American Glass Guild Discussion Board Home
Home Search search Menu menu Not logged in - Login | Register
American Glass Guild Discussion Board > New Work > New Work > Fabrication > soldering iron recommendations?

soldering iron recommendations?
 Moderated by: Rebecca
 New Topic   Reply   Printer Friendly 
 Rating:  Rating
AuthorPost
 Posted: Sat Mar 28th, 2015 09:23 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
1st Post
Hope
Non AGG Member


Joined: Wed Sep 25th, 2013
Location: Tillson, New York USA
Posts: 15
Status: 
Offline

  back to top

It's time to buy a new soldering iron.  Any suggestions for irons?  I'm wondering about getting a rheostat and info about this would be helpful, too.



 Posted: Sat Mar 28th, 2015 12:06 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
2nd Post
Vic
Founder


Joined: Thu Sep 14th, 2006
Location: Bronxville, New York USA
Posts: 782
Status: 
Offline

  back to top

The short answer is, there is no best soldering iron.
It all depends on the type of work the soldering iron needs to do. Also depends on how proficient you are with the iron. In my shop I use about 5 or 6 different irons. And own many more,seeking the best iron

Last edited on Sat Mar 28th, 2015 12:07 pm by Vic



 Posted: Sat Mar 28th, 2015 01:04 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
3rd Post
CZL
Senior Advisor
 

Joined: Thu Oct 9th, 2008
Location:  
Posts: 144
Status: 
Offline

  back to top

I use Hexicon, They make a number of sizes and wattages.
It is a hang over from my old Willet days. Jimmy Hunt got me started with them. Jimmy is from the old Hunt studio in Pittsburgh and his Uncle Frank Hunt, both worked at Willet as glazers and were very good. So are Hexicon irons. The had a clad tip, which worked with 40 solder and lasted for ever. The irons that is, not the Hunt Boys.
CZ



 Posted: Sat Mar 28th, 2015 01:04 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
4th Post
CZL
Senior Advisor
 

Joined: Thu Oct 9th, 2008
Location:  
Posts: 144
Status: 
Offline

  back to top

I use Hexicon, They make a number of sizes and wattages.
It is a hang over from my old Willet days. Jimmy Hunt got me started with them. Jimmy is from the old Hunt studio in Pittsburgh and his Uncle Frank Hunt, both worked at Willet as glazers and were very good. So are Hexicon irons. The had a clad tip, which worked with 40 solder and lasted for ever. The irons that is, not the Hunt Boys.
CZ



 Posted: Sat Mar 28th, 2015 07:13 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
5th Post
Hope
Non AGG Member


Joined: Wed Sep 25th, 2013
Location: Tillson, New York USA
Posts: 15
Status: 
Offline

  back to top

I'll be using the iron for soldering leaded panels and for copper foil. I do have a hexacon, but find it too heavy for general work.  I'd like something lighter. 

I'd also like to find out about using rheostats.  Any thoughts about this or another way to keep temperature constant without having to turn the iron on and off would be helpful.

Last edited on Sat Mar 28th, 2015 07:14 pm by Hope



 Posted: Sun Mar 29th, 2015 12:23 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
6th Post
Rebecca
Administrator
 

Joined: Tue Jun 19th, 2007
Location: California USA
Posts: 627
Status: 
Offline

  back to top

The iron temperature is not going to stay constant. As you use the iron, it is going to cool off and reheat. You need an iron that is hot enough or quick-heating enough to continue using without having to stop and wait. And it all depends on how quickly YOU work, so it is an individual thing. Some stained glass shops have lots of different irons that they will let you try in their shop. Hakko and Weller are additional brands to look into. The newer Hakkos have rheostats built in.

Rebecca



 Posted: Mon Mar 30th, 2015 09:30 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
7th Post
Krueger
Senior Advisor
 

Joined: Sat Oct 7th, 2006
Location: Hartland, Michigan
Posts: 3201
Status: 
Offline

  back to top

In all my years teaching beginning stained glass, I have always recommended a Weller 100...has a built in rheostat. and for those students who opted for a cheaper, non rheostat, by the end of the class they purchased a Weller 100. They are light, and very easy to work with.

Some who is doing restoration work and working on older lead may have other recommendations.



