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Author Topic: soldering irons  (Read 1862 times)


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soldering irons
« on: April 08, 2009, 05:21:34 pm »

hi guys,
what soldering irons do you use and where did you buy it?


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Re: soldering irons
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2009, 05:28:51 pm »

Well after 30 odd years of soldering up telephone exchanges for a living with electric irons, I bought a gas jobby from Aldi a while back, very impressed, handy for the odd joints,
perhaps not for the hundreds a day I used to do :}

The small ones from Maplin etc seem to have very short leads.


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Re: soldering irons
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2009, 05:40:35 pm »

Have three.
1 Henley solon (30 w I think)   has a 4mm tip good for heavy wire work
2 alto 25 w  has a 1.5 mm tip great for small wire work
3 poker & fire box (gas) used to do lead windows and tin work

1 Dad passed it onto me many years ago (new tips just slide in though they are getting hard to find now)
2 I think it came from Maplins or Radio Shack again quite a few years back, should think on getting a new one as this one does not hold its heat very well, wave it around too much and it wont melt butter  >:-o
3 I made this when at school and it still does what it say's on the tin  :-))

PT Sideshow

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Re: soldering irons
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2009, 06:45:56 pm »

I would say that it would be dependent on what it is you are planning on doing.

A small pen style low wattage will work for small thin items.

A little higher wattage pencil style irons 35 watts and up for a little heavier items

There are as many soldering guns in assorted sizes I have a number of them and had others over the years. None seemed to work as advertised.

The small  compressed gas torches or irons work for things that are close together or the heat can travel.

The large irons, electric 100 watts and up are good for larger items.

There are the old standby irons that require an outside heat source good for long or large sheet good seams.

Then there is the new generation of electronic soldering iron stations with adjustable temps. I have a Chinese import from the hated Horrible Fright company. Haven't used it a lot but it works as advertised.

The sal blocks are for the sheet goods/external heat irons

The round point bits are the replacement bits for the electric irons.

American Beauty is a long and old brand in the US that are great as I have some 50 year old ones and they are still working.
Then if you are doing a lot of close together bits and pieces there is the resistance soldering rigs.

Here is a good resource for soldering of all kinds with video's



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Re: soldering irons
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2009, 06:57:34 pm »

My missus just gave me one of these last week, have not had a chance to use it. Had to replace my old 25watt one because I had a broken tip and could not get it out. I did not get the coil of solder with mine, instead she bought a pack of three spare tips for it. She said she only paid 14.95 for the iron and 2.99 for the tips plus postage. O0



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Re: soldering irons
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2009, 09:02:31 pm »

I use a 48Watt temperature controlled iron, made by UNION Brothers. Have used one for the past ten years until the handle broke and replaced it with the same unit. Bought it from Maplins, cost 49-95. Will solder just about anything as it has an electronic variable temperature knob on the front of the base station. Swear by it, it is in constant use, rarely switched off and utterly reliable. If you are an intermittent user of a soldering iron, I reckon once bought, you would never buy another as it would see you out!!

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Re: soldering irons
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2009, 09:14:51 pm »

I have a couple of antec irons in the drawer collecting dust as i bought a temp controlled station from maplins , it works well and does what it says on the box , not sure about replacing the tip as it looks like its cased in ceramic but it does plug into the station so if it goes i might have to replace the whole iron  <:( .
My other favorite is the weller 100w gun , will melt just about anything .
Also i have the ususual blow lamps for the realy heavy stuff.
The last one i bought was from boyes stores and its one of them battery instant heat irons (jml) handy when your at the pond side for light repairs, even got a little light if your soldering in the dark  {-) .
I like to build my boats to play with, not to just look pretty,so they dont !
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