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Covenant
09-02-2010, 15:26
My soldering iron is a cheap one and I find it doesn't get hot enough at the tip. Its a 30watt model. Are the 60w ones better or should I go for a brand name?

symon
09-02-2010, 16:18
I think general advice on soldering irons would be really helpful. I would like to consider the possibility of doing my own DIY stuff, but I have no idea about soldering irons, what to get, how they work, and all that stuff. I hope Jerry won't mind if I ask that responses are a bit wider in their scope, and perhaps take a more simple, layman's tone. (Or maybe I should just start a new thread?)

Mike
09-02-2010, 16:22
There's just no substitute for good old practise. :)

Have a read here, (http://www.epemag.wimborne.co.uk/solderfaq.htm) and get stuck in!

--------------------------------------------------

My own set-up is quite simple.

http://www.rapidonline.com/Tools-Fasteners-Production-Equipment/Soldering-Equipment/Power-Supplies-Kits/P-51-power-supply/32689/kw/

http://www.rapidonline.com/Tools-Fasteners-Production-Equipment/Soldering-Equipment/Iron-Stands/Soldering-iron-stands-and-sponges/30437/kw/

http://www.rapidonline.com/sku/Tools-Fasteners-Production-Equipment/Soldering-Equipment/Soldering-Irons/TCP-series-soldering-irons/61556/85-4850

It might look expensive at first but compared to some it isnt!... Will last for years and years too. :)

symon
09-02-2010, 16:27
There's just no substitute for good old practice. :)

Have a read here, (http://www.epemag.wimborne.co.uk/solderfaq.htm) and get stuck in!

Fantastic! I haven't got time to read properly and digest now, but that looks like just the ticket. Thank'ee!!

Covenant
09-02-2010, 16:27
I think general advice on soldering irons would be really helpful. I would like to consider the possibility of doing my own DIY stuff, but I have no idea about soldering irons, what to get, how they work, and all that stuff. I hope Jerry won't mind if I ask that responses are a bit wider in their scope, and perhaps take a more simple, layman's tone. (Or maybe I should just start a new thread?)

Good idea Symon, general soldering advice welcome.

Mike, I was afraid you would say a poor workman blames his tools (but in a diplomatic way) :( It really isnt hot enough at the end though. I am sure a better one would help....

chrism
09-02-2010, 16:29
Have a look on ebay under soldering station - 50w Variable Temperature Control Soldering Station Iron (appears to be Maplins ex stock) for 12.99. You can buy various tips for it as well.

Should be good for most jobs unless it is those tiny surface mounted items then you will definitely need a flat tipped bit for it to go with the hands of a surgeon and eyes like a bat - sorry eagle.

Regards

Chris

Mike
09-02-2010, 16:36
I've edited my post above to show the equipment I use... ;)

chrism
09-02-2010, 16:44
Nice stuff Mike for anyone who intends to do a lot of mods or building. Cheapo ones are fine for small projects and a bit of tweaking. My own Maplins one has lasted nearly 5 years without any probs.

Not so much the type of iron but learning the right way and a bit of trial and error.

Regards

Mike
09-02-2010, 16:52
Cheapo ones are fine for small projects and a bit of tweaking.

Quite right! :)

Mine gets a hell of a lot of use, and has done for many years. Hence the 'investment'. It was worth it. A good point with the Weller is that the tips just never wear out, the one in there at the moment still looks new after almost five years!

Puffin
09-02-2010, 17:29
Have a look on ebay under soldering station - 50w Variable Temperature Control Soldering Station Iron (appears to be Maplins ex stock) for 12.99. You can buy various tips for it as well.

Should be good for most jobs unless it is those tiny surface mounted items then you will definitely need a flat tipped bit for it to go with the hands of a surgeon and eyes like a bat - sorry eagle.

Regards

Chris

Unfortunately I have had two Maplin solder stations (one cheap - on offer and the other more expensive). Both were crap and broke within a year. The tips are nothing ot write home about either.

Ali Tait
09-02-2010, 17:42
Second what Mike's using.I just use a cheap one at home,but those Weller stations are superb-I used one for years at work,never went wrong.

The Grand Wazoo
09-02-2010, 17:51
There's a gap waiting in the library for a post exactly this shape, size and colour - would anyone like to volunteer their services for writing it up for the benefit of future and current members?

Barry
09-02-2010, 17:58
There's a gap waiting in the library for a post exactly this shape, size and colour - would anyone like to volunteer their services for writing it up for the benefit of future and current members?

I use the very same Weller solder station as recommended by Mike Homar. If no-one steps up to the plate, I would be willing to write something; though I expect the DIYers here might be better placed to do this.

Regards

twelvebears
09-02-2010, 18:08
Personally, having tried a variety of different electric ones, I'd always go for a decent gas powered one.

Ali Tait
09-02-2010, 18:21
Yep have one of those too.They are handy.

