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Discussion Starter #1
So I need to buy a soldering gun, but have no idea where to start... This will be used for soldering small wires (probably nothing bigger than 14ish gauge) and small electrical stuff, like circuit boards... Any ideas as to what model/size I need? How much do these typically cost, I am not looking to spend a fortune :eek:
 

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A 25 and 40 watt pencil point iron will run between $10-15 and will be all you really need. Get the 40 first if that is an issue. Big guns are for when you need to solder large rail and buss wires.
 

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For the type of work you mention 25 - 40 watts is probably good. When soldering decoders into N scale locomotives, I use a 12 watt iron. Just in case you are thinking of doing any decoders too.
 

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When soldering decoders into N scale locomotives, I use a 12 watt iron.
Aww...come on...take a walk on the wild side. Ain't nothing like approaching a $99 decoder w/ sound chip with the pencil point equivalent of Vulcan's forge.:eek::laugh:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
A 25 and 40 watt pencil point iron will run between $10-15 and will be all you really need. Get the 40 first if that is an issue. Big guns are for when you need to solder large rail and buss wires.
Yea, I am not going to be soldering any rails, hehehe... That 40 watt sounds good, and it is definitely in my price range :rolleyes:

I had one of those cold-heat ones, but it sucked... I never read the directions, pressed on something too hard and I broke the tip of it :retard:
 

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I had one of those cold-heat ones, but it sucked... I never read the directions, pressed on something too hard and I broke the tip of it :retard:
I have one too, gonna build a museum of "As Seen On TV" items I got for Christmas that meant well but never quite flew.:rolleyes:;):)
 

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I love the whole "that I got for Christmas" part of it :D

Why, oh why do people buy these things... Most of it ends up not working and sadly gets tossed... Oh well, I guess it is the thought that counts :rolleyes:
Folks know how handy I am and so they see "THAT TOOL" that they know i don't have...the rest is history. My beloved learned long ago not to try to buy me tools or trains, my kids on the other hand...
 

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Folks know how handy I am and so they see "THAT TOOL" that they know i don't have...the rest is history. My beloved learned long ago not to try to buy me tools or trains, my kids on the other hand...
Tell them to get you a gift certificate from a model railroad dealer. If a few family members do that, it can take a nice chunk out of the cost of that new steam sound loco you want.
 

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Folks know how handy I am and so they see "THAT TOOL" that they know i don't have...the rest is history. My beloved learned long ago not to try to buy me tools or trains, my kids on the other hand...
That is basically the same way it is with me, I do not know what it is... Someone could go out and buy me something as a gift, but I would probably never use it... I could go out and buy that EXACT same item and love it... I guess I am just an OCD misery, I mean mystery ;)

Anyways, your estimation was wrong, the 40 watt soldering iron at my local Home Depot was $18, LOL... It came with three different kind of iron tips though :p
 

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I just tried it out... About how long does it usually take for the gun to cool down, and how do I get any excess solder off the tip?

LOL, I am too nosy because I already burnt myself once, oops :rolleyes:
Boston&Maine;

When you solder, keep a damp sponge handy. Remove the excess solder with that, and put some clean solder on the tip to protect it before unplugging the iron. I always assume my little 12 watt iron will still be hot enough to burn me for at least 10 min. Your 40 watt iron may take longer to cool.
 

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Hey, you can not highlight that in a quote for the world to see, LOL...

When you solder, keep a damp sponge handy.
That makes a lot of sense, thank you... I read about leaving a bit of solder on the tip in the directions, but that is about all that they were good for
 

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Ive always wanted to do this.
:gotooprah:
Same here... It is one of those elusive smilies that you can never seem to use around here... But since you decided to break the ice and use that smiley, I will use this one back at you, hehehe :banplz: (j/k :p)...


Just an FYI, now that I got everything figured out I am soldering like a pro... The wires for the whistle in my new tender look brand new :thumbsup:
 

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There is nothing more satisfying than clean solder welds that look nice :)

Lots of heat, a sponge, and decent solder with some flux does wonders.
Is that what the h3ll my problem is :confused: ?!

I know I've soldered before with WAY better results, but last night I finally got to a point that I can start soldering wire to my track, but I was totally striking out; I'd melt the ties before the wire would ever stick to the rails. I did tin each wire. I'm using a radio shack solder, labeled LEAD-FREE SOLDER, 96% tin & 4% silver.

Right stuff ??


I finally gave up and used some connectors I had made prior on a few easy sections (end of yard line, unfinished corner), but I'm not pulling any more track up!!!!!! I gotta get this soldering thing back....


edit- duh... so I read a bit more and find this
 

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Hey... back on track :eek: :laugh: !! (heh-heh... made a funny :rolleyes:)


Anyway, I knew I had done this before... and done it moderately well (enough so that my last layout was completely soldered, top and bottom). So I looked around the garage and found some 60/40 rosin core.

Wow... what a difference. I did four or five leads in about 10 minutes.

Sweet, might actually see some trains running today or tomorrow :D


Well, glad to learn something new. Thanks!!
 
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