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Its time to upgrade my soldering equipment..I have just been working the basic "soldering iron"


soldering iron.


works ok, but I suspect its pretty weak, and that there is a better tool for the job..


In the new "Modelers Annual" is a very good article by Tim Galgerud about working with brass..I would like to try some of the techniques he talks about! He says he uses "a pistol type soldering gun"..but thats all the info he gives on the gun.


soldering gun.


What would be a good size gun for working with brass? parts between 1/48 and 1/20.3 scale..


are they just sold in different wattages? are there any other differences or features to be aware of?


thanks,


Scot


 


 
 

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If you really want a soldering gun, get the biggest one available. One disadvantage of soldering guns is that they tip does not have much mass. This causes it to loose heat fairly fast. Also, if you pull the trigger for too long of a period without applying it to something, the tip will burn up.


I don't use a soldering gun at all anymore. I use a temperature controlled soldering station for almost all of my work. When I need to solder something large, I use a BIG soldering iron. It's almost 1 1/2 ft long and has a huge tip.


 
 

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Scot,


I would suggest a small propane torch. you can get one from Mirco-Mark  or check the local big box store, Lowes/Home Depot.


They work alot faster and  make for a nicer joint,  just use 100% pure solder an flux.


Dave Watters
 

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I use three different soldering tools. For a quick to heat soldering iron, I'd buy a 250 watt Weller. For large mass items, I use a propane torch, but most of the time, I use a 250 watt resistance iron. They can get pretty pricey but the sure are nice. I find myself doing things that would be virtually impossible without it.

John
 

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I never use a soldering iron (or gun - I have both) for building things. I always use a propane torch, even for things that I would have considered much too fine or delicate ten years ago. But there are limitations to where you can use it. You don't want to unsolder things you have already put on.

A home-built resistance solderer is a great tool, to, as you don't have to worry about previously soldered joints coming loose. If you look around, you should be able to find an article on the net about building one from a battery charger. (If you can't find it, e-mail me and I'll send it to you.)
 

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Aww, no need to look.  We know where it is.../DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/laugh.gif


Vance Bass' resistance soldering article . Good stuff!


Dawg :cool:
 

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I just picked up a 100/230 watt soldering gun from Sears, after getting frustrated with the one I got from Harbor Freight last Christmas. (Not as much heat, crappy tips that break). I find 100 watts to be sufficient for much of the small detail work I do, but it's nice to be able to have more power available for larger things. One of these days I'll build a resistance rig, but for now, a good gun and a few small torches give me a good amount of flexibility.

Later,

K
 

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My dad had an ancient 350W iron. You wanted gloves to use it, but I could solder anything with that thing. Acid Flux and Silver Solder and I could solder 1/8 piano wire into airplane landing gear.
 

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Scott,

I make do with an iron like yours for simple stuff - soldering wiring, small parts, etc. I have a 'motor speed control' designed for fans, drills, etc., which will cut the heat down so I can solder white-metal low-melting point stuff (though I tend not to bother with the control, just risk melting the whole thing!)

For bigger jobs, a small butane torch is ideal, and it can be used to heat the tip of the small iron if I need a quick solder joint on brass parts but don't want to un-solder everything already attached. Like this:
http://www.ares-server.com/Ares/Ares.asp?MerchantID=RET01229&Action=Catalog&Type=Product&ID=82559

Finally, if you want to solder large pieces of brass that are also close to plastic (e.g. code 332 track,) then you need a big iron with a big bit.
 
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