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Soldering Stations. - Materials & Tools. - More Practical Help - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Wed Mar 8th, 2017 04:01 pm
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amdaley
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Hi Everyone.


Anyone looking for a quality soldering station the Hakko is on sale with this company in Italy.
http://www.batterfly...tag=hakkofx888d
The Hakko brand are among the best in the world.
 
I bought mine from them about two years ago & have been very happy with it.
I did a lot of research before buying & settled on this company.
They are official Hakko stockists & have all the spares etc in stock.
If you can buy this model cheaper elsewhere then I would suggest that its a copy so beware.
Batterfly.com seem to have the one postage cost so make sure to get any extra bits etc at the same time.
 
No connection with the company except as a happy customer.


Regards.
Tony.



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 Posted: Wed Mar 8th, 2017 06:31 pm
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Brossard
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I have a Weller digital (meaning I get a tip temperature display) soldering station that cost a similar price.  If you do a lot of soldering (and I do!) this is an invaluable tool. 

I've been using mine for quite few years but recently I noticed that it wouldn't hold the temperature I set.  I bought a new bit and all is good now.

John



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 Posted: Wed Mar 8th, 2017 07:10 pm
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Dorsetmike
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One thing I've noticed about variable temperature irons is that quite a few only vary between about 200C and 450C, not much use if you work on white metal kits. Both my Wellers go down tunder 100C. I normally use 70C solder for White metal.



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 Posted: Wed Mar 8th, 2017 07:41 pm
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Brossard
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Actually Mike, just recently, I've been soldering WM using 70C solder with my iron set to 300C.  The trick is to get in and out quick sharp.  No, I haven't melted anything.  Mind you, one variable in this is workpiece size, if a largish piece you don't want the heat energy to be sucked out of the tip before bonding takes place.

At the very least, according to Tony Wright, your rule of thumb should be a tip temp. that is twice the melting point of the solder.

John



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 Posted: Wed Mar 8th, 2017 08:09 pm
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ZeldaTheSwordsman
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Feh, soldering stations are only so much use when your iron is a single-temperature affair. Not that you'd know the basic one-temp irons exist from looking at soldering tutorials on the internet, every last smegging one of which is by some presumptuous smeghead who assumes you have a variable-temperature iron and a soldering station. 
..I may be just a tad bit bitter.



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 Posted: Wed Mar 8th, 2017 09:10 pm
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Rob Pulham
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Although,  I have an Ersa, variable temperature iron, wherever possible I use a microflame. I prefer it because you get so little cleaning up and the tiniest bit of solder runs along way along a seam. I have a couple of micro flames units one is an Iroda Solder pro and the other a Weller. I wouldn't ever be without one now.



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 Posted: Wed Mar 8th, 2017 09:13 pm
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Longchap
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I've just started building with etched brass kits and white metal cast parts, as well as a number of WM kits to build as well, so a variable temp controlled iron was a must. As I don't intend to ever buy another one, I got the digital Hakko with a selection of tips and am very pleased with it so far.
The price of the unit above looks almost unbelievable, so I really hope it's the real deal. 

I now realise that soldering is far from a black art and am quickly embracing it as much as DCC!

Happy soldering,

Bill



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 Posted: Wed Mar 8th, 2017 09:19 pm
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Dorsetmike
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Try soldering up a brass loco cab in N gauge without having a variable temp iron and a selection of melting point solders. With a single temp iron and solder you join the first cab side to the floor, then try snd solder the other side to same floor and first side falls off. You have to solder both sides to the floor and cab roof then solder the lot to the front; I've found it well nigh impossible, in larger scales you might get away with it using heat shunts, but you'd have a job finding a suitably large heat shunt and space to clamp it to be effective in N gauge.

Make your first joint with a high MP solder, then reduce iron temp, use next lower MP solder for next joint, reduce temp and solder MP and so on.

The other thing I like about 70C solder is you can take it all apart in near boiling water.



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 Posted: Wed Mar 8th, 2017 09:36 pm
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Brossard
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Rob, I bought myself a butane mini torch the other week in anticipation of building the 1F loco kit.  I might just try it on the brass mineral wagons.

Bill, you make me happy to know that you've embraced soldering, it opens up so many modelling possibilities.

Mike, I've run into trying to solder small parts with several stages and trying not to desolder the work already done.  This can be frustrating, having 188C and 145C is a help.  

Brendan, if you have a single temp iron, I would recommend something at 40W and get a good one.  I have a Weller single temp iron that has given good service.  I just got a new tip for it.

You can get more life from your tip (and protect your sinuses) by using non acid flux.  There's plenty about and I've been using it for quite some time.

John



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 Posted: Wed Mar 8th, 2017 09:50 pm
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ZeldaTheSwordsman
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It is a Weller, as it happens. My issue is not the iron itself, my issue is the lack of tutorials for single-temp irons. Spent some time looking but all the tutorials I could find were for variable-temp irons.



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 Posted: Wed Mar 8th, 2017 10:24 pm
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Brossard
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Brendan, I'm assuming we're talking etch kit construction.  I learned soldering at the knee of Iain Rice so to speak.  His book, "Locomotive Kit Chassis Construction" has a very good section on this.  I slavishly went and got all the kit he recommended and found that it went quite well.  As you get more experience you'll find your own way, I did anyway.

