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Hot Rods Need recommendation for soldering iron

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 6inarow, Jun 6, 2018.

  1. 6inarow
    Joined: Jan 24, 2007
    Posts: 2,259

    6inarow
    Member

    I did a search and couldnt find what I was looking for (unless I missed it). I am looking for a pretty good iron for making my wiring harness. But I would also like to do other things like guitar effects pedals. im still thinking an electric iron would be a good choice. Any recommendations?? Mods move this if Im not in the right section
     
  2. Spend the money on a top-quality crimp tool and forget soldering....
     
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  3. Petejoe
    Joined: Nov 27, 2002
    Posts: 10,582

    Petejoe
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Zoar, Ohio

    Those mini torches are great for this type of work.
     
  4. Davyj
    Joined: Jul 11, 2011
    Posts: 442

    Davyj
    Member

    joel and caseywheels like this.

  5. I use an old Weller soldering gun just like this. It has two settings, 100 and 140 watts. Works great.
    [​IMG]
     
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  6. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,872

    squirrel
    Member

    I have an old soldering gun I use for heavier wire like in automotive harnesses, and other odd stuff. I also have a few smaller irons that I use for more precise electronics work, on smaller parts that don't need so many watts.
     
  7. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 27,533

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I've got one and maybe two Weller 500 soldering guns out in the garage. Had one for 40 years and found one at a yard sale too cheap to pass up.
    I have to agree, get a smaller unit for the small intricate stuff and use the bigger one or wiring harnesses.
     
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  8. ClarkH
    Joined: Jul 21, 2010
    Posts: 951

    ClarkH
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I'd take my cue from Crazy Steve on crimping. But if you're hell bent on soldering, you can't beat an old Weller. They crop up at estate sales pretty regular for a couple bucks... Oh geeze, looks like I type too slow. Consider this a fancy "x2" on Bleach's post. And Mr48chev.
    Weller2.jpg

    Weller1.jpg
     
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  9. 6inarow
    Joined: Jan 24, 2007
    Posts: 2,259

    6inarow
    Member

    What kind of wattages am I looking for - this is esactly the info I was searching for Thanks!!
     
  10. 6inarow
    Joined: Jan 24, 2007
    Posts: 2,259

    6inarow
    Member

    I have tried and tried to crimp the resistors onto the circuit board but dont know how.
     
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  11. ClarkH
    Joined: Jul 21, 2010
    Posts: 951

    ClarkH
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Mine's 250 watts. Came with a soldering tip, a smoothing tip and a cutting tip.
     
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  12. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,872

    squirrel
    Member

    For soldering components to a circuit board, a 15 to 35 watt iron is probably appropriate (depend on how big the resistors are, of course).

    Make sure you use rosin core solder for this type of work.
     
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  13. 6inarow
    Joined: Jan 24, 2007
    Posts: 2,259

    6inarow
    Member

    Actually its an OT circuit board Bass guitar bass effects pedals....... but i need an iron to do more than one thing. thats why crimps wont work
     
  14. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,872

    squirrel
    Member

    The size of iron (or the adjustment of it if it's a variable power unit) depends on how thick the wires are that you're soldering. I don't know what they have in bass pedals.
     
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  15. Mr T body
    Joined: Nov 2, 2005
    Posts: 2,153

    Mr T body
    Alliance Vendor
    from SoCal

    This. Crimp only what you have to.
     
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  16. I use a Weller soldering station, and I'm very pleased with it. It has adjustable temperature and it keeps that temperature. A LED shows if it's at the right temp, or if it's heating up.

    weller.jpg
     
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  17. For small electronics, like IC's and transistors, on printed circuit boards, 20 watts is fine. If you want to splice-solder 1.5mm copper wires together, 30 watts will do. Anything bigger will fry electronics. If you can get an iron that replacement tips, etc, are available, you would have it for years. I have used chisel-shaped tips for all types of your kind of work.
     
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  18. I found mine at a garage sale 15 years ago. It was never used. I think I might have paid $10 for it.