Covenant
09-02-2010, 20:11
Are Black and Decker soldering irons any good? There is a B & D soldering station on Amazon at a good price and its got two heat settings.

Mike
09-02-2010, 20:21
Personally, having tried a variety of different electric ones, I'd always go for a decent gas powered one.

I have a couple of those too, very handy in the right circumstances especially with the various attachments. Absolutely invaluable for heatshrink duties!... :)
The only problem is they can get far too hot for some jobs, and some (most?) have a sort of 'vent' at the side which will readily toast anything adjacent to the bit being worked on.

Mike
09-02-2010, 20:22
Are Black and Decker soldering irons any good?

I've no idea I'm afraid... Never used one. :(

StanleyB
09-02-2010, 20:27
The brand name on a soldering station means next to nothing. One only has to show up at a soldering station manufacturer in China with one's logo and they'll add it for you on the production line.

A soldering iron is only as good as the operator. None of my irons ever broke down. I only changed them in order to get something new, but even my irons fro the 80's are still in perfect working condition. Mind you, I would never buy an Antex again. The one I have uses non-standard tips. So I can't use just any tip in it. It has to be Antex, which is a limiting factor.

Mike
09-02-2010, 20:29
Hi Stan,

Not seen you around for a while, welcome back! :)

Mike
09-02-2010, 20:31
A soldering iron is only as good as the operator.

Can't argue with that... practise, practise, practise! :)

chrism
09-02-2010, 20:47
Unfortunately I have had two Maplin solder stations (one cheap - on offer and the other more expensive). Both were crap and broke within a year. The tips are nothing ot write home about either.

Must be rubbish then!

It does the job for ok for me though and really do not want to spend 80.00 plus on one like Mikes to do a few mods to my kit. Would be cheaper to pay someone else on that basis.

Horses for courses I say.

Regards

Mike
09-02-2010, 20:53
Must be rubbish then!

It does the job for ok for me though and really do not want to spend 80.00 plus on one like Mikes to do a few mods to my kit. Would be cheaper to pay someone else on that basis.

Horses for courses I say.

Regards

S'true...

Bear in mind that mine was bought when I did contract work. I needed something utterly reliable as my lively-hood depended on stuff I could depend on! For 'hobby' use there's usually no need to go that far.

However, 'pro gear' is very nice to use. ;)

john blackburn
09-02-2010, 21:56
For general duties I have a little Antex CS. It's ok for light work but is only 18W, it isn't the tool for anything above signal level wiring really. The silicon lead heatproof option is well worth the extra 3 quid, it's lovely and flexible to work with.

http://www.rapidonline.com/productinfo.aspx?&tier1=Tools,+Fasteners+%26+Production+Equipment&tier2=Soldering+Equipment&tier3=Soldering+Irons&tier4=Soldering+irons+with+fitted+mains+plugs&moduleno=30322&catRef=85-1135

I also have a huge and ancient Wolf electric poker thing for doing heavier cables. It's ungainly and takes 20 minutes to get up to temperature but it was free. As Mike Homar said the gas irons are great for some jobs but beware the exhaust hole. I burned a 5mm deep hole in a 3 week old wood coffee table with mine, it wasn't my most popular day! Buy a soldering iron stand with a cleaning sponge while you are about it.

Nothing makes the job harder than a sub standard soldering iron, or a top notch iron that hasn't been kept nice and clean. Cleanliness is the key with soldering.

I would say buy the best one you can afford or justify to yourself. If you decide diy isn't your thing you will always be able to sell a good iron.

John

Kris
11-02-2010, 16:43
Which is the best tip to use for circuit board work? I only have conical bits for my Weller 18watt, should I get some blade tips?

I do agree that 18W is only suitable for light duty signal wiring etc. I bought a cheap 'Parkside' 30w for general purpose (ie motorcycle wiring!) but can I find spare bits for it? They are solid bits (unlike the Weller) and 4mm outside diameter.

Rare Bird
11-02-2010, 23:24
Brilliant i've used these for years

http://www.antex.co.uk/

Best solder bar non (Ag solder is tripe)

'WONDER SOLDER'

http://www.trt-wonder.com/page22.html

StanleyB
11-02-2010, 23:38
You mean one of the worst:(.

Rare Bird
12-02-2010, 00:46
You mean one of the worst:(.

:lol: Next joke

Mike
12-02-2010, 09:04
[QUOTE=Andre;101116]Brilliant i've used these for years

http://www.antex.co.uk/

Best solder bar non (Ag solder is tripe)

:lol: :D :mental:

Covenant
12-02-2010, 09:09
Sorry is this an in joke? Is Wonder Solder good or bad? Looks like you cant buy it in the UK.:mental:

Rare Bird
15-02-2010, 17:55
People that read too much like Ag solder.

http://www.thecableco.com/product.php?id=5417