There's not a lot to know really.  You have the iron.  You also need flux which is widely available, I'm using Tix flux that my Local Hobby Shop stocks.  The last thing you need is the solder itself. I don't recommend lead free solder, it doesn't seem to flow well.  My favoured solder is Carrs 145C, available from C&L.  Sometimes you will want to get a stronger joint or you may have a piece that requires several stages.  In that case 188C solder is good to start with.  You can then solder on other parts using 145C solder and shouldn't have everything desolder on you.  Tricky soldering can also energise the leetle grey cells as Hercule would say to make small jigs or use clamps and such.

Soldering itself is simples.  You need clean parts first and foremost.  A fiberglass pen is useful for this or even a file.

I like to snip off tiny amounts of solder and pick it up with the iron to apply to the joint.  It is SO easy to use too much solder which takes ages to clean up.  Make tacks first, if you make a mistake it is easy to undo and reposition.  Once happy with the poisitioning, finish the solder bead.

I like to clean things up after soldering.  I use a combination of fiberglass pen and file to remove excess solder.  The parts should be given a wash, I tend to use Windex.

I seem to have developed somewhat asbestos fingers so I find I can hold things.  A tool I find very useful is curved tweezers.  However, any clamping device will serve.  Sometimes the third hand device comes in handy.

Any questions?

John



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 Posted: Wed Mar 8th, 2017 10:32 pm
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Dorsetmike
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Another thing I would not be without is solder cream or solder paint, very handy for fiddly jobs also for joining flat sheets or strips if you want a thicker part or have joins that overlap.



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 Posted: Wed Mar 8th, 2017 10:35 pm
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ZeldaTheSwordsman
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No, we are not talking etched kit construction. I barely know how to use the thing to just solder wires! Let alone build a kit. It took me forever just to find an explanation of what was meant by tinning the iron (and how to do it) - most of these "tutorials" assumed that the reader already knew what tinning was and how to do it. And I still only know how to tin the iron itself, not how to tin a wire.



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 Posted: Wed Mar 8th, 2017 11:02 pm
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The Q
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I've been soldering for about 40 years, both professionally and as part of a hobby. For the majority of that time I've used Weller fixed temperature soldering irons.
Now I'm lucky enough to have a variable station, a micro flame unit, a fixed temperature mains iron and a gas powered soldering iron.
All have their uses, but 99 times out of 100 I'll just grab the fixed mains iron.
Using a variable makes no difference, it's a fixed temperature once you've set it.

The use of any iron is simply a case of practicing, though finding enough scrap metal from cast kits to practice on is a problem. My early cast kit soldering was not good and it was pre superglue being widely available.

All I can say is practice.



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 Posted: Thu Mar 9th, 2017 01:07 am
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sparky
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What is the general opinion of micro flame units lads?



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 Posted: Fri Mar 10th, 2017 03:09 am
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BCDR
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White metal kits. Forget heating the metal casting to get the solder flowing, to do that the iron will melt the casting. Chasing the solder into the joint using organic flux flux and a tip temperature of around 250° works well for all but very thin or small castings. Best achieved with a temperature controlled (feed-back) iron, although I've used a regular adjustable iron at 15W for many years. I use CA for delicate castings.

Micro-flame irons: Minimum operating temperature I believe is around 450°F. Never used one.

No experience with Hakko.irons. And at around $100 here unlikely to. My Kendal digital iron works well for less than half that. I got a wand-type with ceramic element with feed-back yesterday for $12.00, included a vacuum de-soldering pump and 5 additional tips (Syntus, 60W). Temperature range 200° up to 450°C. I'll use that for the really delicate jobs. I have a brute of a 65W standard iron with a big chisel blade for tough jobs, as well as the variable 15W-45W one for smaller jobs.

Nigel



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 Posted: Mon Mar 13th, 2017 02:47 am
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Rob Pulham
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Hi Mike,
What you need are some heat sinks. I use aluminium hair grips and self locking tweezers. just clip one to any of the parts that you think might be in danger of falling of and solder away. The hair grip/tweezers draw enough heat away to stop the solder from melting. alternately you can use blobs of wet paper towel which will also work as a heat sink. 

I know a guy that uses a microflame to solder white metal castings on, he uses wet towel to stop them melting while he does it - a bit braver than me I have to say.



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 Posted: Mon Mar 13th, 2017 02:51 am
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Rob Pulham
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Brossard wrote: I might just try it on the brass mineral wagons.

Hi John,

I used mine on the gals wagon but a word of warning, a lot of the MMP kit parts are made up from layers of thin etch so they are easy to buckle with excess heat. I really struggled initially after buckling some parts and put the kit down for some time before going back to it when I had a bit more confidence.



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 Posted: Mon Mar 13th, 2017 04:09 am
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Brossard
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Thanks for the tip Nigel.  I have a lot of things on my plate before the wagons get done.

John



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 Posted: Sun Apr 29th, 2018 07:02 pm
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Padster
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Hi all.. started all my wiring for droppers & point motors but proving to be pretty tough going with a Sealey hand soldering iron so time to invest in a decent piece of kit. I'm prepared to pay good money for some good kit but actually its proving really difficult to source several of the top ten (according to various review bodies) soldering stations which is pretty frustrating. Seems I can only source the following from abroad or the US (mainly) 
Weller WES51, Hakko FX-888D X-Tronic 3020-XTS .... and none of these from UK outlets ... even Amazon.

I can source a Weller WLC100 but not sure the tip temp will remain high for fast and efficient soldering with this unit ... the others mentioned previous all claim that.

Any suggestions of good quality alternatives or do I bite the bullet and try and order from the US (Im sure taxes would apply also)?

Thanks
Paul

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