Soldering Guns

korm kormsen

korm kormsen

Registered
24 Oct 2009
2,561
259
i have a 220V - 270W gun and have to be carefull not to melt ties/sleepers.
 
JimmyB

JimmyB

Semi-Retired; more time for trains.
I use a Weller 80 watt, though this can struggle
 
Zerogee

Zerogee

Clencher's Bogleman
25 Oct 2009
17,122
1,687
North Essex
I use a Weller 80 watt, though this can struggle


The only soldering to brass rail that I've needed to do was attaching the power feeds at three points round my circuit... for that I bought a cheap 100W iron from Rapid - about twenty squid - and it did the job admirably....

Jon.
 
Rhinochugger

Rhinochugger

Retired Oik
27 Oct 2009
28,480
3,436
North West Norfolk
I've never used a soldering gun - having relied entirely on soldering irons :mask:
 
Zerogee

Zerogee

Clencher's Bogleman
25 Oct 2009
17,122
1,687
North Essex
Many decades ago I did have a 100W Weller gun, used (not always successfully, I would add) for soldering up packs of NiCad batteries during my R/C Boat modelling phase.

Jon.
 
LVT

LVT

Analogue automated LGB Euro on 4 loops
24 Oct 2009
168
10
Near Atlantic City NJ USA
Does anyone use a 150/400 watt Wall-Lenk soldering gun?

What is your soldering gun of choice for soldering brass rail and brass repair?
John:
I have used these successfully to solder rail bond wires and can attest to their strength and durability. The tip is a bit bulky to make optimal contact with the rail web, and the tip and barrel retain heat long after the trigger is released. I have shifted to Weller D 550/650 which, to me, seem to apply heat more effectively, albeit with limitations as to the duration of use cycles.
 
Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

Registered
8 Mar 2014
4,224
640
San Diego
www.elmassian.com
The quicker you can heat the rail, the less damage to the ties, thus logic and experience leads you to more watts and quick heating.

Are you soldering a few power feeds, or jumpers between sections?

Greg
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
17,987
3,698
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St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
If you are in the market for something new would a Resistance Soldering Set up work well for track?
 
GAP

GAP

G Scale Trains, HO Trains
14 Jun 2011
2,806
652
Bundaberg Queensland, Australia
I use a small gas blow torch (Burnz-o-matic brand) ST2200T - Detail Torch for Hobby and Household Use.

It heats the rail real quick and I usually take less than 2 minutes per joint.

Mechanically clean the area till it is bright (I use a small file) then apply flux (not soldering fluid) heat joint & add solder (which is electrical grade 60/40 as opposed to plumbing grade 50/50). I take advantage of solders natural trend to wick into narrow spaces to get a good solid joint.

The last 2 joints I did a week ago are in the middle of a curve and there is no sign of kinking yet nor do I expect it will as the joiner/rail joint is full of solder.
Solder Joint.JPG

To reduce sleeper damage I use heat sink clips which are actually stationery fold back/bulldog clips, but I try to solder with the sleepers at least 100mm away from the joint I then slide them into position after the joint has cooled.
 
Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

Registered
8 Mar 2014
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640
San Diego
www.elmassian.com
If you use a really hot iron that heats quickly and high in wattage, you can solder without moving the sleepers away.

Also, I have had many people have issues with soldering the joiners, reporting that that the solder fractures over time due to the stresses of expansion and contraction.

An alternative method is leave the joiners there for mechanical alignment, but solder a copper jumper between the sections with some loop in it so motion will not flex the soldered joints.

Greg
 
GAP

GAP

G Scale Trains, HO Trains
14 Jun 2011
2,806
652
Bundaberg Queensland, Australia
If you use a really hot iron that heats quickly and high in wattage, you can solder without moving the sleepers away.

Also, I have had many people have issues with soldering the joiners, reporting that that the solder fractures over time due to the stresses of expansion and contraction.

An alternative method is leave the joiners there for mechanical alignment, but solder a copper jumper between the sections with some loop in it so motion will not flex the soldered joints.

Greg

The temperatures I get my rail to, the sleepers would melt no matter how fast I was.

I'm not soldering for electrical conductivity I am using it for a mechanical joint, the "joiners" are really only there to align the track pieces and provide lateral mechanical strength, what I am doing is similar to what plumbers do when joining copper water pipe using silver solder.

Not having ready access to rail clamps I have resorted to this method and it is working for me, I only use it on lengths of rail that form a curve with a join in the middle.

I have used the method for nearly 15 years in both a climate where the winters were cold (4C) and summers hot (42C) and in my present climate, winter (10C) and summer (35C), without any fracturing issues.
Fracturing may be an issue in colder climes that I have no experience with low temps except in my freezer.

I anchor the sleepers either side of the joint for added mechanical support and use non soldered joiners, with a 1mm gap between rail ends, at either end of the total length as expansion/contraction joints (if I was looking for conductivity I would use flexible jumper across the joint).
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
17,987
3,698
72
St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
Soldering joiners can be a bit of an issue, ok to do one on each rail bit like the alternatives of LGB fishplates as on the settrack. Bit if you do both then you have issues of un soldering you need to lift for changes or move. One rail with some wire for bonding when together to the non soldered side then soldering the wire is possibly a better bet. If you do that BLACK WIRE PLEASE,
 
Zerogee

Zerogee

Clencher's Bogleman
25 Oct 2009
17,122
1,687
North Essex
Can you solder BLACK wire, all mine is copper :) :)

Isn't it all part of Rule Eight modelling that we can use whatever colour(s) of wire we like....? :rofl:

Jon.
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
17,987
3,698
72
St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
Ha ha but for that last visible bit brass works so much better, goes black rather than green and weathers well. However yes rule 1, just live to see red, pink and even yellow wires ( or even more colour horrors) sticking out in pictures.
Can you solder BLACK wire, all mine is copper :) :)
 
Zerogee

Zerogee

Clencher's Bogleman
25 Oct 2009
17,122
1,687
North Essex
Rule 1....??

Jon.