I show you the points from my very first FaceTime micro welder lesson that I taught with the Orion Micro Welder mPulse.
There are a couple of things I feel worth sharing here because it never occurred to me that they could prevent people from welding successfully.
For clarification, it was not a full lesson. I don’t teach private lessons, I just like to share my knowledge. A lovely lady reached out and offered to pay me for my time to look at what she’s doing wrong. Although she knew how to operate the machine, the jump rings would break open with wear. The lesson was to be 15 minutes long for US$50. Altogether, it took less than 5 minutes for her to achieve repeated success . Afterwards I just showed her some funky things I was working on with the welder that she may consider trying. I saw right away what she was doing wrong, although she couldn’t see it herself. I guess this happens with everything in life, you just need someone outside looking in to spot it right away.
I slow it down and repeat a few times for you to see it. You might want to skip the repeat. At the end, I do a fun experiment. I crank it up too high to weld the jump ring – something you shouldn’t do and I explain why. The camera doesn’t capture the loud noise and jolt. It is thrilling in person and not recommended with others around. It is powerful stuff and I’ve welded large washers to thick steel.
Here are the points I covered:
1. She was not using proper pliers to offer good control. They don’t need to be fancy, but small chain nose pliers (short tip, flat) gives you the best control. Don’t use round nose pliers or needle nose – they are slippery even when you are gripping tightly. They give you a false sense that you are moving the jump ring into place, but you’re not.
2. In closing the jump ring, my student thought that it was ok that there was a sliver of a gap. She was pressing the sides of the ring together, but in fact, the jump ring flexes a little after you let go. You should instead, slide/pivot the rings, side to side until they are touching. Then get it to close by sliding (almost scraping) the ends of the ring together, tightly.
3. With thicker jump rings, she was not using enough power. Normally the lowest setting works, but a thicker ring, in combination with not connecting completely, will not result in a secure weld.
4. She was not testing that she can break the weld before, or if she did, she thought it was ok for the ring to snap open if you apply force. This isn’t true, if it is welded properly, it will not break apart, regardless of the amount of force you apply. I demonstrate this in the video.
5. Don’t automatically crank it to 22w. For jump rings, 10 is high enough for thicker rings. I usually use 5w to 7.5w for jump rings. It would be like swatting a fly with a sledgehammer, you will kill the fly and have terrible floors. Power too high and you will end up with a melted ring – warped at best, and possibly unrecognizable.