    Here's a great site about Weller soldering irons.
    https://stevenjohnson.com/soldering/weller.htm
     
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  19. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 4,357

    Boneyard51
    Member

    Choosing the right size (wattage) soldering gun is as important as selecting the right size wrench. The trick to a good solder joint is clean wire/ terminal ,quick heat,apply solder, get a shinny joint. We’ve had the discussion of solder verses crimping here and other places before. Personally I solder every connection, and have for forty years with none of the problems others associate with soldering. I have no problem with the “ factory” crimps, but I have never seen a crimper out there that can give a factory crimp. In my years I have chased down many problems that were the result of a faulty crimp. I crimp, solder, heat shrink every connection, when possible. Never had one fail.

    Bones
     
  20. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 6,876

    Bandit Billy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I am at work so I cant take a picture of it but a buddy who is a tech at GE gave me his old iron that is adjustable for heat and has a suction balloon attachment for removing solder which I used just last night on an old seeburg I am restoring. It is a commercial product, cant recall the brand. I'll try to remember to take a photo of it tonight.
     
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  21. classiccarjack
    Joined: Jun 30, 2009
    Posts: 1,441

    classiccarjack
    Member

    Crimp & Solder is the best way to go. I use a snap on soldering iron. Not easy to find if you are not a mechanic working out of a shop. I also prefer the heat shrink with the glue inside of it, so it seals the connection water tight....

    Happy wiring!!!

    Sent from my XT1585 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
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  22. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,263

    Atwater Mike
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Weller originally made my soldering iron for Snap-On.
    Check patent #s. Mine may be older than yours...I've been a mechanic for 60 years...:D
     
  23. Schwanke Engines
    Joined: Jun 12, 2014
    Posts: 783

    Schwanke Engines
    Member

    Snap-on electric. We have 3 we use around the shop. They are like $60.00 but worth every penny.

    Sent from my Moto Z (2) using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  24. Schwanke Engines
    Joined: Jun 12, 2014
    Posts: 783

    Schwanke Engines
    Member

    We also have about $600.00 in crimping tools, but those are for crimping pins on for connectors. I spend a lot of time removing scotch locks and butt connectors when I wire a vehicle. Every connection that is not a pin and connector gets soldered. We go through solder and heat shrink like it's candy. Also get the good heat shrink that has the adhesive in it. And a good heat gun while your at it.

    Sent from my Moto Z (2) using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
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  25. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 4,435

    BamaMav
    Member
    from Berry, AL

    I used a Radio Shack gun made just like the Weller for probably 25 or 30 years before it went out. It had replaceable tips in different sizes for the job at hand. Don't know if you can even get one like it anymore since Radio shack went busted. I have to get another one myself, just haven't thought about it. Don't ever think about stuff like that until you get ready to use it, and it's broken or not there anymore.....
     
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  26. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,872

    squirrel
    Member

    I see no one has mentioned Ungar...they were always a step up from Weller... :)
     
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  27. indyjps
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 3,935

    indyjps
    Member

    I have a few wellers, the gun style and pencil style. Picked each of them up for a few bucks at sales. I use the pencil style most often.

    I use binder clips with magnet, alligator clips etc, always seems like I need 3 hands when soldering, these help position the work. Keep some foil in your solder box to shield your hands for those upside down jobs.
     
  28. DIYGUY
    Joined: Sep 8, 2015
    Posts: 890

    DIYGUY
    Member
    from West, TX

    IMG_2365.JPG I thought this place was all about traditional :D
     
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  29. I use a Weller D550 for most of my heavier wiring work and an 8200N for the lighter wiring. I also have a very heavy old school soldering iron I use for 8 ga and heavier wire. I also use a small pencil iron for small electronic work - circuit boards and stuff. I crimp and solder all connections and use good heat shrink to seal things up. I'm not comfortable just crimping, I've never been able to find a crimping tool will give me a crimp that I feel is tight enough to prevent corrosion from being able to start.

    A very small amount of solder goes a long way toward an air tight connection without creeping down the wire strands and making the wire stiff and prone to stress damage later on. Starting with the tip at temp and a good quick solder joint makes a big difference.
     
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  30. 30dodge
    Joined: Jan 3, 2007
    Posts: 436

    30dodge
    Member
    from Pahrump nv

    For electronics you can't beat a Weller soldering station, I got my station in 1976.
    The Weller guns the tips are to big for most board work, they are OK for larger wires, 1950's TVs and light sheet metal. The harnesses & equipment I did for NASA, the wire were stripped with heat, ends were crimped on, soldered, inspected under x 50, then the heat shrinking and coding.
     
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