Soldering Iron

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by AnthonyLouis, May 3, 2018.

  1. AnthonyLouis

    AnthonyLouis Silver Contributor Member For 2 Years

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    Can anyone suggest a decent soldering iron? Lost all my tools in Hurricane Sandy a few years back and haven’t had the need to solder anything in ages... not looking for anything crazy, just one that’ll get the job done making mods!


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  2. fightinggoat

    fightinggoat Bronze Contributor

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    Look on amazon or at a hardware store for a weller, they are good performers with a long history, and not as expensive as some of the high end irons.
     
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  3. AnthonyLouis

    AnthonyLouis Silver Contributor Member For 2 Years

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    Greatly appreciated friend


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  4. The Cromwell

    The Cromwell The Frugal Vapist VU Donator Diamond Contributor Member For 3 Years

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    This one is pretty good for small stuff. ~$40 at amazon

    Weller WLC100 40-Watt Soldering Station
     
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  5. AnthonyLouis

    AnthonyLouis Silver Contributor Member For 2 Years

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    Yeah I was looking at that one!


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  6. f1r3b1rd

    f1r3b1rd Vigilante Warrior Staff Member Senior Moderator VU Donator Diamond Contributor Member For 4 Years VU Challenge Team

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  7. The Cromwell

    The Cromwell The Frugal Vapist VU Donator Diamond Contributor Member For 3 Years

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  8. f1r3b1rd

    f1r3b1rd Vigilante Warrior Staff Member Senior Moderator VU Donator Diamond Contributor Member For 4 Years VU Challenge Team

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    I bought it for school, and wouldn’t think of using anything else. The nice part is that it’ll last me a lifetime.
     
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  9. The Cromwell

    The Cromwell The Frugal Vapist VU Donator Diamond Contributor Member For 3 Years

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    Unless your workshop burns up....
    :cry:
     
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  10. f1r3b1rd

    f1r3b1rd Vigilante Warrior Staff Member Senior Moderator VU Donator Diamond Contributor Member For 4 Years VU Challenge Team

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    Omg that would be terrible. Such a huge insurance claim.


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  11. The Cromwell

    The Cromwell The Frugal Vapist VU Donator Diamond Contributor Member For 3 Years

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    Yeah and if over 5 years old you only get 1/2 of what you paid for it.
     
  12. f1r3b1rd

    f1r3b1rd Vigilante Warrior Staff Member Senior Moderator VU Donator Diamond Contributor Member For 4 Years VU Challenge Team

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    Oh, I know... that’s why I had 10k invested in a car stereo when Katrina hit


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  13. CrazyChef v2.0

    CrazyChef v2.0 Gold Contributor Member For 2 Years VU Challenge Team ECF Refugee Reddit Exile

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    Any tips (no pun intended) for someone new to soldering? I'm thinking about re-purposing a couple of my mods into new enclosures.
     
  14. f1r3b1rd

    f1r3b1rd Vigilante Warrior Staff Member Senior Moderator VU Donator Diamond Contributor Member For 4 Years VU Challenge Team

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    I’m doing that right now, myself.

    Tin your connections before you solder them. Use a good resin core solder. Clean your tip often and remember you don’t need to max the power to get a good
    Joint. Also, a third hand comes in handy. I use one with a magnifier; because -old.
     
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  15. f1r3b1rd

    f1r3b1rd Vigilante Warrior Staff Member Senior Moderator VU Donator Diamond Contributor Member For 4 Years VU Challenge Team

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    Crap: to add:
    Don’t hold the heat on the board, for obvious reasons. Heat the wire then tap with iron and pull the iron straight up to create a nice joint. It doesn’t take much. Personally I roll my iron up.
    YouTube probably has a few tutorials for new users. Hell, you could probably get your EE through YouTube now. Lol
    If you’re soldering two wires together twist them together then solder the joint.

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  16. Iliketurtles

    Iliketurtles Silver Contributor Member For 4 Years

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    Tin the bit first every time you solder. Make sure connection points are clean before you solder them. If you are doing boards, surface mounts components etc make sure you have the iron at the right temperature or you will destroy everything. Try not to burn yourself too often.
     
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  17. CrazyChef v2.0

    CrazyChef v2.0 Gold Contributor Member For 2 Years VU Challenge Team ECF Refugee Reddit Exile

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    I don't know what that means.

    Any suggestions on good quality brands?

    Cool, thank you.

    I have this one:
    [​IMG]

    Me too. :eek:
     
  18. Iliketurtles

    Iliketurtles Silver Contributor Member For 4 Years

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    Tinning is coating the bit / connection with a thin layer of solder before you do the real soldering :p
     
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  19. f1r3b1rd

    f1r3b1rd Vigilante Warrior Staff Member Senior Moderator VU Donator Diamond Contributor Member For 4 Years VU Challenge Team

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    Tin: heat the iron and put solder on the tip, clean and repeat. I did my tip until it started to change color the first time. Now I just heat and solder clean and repeat once. Think of it like seasoning a cast iron skillet. But you do want a fresh dab before you actually solder.

    For joints, I put a dab of solder on the joint I want before I try and connect it, to tin it.

    I use “kester” rosin core.

