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 Post subject: Re: Never saw a soldering gun!
PostPosted: Jun Tue 18, 2019 12:35 am 
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Posts: 19068
Location: Dayton Ohio
I used to use my Weller 8200 for all tube radio work except ones with circuit boards.

I do use a station now but still pull out the 8200 on occasion.... or the big D550 when I need HEAT!
They have their place and are appreciated in my shop :D

-Steve

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 Post subject: Re: Never saw a soldering gun!
PostPosted: Jun Tue 18, 2019 12:55 am 
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Location: SoCal, 91387
bob91343 wrote:
Soldering guns are an abomination. They are heavy, generate strong magnetic fields, and you have to wait for them to warm up every time you pull the switch. Since you are holding it with your fist, you have very little control.

I own about four or five of them and refuse to use them. I even have spare parts including tips and switches.

They fall into the category of stuff like WD-40, which I won't allow in the house. These are heavy handed gross tools for doing what should be a delicate sensitive job.

Every tool has it's place. You wouldn't use a sledgehammer when a tack hammer is called for. I use my Weller gun when I need to solder a lead to a chassis, as one example of where my pencil iron just doesn't get hot enough, and I have to call in the heavy artillery.

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 Post subject: Re: Never saw a soldering gun!
PostPosted: Jun Tue 18, 2019 2:22 am 
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Joined: Oct Sun 18, 2009 5:38 am
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Location: Tyler, Texas 75707-4212
Just send them all to me, Bob. I love'm

I've still got my first Radio Shack pencil/iron. A whopping 15 watts. But I was about 8 so didn't expect to need to solder a knot of 10g solid at the time. I jumped straight to an 8200 from there. Still have it too. Had to save up a little dough for that on. (Back then, all my neighbors had the best kept yards in the area. Before weedeaters came my way, I had a B&D hand held grass shear...overgrown barber's clipper, and used them thoroughly). Then slowly worked my way upwards to a heavier American Beauty, and a solid soldering copper (mom hated that thing....go figure) Never had my own 550. Always borrowed one when needed. Over the years have sort of kept up, with temp controlled Wellers, as well as Ungars, and for on the go, I keep a couple of PyroPens. They run on butane and have a good range. They are nice for outdoor work far from power, like working on antennas. I don't do SMD work. Can't see well enough even with good magnification. Arthritis plays a role, I'm sure. I let my younger brother take care of all that little work for me, while he still can. He did camcorders when they were in cap trouble. Mostly warranty work for the majors. He is stuck with a 5 gallon bucket full of pulls that he hasn't donated to the e-cyclers yet. They still stink up his shop. I believe he has nerve damage from all the smoke absorbed through his skin, working so close to them for so long. Fingers were stained brown from the smoke.


I have a jewelers torch around here somewhere if the American Beauty won't do it. It's great for removing soldered joints but I find it awkward to make a fresh one. I do use it once in a while to preheat an area for the American though, if I am working with smaller wire unusual for direct to chassis joints though. Usually a terminal strip gets put on.

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 Post subject: Re: Never saw a soldering gun!
PostPosted: Jun Tue 18, 2019 2:39 am 
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Joined: May Sun 08, 2011 8:52 pm
Posts: 520
Location: Bay City Mi
I use low wattage pencil irons for most work, but when it comes to needing high heat... I pull out my weller... had it for 30 years and still does the job.


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 Post subject: Re: Never saw a soldering gun!
PostPosted: Jun Tue 18, 2019 4:05 am 
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Joined: Jan Tue 10, 2012 8:39 am
Posts: 642
For heavy soldering, I have a series of irons I use. Tiniest is the little very thin one at around 30 W. The next one up from the usual temp controlled one (Weller) is an old GE that runs on 6V I think. Next is an Ungar that has a giant tip. Then comes the American Beauty 100W and finally the propane torch with iron tip.

For desoldering I have a hot air unit.

The guns sit on the shelf where, for me, they belong.


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 Post subject: Re: Never saw a soldering gun!
PostPosted: Jun Tue 18, 2019 3:50 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 13879
forumuser wrote:
Obviously you wouldn't use one for soldering a surface mount part or most radio repairs but to proclaim them an abomination is a little overboard. If I wanted to solder on a connector on a #10 wire outside in the wind I surely wouldn't reach for my 40-60 watt iron.

Just a comment by someone who really doesn't know how to use one.

I built my TV tube radio using a 8200 & have removed 64 pin IC(multiple times), though I do admit to using iron for reinstall.

