Tips for soldering track?

Maybe I'm using the wrong kind of soldering gun (I'm using what I use
when I do wiring at home- Weller Universal 140/100 watt) or maybe I'm
using the wrong solder (lead free Rosin core), or maybe I just don't
know what I'm doing in regards to soldering track.
I've looked at the soldering done by a friend of mine (His car license
plate is "NSCALER") and it's pretty neat and clean. I'm going to bring
my soldering gun in tomorrow at work and let him check it out.
But, is my soldering gun to big for the job? Is there a smaller kind I
should be using and if so, what do you recommend? What about teh
solder? Any recommendations there?
ANy other tips?
Thanks and I do mean Thanks for any tips and/or recommendations.
Mr Rather B. Beachen to you
Reply to
Mr. Rather B. Beachen
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Any other tips? Thanks and I do mean Thanks for any tips and/or recommendations. ---------------------------------------------------- Alexandre's MrrKB has a track soldering tutorial with photos:
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Bill Bill's Railroad Empire N Scale Model Railroad:
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History of N Scale:
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Links to over 600 helpful sites:
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I use a 250 watt gun, the hotter the better! You want to work FAST so the heat doesn't have a chance to spread to the ties. First off, lead free, or "environmentally sound" solders are crap to begin with. Get regular old 60/40 rosin core from radio shack, much better.
Then, get a little white jar of "nokorode" solder paste from any GOOD hardware store.
Put a good dollop of the paste on both the rail and the wire, (or both rails and the joiner if you're soldering track sections together. "pre tin" all the parts to be soldered together with a VERY LITTLE bit of solder. Hold the parts together, apply the heat for a second or two and you're done. Clean up the excess paste with isopropal alchohol.
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No, unless you're in Z-scale. Oddly enough, the bigger the iron, the easier it is to solder rail without melting the plastic ties. This is because a high-heat iron (or gun, in this case) will heat the area fast enough to complete the job before the heat has time to travel melt the ties.
You can certainly use that gun, but IMHO the better solution would be a 60-80 watt iron rather than a gun. This is because the iron, having a more massive point, loses heat much slower, thus maintaining a higher rate of heat transfer. The iron is also a bunch lighter in weight. :-)
Solder is fine.
Use a flux when soldering the rail. Preferably a paste, and definitely NOT an acid flux. Radio Shack has a tube of good paste flux for a reasonable (for RS) price. It doesn't take a lot, and the tube should last you a long time. To quote an old commercial - "A little dab'll do ya!".
De nada. :-)
Reply to
Gary M. Collins
On Tue, 19 Aug 2003 03:14:55 UTC, Mr. Rather B. Beachen wrote: 2000
A couple of changes in technique. First, make sure the rail is clean in the area of the joint. A small fiberglas brush does a nice job. Second, you don't need a lot of flux. Put a small amount on the narrow end of a toothpick and put it on the joint. My trick is to cut off a short length of solder (1/16") or longer if the joint is bigger. Stick it to the rail in the area of the joint. You may need to hold it in place although if you put it down on the base of the rail next to the web it should stay. Finally pulse your gun on and off. If you hold it on long enough to see the solder melt you have it on too long. Several short pulses should do the job. The solder should just sort of disappear into the joint.
Reply to
Ernie Fisch
And get rid of that horrible stuff the original poster calls solder and get some good lead/tin solder at a RS or similar shop. You really want a good solder joint, and this will blow off the environmental wackos, go to silver solder.
Ray Hobin NMRA Life # 1735; TCA # HR-78-12540; ARHS # 2421 Durham, NC [Where tobacco was king; now The City of Medicine]
My reply address is correct as a correct reply address is more important to me than the time spent deleting SPAM.
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