    @thecromwell and @Sonar505 are probably 2 of the most knowledgeable people here

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    Last edited: May 12, 2018
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  20. fq06

    fq06 Gold Contributor Member For 4 Years

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    I've used this Hakko knockoff for about a decade and it's still going strong. Pick up the tip kit for smaller soldering jobs. You can find this on ebay and a bunch of other places too but here is where I got mine.

    https://hobbyking.com/en_us/soldering-station-with-adjustable-heat-range-us-warehouse.html
    https://hobbyking.com/en_us/soldering-iron-tip-set-10-pcs.html

    And a solder sucker will be needed at some point in your soldering journey... probably sooner than later.
    https://hobbyking.com/en_us/de-soldering-suction-tool.html
     
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  21. jwill

    jwill The Great King of Nothing VU Vendor VU Donator Platinum Contributor Member For 1 Year VU Challenge Team Reddit Exile

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    This is by far my favorite solder ever. It is leaded so you want to try avoiding breathing the fumes but it is good stuff and you get good strong solder points and consistent flow.

    amazon.com/KESTER-SOLDER-24-6337-0027-WIRE-183°C/dp/B00DE2QVIG
     
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  22. f1r3b1rd

    f1r3b1rd Vigilante Warrior Staff Member Senior Moderator VU Donator Diamond Contributor Member For 4 Years VU Challenge Team

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    That’s exactly what I use!
    The stuff goes on like buttah!
     
  23. fightinggoat

    fightinggoat Bronze Contributor

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    Get some flux aka soldering paste, it helps a bunch getting solder to stick to things like 510 connectors, and makes all the soldering much faster so you don't have to hold heat on it.

    I dip the tips of my wire in the flux, and melt a little solder onto the top of the iron, and tin the wire by applying the melted solder to the bare fluxed wire, it evenly coated the wire in a very thin layer of solder.

    Then I dip in flux again and melt some more solder onto iron, put my wires together and apply iron, it only takes a couple seconds.

    Makes a very strong connection.

    Same basic principle for soldering other connections including circuit boards, except with boards, you don't have to tin the holes, but a tiny bit of flux helps make it stick without needing to hold the iron on it.

    I don't use resin core solder, just some solid lead free solder for electrical use from the local hardware store, works great for me.

    Be sure to keep the tip of your iron clean, once it's starts to gunk up you will notice it doesn't transfer heat very well and makes everything harder.

    Once mine gets a little crust built up, I sand it down to the metal with a little emory cloth or the metal file in my leatherman.
    I then like to stick the tip of the iron in my flux paste and melt a little solder on the exposed copper to keep it from oxidizing before my next use.
     
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  24. jwill

    jwill The Great King of Nothing VU Vendor VU Donator Platinum Contributor Member For 1 Year VU Challenge Team Reddit Exile

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    I love this stuff. Its pretty much all I use for general soldering and it has never let me down once.
     
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  25. jwill

    jwill The Great King of Nothing VU Vendor VU Donator Platinum Contributor Member For 1 Year VU Challenge Team Reddit Exile

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    I use one of these a lot because I have to use certain solder on electronics that has a higher melting point and my solder station just takes too long. The temperature isn't exactly accurate but it is inexpensive and gets used 5-6 times a week for the last 3 years so its a good cheapy.



    With this one I have also been able to make super fine points with ground down nails to get into some very small boards and re-solder tiny chips and fuses. I train all my new engineers on this one because it makes it easier to pull away from the solder without pointing up the pool and to learn to control applying the solder.

    You can get a pack of blank PCB board like this



    Some scrap wire and a good pair of helping hands and have the basics down in a couple of days.
     
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  26. The Cromwell

    The Cromwell The Frugal Vapist VU Donator Diamond Contributor Member For 3 Years

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    The solder must flow.
     
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  27. Zohmbiebuilds

    Zohmbiebuilds Silver Contributor Member For 1 Year

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    I just felt I need to make a correction so no one gets the wrong item. Solder paste and flux paste are different. Solder paste is flux with solder, in past form, for SMD parts making shit much easier to reflow. It needs to be refrigerated. While flux paste is flux. I know you probably meant this and I knew what you meant as most people do, but it's worth mentioning.

    Also, even with flux you need to heat the joint. Flux makes bonding easier due to its cleaning properties. All metal needs to be heated properly for a solid connection.

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  28. Zohmbiebuilds

    Zohmbiebuilds Silver Contributor Member For 1 Year

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    You'll know when it's connected properly because it will "flow". Meaning it'll melt uniform and not have a hard edge. An edge is caused by improper flowv due to a lack of flux, and or the flux and metal has not been properly heated to the correct bonding temperature.

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  29. casketweaver

    casketweaver Bronze Contributor ECF Refugee

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    Weller or Hakko. Any model really.

    Weller if you want an original and long lasting soldering station. I have a Weller in the garage that's 13+ years old. Works like a champ.

    Hakko if you want bleeding edge in soldering tech. I feel they're a bit overpriced but the reviews are good on them.

    Good wire, good flux paste, and plenty of room. Also a good bit of circulation doesn't hurt either. Don't forget, amazing eyesight.

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