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[Workshop] [MA] Pulse Arc Welding for Jewelers

For example all basketball players use the same equipment but there
is only one Micheal Jordon and he revolutionized the game of

Yeah, but Micheal Jordon didn’t have to totally teach himself. He
had other players and coaches to work with. Sitting in my shop in the
evening (after business hours, so can’t just call Orion or Rio), I’m
kinda on my own. This is not an obvious machine or technology to work
with. How about you write a good book on this thing, Terry? I’ll buy
it. (The u-tube videos help a little, but most are too blurred or out
of focus to really show you what’s going on, and as often as not,
cover a different model of machine, which may have different
settings… (I’ve got the Orion 150s).

Peter Rowe

Terry, please don’t call me at home. Anything that you need to say
can be said on the forum. If you somehow feel personally attacked,
then go ahead and state your case. As I did in my posts.

Take care.

Hello everyone,

Anyone who purchases a PUK can receive free training from the North
American supplier in Chicago. I don’t believe this is publicized
anywhere. Contact Lampert Tools USA for details:

Lampert Tools USA
Robert Sepiashvili
67 East Madison #512
Chicago, IL 60603
866/4PU-K111 (866/478-5111)

Jeff Herman

Like I have said there will be a class or Orion at Stuller workshop
Tony and Jason from Orion will be there as well other industry


Ruthie is correct. at the time we were not ready to do a workshop
class on the Orion It was not ignored. As a matter of fact we have a
class the last workshop and one this workshop. With units for you to
try and Tony and Jason from orion willbe here to teach the class. We
are much better to handle request about Orion and have information
about the unit.come to the Sept 26-28 and see…

Andy “The Tool Guy” Kroungold

At Artisans Asylum in Somerville, MA, we have both welders for
anyone to experiment and people to assist. Beyond jewelry, this
great machine is in the hands of sculptors and robotics.come by and
visit. Doors are open 24/7. We have a lot of makers and a big space.

Karen Christians

Peter, have no fear on getting welding info after hours on the Orion.
We have set up an Orion Pulse Arc Welder Users group on Facebook. If
you join the group, you can always message to get help. Maybe not at
2 am but definitely during the evening is fine. David has worked with
an earlier PUK and now the Orion for the past 3 years. If you prefer
more one on one, feel free to contact us offline and I will give you
David’s phone number.

Ruthie Cohen

based on your experience with this new technology and your last
post it is obvious you are not at our level in using the Pulse
ArcWelder. In the sports field revolutions come from individuals
and new equipment, well, we are at that level in the jewelry
industry. Why? Because we believe in it, use it everyday, and paid
our dues to learn it. All the things you said you couldn't do,
well, we do this everyday. You are more than welcome to come and
watch us do it.

There is a universal issue folks are having with brittle seams. You
have obviously conquered this issue. What are you doing differently?
I was repairing the shank of a lapis inlay ring today with an Orion
150i. Sterling silver, 18Guage, a V channel at the seam which was
filled from the front and back using 18ws energy, Sustained
Agitation, 8ms length. Polished it down and everything looked good.
Went to hammer it round on a mandrel with a metal hammer and both
seams fractured. I was pretty glad the ring was out of round because
if I delivered a ring that “looked good” and it split with the first
good wack it took from every day use I would have been about as
happy as the customer.

This is a mighty savvy group of folks here and many of us are
committed to the technology and use it every day. I would LOVE to see
you do it. Have you ever thought of making a video and uploading it
to the forum? A picture is worth a thousand words. Needless to say
with a new technology we are starved for Obviously you
have set the benchmark. Show us how it’s done. Take us to the next

Just a note for anyone interested in the challenge Andrew initiated
to see if the Fusion and Pulse Arc Welding is as good I say with
actual video proof.

I must report I am very excited to showcase this technology and
would like your input on the best way so everyone can see what is
taking place. When I do these videos I will try to provide
instruction so people can not only watch but they may be able to
learn new techniques and use it as a training guide and Andrew can
showcase his skill and talents to complete a similar task using his
methodology - the torch. Since we at my store are consideredmore a
"repair Jeweler" and not an Artisan our tasks will gravitate
aroundwhat a jeweler does everyday and what makes us money, however,
for the Artisan Group I will do the art stuff too, such as
fabrication and one off design stuff. I really would like an expert
in PUK to join the challengeto see what and how they do their stuff.
Now I need input from you interested persons on the best delivery
system for the videos, example, youtube, Bench Tube, or any other
digital media we can use, how do you want this. Also, I would like
to see if Stuller(Andy) and Rio get involved in some way. I would
like to see if Orion and Puk have any ideas or suggestions to
showcase their technology. If you have any ideas or suggestion
please let me know and also what tasks you would like. I would like
to insurethat this challenge is transparent and is positive for the
Jewelry Industry.

