Will this soldering kit suffice?

Discussion in 'The DIY Tool Shed' started by omlove, Aug 9, 2019.

  1. omlove

    omlove Tele-Meister

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    Got the bug into wiring and started looking online about soldering equipment. Found this kit at $16.99 60W:
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XZ31W3M/

    For a little money there's this at $27.99 60W:
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073VDX4B7/

    Then there's the standards Stewmac set at $77.85 40W iron:
    https://www.stewmac.com/Luthier_Tools/StewMac_Tool_Sets/Guitar_Electronics_Tool_Set.html

    ...or deluxe at $209.24
    https://www.stewmac.com/Luthier_Tools/StewMac_Tool_Sets/Guitar_Electronics_Deluxe_Tool_Set.html

    Would the first set suffice? It's so cheap that I'm worried but the reviews seem good.

    I am considering guitar wiring mods, perhaps amp building may need more tools. or not?

    Thanks for your response in advance.
     
  2. viking

    viking Friend of Leo's

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    I havent looked at the links
    For guitar , you need at least 40 w
    Some jobs in amps require more
    Whatever you do , make sure you can get new tips.
     
  3. hotpot

    hotpot Tele-Afflicted

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    I got the first one on your list and it's been fine, I don't do a great deal of soldering and didn't want to spend a lot of money on one. It gets up to temperature quicker than my old one and I've done half a dozen soldering jobs with it no problem at all.
     
  4. Asmith

    Asmith Friend of Leo's

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    I do it all with a cheap 25W iron, 40 would make some jobs easier (soldering back of pots, humbucker cases, etc) but good technique you can solder these solder to the back of pots neatly without damaging them.
     
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  5. Shuster

    Shuster Poster Extraordinaire

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  6. 6stringcowboy

    6stringcowboy Tele-Afflicted

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    Aoyue 469 Variable Power 60 Watt Soldering Station with Removable Tip Design- ESD Safe https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MCVCHJM/?tag=tdpri-20
     
  7. bondoman

    bondoman Tele-Meister

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    I have a few irons but this my favorite and probably my cheapest. Down side is it didn't come with extra tips but those are cheap sold separately. [​IMG]
     
  8. Commodore 64

    Commodore 64 Friend of Leo's

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    I use a Weller WES51. I think this is the current: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077JDGY1J/?tag=tdpri-20

    Started with a 20 cheapy station. Then a $50 35W weller pencil which I used until the bushing holding the tip on disintegrated (from use, I made several amps with it). Then I finally got the WES51. Shoulda done that a long time ago.

    Spend the money now if you plan to build amps. You wont regret it. And get a decent autoranging multimeter.
     
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  9. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Friend of Leo's

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    WTH? That's not a soldering iron, it's a robot.
     
  10. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    Get the Harbor Freight $7 "25w" iron, solder, and a bit of sandpaper, and a $2 solder sucker off Amazon. You'll have all you need. Sure you can go all robot fancy "I need a Custom Shop guitar to sound good" approach but soldering is technique. You can build a nice stand from a coat hanger bent in a spiral screwed to a scrap of wood.

    Solder backs of pots: sand paper a little circle spot, heat the spot with the iron and feed solder at the interface of the iron and pot. The solder transfers the heat. Heat the stripped end of the wire(s) and flow solder into the wire(s). Now press the wires to the pot, held down with the iron, and feed in a little more solder. Put the solder down and grab a wood chopstick/pencil/twig from the yard to hold the wires in place while you pull the iron away and let it all cool down. You want smooth and slightly shiny cooled solder when done that looks like the sides of Mt Fuji. If slushy, grainy, dull, or a blob then reheat and remove or add some solder as you need. Solder sucker is for removing most of the solder at a joint to do a repair.

    .
     
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  11. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    The advice I give is to get an old Weller analog station. They did the job for decades and a good one is still as good as anything out there. I started using the Hakko station 3 years ago and it is a good unit as well, but those old Wellers just seem to have more horsepower and just work well. Used, maybe $40 or so for a clean one.
     
