I am self teaching myself to do stained glass and have had a few joints where the lead has started to melt while soldering it. I do not stay on the joint very long. I am using a Hakko FX-601 iron set on 360. Which I am guessing is too hot but what temperature should I have it set on? Thanks Michael
It is difficult to "find" the correct temperature, but.....do several trials, starting at the low end of the temperatures, go up 20 degrees, try again.....this would be on a SAMPLE you set up with about 10 potential lead joints. make notes....
every soldering iron/temp gauge is "different".....a BETTER way would be to purchase a Weller 100 soldering iron....once it is warmed up, it will have the correct soldering temperature all the time......When I taught stained glass I insisted they use a Weller 100....
Lead melts at 621F
60/40 solder melts at 374F
Your iron is adjustable from 464F-1004F
Different types of flux and the skill of the operator effect soldering. Using the various side of a flat tip can alter soldering. The corner of the tip won't be as hot as the flat center of the tip.
The answer to your question is practice
Michael, if you have never burned the lead, you have never soldered properly. The best solder joints occur just before the melting point of the lead. A more typical problem is solder joints that are not properly soldered due to an iron that is too cold. I am old school, never used a rheostat or a temperature controlled iron. Getting too hot? Solder faster or pull the plug for a few moments.
Hornnumb2 wrote: I am guessing that they settings on the iron are in Celsius and that is where my problem lies. Having it set on 360c gives me 680F. Duh....
The "temperatures" on the iron are pretend. No iron, including the Weller 100, hold the same temperature all the time no matter what you are doing with it. That's just not the way thermodynamics works. As you solder more, you will get faster and your iron will cool faster. Until that time, before you solder a joint, place the iron on a piece of scrap lead. If it melts the lead, put it on another scrap of lead. Melting the lead will cool the iron off enough to solder a joint without melting the lead. PRACTICE on scrap before you solder your real joint.