Why can't I solder to the chassis? Well...er...

Discussion in 'Amp Tech Center' started by tele_savales, Jul 1, 2019.

  1. tele_savales

    tele_savales Tele-Meister

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    I didn't want to post any pictures of my horrific can capacitor solder joints on my Vibro champ, and I didn't want to button the amp up until it was done correctly. I had run out to the hardware store to get the standard Weller 100/140 watt gun in the middle of the project and the pictures show the results.

    Since I got my new Hakko delivered last week (awesome) I realized that my generally weak soldering skills were at least 50% equipment related, I wanted to see how well the Chinese soldering beast would do.

    Weller:
    IMG_3712.jpg
    $11.00 no-name 150 watt iron shipped from China. This took literally 4 seconds: IMG_3711.PNG IMG_3693.jpg Best 11 bucks I've ever spent!
     
    boredguy6060 and CWP0126 like this.
  2. D'tar

    D'tar Friend of Leo's

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    Good call on the Hakko! Love mine and as you mentioned. My soldering was pretty decent prior but now excels with a nice solder iron.

    I bought the 200w ebay special. Love it. for as often as it has to come out, it should last a lifetime. The only thing I would recommend on yours would be a chisel tip.
     
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  3. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

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    I have a Hakko 936 adjustable/regulated temp soldering station, and it has worked very well for standard small electronics use. I generally do not solder to chassis or any large metal surface, unless I absolutely have to. I instead use a bolt-on soldering lug with lock washer to provide an easy terminal to solder to.
     
  4. ReverendRevolver

    ReverendRevolver Tele-Holic

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    Has anyone tried the 75cent cartons of flux they sell on eBay? I'm tempted, but it takes like a month to show up....

    I need more utensils. My skills are not good, and I admit defeat and need one of those holder things.....
     
  5. corliss1

    corliss1 Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    Yup - I also have that random import no name iron and use it for all my chassis work.
     
  6. Bill Moore

    Bill Moore Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I have used the Weller "gun" with good results on many jobs in my shop.
    As D'tar said, the tip is the key. For the Weller "gun" #12 copper can be formed, and flattened to make a large area heat faster. I have been able to repair a radiator seam where I couldn't use an open flame. (You may also form the wire into a small chisel tip for soldering wire).
    I have a cheap Weller soldering station at home, but never tried to solder to chassis with it.
     
  7. tubelectron

    tubelectron Tele-Meister

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    Personally, I choose to install this kind of caps with a clamp...

    That said, like you I use also a Chinese soldering station + an air gun, from the brand WEP.

    But it's me, OK ? :D
     
  8. boredguy6060

    boredguy6060 Friend of Leo's

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    I learned the hard way that heat is at least half the battle if not more to getting a good solder joint.
    The chassis definitely requires something that can bring the heat quickly.
    I’ve seen guys around the forums with some big old irons who could solder to the chassis, but if that 11$ iron will get r done then good on it. You definitely need two irons if you’re gonna solder to the chassis. One for delicate work like the tabs on tube socket, and big irons for the chassis.
    Thanks for sharing that.
     
  9. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    Flux. My old Weller iron (not gun) 75 watt will do them in 3 seconds.
     
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  10. Boblets

    Boblets Friend of Leo's

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  11. corliss1

    corliss1 Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    The Hakko wasn't the $11 one they were talking about.
     
  12. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    my quiver of irons....

    saw the large one for $5 at a flea market and grabbed it... as you would...could be handy one day,:D

    I think it's for leadlighting work.....:)

    soldering irons small.jpg
     
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  13. tele_savales

    tele_savales Tele-Meister

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  14. tele_savales

    tele_savales Tele-Meister

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    Killer find.
     
  15. tele_savales

    tele_savales Tele-Meister

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    Yeah, I was surprised that it didn't work too well on the chassis, to be honest. It was the perfect thing for soldering a ground wire to a bridge plate, though, so I guess it'll get used now and again.

     
  16. kbold

    kbold Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Weller. Hakko. Both good quality, but are primarily designed to solder components to PCB's. What you're doing requires wattage and an iron with a big tip to transfer a lot of heat quickly.
    Different tools for different jobs.
     
  17. kbold

    kbold Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    How I read it: He got the Chinese iron for $11
     
  18. David Barnett

    David Barnett Doctor of Teleocity

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    Preparing the site with an abrasive and a flux pen goes a long way toward making a neat joint to the chassis.
     
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  19. Armo

    Armo Tele-Holic

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    Chassis are effectively massive heat sinks. I use a beast like this when soldering anything large. weller-soldering-guns-9400pks-64_1000.jpg
     
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  20. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Doctor of Teleocity

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    I've tried several things but the best is an the old 200 watt iron with the chunky buisness end I call Big Bertha. She cost me 5 bucks at an antique/junk type place, if I knew where she was I'd get the brand name, American made for sure.
    On chassis the size of the soldering tip is very important, mass holds heat. A smaller tip will loose heat into the chassis pretty fast. You have to sit there waiting for the solder to melt, all the while the chassis is getting hotter and that heat is spreading around.
    After Big Bertha finally warms up, chassis solder pools melt almost instantly, I was totally amazed the first time I used it. Really hope I figure out where the old girl is!
     
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