How to solder?

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by prodigy2k7, Feb 3, 2007.

  1. prodigy2k7

    prodigy2k7 Member

    What is a good solder gun to buy? I dont want a really expensive gun but not a cheap gun either...
    Does anyone have a website for a tutorial on how to solder flex track for the turns?
    I did a search on the forum and didnt find specific posts...I found "solder" a lot but nothing detailed enough...

    I assume you leave the flex track straight, solder it and then put it on a turn, but maybe im wrong...

    Also one last question... Does it matter which side (inside or outside) the static rail is on (the one that doesnt move)
  2. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    There is a lot of information here on soldering, there's even a tutorial on it in the Academy "tutorial" sub-forum.

    As far as a solder "gun", I'd opt for a soldering iron, one with a chizel or conical point. Probably about a 40 watt one. A soldering gun in big and bulky and works only after you squeeze the trigger and has a big tip on that's not conducive to soldering small wires and other things. I use a temperature-controlled solder station, set at about 700 degrees. You need to pactice first before you start working on things that count.

    As far as soldering rail joiners, I have all my rails in place first, then solder them together. And it doesn't matter which rail you have on the outside of the curve. Some people may be partial, but it's something that I don't pay attention to.
  3. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

    Check out this site. There is a great tutorial on how to solder handlaid track work. The principals are the same for just about any type of soldering you will do.

    The trick is to make sure that you tin your soldering iron, use a bit of flux and go go crazy with the solder.
  4. radar

    radar Member

    when soldering bigger is not better like EZDAYS said use a 40 watt pencil type iron and make sure you use rosin core solder NOT acid core which is for plumbing
  5. prodigy2k7

    prodigy2k7 Member

  6. prodigy2k7

    prodigy2k7 Member

    I am not sure at what points to solder at... Please modify this image and circle at which points i should put solder on...

    I resized it and uploaded again. :) sorry
  7. radar

    radar Member

    If you use rosin core solder there is no cleaning involved. after the "Iron" heats up hold it to the inside of the rail joint. touch the solder to the out side of the rail. you will see the solder melt and it will flow all through the rail joint once again less is better a good joint will just be silver with no big blobs of solder. practice makes perfect. if you get to much solder on the inside of the joint it will change the rail gauge. I use a small file to clean up excess solder on the inside and top of the rail joint.
  8. radar

    radar Member

    losy pix hope you can see it can't get the pic small enough to up load:oops:
  9. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member


    When I solder flextrack for curves, I solder them together first, making sure that both sliding rails are on the SAME side. Also make sure you remove enough ties to allow the track to slide without binding up against the ties.
  10. prodigy2k7

    prodigy2k7 Member

    I dont know what you mean, binding up against the ties?
  11. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    When the sliding rail, now with a joiner in the middle moves (when you curve the track), the joiner will bind up against the ties -which don't move-.
  12. Thoroughbreed

    Thoroughbreed Member

    I've always put the sliding rail on the inside of the loop and trimmed the excess. After trimming, I'd file the rail heads and all burrs off for a clean fit.
    Its either like that or trim the static rail to match the sliding rail to fit the radii of the curve.:thumb:
  13. Thoroughbreed

    Thoroughbreed Member

    I'd solder the joiner at the 45 angles on the ends and let it flow into the joint.:thumb:
  14. prodigy2k7

    prodigy2k7 Member

    Sounds good, how does it flow into the joiner though if its flat, it wont go far in will it?
  15. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member


    When I was 13 years old, I got into electronics and radio. My best friends father, K9CHZ, a ham, said. " Andy if you want to get into radio and electronics. You need to learn the principles of soldering". Now I am passing what I have learned to you.

    First is the differant types of irons and gun. There is no general purpuse tool. Do you work with pc boards or wire or both? Working with pc boards and electronic components. You need very little heat. All you need is about 15 watt iron. If you work with CMOS electronics. Make sure it is gounded. CMOS components are very static electrity sensitive.

    If you solder small gauge wire. Such as the wires on Atlas's switch track. A 30 watt iton is good.

    Know with at gun. Soldering heavier gauge wire is what I use with mine. I use mine most for Ham Radio. I solder PL-259 coax connectors with it. It is very handy to burn off emale of 32 gauge wire! Plus I use it to solder spade connectors to 10 - 15 gauge wires.

    The butan unite I baught because I was tired of dragging an extension cord out when I was working on my antennas outside. I've even used it out side in a Wisconsin snow sorm to fix an antenna!

    No the solder. I use 2 differant size. The .015 dia. is used on pc boards. I also have .062 for soldering connectors and wire together. Make sure you do use "electronic" solder.

    If you use solder with a rosin core. You will have no problems. Sometime solder has a hard time attacting and flows right off the joint. You are lacking flux or the connection needs cleaning. You can buy a tube of solder flu at Radio Shack.

    I normally wont advertise for Radio Shack because I haven't been too happy with them in recent years. If you are not sure what solder to buy. Go there. They have their solder marked pretty good. If you go to Home Depote or other store. You may get the wrong stuff.

    Here's an easy rule to remember. Small electronics and wire requires small solder and small amounts of heat. Large wire and connectors require larger amounts of heat and solder. I hope this helps.


    Attached Files:

  16. prodigy2k7

    prodigy2k7 Member

    I am only going to solder train tracks.
    I can just use those twisting "wire connectores" cant I?
  17. prodigy2k7

    prodigy2k7 Member

    I found a soldering iron online from homedepot

    40 Watt Soldering Kit

  18. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    You can use the wire nuts for just about any connection; they make a soilid connection and are quite secure.
    A somewhat better-appearing method is to slide a piece of shrink tubing over one wire,
    then twist the ends together (tighter than shown below), solder together, then slide the shrink back over the joint.
    You can even use the side of the soldering tip to shrink the tubing.
    ( heat gun is preferred :D :D )

    Attached Files:

  19. radar

    radar Member

    Thats the size iron you need !!
  20. prodigy2k7

    prodigy2k7 Member

    thanks for the info im going to get that along with .015 rosin core solder

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