1. metzican

    metzican Suspension Lift

    Messages:
    2,729
    Location:
    Lafaytte, la
    So for all you soldering experts out there. What soldering iron do you recommend I'm going to be soldering LED strips. I have a old school gun style that just seems to be to persist and to hot. Also what solder do you use for this small stuff. It does not help I shake like crazy.
     
  2. Diadaga

    Diadaga Suspension Lift Founding Member

    Messages:
    3,797
    Location:
    Virginia
    I'm by no means a soldering expert; but what soldering I have done recently on my airsoft guns (couple months ago) I did using a Wal-Mart iron and solder. Results came out good and have held through large amounts of jarring.
     
  3. bottobro

    bottobro I'm a pretty girl! Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,823
    Location:
    Long Island NY
    Helping hands are great and also if you get a variable hest soldering station. That would help
     
  4. Silver dude

    Silver dude Sliders Founding Member

    Messages:
    929
    Location:
    machesney park IL
    Get a good Pencil type soldering iron. The soldering guns are all garbage don't waste your time. I own a super nice $125 Hakko Soldering station I absolutely love, before that I used a cheap iron for many years. For occasional use I'd just get yourself a cheaper pencil type iron.

    Like a Weller 30 watt or something like it would be perfect for what you're doing.
    http://smile.amazon.com/Weller-SP40...qid=1421054387&sr=8-9&keywords=soldering+iron
     
  5. Muadeeb

    Muadeeb Bastard Admin from Hell Admin

    Messages:
    16,612
    Location:
    Dallas
    I personally have a Weller WES-51. Adjustable temperatures make it very nice to have, but it is also about $100
    http://www.amazon.com/Weller-WES51-Analog-Soldering-Station/dp/B000BRC2XU

    The only thing I find the 'guns' useful for is soldering to large pieces of metal, typically inners of 7/8" coax and such. I might use one on a PL-259 (the kind on a CB) in a pinch.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2015
  6. Mirage

    Mirage <img src="http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u7/ra Founding Member

    Messages:
    268
    Location:
    Greenville SC
    My friend has a nice solder station with the variable heat knob on the base unit, I love using that thing, its so effortless and I can make good solder joints every time. When I can't use that I use a weller gun type with a high/lo trigger, its ok and gets the job done most of the time but occasionally it will be a PITA to get flowing and result in an ugly globby solder joint.
     
  7. KBC

    KBC Bought an X

    Messages:
    193
    Location:
    BC
    As other's have said get a half decent pencil type. Clean the tip often on a wet sponge and then re-tin it right after.
     
  8. slantyshanty

    slantyshanty Bought an X

    Messages:
    197
    Location:
    'Merica (DFW)
    I prefer flux core solder. If you can still find tin/lead that is pretty nice also but obviously lead isn't good for you. Diameter of the solder makes a huge difference in your ability to make clean solder joints. If you are brazing copper pipe then go ahead and use the large stuff but trying to use that on very small stuff will just make a mess, piss you off, and ruin your job.

    I also like to use flux and solder wick when needed but it's not a must.
     
  9. KBC

    KBC Bought an X

    Messages:
    193
    Location:
    BC
    Just exhale when it's making fumes and wash your hands after. The lead stuff isn't that bad for you if you are doing it in a well ventilated area and washing afterwards.
     
  10. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin

    Messages:
    36,883
    Location:
    Denver-ish
  11. metzican

    metzican Suspension Lift

    Messages:
    2,729
    Location:
    Lafaytte, la
    Well thank you for all your advice. I ended up picking up a varible temp one from Radio Shack. Normally I would of ordered from Amazon something better. But I just had the urge to get started on this soldering stuff. Wow what a difference it made. I also got much smaller solder silver and flux core, I like them both. Still figuring out this whole shaky hand deal. Only if I could have a drink.

    [​IMG]

    Just the start of all the soldering that is required.
     
  12. metzican

    metzican Suspension Lift

    Messages:
    2,729
    Location:
    Lafaytte, la
    Ohh yeah being single is awesome, I can do all the work on my coffee table!!
     
