Optimal Power Setting is one that gives a consistent and secure weld, while not over melting the metal. So for a jump ring, this would mean that it does not flat top or warped.
To determine the optimal setting for each type of metal and thickness, I welded the jump ring and the try to break it open. I note the lowest setting that I can successfully perform a secure weld, and then I repeat the same weld with a new jump ring, so that we are certain the weld can be consistently replicated.
Multiple Side Welds:
When the jump ring becomes too thick, welding on more than one side is needed. In that case, we have noted the number of welds we must make in order to prevent us from being able to break the weld with force.
Condition of Electrode:
The chart is based on our experiment with a brand new electrode. A rule of thumb is that sharper (or just sharpened) electrodes will emit stronger power, and duller electrodes will emit less power and will require the power setting to be adjusted upward slightly.
Novice or Shaky Hands:
It is worth noting that higher power will compensate a bit for imprecision by shaky or nervous hands. Therefore, for anyone starting out, increase the power setting when practicing. Then, as you get consistent secure welds, gradually decrease the power setting.
With and Without Argon Gas Comparative Notes:
After conducting our experiments, we discovered that when using argon gas with thinner gauge jump rings, the optimal power setting was slightly lower than with argon gas. However, for thicker jump rings, we observed no significant difference in the optimal power setting with or without argon gas for the same secure weld.
Need more guidance? Click here to view Sunstone Engineering’s Power Setting Recommendations.