soldering iron recommendation

Discussion in 'Shock Brother's DIY Amps' started by SwampFuzz, Sep 28, 2014.

  1. SwampFuzz

    SwampFuzz Tele-Holic

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    Hi everyone. I have to learn to do my own work on my equipment, and for starters (a fitting term for my first post after saying hi over at the welcome wagon) I need a soldering iron. I don't know whether this will eventually lead to building amps or pedals, but I figure even if its just changing a wire once in a while, I'm still gonna need a good iron. It seems like there are some good ones to be had for around $100, but before I spring for one, I'd like to find out a thing or two about them, including what kinds of solder and tips are suggested for doing things like changing an input jack in a Tele or a volume pot on an amp. I can't think of a better place to get advice!
     
  2. MickM

    MickM Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    Welcome SF! Try clicking the "search" tab at the top of the page. Enter soldering+station. You'll probably find more than enough to confuse! Good Luck.
     
  3. boredguy6060

    boredguy6060 Poster Extraordinaire

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    A simple Stahl soldering iron will do anything you'll need, and they are about 25$.
     
  4. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire

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    Fuzz, welcome. I love these old Wellers, the WTCP series. They're available on e-bay for $40 - $100.
     

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  5. SFenn

    SFenn TDPRI Member

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    Bought the expensive station recommended in all the searches, it broke. Bought parts to fix it, broke again. built the last 5 amps with the large $12 and small $8 Radio Shack irons.
     
  6. telex76

    telex76 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    If you are trying to use just one iron it would need to be 40 watts with a pointy tip and a chisel tip. 60/40 rosin core solder.
     
  7. Tesla_HV

    Tesla_HV Tele-Afflicted

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    That's what I have. Best bang for the buck.
     
  8. Kennedycaster

    Kennedycaster Tele-Afflicted

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    I chose the Aoyue 9378 over the Hakko due to more features & couldn't be happier. It accepts Hakko tips as well.....

    [​IMG]

    Bob
     
  9. 20strings

    20strings TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    +1 on the Hakko. Came with a chisel tip that's still fine on my 3rd amp build works great on pedals too.
     
  10. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Features, and price if I recall. +1 for the Aoyue. I think mine was $60 on amazon.

    I keep it at 710 F or so for guitar work. If I need to solder a pot shell, one button press / hold while the readout shoots to 890. Temp stabilizes at the new level within a few seconds, amazingly. I'm on and off the pot before it knew what happened. One more button press, and in five secs we're back down to 700...

    I think it was a Hakko I tried and returned. Way too much button pressing and secondary function navigation to do that simple task.
     
  11. nvilletele

    nvilletele Friend of Leo's

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    Hakko.
     
  12. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Doctor of Teleocity

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    I got my irons in thrift stores just old well made ones. If your lucky you might score a Big Bertha 200 watter. Comes in real handy for cap cans, chassis grounds and soldering engine blocks after you forget antifreeze.
    My old Weller gun belonged to my late uncle it's about all I use on amps these days.
     
  13. drmcclainphd

    drmcclainphd Tele-Afflicted

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  14. SwampFuzz

    SwampFuzz Tele-Holic

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    Thank you all for the tips

    I decided to go with the Aoyue (my, that's lot of vowels) 9378. From the Bay of E for $79.99, including 10 tips and free shipping.
     
  15. Kennedycaster

    Kennedycaster Tele-Afflicted

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    You'll love it. I use mine several times a week for guitar & amp work. It works great on anything from tiny PCB traces to soldering grounds on the backs of pots. I've had it for about 1.5 years & have zero complaints.

    Bob
     
  16. mherrcat

    mherrcat Tele-Holic

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    Someone gave me an old a Weller W60P 10 years ago. 700 deg. tip controlled temp. Been using it ever since. Plug it in...solder...unplug.
     
  17. SacDAve

    SacDAve Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I had the Hakko FX888D I found out the "D" stands for doomed, 11 months it broke. Retuned to Amazon then bought the Weller WES51 Analog Soldering Station, really haven’t had a chance to try it yet.
     
  18. SwampFuzz

    SwampFuzz Tele-Holic

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    My Aoyue arrived. I'm waiting on an Engineer SS 02 solder sucker, and was wondering what type of solder to get for amps and pedals.
     
  19. jsnwhite619

    jsnwhite619 Friend of Leo's

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    I'm with SFenn on this. I bought a $90 X-Tronic station on Amazon, and it worked well at first. The heating element went out on it after less than 20 hours of use (not continuous, but over a few weeks). After phone calls and emails to customer service, apparently, that isn't covered in 1 year guarantee, so I had to buy another soldering iron to replace the element in that one (talk about irony), and in the end it still didn't work. I left a negative review on Amazon after the whole experience and the company then contacted me to send a replacement iron for the station for free if I changed my review. I left the review, put the expensive one in a box, and have now completely rewired an Epiphone Les Paul and just finished building a 5E3 amp with a $10 iron from walmart that gets plenty hot enough. The only thing I think that is sacrificed with the cheap irons is the tip quality and options. But, it still got the job done, even hot enough to solder grounds to a 16 gauge chassis.
     
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