 Posted: Mon Mar 30th, 2015 10:49 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
8th Post
Vic
Founder


Joined: Thu Sep 14th, 2006
Location: Bronxville, New York USA
Posts: 782
Status: 
Offline

  back to top

The Weller 100 has a temperature sensor, which is a lot different then a rheostat. The temperature sensor works off of a set temperature that the tip is rated at.
A rheostat can raise or lower the line voltage, which in turn controls the heat
http://www.epanorama.net/sff/Misc/Touch_Switches/Weller%20W60-W100%20Soldering%20Iron%20Manual.pdf



 Posted: Mon Mar 30th, 2015 10:57 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
9th Post
Krueger
Senior Advisor
 

Joined: Sat Oct 7th, 2006
Location: Hartland, Michigan
Posts: 3201
Status: 
Offline

  back to top

OK Vic, you are correcct.....I meant an internal rheostat, or sensor...whatever......but at the very least, the Weller 100, having the internal control, is much easier to use than having to continually tweek an external rheostat while soldering.



 Posted: Mon Mar 30th, 2015 11:21 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
10th Post
BloodGlass
Non AGG Member
 

Joined: Tue Nov 19th, 2013
Location: Monches
Posts: 35
Status: 
Offline

  back to top

For me if I could only have one Iron in the shop it would be a 150Watt Hexacon iron with a simple temp control. With this you can solder lead, zinc, brass window joints and never want for more. I use iron set on high while using consistently then turn it down while you flux more joints and iron rests. Also you can turn down the heat and solder copper foil very nicely... I feel a temp control is a must, not so much for getting the right temp while using but rather to turn down the iron while its at rest to avoid overheating.
This is a heavy iron I am aware. If I was mostly going to be doing foil windows then it would be the same iron only 125Watt... I love these irons, they cost more but with a little thought on taking care of the iron (don't leave it on full blast and forget about it, don't let flux and solder run up into barrel) they will last for years and years



 Posted: Mon Mar 30th, 2015 11:57 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
11th Post
BloodGlass
Non AGG Member
 

Joined: Tue Nov 19th, 2013
Location: Monches
Posts: 35
Status: 
Offline

  back to top

I have a follow up thought... It is also important to use the correct tip for the job. When soldering lead, zinc windows I use the tips as is, copper core with a zinc plating. But when soldering foil the best tip is taking that plated tip and grind the plate off of the working end and getting down to the bare copper. This gives a much better heat transfer for running nice solder lines and you can shape your tip to your liking.
This is destroying the tips in a way since you have a tip which should last a very very long time and now it eats itself away and lasts a 10th of the time... To this I say as long as you are VERY careful with your iron and never overheat it or let solder run into the barrel and periodically take the tip out and remove the scale you can simply buy a 3/8 rod of copper and cut off your own tips... But as soon as you get careless with the iron you have have a tip stuck inside your wonderful iron and are in need of a new heating element.



 Posted: Mon Mar 30th, 2015 12:08 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
12th Post
Rebecca
Administrator
 

Joined: Tue Jun 19th, 2007
Location: California USA
Posts: 627
Status: 
Offline

  back to top

The Weller 100 isn't hot enough for me. It seems to lose its heat and then I have to wait for it.

Rebecca



 Posted: Fri Apr 3rd, 2015 09:00 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
13th Post
Don Burt
Director


Joined: Tue Dec 12th, 2006
Location: Wyoming, Ohio USA
Posts: 213
Status: 
Offline

  back to top

I have a number of irons and usually use a hexacon 150. I plug it into an Inland rheostat. I set it a 6.5 and start soldering too early because I can't wait. so those joints have a little unsightly bulge to them, or a little solder 'trail' off to the side. Then eventually it gets hot enough and I do about three perfect flat joints. Then it gets too hot and I obliterate one. The I set it to 5.5 and as it cools down, I cut and rebuild the joint that I screwed up. Then I turn it back up to 6.5 and start over with the process. I suspect this technique could be slightly improved.



 Current time is 12:13 pm
American Glass Guild Discussion Board > New Work > New Work > Fabrication > soldering iron recommendations?
Top




UltraBB 1.17 Copyright © 2007-2011 Data 1 Systems