Good Soldering Iron? - NOOB HERE! - Tips welcome!

Discussion in 'The DIY Tool Shed' started by dreamingtele, Oct 18, 2021.

  1. dreamingtele

    dreamingtele Friend of Leo's

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    Hi guys,

    I'm in Australia, so probably recommendations for US-based Soldering Irons might be hard to source,

    but is there a good Soldering Iron I should get? preferrably not too expensive, but I'm a believer of buy once, cry once, so definitely need something worth it and will last for a bit..

    I'm planning to do some pickup swaps, and make cables or stuff.. I'm a beginner so I want to be able to have something I can use for a lot of things.. maybe also pedals? and then amps? AHAHAHAHAHAHA Just kidding..

    but yeah.. also, what soldering tips can you offer??
     
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  2. old wrench

    old wrench Friend of Leo's

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    The Hakko soldering station is a real good and reliable performer - should be available in Oz :)

    Plenty of power for stuff like soldering grounds to the back of pots too.


    .
     
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  3. Telekarster

    Telekarster Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    FWIW - I use just a standard soldering iron that you can pick up at any hardware store. It's nothing special, and cost me about 12 bucks I think. I've been using it for 10 years now. Main thing is to keep the tip clean and tinned, oh... and be very careful not to burn yourself or anything else you don't want burned ;) Always know where it is, and what it's next to, and if it's on or not. Always protect your guitar and XYZ from dripping solder and heat. It can be a dangerous tool so just be careful. Hope this helps!
     
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  4. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    hit the flea markets.... should be some soldering irons about for cheap....;)
     
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  5. gkterry

    gkterry Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    A soldering station with a temperature control is essential. That doesn't always mean expensive either. I use a Stahl similar to this one. It ain't fancy or expensive but does the job nicely. I think I paid about $20 for it. They are currently $28 (US). The important things are 1) keep the tip clean; wet the sponge good in the tray and use it every time you use the iron. 2) Get a can of solder rosin and keep it handy; dip the iron in it before each time you solder. 3) Use a small tip and change it when it gets old. 4) Smear a small bit of rosin on the back of potentiometers before soldering to them; makes the time spent heating the pot much shorter. I have been around soldering & electronics all my life and was an Engineer at a TV station for 20 years and these are some of the tips I learned over time.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. srvy

    srvy TDPRI Member

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    I have a Weller solder station I bought at Rat Shack over 40 years ago. It pooped out and I bought a Stahl station on a great sale 5 years or so ago through Parts Express. Took a chance on replacing the cord on the old Weller and it works good as new again.
     
  7. Greenmachine

    Greenmachine Tele-Afflicted

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    Weller WP35
     
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  8. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have been using the same light blue non-adjustable Weller for over 30 years now. I believe it was originally rated at 60 or 75 Watts. Lack of power control isn’t an issue for basic guitar work.

    Power determines your recovery time more than your temperature. I.e. how much temperature you lose when the tip is applied to the work, and how fast you get it back. It’s about heating rate more than the absolute temperature achieved.

    Unless you’re soldering objects that are large heat sinks, and/or soldering many joints at a rapid pace (e.g. in a production environment), you don’t need much power. There are no large heat sinks in guitars, nor are you going to need to hit many joints in rapid succession. And you don’t need adjustable power unless you are soldering objects made from a wide variety of sizes and materials…also not the case with guitars.

    I’d rather have a high quality fixed power iron than a low-end soldering station with power adjustment.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2021
  9. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    you need a quiver....:lol:

    I couldn't pass up the huge old Birko for $5 at the markets.....bargain ..:D



    soldering irons small.jpg
     
  10. dreamingtele

    dreamingtele Friend of Leo's

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    I may not know what I'm looking at! hahaha

    At least if I see a Tadeo marking on a telecaster in a flea market, I know I stumbled on a fortune.. LOLOLOL
     
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  11. Telekarster

    Telekarster Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I like this alot. Maybe I should upgrade my old cheapo for one of these ;) Thanks for the tips!
     
  12. dreamingtele

    dreamingtele Friend of Leo's

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    okay, I'll look at these options! thanks!

    Ive been told to get something at least 60w? is this good?
     
  13. dreamingtele

    dreamingtele Friend of Leo's

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  14. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

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  15. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I’ve used Weller guns for over 40 years, instant heat and instant cool down, built in light and two temperatures on the trigger. Quick soldering on pots and never damaged anything. Just an option, one lots of us like that started way back in the Stone Age which wasn’t that long ago.
    127F9619-E118-46B8-9395-975ECC3FBA71.jpeg
     
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  16. fiveightandten

    fiveightandten TDPRI Member

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    Hakko FX-888D

    Lightning fast warm up, awesome recovery, plenty of power for ground joints in pots or even amp chassis grounds, easy to use.
     
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  17. Peegoo

    Peegoo Doctor of Teleocity

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    The MIC Yihua branded soldering stations (ebay) are pretty remarkable as a good starter unit. Get several spare tips with it. Look here:

     
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  18. Skyhook

    Skyhook Tele-Holic

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    This!
    You just can't go wrong with this thing.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. kbold

    kbold Friend of Leo's

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    Hakko should be on the top of your list. I would favour a 2nd hand Hakko over a new something else.
    Weller is the other option.

    Don't get pin tips .... get angled tips (some call single flat). Screwdriver tips are a second option to angled tips.
    (The pic in the post above shows a pin tip.)

    Edit: .... and get a soldering iron station.
     
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  20. somebodyelseuk

    somebodyelseuk Tele-Meister

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    +1

    Plus, reliable and durable.
     
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