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Thread: Soldering equipment

  1. #1
    Axe-honerated spellcaster's Avatar
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    Soldering equipment

    I'm having soldering iron issues. For many years, as a car audio installer, I used Weller 8200 soldering guns and they were great. I think I only went through three of them in four decades, which was excellent service considering that they were used heavily in commercial duty. I used the last one to build my first four guitars. When it began to fail, I decided it would make more sense to get a smaller less clumsy soldering station for the work I was doing.

    I bought a Weller WLC100. It's had limited use (built 9 guitars) but finally gave up the ghost a few days ago. I finished the work I was doing with a nasty 30 watt Canadian Tire soldering pencil, but it's not a good long-term solution. I guess I'll need to buy a new one, which is crazy, since I don't see well enough to do much more building, but I need to have one on hand. Any suggestions on what to buy?

    I always thought Wellers were the cream of the crop. When I managed an audio store in the 70's, all five techs owned the old-style light blue Wellers that were about 200.00 each. I suspect that in modern dollars, they're well beyond my budget and probably overkill, but I want something better than the crappy Canadian Tire stuff. Is there a middle ground price and quality-wise that will do what I need?
    "I know just enough to be dangerous....."

  2. #2
    Axetastic etechstan's Avatar
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    I just use this at home. Use the high end Hakko and Weller at work but the cheap on is great for working on guitars. https://www.amazon.com/Weller-WLC100...dering+station
    I don't play guitar because I'm good at it, I play because it's fun!!

  3. #3
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    I use an edsyn. It's pulse width modulated with adjustable temp control that can be calibrated. I've been using it for 5 years now, and replace the tip once every 6 months or so. Considering the amount I solder, a $10 tip every six months is okay with me. My previous station required a new tip almost once a week. I think I paid $90, but I know I got a smoking deal. They a frequently on sale at SMI Industrial electronics.

    PS, Guns can be bad for guitars, the transformer in the gun can demagnetize the pickups if they are close enough and you get it at just the right angle. It's rare, but it happens.

  4. #4
    Axe-honerated spellcaster's Avatar
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    Interesting tip about the guns in proximity to pickups. I read something about that years ago and but it didn't really register because I'd bought the Weller soldering station by then. Glad you mentioned it though because it crossed my mind to just check prices on guns versus soldering stations, if I ended up having to buy one.

    The weird part is that after I posted the thread, I pulled the soldering station out, having reasoned that since the iron plugs into the base with a regular AC plug, I should try plugging the iron directly into the wall. It seemed to work, so I jumped to the conclusion that there must be a fault in the base unit. Plugged the iron back into the base, plugged the base into the wall outlet....and the damn thing's decided to work. Frustrating, because now I don't know if there's a faulty rheostat in the temperature control, or some other intermittent fault. Murphy's law says it'll work every time I test it....It'll only fail if I really need it.
    "I know just enough to be dangerous....."

  5. #5
    Super Moderator die Bullen's Avatar
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    I have a midrange Weller- good iron but maybe not the quality there were 30 years ago

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