The latest in affordable welding technology for jewellers comes to the Quarter this July when Sutton Tools holds a series of events to demonstrate the new PUK3s precision welder. For those who have yet to see this amazing piece of equipment, the PUK3s creates a precision TIG weld as small as 0.1mm using a fine tungsten electrode. The handpiece and electrode can be handheld or, if preferred, mounted under a 10x microscope leaving both hands free to position components and bring them to the electrode in a similar fashion to laser welding. Touching the workpiece with the electrode triggers the arc weld, so no other control is required and the weld is formed by instantly melting the two surfaces together rather than introducing a solder joint between them. A gentle stream of inert argon gas from the handpiece protects the welding area from oxidation removing the need for flux.
Welds are formed instantaneously and heat is highly localised and rapidly dissipated, allowing components to be handheld and welds to be safely made next to heat sensitive materials such as pearls and opals – making the PUK3s the perfect tool for retipping claws without removing stones.
Using gold, silver, platinum, titanium or stainless steel welding wire to add metal allows you to easily repair porosity, fractures and worn components. Delicate repairs and ring sizing can be completed quickly and easily with the 10x mezzo stereo microscope which incorporates an automatic darkening filter which momentarily protects the user’s eyes when the arc is triggered. Larger joining operations which may still require soldering can be made easier by first tacking the components together with the welder.
The new PUK3s now allows the user increased scope to fine tune the welding arc to tackle materials which were previously considered difficult to weld. The new high frequency pulse welding mode ‘HF Pulse’ is designed for welding silver alloys with high heat conductivity and low melting points. The ‘Gap’ mode makes use of high frequency pulse welding to reduce the diameter of the welding arc but greatly increase the arc force so that, faced with tight angles or recesses, welds can be stronger. In the PUK3s the normal standard welding mode and micro mode display softer and gentler welding performance with smoother welds and longer life electrodes. The programmable memory has also been improved with the provision of up to five factory presets to assist working with silver, adding metal with welding wire and smoothing of surfaces. In addition there are five other memories which the operator can use to save specific settings, which can be named and modified at will. The optional foot switch allows the user to trigger the welds with the foot, a technique which will be familiar for those who have experience of laser welders.
The unit, which is robust, compact and light (3.7 kg), takes up very little workshop space and can carry out a high proportion of the tasks normally reserved for expensive laser welders at a fraction of the cost, normally repaying the modest investment in just a few months. Sutton Tools are the sole UK agents for the PUK3s precision welder which is highly engineered in Germany by Lampert and comes with a three year manufacturer’s guarantee and full local support from Sutton Tools.
Every jeweller should have one of these machines and on 5 July 2010 Sutton Tools are presenting a one day training course at the School of Jewellery. The cost of the training course is £95 which is refunded against the purchase of a PUK 3S unit. On 7 July there will be a special launch celebration with hands on demonstrations of the PUK3s at the Sutton Tools showroom opposite the School in Vittoria Street.
To receive more information, to book a place on the training course or to have a personal demonstration of the PUK3s, contact the Suttons Sales Team on 0845 094 1884.