Another upgraded machine! The New ALS-100 has an improved optics system. You'll find that with this machine you'll have more room for workpieces within the chamber. A now removable safety housing makes this machine perfect for your industrial welding needs!
We are beyond excited to announce the new EVO Series / BE Model for 2015! This new desktop laser welder is an upgrade to the classic EVO Series you all know and love. The 2015 model has a larger entry and chamber giving the user the ability to weld even bigger pieces with a desktop.
Interchangeable pieces for the new beam delivery system allow for a laser welder that is now customizable. With a quick change of a few pieces you're on your way to an even larger chamber!
Visit us online for more information or call us today for pricing - (401) 781-4810
Welding is the fusing of metals using light as the energy source. Laser
is the acronym meaning Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of
Radiation. We are using a machine that creates a beam of light (1064 nm
wavelength) to weld and fuse metals together, almost instantaneously!
Why may I want or need a Laser Welder?
Welders allow the user to assemble or repair jewelry (or any metal
items) very quickly, and very efficiently. The laser beam is very small
(.2mm minimum diameter) and the heat zone is very minute. This allows
you to apply heat in areas you normally wouldnt with a torch, such as
near gemstones, springs, enamels, antiques, eyeglasses, etc. The weld is
three times stronger then solder, and there is no fire scale, boraxing,
pickling etc. Preparation work is minimal and clean up is with a rubber
wheel and an ultrasonic. Most jewelers are telling us that they are at
least 50% or more productive with a laser welder.
Should I get rid of my torch if I get a laser?
laser is to be added to your tools to give you greater capability. It
was not designed to replace your torch. There are many times when the
laser can be used in conjunction with the torch. Such as, positioning a
peg setting with the laser and then soldering it in place so that the
solder runs up and around the peg and gives that nice round and smooth
How hard is it to use a laser? What is the learning curve?
The laser is
very user friendly and the learning curve is relatively quick. Someone
can be welding in a matter of minutes but to become efficient takes a
few weeks with an hour or so of practice each day. This may vary
depending on the user and the complexity of the applications being
How is the energy of a laser measured?
The energy is
measured in units called joules. A joule is how many watts of power is
being put out for how long of a duration (voltage and milliseconds). It
takes anywhere from 4 to 8 joules to weld platinum. It takes upward of
30+ joules to work with silver.
Can you laser weld titanium?
you can laser weld titanium but you have to use Argon as a shielding
gas to prevent oxidation. If you have any oxidation when you weld
titanium the weld will look good but it will be brittle. It is also
important to know that there are many grades of titanium and you will
find that some work better then others. When repairing eyeglasses made
from titanium you may find that you will need to introduce a bonding
material. We use hard silver solder or white gold.
Why does white gold get cracking around the weld or simply not hold together?
with white gold you have to use low power settings or you can cook or
crystallize the metal. You need to use low voltage and low milliseconds.
A small amount of "black" around the weld is acceptable but having a
lot of "black" and looking like Lava rock, means that you have too much
power. Argon shielding gas can not help with welding white gold. It can
only hide the fact that you have too much power.
Why does some gold require different settings than others?
on the alloys used to make the gold. Red gold or rose gold uses a lot of
copper and copper is very conductive so it requires higher power and
time settings. Green gold uses a lot of silver and silver is also highly
conductive and reflective.
What about welding silver?
one of the most difficult metals to weld because it is highly conductive
and reflective. Some tricks for working with silver is to use a blue or
black permanent marker to mask the area where you are welding to help
cut down on the reflectivity And absorb more of the light rays (think of
wearing a black tee shirt out on a sunny day).It is also useful to use
Hard silver solder wire as a bonding agent when working with silver. If
you cant use solder then try to use a very fine diameter silver wire (30
gauge or smaller).The smaller the diameter the less energy needed to
fuse it to the parent metal.
Can you laser weld stainless steel?
Stainless steel welds very easily and with low power settings. Sometimes
it is a good idea to use argon shielding gas to prevent oxidation and
impurities in the weld that make it brittle.
Can you size rings using a laser welder?
