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Is my soldering iron powerful enough?

Discussion in 'The DIY Tool Shed' started by BazC, Jun 25, 2014.

  1. metecem

    metecem Friend of Leo's

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    +1

    The side does the trick. Take your time and wait till the tip is hot and use the side. Heat the joint first and then apply solder and Bob's your uncle...
     
  2. Nick JD

    Nick JD Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    YES! I bolded it for emphasis.

    Mine takes forever to get properly hot (like 15 minutes), it needs to be cranked to work.
     
  3. Tonetele

    Tonetele Poster Extraordinaire

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    +1 to Nick's comments, I use a 40 watt soldering iron ample, less would be okay JMHO.
     
  4. Tom Pettingill

    Tom Pettingill Tele-Holic

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    I remember those dark days from the long ago. I bought my Hakko 936 station around 15 years ago and its been a joy to use. The ceramic heater in it heats the tip up in under a minute and can hold a steady temperature within + / - a couple degrees of the set point. Thats not to say you can't get the job done with lesser equipment, just that I think its the best $100 I've spent on tools in a long time.
     
  5. Daverius

    Daverius Tele-Meister

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    +1 on the solder hot & fast. Do it quick and the pot ( or cap or etc.) never gets the chance to heat up.
    +1 on the Hakko
     
  6. Richard Guy

    Richard Guy TDPRI Member

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    Go 40.
     
  7. ItchyFingers

    ItchyFingers Tele-Afflicted

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    I use a 140/100 weller gun for everything but plumbing.
    It has enough poop to heat frets for removal and quite fine for wiring and pots.
    Optimally a small pencil one would be nice for smaller wiring and a medium and large one for bigger wiring and pots But the 140/100 watt Weller does the job pretty darn well. It has lasted for a long long time with only one tip change which are available anywhere.
     
  8. cap47

    cap47 Tele-Holic

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    Irons with screw in tips need tips to be removed now and then to clean the threads so the heat doesn't have to transfer thru carbon buildup. If your iron seems slow to heat clean the threads for better heat transfer. The coated buildup is like a resistor.
     
  9. BazC

    BazC TDPRI Member

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    Sorry I hadn't replied I didn't realise there'd been more replies. All your tips are greatly appreciated, thanks!
     
  10. PhatBoy

    PhatBoy Tele-Afflicted

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    Quick Q":

    What if the pot is old/oxidized?
    &
    I have a gun, but I can't relay say how hot it gets. How do you measure?

    Edited to Add:
    Don'tcha hate it when the "Age" field updates?
     
  11. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh Poster Extraordinaire

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    I second the 40. You wanna be able to get on and back off, so it has to be nice and hot, but not so much that you roast your components. 40W has always been about right for me.
     
  12. Nick JD

    Nick JD Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    You should always be connecting metals (well, any material) with a freshly prepared surface. Oxidation is the enemy of any joint and doesn't just happen to metals. I sand with 220 grit before tinning the back of pots, and have scraped with a razor before. Gotta be shiny.

    I think if you put solder on the tip of the iron and it instantly melts, it's hot enough.
     
  13. Erwin

    Erwin Tele-Meister

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    They all get about the same temperature. Higher wattage increases the capacity to keep the temp right when soldering bigger pieces together. A 150 W iron will let you solder big pieces like plumbing and so, a 15W or 20W pencil will struggle to solder anything bigger than a resistor or cap.

    Generally a 30 or 40 W one will be enough for all guitar related work. A gun will do nicely as long as you do not use it near the pick-ups like covers or so. They have a magnetic field that can damage the magnets of the pick-up.
     
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