Thank you!

Terry R. Reichert
Pro Ice Jewelers

1 Like

Hi Peter,

Maybe I just need to keep practicing or something. But until these
"Orion" threads got going on Orchid, I had little to go on other
than the little manual that comes with it, which I found not always
so helpful in trying to figure out what I might be doing wrong... 

Lampert (PUK) does technical newsletters on an every-so-often basis.
Couple of pages on topic X. Turns up in my email periodically.
They’recalled the “workshop news” I found a link to subscribe to
them, but I swear there’s a download available somewhere too. Can be
quite helpful.

Subscription link:

The guts of the two machines are not vastly different, so what works
for a PUK should work with the Orion if you can translate between
what the two companies called each function. At least it’ll give you
a place to start.


Hi Terry, I am excited to see this happen. I’ve been in the
market for a Puk or Orion. But, I lean toward the pulse arc
welder–$$$ and the fact that I have access to a laser here in our
building for reasonable fee. Keep us posted.

Take care, Jo-Ann Maggiora Donivan in SF CA

There is a universal issue folks are having with brittle seams. 

No matter how you try you cannot get away from some underlying
physical issues of electric or laser welding. It makes a drastic
change in the crystal microstructure of the metal. You end up with
three different zones in a weld microstructure, 1 the weld itself, 2
the Heat Affected Zone or HAZ, 3 the base metal of the welded
object. The different crystal structure of each area is a problem in
that the place where each zone meets the next is an area that will
be weaker than the areas on either side. There will be some stress
already in the weld zone from the shrinkage of the molten metal
pulling on the HAZ. When the interfaces between the 3 zones are put
under strain by hammer or twisting etc they do not smoothly pass the
stress through the material and there can be enough stress build up
at the interface that it fractures this is why welds are “brittle”.
In larger industrial welds they often heat treat the weld to relive
the stress built up in the weldment. If you can heat the work up you
can do the same thing with jewelry. But often we use these tools to
avoid heating the whole item, kind of a catch 22. Preheating an area
to be welded also is effective in reducing stress in the weld area.
Even a few hundred degrees can make a large difference in some
materials. So if you are having problems with a weld heating to 300F
or 400F can make the difference.

James Binnion

Nice to here positive comments about The Fusion/Torch Challenge to
help clarify how everything works. With that thought in mind I would
like to invite an expert laser welder into the mix to showcase their
skills. Let me know who is interested and what Lase Company will
accept the challenge.


Thanks to all the orchid folks who elucidated the pros and cons of
pulse arc welding; but more primarily the fact that as with any new
tool in the industry, there is a learning curve and some time for it
to really take off and be incorporated into everyday tasks. The
reason Metalwerx wrote the blogand has put together this workshop is
to address the need for more exposure and formal training with this
technology. There are still some spaces available for anyone
interested. We are also very excited to be able to have one in our
studio soon!

Lindsay Minihan

Hi Brian and Orchid Gang,

I have been watching the pulse arc postings and felt the need to
respond. Rio Grande has always given free in house training on
equipment we sell including Orion and PUK.

I usually give an hour or more as needed of instruction to ensure a
customer will be successful experimenting and is off to a great
start. I always tell customers to bring a bag of their items to be
tested to see what makes sense for them. The training I do for arc
welding is basic ground school on the technology then I will do some
welds, then the customer will get to test different welders and we
will work on settings for their projects.

Most customers stop by if they are driving through and we get a lot
of tri-state customers who make the trek to Albuquerque.

If you are out of state and have to fly here Rio Grande will pay for
one night in a hotel for you-just mention that Sessin said so-hope I
don’t get intoo much trouble ;-)…as a bonus I will give you a
behind the scenes tour of Rio Grande. Then the training session,.
Call and ask for me to set upa training session.

Albuquerque is beautiful and so is the train to Santa Fe


Preheating an area to be welded also is effective in reducing
stress in the weld area. Even a few hundred degrees can make a
large difference in some materials. So if you are having problems
with a weld heating to 300F or 400F can make the difference.

Thank you Jim. I was thinking I needed to widen my weld. I do have a
setting on my unit that will pre-heat the weld area. I will try that
and give it the hammer test and see if it heated the metal enough to
make a difference. I will report back in a few days.