Yes! Sizing a
ring can easily be done on a welder although it must be done properly
with sufficient penetration into the shank. Sizing with a welder can
take more time than with a torch, but the sizing will be stronger. With
no discoloration due to the solder(especially with platinum), and you
dont have to worry about high heat destroying other components on the
ring such as gemstones.
I see "Laser Radiation" stickers on the machine. Is this radiation dangerous?
radiation is not dangerous in the sense of toxic or electromagnetic
radiation such as x-rays and gamma rays. It can be harmful to your eyes
if directly exposed to the light rays. These lasers welders are
technically Class IV Lasers because your hands are exposed to the light
rays and can possibly be burned. Your eyes are protected in many ways.
There is an LCD safety shutter that blocks the light rays on each pulse
(this is the blinking you see on the screen when the machine is firing).
There are also protective coatings on all optics and glass in the
optics path that will not allow the dangerous wave lengths to reach your
Keeping your laser welder clean is so important. A clean laser welder will run smoother and have less issues down the road. Not to mention, a dirty machine can shorten its "life expectancy".
Follow these simple steps to maintain your laser welder. We suggest marking the cleanings on a calender so you don't forget the last time you checked these areas.
Every Two Weeks:
Clean lens protector - 91% isopropyl alcohol
Check water level in rear. If you need to add water, remove the small metal plate in rear, pull out, remove both red caps and adddistilled water only.
Check if the air filter in the chamber needs replacing (probably not) - This step is simply a visual inspection.
Every Six Months:
Change the water - remember distilled only
There are 2 hoses in the rear and 1 drain hose in the bottom
Clean the charcoal filter on the bottom and vacuum out screens. Use a compressor to blow out the charcoal filter - do not use water!
The laser beam is very small, 0.2mm minimum diameter,
and the heat zone is very minute resulting in localized energy input
even in very fine structures. This allows you to apply heat in areas you
normally wouldn't with a torch, such as near gemstones, springs,
enamels, antiques, eyeglasses, etc.
With a flash of light, Mike Calcote of Hallmark Jewelers in Lafayette,
Louisiana, repairs tennis bracelet links without removing the stones or
running the risk of solder flowing into the hinge and destroying its
Matossian, owner of Bostonian Jewelers and Manufacturers Inc., formerly
Hagop Settings, in Boston, repairs an antique enameled pin without
damaging the enamel or leaving visible signs of the restoration work.
Robert Aletto, owner of jewelry manufacturer Aletto & Co. in Boca
Raton, Florida, attaches earring clips in one step instead of the two
necessary when soldering, making his line of 14k and 18k gold jewelry
one tool that allows each of these jewelers to do their jobs better is a
laser welder, a technological advancement that is becoming increasingly
common in trade shops and manufacturing facilities. By using a sharply
focused beam of light to produce very high heat in a small area, lasers
are allowing jewelers to routinely accomplish tasks that would once have
been either impossible or too time consuming to be worthwhile.
like performing microscopic surgery on jewelry," says Matossian. "We
can work very close to heat-sensitive stones without damaging them.
Because you're working under a microscope and because you're able to
adjust the laser beam from two-tenths of a millimeter up to two
millimeters in diameter, you can keep complete control of where you're
firing the laser. We can work as close as half a millimeter away from
this ability, repairs that once required multiple steps-disassembling a
piece, unsetting the stones, completing the repair, then re-setting the
stones-can now be completed in a single step. For example, says
Calcote, emerald cluster rings can be repaired in about five minutes, as
opposed to the hours it can take to remove and re-set the stones.
time savings translates into higher productivity and a more profitable
workshop. "It saves money when I don't have to pull stones. I don't have
to worry about breaking stones, and I don't risk frying stones," says
Richard Thurber, president of Artisans Designs in Portland, Oregon.