  13. qu1cks1lver56

    qu1cks1lver56 Bought an X

    Messages:
    93
    Location:
    850
  14. JeffPro4x

    JeffPro4x Hot Pipe Super Moderator Supporting Member

    Messages:
    9,296
    Location:
    Glenside, PA
    I just bought this one at HD. Attempted to solder 14g wire and I couldn't get it to heat the wire enough to make solder run. Admittedly, I'm a noob at electrical stuff so maybe I was doing something wrong.
     
  15. qu1cks1lver56

    qu1cks1lver56 Bought an X

    Messages:
    93
    Location:
    850
    I've soldered 8ga wire with that iron. Get it hot, put a little solder on the iron, hold the wire to the iron and start feeding solder in once it gets hot enough. I use really small rosin core solder.


    Sent from the future
     
  16. JeffPro4x

    JeffPro4x Hot Pipe Super Moderator Supporting Member

    Messages:
    9,296
    Location:
    Glenside, PA
    That's what I did. I wonder if I got a chisel tip? Dunno. I'll have to play around with it some.
     
  17. metzican

    metzican Suspension Lift

    Messages:
    2,729
    Location:
    Lafaytte, la
    I ended up even though I hate this place they had the most options. A variable temp by dial radio shack one. The best one they had in the store. The price was not that bad. I love it. With the lighter weight it makes it easy to deal with small stuff. My biggest issue still is my shaky hands which is why I'm always trying to figure out how to hold everything together to mitigate it.
     
  18. JeffPro4x

    JeffPro4x Hot Pipe Super Moderator Supporting Member

    Messages:
    9,296
    Location:
    Glenside, PA
    I'm also using small rosin core.
     
  19. Airmapper

    Airmapper First Fill-Up (of many)

    Messages:
    319
    Location:
    Bowling Green, KY
    I use one of these, and here is why:

    Heats up fast, like 15 seconds or so and it's able to melt solder.
    No cord to get in the way.
    As such, it's portable, can be used anywhere. With or without an outlet.
    Use your wire strippers to pull the solder attachment out, and instantly hit the shrink wrap with the flame. (watch where you drop that attachment though...)
    Or twist out the solder head and use the built in heat gun.

    And since it's a torch, you can heat stubborn bolts, start fires, or if your very patient and careful, make a grilled cheese sandwich....

    More delicate tools may be better for fine work, but if your jumping around working on something big, making lots of connections, this thing is the best tool in your collection. I rewired my Bronco with this thing.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Rhaas

    Rhaas Need Bigger Tires

    Messages:
    678
    Location:
    Silver Lake, Ohio
    I agree with Airmapper. Butane soldering is the best thing ever. I got so sick of having to lug around a 50ft orange extension cord just to plug my soldering iron in. Plus, it would then take forever to heat up. Whereas Butane, heats up instantly and there is no cords in the way. Add in heat shrink wrap abilities and much more, butane beats electric solder iron in every way!! This was the best switch I ever made!!!
     
  21. Nd4SpdSe

    Nd4SpdSe First Fill-Up (of many)

    Messages:
    315
    Location:
    Quebec, QC
    Depends. I also have a Weller WES-51 that I've had for like 15 years. I've bought cheap pensil irons to use in times where I don't have my kit with me or easilly accessible, but they don't like to work after several uses. It gets hot, but just doesn't want to solder. Even after passing the tip on a wheel it doesn't really help that much. On my Weller it's the same tip since i've had it.

    I have a butane torch. I like it for large gauge wire and for shrinking the shrink wrap.

    I use the iron for stuff like 12awg and smaller. More precise and less likely to melt the shielding. Of course when I do circuit boards that's the tool for the job.
    The torch is used for 10awg and larger, and for connectors and shrink wrap.
     
  22. Muadeeb

    Muadeeb Bastard Admin from Hell Admin

    Messages:
    16,612
    Location:
    Dallas
    The proper tool for the job and all that
     

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