Following our last visit to the Autumn weekend at Missenden I was sold on the idea of an RSU, fortunately I had a "significant" birthday a few weeks again and my wife bought (let me buy) an RSU as a birthday present. With about 3 weeks to go before the next Missenden weekend I as keen to try out my new toy. I did not want to go straight into attacking my High Level Black Hawthorn that I had worked on last time, so I looked around for an alternative. Fortunately I found a wagon kit I picked up a while back on a second hand stall, a Sprat & Winkle kit of an LSWR 8ton Cattle Wagon. It was a bit of a sorry old set of etches, badly tarnished and a little thin. So I decided it would be a good trial project to see how I got on with the RSU - expecting with all new tools that my first efforts would be pitiful and I would go through that period of thinking "why did I buy this" - but how wrong could I be.
The technique I settled on was to first tin the small parts with a conventional iron and then use the RSU to attach them to the main etch. I had a sheet of mild steel and a few rare earth magnets, so I tinned the strapping and set to with the RSU. The results were way better than I could have hoped for on a first attempt, lovely clean, strong joints. No excess solder to cleanup and parts in just the place I wanted them. No more small bits getting swamped with solder or begin left attached to the iron when I took it away.
The picture below is the result of two evenings of about 2 hours each, much of that time was actually taken up in cleaning the etches before tinning and removing/cleaning up the tags. I have done no work to remove any excess solder, this has only been washed to remove the carbon deposits from the RSU probe.
I was pretty impressed with the results, more done to the quality of the tool than the workmanship, but it is exactly what I had hoped for. Best of all that job I hate most is now rendered less frequent, cleaning up surface solder. I still have a long way to go, and lots of experiments to try, but so far this is looking like a good purchase.