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You don't say what you will be soldering. You'll get a different answer if it's electrics rather than something like brass kits.

 

Normal Antex. I can't get on with soldering stations or temperature controlled. YMMV.

 

 

For jobs that need a lower temperature then an 18W or 25W. Hattons currently have this which is a bargain IMHO and comes with the stand. They usually have the 25W as well. They must be out of stock.

 

https://www.hattons.co.uk/44821/expo_drills_tools_77751_antex_sk8_model_cs_soldering_iron_kit_with_18_watt_iron/stockdetail.aspx

 

For bigger jobs such as soldering O gauge etched brass kits I use a Weller 60 Watt. Which will solder virtually anything. But will reduce a whitemetal kit to a melted puddle.

 

 

Jason

Edited by Steamport Southport
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i'Ve used a 30W Antex for ages backed up by a Gascat for the layout itself.  Whatever you use cleanliness and a decent flux are essential.

 

You are quite correct there are as many as you can think of and everyone has their favorite  ,,,

But  a clean well tinned bit and loads a flux will usually work. S in fact its which ever one you are most comfortable with. Anything around 30w  simple to operate no dodgy controllers etc etc

 

should do most things. be clean be quick.

 

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11 hours ago, Steamport Southport said:

You don't say what you will be soldering. You'll get a different answer if it's electrics rather than something like brass kits.

 

Normal Antex. I can't get on with soldering stations or temperature controlled. YMMV.

 

 

For jobs that need a lower temperature then an 18W or 25W. Hattons currently have this which is a bargain IMHO and comes with the stand. They usually have the 25W as well. They must be out of stock.

 

https://www.hattons.co.uk/44821/expo_drills_tools_77751_antex_sk8_model_cs_soldering_iron_kit_with_18_watt_iron/stockdetail.aspx

 

For bigger jobs such as soldering O gauge etched brass kits I use a Weller 60 Watt. Which will solder virtually anything. But will reduce a whitemetal kit to a melted puddle.

 

 

Jason

It is many years since I built a white metal loco (Piercy J,72), but if I recall correctly I quickly ditched the 12 volt iron and defaulted to a 60 watt Weller. The technique was a rapid in and out dab with instant results. No components were damaged in the making of the loco! This was over 30 years ago built to the dulcet tones of Ringo as he narrated episodes of Thomas the tank engine. These occupied my children and provided a 20 minutes of modelling on the dining room table. There is something to be said for working in short focused sessions.

Today a 75watt Weller is the enforcer, rarely needed for modelling, I have an RSU (resistance soldering unit) but my constant go to iron is a pair of 15 quid adjustable oriental  irons from the bay of E. I have two because I carelessly let the first attack it's cord and needed another to fix it. Thus i enjoy the luxury of having a choice of tiny or medium bits. I think the replacement came in a kit along with a miniature pair of side cutters and a multimeter for 25 pounds.

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11 hours ago, Steamport Southport said:

Normal Antex. I can't get on with soldering stations or temperature controlled. YMMV.

 

Jason

 

Sorry Jason, what does YMMV mean? All I can find is Your Mileage May Vary.......:D

 

I spent yesterday soldering a white metal kit with my 50W Antex at 275 degrees and 70 degree solder and it was perfect for the job. Another day I'll be soldering PCB track and it does that equally well. I haven't found a job that it can't do well yet, so I can only speak as I find.

 

As always, personal experience will always give numerous answers, so it's down to individual choice.

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I use an Antex CS18 for 90% of my soldering - get the one with the silicon cable, it's heat proof, more flexible and worth the extra three quid. It'll handle electrical work and kit building with out any problems unless you're working with large lumps of brass in which case more power will help.

 

Antex have a wide range of bits/tips available and also have replacement elements available for their irons (although as I discovered last year you need a soldering iron to change them!).

 

Steven B.

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I do brass kits in 7mm so need heat 'punch'. I've just invested in this and it's very good with a 2.5mm bit. It comes with a finer bit which i've used for electrical stuff. 

IMG_20210113_135733.jpg.701e0d3b63e8a87b858317264b477915.jpg

 

It's a Hakko 70w station with a top temp of 480 degrees C. 

Cheers 

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20 hours ago, Bucoops said:

I can't speak for their soldering stations but their temperature controlled (TCS) ones aren't the quality they used to be :(

My experience also. Had three TCS50's in three years with nothing more than light bench soldering duties.  Guarantees were OK though. When the third failed I switched to an Atten 50W temp controlled iron and havn't looked back. Hot in a few seconds and great to use. I do use Atten's own bits, the cheaper and compatible Chinese series 900 bits don't last as long.

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1 hour ago, woodyfox said:

I do brass kits in 7mm so need heat 'punch'. I've just invested in this and it's very good with a 2.5mm bit. It comes with a finer bit which i've used for electrical stuff. 

IMG_20210113_135733.jpg.701e0d3b63e8a87b858317264b477915.jpg

 

It's a Hakko 70w station with a top temp of 480 degrees C. 

Cheers 

 

And it has a lowest temperature of 50 degrees C, which might be of intrerest to anyone loking to solder at lower temperatures.  I've got one pof the Hakko stations and it is excellent, though probably rather pricier than the OP wants.  Previously I had an Aoyue station, basically a Chinese Hakko clone not dissimilar to the Atten mentioned by Steve above, and it gave (indeed, as my reserve iron, still gives) years of troublefree service.  Curiously, I never got on with the two Antex irons I had.

 

The only real advice I would give to the OP is to get as powerful an iron as you can afford.  That's nothing to do with heat - a 15W iron will heat up to just the same temperature as a 70w one - but everything to do with the ability to retain heat.

 

DT

Edited by Torper
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9 hours ago, gordon s said:

 

Sorry Jason, what does YMMV mean? All I can find is Your Mileage May Vary.......:D

 

I spent yesterday soldering a white metal kit with my 50W Antex at 275 degrees and 70 degree solder and it was perfect for the job. Another day I'll be soldering PCB track and it does that equally well. I haven't found a job that it can't do well yet, so I can only speak as I find.

 

As always, personal experience will always give numerous answers, so it's down to individual choice.

 

Yes. Your mileage may vary.

 

It means others will have a different viewpoint on ways of doing the same thing. Which is going to be the case here.

 

ISTR (I seem to recall) it comes from the idea that other people will use a different route to get to the same place.

 

 

We haven't  got on to the myriad of different solders and fluxes yet.... :D

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1 hour ago, Steamport Southport said:

 

Yes. Your mileage may vary.

 

It means others will have a different viewpoint on ways of doing the same thing. Which is going to be the case here.

 

ISTR (I seem to recall) it comes from the idea that other people will use a different route to get to the same place.

 

 

We haven't  got on to the myriad of different solders and fluxes yet.... :D

Or preparation techniques.........

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