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SICK OF BAD CONNECTIONS? SEE THE SPUT WELDER - NOW AVAILABLE

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  • SICK OF BAD CONNECTIONS? SEE THE SPUT WELDER - NOW AVAILABLE

    For all of you folks who have had problems with connections, you really need to see this new device!

    Imagine actually WELDING your wire to the part you are anodizing!!!!

    This is it!!!!!!! 95% of all anodize problems will fade away!

    Go see

    http://www.caswellplating.com/kits/sput_weld.html

    And let us know what you think

    Thanks Fibergeek!!!!
    --
    Mike Caswell
    Caswell Inc
    http://www.caswellplating.com
    Need Support? Visit our online support section at http://support.caswellplating.com

  • #2
    Looks pretty nice. I can imagine quite a few applications where that would help. Will something like this be available from Caswell any time soon?

    Comment


    • #3
      NeoMoses,

      Yes, we are working on bringing it to Market, Mike will post more information as it comes available. The pricing will put it within reach of everyone here.

      Let me explain how the CDW (Capacitive Discharge Welder) came to be.

      Its been said that necessity is the mother of invention. Well, desperation is invention's ugly sister.

      I finally got tired of the PITA of bolting, not to mention its expense and high labor. The more I learn about racking the less I like it. This came to a head with a paper I wrote for an Industry conference (AESF, Chicago, late this June) it involved dozens of anodizations that had to be instrumented perfectly. I've had enough, so I cooked this up. From the very start it worked better than I had imagined or hoped for. CDW is all I use now, the connections are letter perfect in any anodizing I do, I no longer worry about connections at all. It also makes a big reduction in prep time.

      There are others here besides Mike who are evaluating several prototype units and the method right now, At least one (besides me) has already done numerous anodizations with these welded connections and is enjoying the same success as I have.

      BTW, the weld is made so fast (1 msec.) that the wire or the work have no detectable heat generated. I hold the wire in my bare hands, not by the clip.

      The CDW's only downside is it by necessity leaves a weld blemish where the weld was made, slightly larger than the diameter of the wire. You need a place on the work where this blemish won't show.

      As should be obvious; you don't need a hole, you can place the weld anywhere you want. It works with any aluminum wire size between 18 AWG and 10 AWG inclusive, of any wire length. the work can be any size, as long as its at least 0.020" thick.

      Mike came up with "Sput welder" as a name for it, that's the sound it makes, what do you all think?

      (edited for spelling)

      Comment


      • #4
        I like the idea a lot. I've actually played around with the idea a bit with a 63V, 27,000 uF Capacitor. Kind of scary the first time around!

        Looking forward to seeing other people's reactions to it. I Guess the welding rod is a good choice for electrode connections here, too.

        Comment


        • #5
          Not in my experience.

          The best wire for CDW is 1xxx series wire, fortunately its also the cheapest aluminum wire. Its low melting point works to the CDW's advantage. Higher alloyed wire, like 5xxx or 6xxx series not only costs moe, it produces more weld spatter, I know because I've tried it. I've done my homework on the CDW. It works fine with 1xxx, 2xxx, 5xxx, 6xxx, and 7xxx series subject pieces (the work) again, because I've tried it. There are probably alloys it won't work properly with, but they would be exotic and not commonly encountered.

          It takes a lot more than just a big capacitor and a power supply to make this thing work properly, it's not that simple. Recall that I am an EE with 30 years of circuit design experience, I do know what I'm doing (not to imply that you don't).

          I'm glad you can see the practical utility of this device.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Fibergeek
            Not in my experience.

            The best wire for CDW is 1xxx series wire, fortunately its also the cheapest aluminum wire. Its low melting point works to the CDW's advantage. Higher alloyed wire, like 5xxx or 6xxx series not only costs moe, it produces more weld spatter, I know because I've tried it. I've done my homework on the CDW. It works fine with 1xxx, 2xxx, 5xxx, 6xxx, and 7xxx series subject pieces (the work) again, because I've tried it. There are probably alloys it won't work properly with, but they would be exotic and not commonly encountered.
            That's good to hear. It's nice to know the cheap stuff will work.

            It takes a lot more than just a big capacitor and a power supply to make this thing work properly, it's not that simple. Recall that I am an EE with 30 years of circuit design experience, I do know what I'm doing (not to imply that you don't).
            No, you are quite correct. As I've stated before, I'm electrically retarded. I'll leave the circuit design to the pros.

            I'm glad you can see the practical utility of this device.

            Comment


            • #7
              We have basically the same thing at work. Not sure of the make, model, or the price. I never really thought of doing this, as I couldnt normally use it on parts anyhow but I may try some test parts for something to do.

              Comment


              • #8
                If your talking about a CDW stud welder, you're likely to either blow a hole in the work, or vaporize the wire. I haven't seen one that wasn't way too powerful for this application. Be sure to try it on scrap.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Well I know this one isnt TOO powerful since I use it to meld small wires(22gauge at the largest) together. It's adjustable, but i've never turned it up very high.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I've been evaluating the 'Sput Welder' for months and have made over 1000 welds with it. I've tried it with wire from 8 to 18 gauge and they all work, although the thicker the wire, the more care that is required when making the weld. I think it has at least 3 distinctive advantages over other methods of connection.

