“Inevitably, you will have a need to solder. For first timers it is not to be feared. Here are a few of my observations to successful soldering.
1. A high quality, temperature controlled soldering station is a must. It will cost some $$$.
2. Use quality clad tips on the soldering iron.
3. One size tip does not fit all so two or three sizes will handle most modeling jobs.
4. Use heat sink devices where you want to avoid heat damage.
5. Practice first. Use scrap wire and tin from tin cans (magnet test). Watch YouTube videos. Soldering mechanically and electrically bond two metals together. You must heat both pieces simultaneously. Hint: apply solder to the tip when beginning to heat the metal. When both are heated sufficiently, solder will melt and flow when touched to the metal. You can master soldering in 30 minutes.
6. Rosin core solder is a must for electrical soldering. Use an appropriate gauge for the job. I have found rosin core is satisfactory for just about all modeling projects thus avoiding the need to have acid core soldering.
7. Protect your tips. They are not cheap but will last forever if protected. Protected? How? Shut off the soldering station. Wipe the tip clean. Apply fresh solder to the tip until it no longer melts. A blob of solder will form on the clad portion of the tip. This blob forms a barrier on the clad that prevents oxidation. Just wipe the blob off on the next use. Unless you want to buy new tips all the time, I cannot stress how important this step is. I have been using the same tips for over twenty years and they still look and work like new.
“Another trick for joining solid wires is to put a loop at the end of each wire, hook them together and solder generously. This is also useful for those damn little Chinese wires for LED’s and signals etc. twist them tight and loop them together.
The pictures show a load of lumber (HO) that I made from ice cream sticks. They are glued together and thin brown wires were used for tie-downs.
Liked Guenter’s lumber trucks – simple but effective, like most of your wonderful tips and pics.
That’s all this time folks. Don’t forget, time’s nearly up for the Beginner’s Guide hereBeginner’s Guide sale.
Keep ’em coming.
Latest ebay cheat sheet is here. Some cracking deals about at the mo.