Soldering Irons

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John Donnelly
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Re: Soldering Irons

Postby John Donnelly » Tue Sep 15, 2015 8:26 am

Thank you gentlemen, much appreciated. Keith, I showed it to another modelling friend who suggested that I'd only nee a 48W iron if I was planning on soldering huge chunks of metal together...

John

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Jol Wilkinson
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Re: Soldering Irons

Postby Jol Wilkinson » Tue Sep 15, 2015 9:13 am

John,

I have a 50W Antex TCU and find it adequate for most work , but even with a 3mm bit and 145 solder there are times when more wattage would be useful. If/when I have to replace it I'll look at one of the 80W Xytronic TCUs or similar.

Jol

DougN
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Re: Soldering Irons

Postby DougN » Tue Sep 15, 2015 11:57 am

Well from this side the earth, I say the best investment I ever made was a temperature controlled soldering iron. Mine is an analogue from a local emporium Dick Smith... The one problem now is these irons are only available on line. Once they could be picked up in any of their stores. The one thing I do wish I had bought all those years ago was a replacement set of tips are the set came with 3 different styles. The unit http://www.dicksmith.com.au/electrical- ... dsau-t2200 is a 48watt unit with a range from 150 to 450degrees. I have never had it above 350 and that is only when I am trying to pull something apart for what ever reason. Generally I have it about 300 for 145 degree solder that I seem to go through quite a bit of! :D
Doug
Still not doing enough modelling

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David B
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Re: Soldering Irons

Postby David B » Tue Sep 15, 2015 5:45 pm

MikeH wrote:I did notice that the new antex soldering stations only go down to a minimum of 200c so hopefully it won't be too bad for whitemetal


Not very helpful if that is the lowest they go to. You don't want it to be any higher for white metal and even at 200o you will have to be very careful with small w/m castings.

MikeH
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Re: Soldering Irons

Postby MikeH » Tue Sep 15, 2015 5:53 pm

Thanks all, going to order tonight. I think I have some solder lying about, no idea what sort it is though so I might buy myself some of that too. At least with these thing's its a buy once and forget about it situation which seems require a few expensive ish things for getting back into model railways

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Will L
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Re: Soldering Irons

Postby Will L » Tue Sep 15, 2015 6:05 pm

John Donnelly wrote:Thank you gentlemen, much appreciated. Keith, I showed it to another modelling friend who suggested that I'd only need a 48W iron if I was planning on soldering huge chunks of metal together...


For many modelling task 50 watts may be seem more than enough, but wait till you try and to solder a lost wax bass dome onto a brass tube boiler...

nigelcliffe
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Re: Soldering Irons

Postby nigelcliffe » Tue Sep 15, 2015 7:15 pm

John Donnelly wrote:Thank you gentlemen, much appreciated. Keith, I showed it to another modelling friend who suggested that I'd only nee a 48W iron if I was planning on soldering huge chunks of metal together...


I use a 50W iron for just about everything (another with an Antex temp-controlled yellow box). That covers 2mm finescale, soldering single strand 48SWG wire, surface mount electronics, normal electronics, 4mm and 7mm loco and track construction. I have two irons for the TC yellow box, fitted with different bits, but that just makes changing them quicker - I don't have to wait for the iron to cool down before removing the tips to change them.

A big wattage means that it has high heat capacity, so doesn't cool down when it hits the metal being soldered.


Another reason for Antex is their product support - I had an iron fail after 2 years light use, it was replaced FOC.

- Nigel

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Flymo748
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Re: Soldering Irons

Postby Flymo748 » Wed Sep 16, 2015 5:02 am

Will L wrote:
John Donnelly wrote:Thank you gentlemen, much appreciated. Keith, I showed it to another modelling friend who suggested that I'd only need a 48W iron if I was planning on soldering huge chunks of metal together...


For many modelling task 50 watts may be seem more than enough, but wait till you try and to solder a lost wax bass dome onto a brass tube boiler...


I hate to say it, because it's another expensive solution to a task that requires an investment. However this is the perfect use for a Resistance Soldering Unit.

Tin the dome or boiler generously with 145. Place *very* carefully on the boiler making sure that it is upright in all planes. Apply RSU probe to top of dome. Press <on> switch and watch solder flow around the skirt of the dome. You may also see the dome "sit down" on the boiler.

Remove power, and wait a *significant* period of time for it to cool down before removing the probe and confirming that all is fixed.

Despite the dome acting as a huge heatsink, the boiler seems not to heat up other than in the immediate vicinity of the dome.

I would never suggest buying an RSU just to fix a dome on a locomotive. However as they are a useful tool generally, if you have one this is yet another purpose that I think complements a traditional iron.

Cheers
Flymo
Beware of Trains - occasional modelling in progress!
www.5522models.co.uk

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David Thorpe
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Re: Soldering Irons

Postby David Thorpe » Wed Sep 16, 2015 6:25 am

I agree about the usefulness of an RSU, one of which I got last Christmas. However, when it comes to fixing domes to boilers, glue seems a much simpler solution.

DT

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Flymo748
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Re: Soldering Irons

Postby Flymo748 » Wed Sep 16, 2015 6:31 am

John Donnelly wrote:As someone new to the wonderful world of soldering, I purchased this one from Maplins but I've been led to believe that it may be just a bit too powerful so would appreciate any advice:

Image

John


Although I don't use it as my main iron, I'll endorse Keith's support of the use of this. That is the same model from Maplin that I referred to earlier which I use as a back-up iron.

For forty quid, or whatever they currently are, I'd definitely recommend it.