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  12. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I like 40 watts, it will do most everything. Don't go for gimmicks or self soldering junk.
    Make sure replacement tips are available for the one you buy and not overpriced!
    After a couple decades of soldering I got an adjustable one. Guess what? I leave it wide open anyway! Waste of money for me.
    Also get a solder sucker of some sort.
     
  13. yellowbeard

    yellowbeard Tele-Holic

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    ^^^^^^ This....and I would add make sure to use a 60/40 resin core solder. The rohs compliant stuff is a bugger it needs a lot of heat to melt and flow. Keep your tip clean and tinned, after use clean and tin it before you put it away.....and don't breathe the fumes they'll make you null and void.
     
  14. SacDAve

    SacDAve Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I bought a nice Weller station I don't regret it one bit (WES51) great for amp builds. Multi meter after my $50 craftsman meter blew up I bought a fluke over $100 but but all kinds of safety factors built int Flukes truly proffesional tools.
     
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  15. alathIN

    alathIN Tele-Holic

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  16. bumnote

    bumnote Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    Just starting? The second kit from Amazon will start you off fine. I have a couple of similar irons like that. They work fine...but the temperature dial isn't what I'd call exact.
    First time out, buy extra pots and caps...you bound to burn a few up.
    These are a good cheat that I've used in the past instead ground each pickup to a pot...
    Allparts EP-4968-000 Solder Lug washers https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GIU6IY8/?tag=tdpri-20

    If you like it...then look into more expensive and elaborate setups. Why spend a lot of money up front for something you might not decide to continue on with.
     
  17. kbold

    kbold Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Like a lot of purchase situations, you start off with the cheapest, which soon does not cover your needs. Then you buy medium range, and later you buy a proper soldering station.

    If your occasionally doing itsy-bitsy stuff, go cheap - it will get the job done.
    If you are soldering regularly, buy a proper work station from the start. Your soldering will be better, and you won't have spent extra money going through the improvement chain.

    Same goes for multimeters, side cutters etc etc.
     
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  18. strat56

    strat56 Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I bought one of these, Weller WESD51, in 2011 and it has worked flawlessly for 8 years. Heats up quick, recovers quickly and maintains the temperature. Many of the less expensive irons don't recover quickly and don't maintain a consistent temperature.

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000ARU9PO/?tag=tdpri-20
     
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  19. TimTam

    TimTam Tele-Holic

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    To answer your actual question, yes, the cheap first kit will be fine.

    There are very decent cheap irons around now. I used an expensive Weller WES51 for several decades. When it eventually died I went for something cheap with good reviews, very like your link - 60w, temperature adjustable. As you've found, for less than $20 you now get one with a whole kit of important extras that you used to have to buy separately ... extra tip shapes, stand with sponge, sucker, solder, tools.

    It used to be that cheap irons weren't that great but often 'did the job' if you weren't too fussy. Now cheap irons are actually pretty decent.

    If you don't have a multimeter, get the Amazon kit you linked that's bundled with one. It's got most of what's in the Stewmac kit, for 1/10 the price.

    The only other thing you really need is a 'third hand' .. eg
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0002LLWYK/?tag=tdpri-20

    The magnifying glass is not that useful if your close sight is OK. If it's borderline, consider an illuminated desk magnifier.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2019
  20. KG7IL

    KG7IL TDPRI Member

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    I purchased this unit on Amazon
    75 watts with adjustable temperature. I also bought extra tips at the same time.

    It is very convenient to use.. and to quickly disassemble and put back in the box for storage. Add some 60/40 tin lead solder and some decent paste.

    I've been soldering since the early 60's and this is very nice for the price.
    It can handle most of your delicate board work to the back of pots.


    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01DGZFSNE/?tag=tdpri-20

    [​IMG]
     
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