"[Torch repairs] have a lot of steps to them, but with the laser you can
just weld it all, and it goes a lot quicker."
laser's concentrated heat also facilitates delicate repairs without
risking further damage to fragile antique jewelry. "You can repair
missing bridgework in antique filigree pieces without solder," says
Calcote. "With a torch, you just can't do a nice job [with this type of
valuable antique jewelry, that ability can make a tremendous difference
in the piece's value. "Once you remove the stones from a piece of
jewelry, you're totally ruining the integrity of that piece," says
Matossian. "No matter how good you are, you're never going to get it
back together as it was before you started. With the laser welder,
you're keeping the integrity of the piece by not removing heat-sensitive
stones, and you're able to keep the patina, the look that an old piece
of jewelry has. That patina tells a story, and when you're trying to
repair or restore that piece with a conventional torch, you lose it. The
piece of jewelry gets oxidized, the colors change, [and] you need to
polish the piece. So now a piece that's 200 years old looks like a new
only can lasers help maintain the look of antique jewelry in need of
repair, but also that of newer designs. Chuck Leigh owner of Leigh's
Jewelry in Montgomery, Alabama, finds that the laser is ideal for
repairing mesh bracelets. "You'll have wire poking up, and with the
laser you just poke it back and zap it quickly," he says. "You don't
lose the intricacy of the design, which you would if you had solder
flowing through [the mesh]." But it's not just in jewelry repair that
lasers are proving invaluable. Jewelers are discovering that laser
welders can save time and money in jewelry manufacture.
the accuracy of the laser, we can do very complicated pieces and
diamond intensive pieces, and be able to assemble them after the
diamonds are set," says Jonathan Suna of Suna Brothers in New York City.
"You're also able to polish the pieces properly [as individual
components] before assembly, which creates a better finished item. You
can [assemble] with a torch, but we find it's very quick and very easy
[with the laser]."
addition to aiding in assembly, laser welders can also repair defects.
Aletto has found that one of the best advantages of the laser welder is
its ability to remove all traces of porosity. "I've got some of the best
equipment you can get, and I follow proper [casting] procedures, but no
matter how hard you try, sometimes you get some sort of porosity," he
says. "If the porosity holes come out later [in the fabrication
process], and you need to repair a piece with stones like ametrine or
citrine, you're going to have to cover the stone or take it out of the
setting, subjecting it to the possibility of breaking. With the laser,
in milliseconds you can fuse the hole and you're done."
jewelry designer Steven Kretchmer of Palenville, New York, the laser
welder helps to quickly and easily repair minor defects in his patented
tension-set rings. "If I have to weld with a plasma arc welder to repair
a defect in a heat-treated ring, I have to completely re-heat-treat the
ring through multiple heat treatments, re-finish it, re-set the stone,
and then who knows-maybe I'd come across another defect," says
Kretchmer. Because the laser welder heats only the target area, it can
make the same repair without undoing the effects of the heat treatment
the ring has already undergone.
addition, using the laser welder saves Kretchmer time. "With the laser
welder, that ring will go out the same day instead of two days later,"
owners are continuously discovering new uses for their welders that
save them time, money, and toil. Here are just some of the specific ways
jewelers have put their laser welders to use:
Jewelers have long re-tipped gold prongs near diamonds without removing
the diamonds from their settings. This technique can be chancy with
platinum prongs and impossible with heat sensitive stones such as
emerald and opal. The laser's concentrated heat, however, makes it
possible to use this technique with almost any setting.
a fine line between where platinum melts and the maximum temperature a
diamond can take," says Matossian. "With a torch, you can easily go over
that line just enough to frost up that diamond. [With a torch], the
only way to build up was to melt solder to build up the prong, or to add
a piece of platinum using lower temperature solder to bond the joints.
With the laser welder, I can actually melt [platinum] right onto that
prong and create prongs that look just like the day the ring was made,
even though it might be 80 or 100 years old."
Repairing costume jewelry.
Leigh notes that with his laser, he can repair CZ-mounted vermeil
bracelets-a task he would never have undertaken before because of the
amount of time involved. "With a torch repair, you'd have to re-set the
stones," he says. "But with the laser, you can do it with the stones in
place because it doesn't transfer enough heat to the metal to damage the
used to discourage people with sterling silver and CZ pieces that broke
from doing [repair] work. By the time you unset the stones,
re-polished, [and] re-plated, it got to be expensive. With the laser,
you can easily do the repair, you don't end up having to re-plate the
piece, and you don't have to unset and re-set the stones-and it gives
you a neat and clean repair."
too, has found the laser to be an indispensable repair tool, adding
that he hasn't come across a piece of jewelry that he can't repair with a
laser welder. He's even used the laser to flow lead solder into a
costume jewelry piece by turning the power of the beam down and using
the widest beam available. That ability has enabled him to repair
costume pieces with glass stones that a torch would overheat and
Repairing stainless steel.
