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Aug 18, 2018, 05:51 PM
Modeling Retread
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That’s not a Soldering Iron, This is a Soldering Iron

I was building a Balsa USA Fokker EIII and nearing the end of the assembly. I could have gone with the plain stock gear but I wanted that EIII look. I also had to modify it to take some Top Flite wire wheels I needed to figure out how to solder larger pieces. Low and behold, Balsa USA has a video about soldering landing gear on their website. Great, I thought.

As I watched the video it showed the prep, how to get the pieces together and then the copper wire wrap. Then he got the soldering iron. It was huge, compared to the normal soldering iron. I knew then that’s what I needed to get, a big soldering iron. As I recall, he gives a watt range to look for. I found this one on Amazon.

I got it. It works great. The only the he didn’t mention was that it takes about 30 minutes to get up to temperature. There are ones with more wattage available on Amazon but they cost a lot more money.
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Aug 19, 2018, 03:35 PM
Me and a guy with a mustache
babblefish's Avatar
Nice iron, but be careful of putting too much sideways pressure on the tip when soldering. These cheaper irons tend to snap off at the base where the plastic handle and metal tube meet. Been there, done that.
Aug 19, 2018, 06:34 PM
Modeling Retread
Thread OP
For a wire wrap job, all you have to do is get the iron in contact with copper, let it heat up and the solder will wick around. Force can’t lever thermodynamics, in this case. Other applications may need some force, for which the mass would help. If I did it his a lot, I’d get one of the $200+ professional jobs, which can be found on Amazon (easiest if you select this and look at the “also considered” group).

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