is quite helpful. Kevin’s
first presentation at SFS 2006 showed ring shank repairs, re-
tipping, channel rebuilding and various fabricating jobs done with
TIG welding in gold and platinum. I have been playing with silver
and believe that it can be successfully worked this way as well but
is a little trickier due to its high thermal and electrical
conductivity.

Does anyone know an email address for Kevin Lindsay (who presented
papers on TIG welding jewelry at the Santa Fe Symposium)? 

I will contact him and see if he has email and is willing to become
a part of this conversation.

James Binnion
@James_Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


360-756-6550


#10

I too have been curious about electric welding of various metals. A
very fine community college instructor and a member of the Colorado
Metalsmithing Association group (CoMA) arranged an introduction to
welding at the occupational education center in Denver. They were
the only folks around teaching certified welding and had a wide
variety of tools. At one point I observed a student TIG welding a cut
in the side of an aluminum soda can. As you know, this is almost foil
thin. If he could do that with aluminum, I assume that it is doable
with gold and silver.

As an aside, CoMA is having it’s usual fantastic 3 day symposium in
Salida, CO on July 13 - 15, see

http://www.coloradometalsmiths.org/events.html.

Marlin


#11

Hi all, I am going to jump in for a second because we are
introducing a new welder at SNAG. I have been welding titanium with
success all this week (Niobium too!). Sterling is harder but it
appears I will get it worked out. We will still be learning during
SNAG. Similar to a PUK but enclosed, more power, better shielding,
ect., etc… just to let you know it will be there for the curious.

Bill

Bill, Deborah & Michele
Reactive Metals Studio, Inc
928-634-3434, 800-876-3434, 928-634-6734fx


#12
Now if your really serious about getting a TIG welder that will do
more than just jewelry but stay on the small scale, check these
guys out. http://www.pro-fusiononline.com/products/dualarc80.htm
ultra low amp (0.01A), talk about hella cool, I want one but Im
sure they are a pretty penny. 

Update: If $14,700 is in your price range, this is the unit for you
:wink:

P@
www.patpruitt.com


#13

Hello Tim,

The Goldsmiths company did a technical report on TIG welding for
jewellers.... 

Thanks for this I just received the copy of this paper
and it is very informative. I would suggest that anyone interested
in TIG on jewelry get this as it covers a lot of the basics.

Jim

James Binnion
@James_Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


360-756-6550