All about soldering small parts for scale models and making ho scale brass parts and accessories.
The information in this page is slanted towards making scale model railroad equipment – engines, cars and accessories.
Before you get in to the many videos that have excellent information, there are some basic ideas that I think are quite important to discuss.
First you should look at the solder that you should have on hand. You should have solder with melting points of 140°C, 180°C. And 240°C. Additionally, a good paste solder will come in handy as you see in the videos.
The 180° solder will probably the most used with the 140° solder used when you have to make a joint and do not want to destroy another joint nearby.
Some modelers use the 240° solder only, but use a special flux called AF20 . It is made in Poland and is very popular among Polish brass model makers. More information about that is at this link.
Your choice of soldering irons is pretty much all over the lot. People on the production lines in Chinese brass engine manufacturing plants often use their own homemade soldering irons. They almost look like clubs. They have a high heat capacity and transfer heat very quickly. Joints are smooth and solid. They are induction soldering irons. Read about induction soldering irons here. Induction Soldering Irons
Western model makers recommend all sorts of soldering irons.
If you are working on brass models, I recommend that you use a resistance soldering unit. They are expensive to buy but inexpensive and easy to make. I have full instructions on making one at DIY Resistance Solderer.
And I recommend strongly that you watch this video on resistance soldering. It is by far the best video on soldering brass models that I have watched. The link will open in a new tab. Guide To Resistance Soldering.
As a model railroader who scratch builds more than brass engines, I use Simon Bolton’s book Scratch-Building Model Railway Locomotives as a reference not only for soldering, but to apply his brass working techniques to my projects. I recommend it as you really should have it. You can buy it online.
Finally, below is a collection of specialty videos on soldering.
Below are other tutorials on soldering.
How To Make Scale Model HEA Ibeam – This is a step by step tutorial that shows you everything from making jigs to final solder cleanup.
How To Use Resin Flux – A versatile flux that is inexpensive and very effective as a soldering aid.
This flux is extremely nice to use. It does not even require you to thoroughly clean the surface of the metal.
Coat your PCB or other boards with it and let them dry. No need to use any other flux thereafter.
How To Choose Solder – Answers the questions for modelers, “What solder should I use?”.
How To Make Brass I Beams – A tutorial page showing how to make brass I beams using two different methods.
How To Solder Brass – Tips, hints and tutorials on soldering brass, PCB, Vero Board and processor boards.
How To Make Door Handles – Shows you how to make a multi-purpose bending tool used to make door handles and more.
How To Shear Brass – This is basic to modeling in brass.
How To Make A Third Hand Useful – Your entire soldering experience will change if you do what is shown in this page. It is best to click on the image and watch the video.