Soldering help NEEDED NOW!!!!

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Kevinkrey, Nov 11, 2007.

  1. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

    I have a soldering iron and solder but I cannot solder, I just tried soldering feeders but all i accomplished was melting the ties. Any lesson or info on soldering would help. I have read articles in MR but no help came. I have no clue what to do I NEEED HELP!!!!!wall1:curse:wall1:curse:wall1:curse:
  2. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Hi...First things first...Are you using a soldering gun (like a Wellers) or a "pencil" type..?? The guns generally generate a lot more heat that will take the ties out. Some of the pencil types barely generate enough...Whcihever you use you have to do a couple of things. First "tin" the feeder as well as the spot on the rail that you'll be soldering to. Tinning means pre-applying the solder to the two parts before joining them, so when you join them very little heat is required and you get a better joint. Also, you should use a soldering flux to insure good adhesion of the solder to the wires/rails. Hope this helps....
  3. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

    I am using a weller pencil type iron. I try to tin the feeder but the solder stays on the gun. the solder I have says it has flux in it and I dont need to. When I try to acctually solder the solder stays on the wire, when I finnaly do get a solder it is so bad that it will ussually come of just flipping the track over.
  4. Mauiman

    Mauiman Member

    wish I can be there. to help... And one thing that is importaint is that when you are tining the tip. You will need to wrap a coil of solder around the tip its self and let it heat up.. you will need to watch for some smoke to start emitting from the iron and once you see smoke rising and the coil melted to the tip.. You are good to go. It would be great to practice on some stuff such as junk electronical or metallic stuff. once you get the hang of things you should be able to be soldering your object.

    I know from experience in electronics class that I have taken back in high school. It was a very fun and hands on experience for me.
  5. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    Kevin, how many watts is the soldering pencil? It sounds like your not getting the wire hot enough.

  6. PWRR-2207

    PWRR-2207 Rogue Islander


    Few things right off the bat -

    1. Get a sponge and get it wet. Place the sponge in a bowl with a little water so it stays wet. This sponge is to clean the tip so it does not keep 'gunking' up between solders and tinning.

    2. Is the solder you are using "lead free" or "silver"? If it is, put it away and go get some LEAD 60/40 solder (or LEAD 63/37 which goes back to solid almost instantly while 60/40 can take a second or three). (Why? Because the no-lead stuff requires a lot more heat to go from solid to liquid.)

    3. The object is to get the two things you want to solder hot, not the actual solder. I am hoping your Weller is at least 25 watts and not greater than 35 watts because inside that range, the rail and the wire should heat up enough to touch the solder to them in less than 15-20 seconds.

    4. Once you get past connecting stuff, work on getting the solder to look shiny when it cools. If it looks cloudy or dull, it may not conduct electricity well and is a brittle solder joint.

    I am looking around for a link with pictures and "How to..." but in the meantime, here is what you should end up with:


    *Sigh* The only videos for soldering models are trying to sell me something to solder with, so this is the best thing I could find with decent pictures: How To Solder
  7. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    I'd use flux any way Kevin. There have been times the solder with flux in it hasn't worked for me.
  8. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    There is a soldering tutorial down in the Academy. That would be a great place to start.

    I am a thorough proponent of using flux, even when I use flux-core solder. There's not enough in it to clean an oxidized joint. it's great to start out with a clean joint, use emery cloth to wipe off the oxidation. Use a rosin or water-based liquid flux if you can get it, then heat the joint until the solder melts on the metal (not the iron), then let it flow. Remove the solder, then the iron and don't move anything for a few seconds.
  9. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    Kevin, I grabbed an old piece of flex track and threw together a real quick photo-tutorial of how I did my feeders. I am assuming you haven't laid any track yet. I will put one photo per post because that is the easiest way for me to keep up with it.

    Here we go... this will take awhile, as I am on dial-up, so it takes awhile to post photos. First, turn the flex track upside down and cut out two ties. Save them.

    Attached Files:

  10. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    Next, using a hobby knife, scrape off the bottom of the rail to get to good clean metal.

    Attached Files:

  11. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

    Just got to reading the last few posts because I went back into the basement to try again. I think I got the hang of it, my problem was that I was tryint to solder the wire to the track bottom, I am having much better luck on the outside of the rails. And for everybody that asked, it is a 25W iron and the solder does have lead in it, I could not have blamed any of those but myself. It is amazing how quick I can go fromwall1:curse: to :thumb::mrgreen:. I dont have the most beautful joints but they worked.
  12. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    Next, put some flux on the rail where you scraped it clean. (My understanding is that this company uses GERN brand flux)

    Attached Files:

  13. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

    Sorry for interupting gary I started typing before you posted, but yo unow have my attention. I have not laid track yet, except the piece that I soldered, anyway,........
  14. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    Well good job Kevin! Since you got it going, I'll abandon this tutorial unless ya want me to keep going.
  15. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

    Please continue if you dont mind, Ill stick around, no important dates this Saturday night!!!
  16. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    As a disclaimer, I'm going to say that this isn't the BEST way to do the job, but it will certainly work for solder newbies. it worked for me. The best way is doing the rail sides as you have discovered.... well, I guess that is the best way.

    Take some small solid wire and bend an angle in the end, then put some flux on it.

    Attached Files:

  17. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    Next, you put some solder on the wire, and put some on the rail. Notice I am using a 100 watt soldering gun. With the rails removed, the extra heat isn't an issue, and actually it allows you to get in, heat up the area, and get out quicker than the little irons.

    Attached Files:

  18. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    Next, heat up the wire with the soldering iron, let it get good and hot, then press down onto the rail where it has the solder on it from earlier. The solder on the wire will melt into the solder on the rail, then get the iron out of there, but continue holding the wire still for a couple seconds so it can cool.

    Attached Files:

  19. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    That should give you a good electrical joint.

    Attached Files:

  20. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

    Wow, now wasn't that simple. Wonder why I had so much trouble. With practice I should get better. Any tips on putting together two pieces of flextrack on a curve? I can post a pic. But thanks alot for th soldering help, if that is the final step, I hope Im not jumping the gun.

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