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 Post subject: How to solder ??
PostPosted: Mar Thu 19, 2020 2:58 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 147
Location: Portland, Oregon USA
Can someone help me out, because I clearly I’m doing something wrong. How do you all solder? I read that some people are using the same tip for years. My tips last for a couple evenings and then I just have to trash them no matter how much solder I seem to use, flux, paper towel wiping on the tip nothing seems to work and eventually my tip just no longer does anything except make a Flippin mess all over my solder joints. What am I doing wrong? I cover a new tip all in solder then wipe the excess off but it slowly just builds up black crud and eventually just stops functioning. I’ve also tried sanding down the tip but that just exposes copper which seems to ruin it. I also read that flux seems to be corrosive so why is it even involved in soldering at all?


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 Post subject: Re: How to solder ??
PostPosted: Mar Thu 19, 2020 3:03 am 
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Location: Gretna, Nebraska
Can you share what kind of iron you are using. Make, model, wattage rating?

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 Post subject: Re: How to solder ??
PostPosted: Mar Thu 19, 2020 3:13 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 147
Location: Portland, Oregon USA
I’ve always used a weller model 8200 gun 140/100. I’d much prefer some style that’s always on if that’s a thing but I want a heavy duty one, not some 30 watt circuit board pencil type.


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 Post subject: Re: How to solder ??
PostPosted: Mar Thu 19, 2020 3:32 am 
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Location: Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
It would be good to know what you are soldering and the wattage of your iron. I use a brass pot scrubbing pad to clean the tip after each solder (no wet sponge- that lowers temperature of iron). Then I tin the tip before the next solder. My tip has not had to be replaced since I started using this method. Here is a you tube link: there are many on you tube, but do not sand or file your tip.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VlvjdaMARM

Be sure to tin the tip like in the video before you put your iron away.

Joe


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 Post subject: Re: How to solder ??
PostPosted: Mar Thu 19, 2020 3:50 am 
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Location: Gretna, Nebraska
For me anyway, a soldering gun requires a little more finesse and technique to make good joints than a pencil style iron. If you do use a pencil style iron for old-radio work, you do want an iron with adequate wattage and a tip with enough mass to get the joint up to temperature.

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Paul
...... how hard can it be?


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 Post subject: Re: How to solder ??
PostPosted: Mar Thu 19, 2020 4:19 am 
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Location: Columbus Ohio
I have a similar Weller gun, it too doesn't seem to flow solder. get a decent pencil, adjustable, $30-35 gets a nice one

https://www.amazon.com/Vastar-Soldering ... 172&sr=8-6

$20! looks good enough, remember, there is no such thing as Audiophile grade heat

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07ZS2TLT1/re ... RydWU&th=1


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 Post subject: Re: How to solder ??
PostPosted: Mar Thu 19, 2020 6:43 am 
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Joined: Jun Sat 09, 2007 8:14 am
Posts: 4095
Location: Florida
I've been using an 8200 gun for many years without problems. Something that can cause problems is the build up of oxide at the tip contacts. When this happens the tip will not get hot enough to make good joints, even though it may melt solder applied directly to the tip. Loosening and then re-tightening will break the oxide and allow a good connection and a hot tip. Be careful not to over-tighten and damage the threads.

RRM


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 Post subject: Re: How to solder ??
PostPosted: Mar Thu 19, 2020 12:43 pm 
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Location: Annapolis, MD
Ask ten people and get .........

I grew up on soldering guns...I will not allow one to be in my house. For over 10 years now, I have used a Weller WTCPT: Interchangeable tips, with the temperature set by the tip in use. One of the best tool investments I ever made.

Controlled temperature alone makes a huge difference. If the tip is too hot, it fails faster---and make poorer joints. Another major factor is the tip material and plating. Bare copper is NOT what you want. The modern irons typically use tips that are plated with a metal that is far less reactive than copper.

The only thing i can't do easily with the Weller is solder to a chassis---I generally have to pre-heat with a hot-air gun, which is prone to doing "collateral damage". Someday, I'll get past the cheap filter and get a basic iron (not a gun) with more power

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"Measure voltage, but THINK current." --anon.


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 Post subject: Re: How to solder ??
PostPosted: Mar Thu 19, 2020 1:50 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: Potomac, MD 20854
It's possible that the tip is heating enough to melt solder but not heating up as much as it should.

Older Weller guns have nuts that secure the tip to the body. Every time you start a soldering session you should loosen the nuts by a quarter-turn or so and then tighten them down to make the connection solid. If it's a long session, do it every so often while you work.

Newer guns use set screws. Those too should be tightened as above. It's just harder to do with less leverage.

Wish you weren't across the country. I'd be happy to visit and work with you to see what's up.

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 Post subject: Re: How to solder ??
PostPosted: Mar Thu 19, 2020 7:28 pm 
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Joined: May Tue 30, 2006 4:46 pm
Posts: 10250
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Quote:
For over 10 years now, I have used a Weller WTCPT: Interchangeable tips, with the temperature set by the tip in use.


+1 for 30 yrs.

I have gun for really coarse work. Guns have too much power and the tip does not make for easy heat transfer or control.

You won't find a solder gun in a professional electronics lab.

Rich


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 Post subject: Re: How to solder ??
PostPosted: Mar Thu 19, 2020 7:36 pm 
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Joined: Jun Sat 09, 2007 8:14 am
Posts: 4095
Location: Florida
Rich, W3HWJ wrote:
....You won't find a solder gun in a professional electronics lab. Rich


Never saw anything else in a Radio and TV shop though.

