This video will talk about what you need to know about the maintenance and shape of the Electrode, in the Orion Micro Welder. The electrode is the needle which conducts the electricity in arc pulse welding. It is encased in the Stylus.
With use, the electrode gets gunky (sooty) due to the accumulation of fire scale/oxidation. You need to clean it to reduce the amount of spark, smoke and oxidation (particularly annoying if you are welding permanent bracelets because you cannot remove the piece to put into a pickle to remove fire scale. You can remove the grime by simply wiping it off or using something abrasive to help remove any hardened build up.
Over time, the electrode on the micro welder will erode and also become dull. You can sharpen it by using a sanding disc and dremel. If you do not have one, sandpaper can do the trick, but it will require a bit more elbow grease.
The shape of the electrode has a strong effect on the power of the weld. The sharper it comes to a point, the more concentrated the power. In the video, I demonstrate that with a new electrode (needle sharp), you can weld a 22 ga 5mm sterling silver jump ring at 5W power with ease, whereas it required a couple more tries with a dulled electrode at 7.5W.
Different metals also require different amounts of power. If you are finding your dulled electrode not welding securely/effectively, you may wish to increase the power or sharpen the electrode. If you are finding your sharp electrode to be too powerful (melting or blowing up your metal), then you can reduce the power or switch to a duller electrode on the micro welder.