soldered joints

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by taylor_up_bnsf, Mar 25, 2008.

  1. taylor_up_bnsf

    taylor_up_bnsf taylor_up_bnsf

    I have finally started my layout. But I was wondering if anyone had pictures of the joints were two peices of track were soldered? Seeing as this would be a great help as this is the first layout I will be building.
  2. DeckRoid

    DeckRoid Member

    Soldered flex track? Snap track? EZ track? I have tried my hand at soldering the connector leads on my flex track.

    Every 2 sticks are soldered together (or if you like, every 6 feet has a soldered lead going to my wiring under the bench).

    I will try to get some pics.
  3. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Properly done, it shouldn't look too different from a rail joiner that hasn't been soldered. If the area is clean, then heated quickly and thoroughly, the solder will be drawn into the rail joiner, bonding to both it and the two rails.

  4. jeffrey-wimberl

    jeffrey-wimberl Active Member

    This photo shows a soldered rail joint. A small amount of non-acid paste flux was brushed into the rail joiner just before the track pieces were joined. When the pieces were properly set a hot soldering iron was applied to the joint and solder applied. The solder followed the flux into the joiner, effectively welding the joint together. If it's done properly, the soldered area should be nearly invisible, as this one is. This is a typical soldered joint on my layout.

  5. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    There is an article in the current issue of the Gauge eMag about soldering track including pictures. You can find the magazine right here.Gauge Mag Jan 08
  6. hickstmj

    hickstmj Marcie

    Pardon me if I am "hijacking this thread". When soldering wire to track how do you hold the wire, the iron & the solder at the same time? I seem to be one hand short.
  7. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Tin the track and the wire first, then hold the wire to the rail with a small screwdriver or similar tool, while applying heat to the railhead.

  8. b28_82

    b28_82 Member

    one thing I do is bend the wire so that it'll naturally lean on the rail when i'm holding the wire from beneath. Then your other hand is free to use the iron. As for the solder I have what i need on the iron already which isn't much.
  9. DeckRoid

    DeckRoid Member

    I have had success with both Doc's way and b28_82's way. Sometimes I can tin wire and track with no issues, other times, I use a paperclip bent around to hold the wire in place.

    Of course, after melting some track, I just went with track connectors with leads and soldered them together.
  10. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Tinning the track and wire is the best way. I also pick up a bit of solder on the end of the soldering iron. One thing I have learned over the years of soldering is to hold onto the wire. You should be able to solder the joint quickly, so if the wire starts to burn your fingers, you are using too much heat or you're holding the iron on the joint too long. The insulation will melt or you'll wind up with a bad or "cold" solder joint.

    It's also possible to hold the wire and the solder in one hand, but it's tricky and takes practice.
  11. dougget

    dougget New Member

  12. lester perry

    lester perry Active Member

    Iwould love to learn to solder with one hand. My left hand is not very steady since the stroke.
  13. jeffrey-wimberl

    jeffrey-wimberl Active Member

    I hear ya. I have severe neuropathy in my hands, worse in the right one. It makes it difficult sometimes to hold onto things and can be a bit dicey when picking up fragile things.
  14. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    The make soldering helpers, some have an alligator clip on the end of a metal snake which is mounted on a weighted platform. The clip can be moved in any plane and can be used to hold the wire or one of the pieces to be soldered in just about any position. The clip also serves as a heat sink. That might make things a little easier for both one or two-handed soldering.
  15. lester perry

    lester perry Active Member

    I use the helping hands all the time but that is not useing on hand to hold solder and Iron in one hand. wait a minute here . Easy Days/ Don did you edit your original post to make it say hold WIRE and solder in one hand or am I mis reading things.
  16. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    No, that's the original statement. It takes practice, but I've solder so much in our business that I used to hold the wire between two fingers, wrap the solder around my thumb and feed it to the joint. Things went a lot faster and easier if I had someone to feed the solder though... Better yet, if I could get my wife to do the whole job, that worked even better.:mrgreen: :mrgreen:

    Doing the whole thing with one hand, no way.:eek:
  17. lester perry

    lester perry Active Member

    OK I miss read it. that sounds better. I was ready to ask you where you live so I coud go to your house for tudoring.
  18. hooknlad

    hooknlad Member

    Don, is there any way that you could link this forum to the already well established forums on soldering? That forum is a fabulous one stop shopping for soldering. It contains many great suggestions from some of the best GAUGERS around, and i guarantee it will help anyone who is interested in this subject. thanx again and Im glad to be back.
  19. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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