RRM


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 Post subject: Re: How to solder ??
PostPosted: Mar Thu 19, 2020 7:37 pm 
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Joined: Sep Tue 15, 2015 1:16 am
Posts: 886
Location: 18424 PA
Weller WTCPT

Don't they make a "8" tip? Pretty sure i used to solder to a chassis with a 8. Mine has been related to secondary status, i used to swap tips all the time according to the job. The Weller esd digital readout, when spun up to 850 will solder to a chassis.


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 Post subject: Re: How to solder ??
PostPosted: Mar Thu 19, 2020 10:12 pm 
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Location: Annapolis, MD
n3uvt wrote:
Weller WTCPT

Don't they make a "8" tip? Pretty sure i used to solder to a chassis with a 8. Mine has been related to secondary status, i used to swap tips all the time according to the job. The Weller esd digital readout, when spun up to 850 will solder to a chassis.

The two I use the most:
"8" for 800 degrees
"7" for 700

with the 800, I can solder to a chassis, if I'm at an edge. Even then, I speed things up by preheating with the hot air gun. ....bit of a "shade-tree" method, but it works

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"Measure voltage, but THINK current." --anon.


Last edited by pixellany on Mar Fri 20, 2020 8:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: How to solder ??
PostPosted: Mar Fri 20, 2020 6:42 am 
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Joined: Sep Mon 16, 2013 2:42 am
Posts: 3783
Location: Tucson, Arizona U.S.A.
Please tell us what kind of iron you are using. A picture would be even better. Is the tip large enough for the job? An undersize tip won't do a good job on antique radio type jobs. The pointed tips are for modern PC boards. What kind of solder are you using? Is it a name brand rosin core solder? Acid core solder is corrosive and not suitable for electronic work. Water soluble flux is an acid flux for electronic work but the residue MUST be removed. No Clean flux is just regular flux in much reduced quantity. It's for brand new, clean parts, not old parts. If it isn't name brand, all bets are off.

Bare copper soldering tips work fine if you keep them clean. They do, however, have a much shorter life than modern plated tips. But even then, a few days is ridiculous.

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 Post subject: Re: How to solder ??
PostPosted: Mar Sat 21, 2020 6:05 pm 
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Joined: Oct Sun 18, 2015 2:49 am
Posts: 297
Location: San Angelo, TX
I’ve been using the same Weller 8200 gun for over 50 years and only change tips when they finally break. I seldom clean it. What kind of solder are you using? Solder composition and flux makes a LOT of difference depending on what you are soldering. Denis


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 Post subject: Re: How to solder ??
PostPosted: Apr Wed 01, 2020 4:13 am 
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Joined: May Thu 14, 2015 4:15 pm
Posts: 2059
Location: Dallas, TX
This is a good series of videos about soldering.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIT4ra6Mo0s

Personally I don't think I have ever used a gun for electronic in my entire electronics career, always a gun.
The closest I came was owning a Wen 75 "Pistol".

https://stevenjohnson.com/soldering/pics/wen-75.jpg

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 Post subject: Re: How to solder ??
PostPosted: Apr Sat 04, 2020 10:31 pm 
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Joined: Oct Thu 18, 2007 11:34 am
Posts: 4282
Location: Port Orchard, Wa 98366
This wasn't mentioned if I can think at all. Dont use plumbers solder.
Use eutectic 63/37 solder or you could use 60/40 solder which isn't eutectic. I use a gun all the time and have never had bad soldering. I worked in a professional Lab. Solder guns were used for RF connectors, Ground Tabs, Power Transformers big Wires etc. and never had a solder problem. I used Solder Guns while building Power Supplies at Tektronix. When I had a choice though On Multiple pin Military connectors and ground connectors, I preferred to use a resistance solderer.

As far as both solder Gun & solder Irons tips, I always preferred Iron Clad Tips. I would Immerse the tips in solder paste while the tips were heating up. Then I would wipe them off on a wet sponge and repeat the process till the tips were clean and applying new solder at the same time after cleaning. If the tips were Really bad I would use a brass brush or in case of really bad corrosion, I would use a stainless steel brush as I re-tinned the tip each time before using. Cold solder joints can be reduced by using a higher wattage. The saying quick in and quick out apply so as not to destroy traces, wire insulation or making the wire tarnish from excessive heat. Tarnished wire is very hard to solder Also. So it must be clean.

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 Post subject: Re: How to solder ??
PostPosted: Apr Sun 05, 2020 8:40 pm 
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Joined: Apr Wed 24, 2013 10:08 pm
Posts: 1330
Location: Highland & Livonia, MI
I use a Weller 8200 gun and make my own tips from 10 gauge copper wire. The tips last for about 3 radio restorations until they need to be replaced.


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 Post subject: Re: How to solder ??
PostPosted: Apr Mon 06, 2020 4:00 pm 
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Location: Annapolis, MD
Kestas wrote:
I use a Weller 8200 gun and make my own tips from 10 gauge copper wire. The tips last for about 3 radio restorations until they need to be replaced.

I'm impressed by the practicality of this approach. Even though I'm done with solder guns, I do similar things every day---using material and widgets in ways the inventor would never have imagined

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"Measure voltage, but THINK current." --anon.


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 Post subject: Re: How to solder ??
PostPosted: Apr Mon 06, 2020 4:24 pm 
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Joined: Apr Wed 24, 2013 10:08 pm
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Location: Highland & Livonia, MI
Instead of tinning I brush the oxide from the surface every couple of cycles.


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