Pulse-Arc Welding: A Master's Touch
One of the key ways to save time at the bench, while increasing quality and driving up profits for your shop and service department, is to know how to perform precision track-, fusion-, and pulse-arc welding.
- Tip#1: It's important to note that the equipment settings for each differ and are based on the volume, as well as the amount of contact and alloy with which you are working. Therefore, it's recommended that you practice each welding process using like materials, in order to define the parameters for the setting required to perform a particular application.
- Tip#2:Always keep a comprehensive record of setting and tasks for future reference.
For this tutorial, we’ve selected to demonstrate pulse-arc welding. Let’s begin with the project scenario: A customer has selected a pair of earrings that will be assembled from findings in the, Findings Book, vol 74, as pictured below.
As you can see, these findings are cast with jump rings in alternating directions. This necessitates some cutting, which is the first step in our process.
- Steps 1 & 2: Cut three connecting jump rings at the top central position and saw the jump ring with a 8/0 saw blade.
- Step 3: Leave the metal flashing at the joints created by the saw. Using chain nose pliers, assemble the parts with welding tip #1 on the ABI Pulse Arc Welder.
Side Notes: This welder comes with five tips to fit the variety of welding applications commonly encountered by bench jewelers. With full time use, the electrode and the ceramic collar require a diamond wheel on a flex-shaft to reshape once a month.
- Step 4: Reassemble the welding pencil and place the ceramic collar over the electrode. For this application, recess the electrode about a half-millimeter below the surface of the collar. Tighten the assembly with an Allen wrench. Screw the reassembled welding tip back into the welding pencil.
- Step 5: With the alligator clip lead plugged into the negative terminal and the welding pencil attached to the positive terminal.
- Step 6: Weld the jump rings, keeping the pencil about 1 mm from the joint. The small flashing of metal provides enough excess to fill the joints.
Side Notes: For this task, the arc welder was set on medium energy at 35 volts. Three pulses of energy were used on each joint: one on top and one on each side. Because a torch was not used, excessive cleanup was not necessary.
When finished, the wires are smooth and completely joined.
By Mark Mann
[Adapted from "Master's Touch by Mark Mann]