This Hobby Is Actually Useful!

Chuck Guzis cclist at
Sat Aug 1 19:28:18 CDT 2015

On 08/01/2015 03:24 PM, Robert Jarratt wrote:

> PS A related question. I struggled somewhat with the Weller Magnastat
> No. 8 tip, when trying to solder leads to the ground plane, I could
> not get the solder to stay molten very long. I was using lead-free
> solder, its melting point is much lower than the temperature which a
> No. 8 tip reaches. The iron is 50W. Clearly the ground plane was
> taking heat away, but is it a problem with the tip not being hot
> enough, the iron not powerful enough, or perhaps some operator error?

I keep my "had it almost as long as my teeth" Weller D550 200/260 watt 
gun for the tough jobs requiring a lot of heat in a small 
space--soldering to big ground planes, sheet meta, or, as in this 
morning, soldering some AWG 12 wire to lugs on a switch.  It's fast and 
clean and doesn't overheat the workpiece--you can be surprisingly nimble 
with one, as compared to, say, an American Beauty 300W iron.

I never use RoHS solder--it simply doesn't wet or flow like 67/37 Sn/Pb 
solder.  The exception is SMT where components are mounted using solder 
paste (powered solder+flux).  If I could find some of the leaded stuff, 
I'd probably use it.


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