                    1. Strength: The weld strength is amazing...approaching or equalling the tensile strength of the wire being used. Depending on wire gauge used, the welds can easily support over 100lbs. The welds can be used to not only provide the electrical connection to the workpiece, but it can be used to suspend the work in the electrolyte. Even with this strength, the wire can easily be removed after anodizing/dyeing by working the wire back and forth a few times (radial movement).

                    2. Time: Making the connection only takes a few seconds. I don't have to spend time threading the wire into the workpiece or coming up with some sort of mechanical connection using aluminum nuts/bolts or screws.

                    3. Reliability: Once the weld is made, the connection point is 100% impervious to anodization, so connection failures have been eliminated. I don't have to worry about the connection failing and can concentrate on other factors. Now, if I have a problem, I can eliminate the electrical connection as the source and can concentrate on other potential trouble sources. I don't know about anyone else, but everytime I have a failure in anodizing, the 1st thing that comes to mind is an electrical connection problem and most of my time is consumed in trying to troubleshoot and resolve the problem.

                    I've anodized approx. 15 test blocks using the welder as part of some LCD testing I've been doing. I didn't have a single failure due to the electrical connections. I found that after cleaning the workpiece, then making the electrical connection, I could use the wire to move the workpiece from one stage to another without risk of touching the work and potentially contaminating it. Once complete, I just jiggle the connection back and forth and it breaks off, leaving a small crater and a bright, un-dyed spot on the piece about the same size as the diameter of the wire I used. I'll see if I can dig up a picture of a test piece that I anodized and dyed showing the connection point once the wire is snapped off.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I have done quite a few test welds, and it does a good job of that. I had hoped to have done some test anodizing by now, but have been too busy. There is no doubt in my mind that it will allow the highest quality anodizing possible, but I still will run it through the gaunlet. There is one anodizing application in particular that I think it could be especially good for.

                      Even though it will leave a mark, and it will be a little large than a typical titanium racking mark, there is one difference and that is the welded connection mark would be on one surface only. Aluminum racking and bolting, etc, probably leave larger marks, so the welder will probably allow that to be improved as well as providing a better connection. An external racking clip will leave marks in a least two places, and on opposite sides. It's a lot easier to find one place where a mark won't be too detrimental, but usually it's much harder to find 2 places.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thanks for the input Neilfj and M_D.

                        Neil was the Alpha Site for the CDW; he got a prototype after I beat the bejesus out of one for a few months, then I sent him another prototype (not the same unit) and he beat the bejesus out of it. When Neil was satisfied that it really worked and had anodized using it, I "enlisted" the Beta Sites.

                        The Beta Sites got additional prototypes to evaluate, newly built units.

                        Caswell was selected for his seriously experienced salesman's "nose" (remember I'm a geek, I couldn't sell anything) and his Industry and amateur contacts. Mike think's the CDW "smells good". If you don't pass this test with a professional salesman in the Business, your product is toast.

                        M_D is anodizing in a real manufacturing business environment, he brings this and an expert welder's perspective. The CDW may not replace racking for many of his products and that's OK. CDW is an alternative to racking and it has it's place. M_D has made a point that I didn't consider; a blemish on one side of the work only, that's important.

                        The Beta Sites will yet again beat the bejesus out of the CDW, and suggest modifications/improvements, Neil already has, these were incorporated in the Beta units and his Alpha unit was also upgraded. This is how electronics development is done; or at least how I do it, tested as stringently as telecom electronics, I don't trust any other way.

                        I selected my Alpha and Beta Sites well, none of them will give me a break, just as this critical evaluation should be done. Well done guys, get even tougher if anything.

                        More to come, stay tuned.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Here is a photo that shows the weld mark. The work piece is 2.5" x 1.5" x 7/8" (14.4 sq in) in size and was anodized using the LCD process at a current density of 4.5 amps. The mark on the left is the weld mark which remained when the wire was snapped off after anodizing and dyeing. The crater is slightly larger than the 8ga aluminum wire which I used, as at the time it was the only aluminum wire I had available. Using 16-18ga wire would have resulted in a much smaller crater. The hole on the right is a .125" hole that I had initially planned to use as a mechanical connection point by tapping it and screwing the 8ga wire into it.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Neat little contraption. I can see where it would be great for anodizing, but what about the other side Caswells; i.e. have you tried it yet with, say, 18 gauge copper wire for making connections to small items for chrome and other plating? Having just hung a bunch of wire-wrapped nuts, bolts and widgets for a bike, I sure would have loved to have one of these for it, if it will also work with copper (or if it could be made dual purpose, by having one cap for aluminum and a second one inside it for copper?). You're the electrical wizard, Fibergeek, how much voodoo would it take to make happen?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              In electroplating no voodoo at all.

                              In electroplating, the connection improves as the process continues, not so in anodizing.

                              The very same unit does an admirable job of welding copper alloys to copper alloys, or steel alloys to steel alloys, I've done it, very easy to do. It will also weld titanium to aluminum. I can't imagine why anyone would want to do that, but you tell me.

                              Most welding of metals to like metals will work fine as it stands. The voltage settings will be different but within the CDW's range. The CDW does have utility in electroplating, it's just not the problem it was born to solve (I'm it's mother, I would know).

                              If you want to inquire in detail about a specific non-anodizing application, contact Mike or Lance Caswell, and they will put you in touch with me. Tell them I said so.

                              I will try your specific metals (if I haven't already) and report back to you.

                              Comment

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