"One thing we just couldn't do well before [laser welders] is [repair]
watches with deployment buckles, where the rivet holding the strap piece
on has come off. Most are stainless steel, and stainless steel is
difficult at best to solder," says Leigh. "Now we can put the rivet back
in and just use the laser to tack rivet on both sides."
has found that he can repair stainless steel watch bands that once
would have needed to be replaced. "In the past, when we had links that
separated, we had to call the manufacturer and order a whole new
bracelet," says Matossian. "Now we're able to weld components like that
Creating made-to-order pieces.
For Kretchmer, the laser is the key tool that permits him to
cost-effectively make pieces to order. "I make pieces that could be
either a pendant or a brooch, and I show them at shows without the
findings on them," he says. "Then I ask [the customer], 'Do you want a
pendant or a brooch?' And I can go home and weld on the findings without
affecting the finish, leaving the stones in place."
Tacking components before assembly.
Even when traditional soldering is the best way to join two pieces-when
you have a complex piece that requires deep welds, for instance-laser
welders can make the task significantly easier. "We've all dreamed of
being able to hold something in your hand while you solder it instead of
having to use binding wire or jigs or tweezers," says Kretchmer. "The
laser allows you to tack things in place before you bring [the piece]
back to the charcoal block and flow solder, so it reduces the need for
binding wire and jigs."
example, says Leigh, the laser makes it much easier to assemble rings
with multiple heads. "These are hard to assemble because there are a
number of closely associated solder joints, and if you solder the piece,
sometimes the solder slips," says Leigh. "The laser is nice because you
can hold the pieces [in your hand], line up [the heads], and then tack
"If a prong breaks when you're setting a stone, it's not a problem-you
can just zap it with the laser," says Calcote. He also relies on the
laser to rebuild castings that have not completely filled, using it to
add metal wherever the fill was incomplete. "Before you'd have to just
start over, right down to carving the wax," Calcote observes. "This
allows us to save pieces that just weren't feasible to save before."
"It's almost like using a wax pen," says Calcote. "You can melt the
metal and move it around, building up just like you would with a wax
pen." One piece that Calcote has used this method on is a cluster ring
on which half of one of the heads was missing. "With the torch it would
have been almost impossible because the spaces would have been filled
with solder," he says. With the laser, however, he was able to rebuild
the head-without unsetting the stones-out of matching metal.
Removing broken drill bits.
"Sometimes you'll break the drill off in the piece, and it's hard to
get the drill out without a major problem," says Leigh. He simply turns
the beam width of his laser down, turns the power up, and vaporizes any
remaining pieces of carbide drill bit in the piece.
Breaking out small diamonds. "Contrary
to popular belief, lasers will damage diamonds," observes Kretchmer,
who takes advantage of the laser's ability to shatter diamond to remove
tiny stones from deep flush settings. "We just blow them up with the
laser beam. I hate destroying little diamonds, but it saves the metal
work, and then I can do what I have to do and put in a new little
so many different uses, it's not surprising that laser welders have
become treasured tools in jewelry workshops. "We questioned whether we
would need [a laser welder], but it has far surpassed our expectations,"
says Calcote. "I'd have to say we wouldn't' want to have to be without
it [now]." Leigh agrees, noting that he hesitated initially about making
the investment. "When we started looking [at lasers], they sounded kind
of nifty…but I was apprehensive because of the cost. But once we had it
installed, we found it does great things."
prices starting around $25,000, lasers are still a major investment for
most shops. But those who have taken the plunge usually say it's been
worth every penny.
"It's right up there with canned beer and sliced bread," says Leigh. "I absolutely would not want to be without it."
appeared in MJSA Journal, the monthly magazine dedicated to
professional excellence in jewelry making and design. To learn more, click here.