For some really detailed pictures of the crystal structure of welds
both laser and TIG, post heat treated and cold worked metal download
this paper given at the 2006 Santa Fe Symposium by my recently
departed friend Paolo Battaini. You will be able to clearly see the
radical difference in crystal structure between the weld zone and
the bulk metal. It doesn’t matter if you use continuous TIG welding
or pulse arc or laser in pulse or continuous mode you will have
these structures to deal with. There is also a micrograph of a
brazed joint so you can see how little the crystal structure is
affected y soldering.

You can download this paper along with any of the other SFS papers
for free.

James Binnion

I think this is a good idea, with the major goal being educational
and l. I am interested in a real look at and assessment
of the technologies.

What I am NOT interested in is grandstanding or entering into some
sort of contest about “manliness”–Terry, I think that you know what
I am talking about.

As I said in my longer post about pulse arc welders I have my share
of bench experience but do not routinely perform the tasks associated
with traditional trade shops such as prong re-tipping or channel

I bought the Orion to expand design possibilities rather than
replace technologies. With that in mind any sort of examination
should include tasks that I mentioned in my posts. These would

-attaching posts cleanly and strongly
-making long WORKABLE seams such as in tubes or spiculums.
-creating welds on shanks and bands that are workable and durable.
-filling pits and defects without porosity.

Jim, thanks for your input, it was well stated, I think, reminding
us to focus on the physics of the technology rather than simply the
skill of the operator. The idea of annealing or heating the welds has
occurred to me.

Yes, it can’t help in many of the situations that the Orion, PUK or
laser welder is purchased for (stone set jewelry, etc.) but when
fabricating a seamless band (no solder seam) I think it could help. I
have often thought about the stresses put on the adjacent metal by
welding. I think about the “welds” that were performed in my eyes
with similar concern.

Terry I would ask that we keep things civil which would include no
personal phone calls or voice messages. Lastly, I would prefer being
called Andy, which is what I use in my posts.


Thanks Sessin. In the interest of full disclosure, Sessin was the
salesperson at RIO that I bought my Orion through.

Any technical questions I have posed directly to Sunstone, the Orion
folks, who have been very responsive and helpful even offering to
come to my studio here in Seattle. We are also trying to set a date
for a public workshop here in Seattle at a location I will share once
the date is set.

As I have said here before, my main concern in the year and one half
that I have owned the machine is my argon usage. Sunstone has sent me
several regulators to try out. They don’t really seem to really help,
although I have to look more closely at the usage with the most
recent in-line one. I have nothing to compare it to accept my
colleagues who own PUKs and use them for similar tasks. They say that
they don’t have the argon problem. (I was urged before I purchased a
machine to consider how important that usage is and to consider that
when deciding between companies. I didn’t really understand that at
the time.) Some Orion users have found regulators elsewhere,
including PUK and say that this helps a lot.

I know that the Orion folks at Sunstone are watching this
forum–which is great. I would say to them, thanks for listening and
being so helpful and here are a few thoughts that you might consider.

-more thorough and clear documentation both online and with the

-a “what’s in the box” fold out sheet for those who buy a machine
but to whom it may not be obvious how it all goes together.

-the above should be specific to the model of the machine purchased.

-a clear tutorial–virtual or printed-- on the technology itself.
What happens and why. Why agitation makes sense. Slope, etc. too.

-special focus on sterling.

-tutorials that might apply more to non-traditional jewelry uses,
including building up metal.

-make the adjustment on the stylus a little more elegant rather than
simple nuts.

I bought the Orion because I liked how it felt. At the SNAG
conference I was able to try both the PUK 4 and the Orion 150s, which
is what I bought. It just seemed more in tune with my body. Also, the
staff at Rio were much more interested in my experience of the
machine, my questions, etc. than did the people at the booth who had
the PUK. I asked a lot of questions because $5000 (approx.) is a lot
of money to consign to a technology that I was unsure of.


Brittle seams;

There is a feature on the 150 series machines by Orion called
agitation. Agitation is a feature that holds the molten weld puddle
for a few milliseconds longer than the traditional Pulse arc welders
or TIG welders. This slows the cool of the weld puddle and you will
see less dendritic crystal structure at the Heat affected zone.
Smoother denser welds in English :wink:

If you add to that a pre-heat as James Binnion suggests, you get
even smoother less brittle welds. Pre-heating needs only be 150 to
200F or the temperature of a hot cup of coffee.

This may reduce the time and energy it takes to get to the weld
temperature by 10% leaving very good looking less porous welds.