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joeybcdt 09-13-2000 12:22 PM

Welding. Totally OT
All this talk of welding...I've decided to buy one of those Hobart Handlers.

Someone had mentioned welding bottle caps as if this were difficult. I thought that was kinda amusing. I mean no offense to anyone. Let me explain. You may find this interesting. I make teeth for a living. I own a dental lab. We routinely weld, spot weld, solder, and braze chromium, silver, gold, palladium and occasionally titanium. We're talking welding something 1 millimeter X 1.5 millimeter. Now, that's small! Laser welders hit the market a few years ago. At first they were about $60,000.00. They are now about $24,000.00. I'm still waiting to buy one until they are more feasible.

I can't wait to start welding big stuff that I can actually see without magnification.


ozarkjeep 09-13-2000 05:55 PM

Re: Welding. Totally OT
Ive mentioned welding beer cans togehter before, it might be really easy with a $24,000 machine,but its a little harder with a hand TIG.

I cant imagine it would be hard to stick bottle caps together, I CAN imagine it be a little harder to do without burning thru either cap, still relatively easy for me, probably a walk in the park with a $24K machine!

is the laser welder your referring to an "EB" welder? ( electron beam), Id like more info if its a different machine, Ive worked with teh EB welders at work, these are the machines that make the welds on tubing you buy, and angle iron, and all of hte structual steel thats seam welded together.

tell me more about the LASER WELDER


"Too small to be seen, and too big to control, and treated like a walking bomb."

joeybcdt 09-13-2000 06:31 PM

Re: Welding. Totally OT
I hope I don't let you down on this one. I've never actually used a laser welder and I know very little about them. Like I said, I don't own one yet. I can tell you this:

It looks a lot like a fancy sand blaster.

It does use some sort of laser "beam" to join two pieces of parent-metal. A piece of scrap parent-metal is placed over the joint and hit with the laser.

Supposedly, after very little training a technician can become very proficient. Every time I get a case that needs the laser, I send it to a fellow lab owner in New York. The welds I get back are beautiful. Usually, it's difficult to tell where the weld is.

All the welding we do here now is with a torch, furnace, spot welder, or electronic welder.

All the itty-bitty stuff, we either use a $140 torch or the $500 electronic welder. It don't take 24 grand to do everything. Thank God.

The biggest problems we have are with Titanium. It's a pain to cast or weld. We seldom mess with it. We NEVER cast it.


ozarkjeep 09-13-2000 06:50 PM

Re: Welding. Totally OT
that sounds very much like an electron beam welder, although we dont use parent metal in front?

we machine to parts so that they fit together with a snap ( a little lip) usually a 5 -15 thou snap.

then line up the electron gun, and penetrate it 100% ( shoots molten metal out of he back)

it goes thru, fuses both pcs together, ads no filler material, and does not under cut either side. it also must pass Flopuro penetrant inspect, and radigraphic inspect.

we do sometimes use a backer plate to just catch teh splatter on a penetration pass, we usually cover the ugly penetration pass with a cosmestic pass on teh ID and OD of everything the gun will fit in, it makes a darn near scaleless seam.

these are HUGE rooms, they fill a room, and the gun and parts to be shot are enclosed in a vacum chamber.

Ive never seen a smaller version, but our machines are fomr the 602 and 70s since these are BIg buck machines.

what is the brand name of the $25000 laser welder your referring to?


"Too small to be seen, and too big to control, and treated like a walking bomb."

**DONOTDELETE** 09-13-2000 07:09 PM

Re: Welding. Totally OT
I made a comment about welding bottle caps together that was intended to be funny, certainly NOT demeaning. I know it is harder to weld thin stuff.

In the metal shop club I belong to there is a watch maker or two. Occasionally one will bring something in for "show & tell" that is on a scale than needs the magnifying glass in order to see it. AMAZING stuff. One guy brought in a working steam engine that he had made himself. The entire thing was less than 1/4" at it's biggest point. Worked like a champ. Actually turned over 25,000 rpms.

Doug '97 TJ
Creator of the CBrack

joeybcdt 09-13-2000 07:13 PM

Re: Welding. Totally OT
These units are pretty small. Think sand blaster.

There are a few different ones:
LaserStar by Crafford Precision Products
Dentaurum sells one
The lab owner in NY has his own line of laser welders. I'm sure that when I buy one it'll be from him. Forget the name brand.

The dental lab industry is kinda funny. A lot of what we use is just an adaptation from a different industry. I'm sure these lasers were devolped for another industry first.

The really great thing about the laser welder is the ability to weld in very close proximity to other stuff that you don't want to burn up. It's a real pain in the a$$ when granny breaks her partial plate and we have to strip all the denture teeth and acrylic off to weld the frame back together (so we don't burn it all up).

I saw in your profile that you're in the aerospace industry. Do they ever let you drive the shuttle?


ozarkjeep 09-13-2000 07:38 PM

Re: Welding. Totally OT
drive the shuttle? shoot, they dont even let me drive my truck after league night! haha

Ill do some research about this machine your talking about, i sure it works on teh same principle, ive just never seen any in that price range.

these machines im talking about go for $200,000 now, and they are 40 years old, it requires tens of thousands of dollars to transport and setup.

I have a new quest, if I can find some bottel caps, they will be welded together nice and pretty at work tomorow if I can sneak the time!

i rarely splurge for bottles, can i use aluminum wide mouth pull tabs?

hehe :+)


"Too small to be seen, and too big to control, and treated like a walking bomb."

joeybcdt 09-14-2000 08:32 AM

Re: Welding. Totally OT

Your bottle cap comment was funny. It was not demeaning. It just made me think of something else.

I forgot about the watch guys. I'd go blind in their job.


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