HTH
Flymo
Beware of Trains - occasional modelling in progress!
www.5522models.co.uk

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Will L
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Re: Soldering Irons

Postby Will L » Wed Sep 16, 2015 7:54 am

David Thorpe wrote:I agree about the usefulness of an RSU, one of which I got last Christmas. However, when it comes to fixing domes to boilers, glue seems a much simpler solution.


It was just an example, there are others.

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Guy Rixon
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Re: Soldering Irons

Postby Guy Rixon » Wed Sep 16, 2015 8:39 am

John Donnelly wrote:As someone new to the wonderful world of soldering, I purchased this one from Maplins but I've been led to believe that it may be just a bit too powerful so would appreciate any advice:

[picture redacted]

John


Yes, that's the one I have. It works well enough. I'm on my second one, though. Beware the timer in the electronics that bricks it 30ms after the warranty runs out :D I hope I was just unlucky with the first one.

If the temperature control arrangement works, then there is no such thing as too powerful an iron. I need all the 48W for soldering large assemblies and more power would help there.

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John Donnelly
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Re: Soldering Irons

Postby John Donnelly » Wed Sep 16, 2015 10:25 am

Thanks again gents, I'll shall start practicing.

John

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Steve Carter
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Re: Soldering Irons

Postby Steve Carter » Wed Sep 16, 2015 11:59 am

Hi John

If you are coming to Scaleforum this weekend then spend some time with Roger Sawyer who's running the 'hands on' soldering helpdesk.
Steve Carter

Philip Hall
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Re: Soldering Irons

Postby Philip Hall » Wed Sep 16, 2015 12:24 pm

I spoke to Ian Lockhart, the owner of Antex, this morning, and the new stations do indeed only go down to 200 degrees, although he told me they do a low temperature version - about 35 degrees up to 200 degrees which is available now. Apparently demand for the wide ranging temperature stations has reduced and they are reacting to this with the new range, particularly with the move to lead free and therefore higher temperature solders. In the pipeline there is another station which will go up to about 250 degrees; maybe not enough for us. It is possible also to wind an element for a fixed temperature, so if you do a lot of whitemetal soldering it might pay to ask them whether they would do that.

What hasn't changed is their customer service, and I was assured that they will always do all they can to restore what you already have to good health. I was concerned about what might happen if my 660TC gave up the ghost and was reassured. They have serviced soldering irons bought 40 or more years ago!

I shouldn't need to make the usual disclaimer, but I will, just in case. It occurs to me that if you want one of the old stations that do have this bigger range, it might be an idea to get it now if there are still some out there...

Philip

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Jol Wilkinson
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Re: Soldering Irons

Postby Jol Wilkinson » Wed Sep 16, 2015 8:21 pm

The 200 - 480 degree range seems standard fof the current generation of TCUs. A product of industry requirements or commonly used control electronics?

I have two Antex TCUs, the old digital one now being redundant as Antex can't suppply a replacement element for the iron. It looks identical to the spare element I have just bought for my analogue unit, but I am reluctant to try it as Antex were adamant they couldn't supply the correct original one.

Jol

Brinkly
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Re: Soldering Irons

Postby Brinkly » Wed Sep 16, 2015 8:23 pm

Flymo748 wrote:
John Donnelly wrote:As someone new to the wonderful world of soldering, I purchased this one from Maplins but I've been led to believe that it may be just a bit too powerful so would appreciate any advice:

Image

John


Although I don't use it as my main iron, I'll endorse Keith's support of the use of this. That is the same model from Maplin that I referred to earlier which I use as a back-up iron.

For forty quid, or whatever they currently are, I'd definitely recommend it.

HTH
Flymo


I use this iron and get on really well with it.

Kind regards,

Nick

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Tim V
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Re: Soldering Irons

Postby Tim V » Thu Sep 17, 2015 7:49 am

The dome analogy (and everywhere else) never solder when you can screw and never ever glue.

I bolt on domes.
Tim V
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David Thorpe
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Re: Soldering Irons

Postby David Thorpe » Thu Sep 17, 2015 12:19 pm

I glue on domes using 20-minute epoxy adhesive. That gives time for final adjustment and also fills any unsightly gap between dome and boiler. Once set, none have ever moved, far less come off. I do however appreciate that bolting on would have an advantage in that the dome could easily be removed in the relatively unlikely event of that being required but am not sure how I'd go about it and achieve the necessary accuracy.

DT

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Will L
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Re: Soldering Irons

Postby Will L » Thu Sep 17, 2015 5:51 pm

Tim V wrote:The dome analogy (and everywhere else) never solder when you can screw and never ever glue.

I bolt on domes.


Like I said domes and boilers was only an example of a soldering job that would challenge a small iron, there are others. Anyway I always thought solder is a form of hot glue? (except on white metal where it is more akin to welding).

Will

P.S. Oh s**d, having just complained about somebody else doing it, now I just can't stop myself committing the sin of going off topic.

While I am also keen on bolting on sub assemblies, as I've got more picky with age, I now find that domes (or chimneys) need a lot of attention round the flair to get rid of the huge step which mares many a model. So the joint needs filling with something that you can file back into to get a result that looks something like a sheet metal joint. For this reason I doubt that a bolted fitting for the dome would do me. If you turn up your own you may be able to get a good enough fit I suppose, but anybody building kits with cast (white or yellow metal fittings) is likely to need to fill and file.

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David B
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Re: Soldering Irons

Postby David B » Mon Nov 02, 2015 1:52 pm

Two soldering stations, 80W & 90W, temperature controlled with lowest temperatures of 150oC (80W) and 50oC (90W).

See: http://www.somersetsolders.com/soldering-equipment/soldering-stations/c12


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