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 Post subject: Re: Never saw a soldering gun!
PostPosted: Jun Tue 18, 2019 6:46 pm 
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Joined: Jan Tue 10, 2012 8:39 am
Posts: 642
Don't get me wrong. A gun can be used successfully for many soldering jobs. But its disadvantages are many and great. It's kind of like an automatic transmission - you get used to it and turn a blind eye to its disadvantages.

In years gone by I have used guns, but it didn't take much for me to improve my tool kit and do away with them. Occasionally I spot one or two of mine on the shelf and almost instinctively want to grab one but have resisted the impulse. My soldering ability and results have benefited greatly from that resistance.

I have found that most people I know who use guns are of the mentality 'if it works don't change it' and it's their loss, in my opinion.


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 Post subject: Re: Never saw a soldering gun!
PostPosted: Jun Tue 18, 2019 7:55 pm 
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Location: SoCal, 91387
bob91343 wrote:
Don't get me wrong. A gun can be used successfully for many soldering jobs. But its disadvantages are many and great.

You apparently didn't read my last post; there are no disadvantages in using a soldering gun when the job calls for that kind of heat, such as soldering to a metal chassis.

You certainly wouldn't use it on a PCB, however, so if you did, yeah, disadvantage, but that use is not what it's designed for.

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 Post subject: Re: Never saw a soldering gun!
PostPosted: Jun Tue 18, 2019 11:46 pm 
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Joined: Nov Wed 30, 2016 7:35 pm
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Location: Sunbury, Ohio 43074
When I was much younger I built my first Kit, a knight VTVM if memory serves, with a Weller gun. It was all I had at the time and I was quite proficient with it

So yes, it CAN be done

I got an iron shortly after that

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 Post subject: Re: Never saw a soldering gun!
PostPosted: Jun Wed 19, 2019 2:17 am 
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Joined: Mar Thu 19, 2009 4:00 pm
Posts: 460
Location: Mid Michigan
I built several Heath and Eico kits with my Dad's Wen gun that he got with green stamps. Was quite proficient with it, too. I still have one of the Heathkits for proof. One advantage of the Weller guns is if your last tip goes south at 2 am, you can always make one out of # 12 wire and continue on with your project. I still have the Weller 8200 that I acquired 56 years ago and it will be available for purchase in the estate sale to be held after I'm outta here.

Jim


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 Post subject: Re: Never saw a soldering gun!
PostPosted: Jun Wed 19, 2019 2:55 am 
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Joined: Jan Tue 10, 2012 8:39 am
Posts: 642
Yes you can get proficient with a gun. That wasn't my point. For outdoor soldering like antenna work, I bring out the heavy artillery, the propane torch with soldering tip. I rarely have to go to such lengths, however.

The American Beauty 100 watter is plenty for nearly all the big jobs. It's so old it still has the asbestos insulated power cord, which I had to shorten recently due to wear and tear. I can hold it rather precisely with my fingers (rather than my fist) and it works well. Finger articulation is always more precise than wrist motion with a fist.

I just showed my daughter one of my guns. She said oh yeah I remember those. I keep them on standby just in case but haven't had the need for many years. To paraphrase one of the posters here, every tool has its place but this one can't seem to find where it belongs.


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 Post subject: Re: Never saw a soldering gun!
PostPosted: Jun Wed 19, 2019 6:22 am 
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Joined: May Sat 25, 2019 9:42 pm
Posts: 78
Location: Royal oak MI
The old Weller's are great! I was going to buy one off my ex girlfriends dad, who would come home with some pretty cool stuff! He knew I was into electronics so he just gave it to me or I paid 5 dollars or something like that! I just love them because they aren't always on, and when you pull the trigger it's ready to use in under 30 seconds, because I've accidentally burned myself grabbing a pencil type when it wasn't all the way cooled down! Man that hurt! Needless to say I never did that again! I believe it's a 1950s-60s model because it has a Bakelite case, and 2 lightbulbs on either side to let you know when it's making a good connection with the metal your soldering to! I love the older stuff, pretty hard to beat the quality of having something that's 50+ years old and still works like it's brand spanking new!


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 Post subject: Re: Never saw a soldering gun!
PostPosted: Jun Sat 22, 2019 11:05 am 
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Joined: Dec Sun 25, 2016 5:53 am
Posts: 212
I have used (carefully) guns to demagnetize tape heads. If you don't know how to do it correctly you can magnetize a head just as easily with an actual head demagnetizer as when using a soldering gun.

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