Resistance Soldering Unit

How to build your own DIY resistance soldering unit.

This page covers materials that you will need and takes you step by step through the process.

You can use a variety of power supplies.  But as a modeler I have on my bench a computer power supply converted to a bench top power supply that I use for all sorts of things that need anything with a 3, 5 or 12 volt DC source.  It even has a USB receptacle so I can work with my Arduino boards without having to be connected to my computer.

If you do not have such a unit, here is a link to a great video on how to make one.

All you need now is a foot switch, a light dimmer, some flat steel thin cardboard, aluminum foil and copper clad carbon rods.

An alligator clip and connector are needed for the ground connection. To hold the carbon rods I just drill a shaft hole in a wood dowel and insert the rod.  There is a little more to it than that.  I explain below.

You will want magnets to hold your work in place.

This video shows how all these are used. The link will open in a new tab.  Guide To Resistance Soldering.   Watching this is highly recommended before you jump off and start making our own.

Where to get your materials.  I use two steel plates.  One is a piece of thin steel I picked up at the building supply.  The second is a flat connector that I had bought from the local building supply. It was laying around in a “miscellaneous” box so it was fair game to be repurposed.

The foot switch and light dimmer I got off eBay.

Copper Clad Carbon Rods
Click On Image To Check Availability

The carbon rods I got here.  Good price and no wait for something to come by the slow boat from China.








This is a picture of the dowel used to hold the rods.  In this case I tried using a piece of carbon fiber rod  attached to the wire with shrink.  I shoved it into a shaft hole drilled in the dowel and wrapped it with electrical tape.  It is excellent for getting into inconvenient corners.

I have a second similarly made with as copper clad rod.

And here is the repurposed steel connector. I use it for quick and easy jobs like dissembling things.

The hookup is power supply to foot switch to light dimmer to soldering tip.  The light dimmer is used to adjust the heat.


Below are other tutorials on soldering.


Below are other tutorials on soldering.

Soldering Tutorials

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.






Diy Solder FluxVideo

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?”.


HO Scale Brass I Beams
Click on image to watch video

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 Gutters






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.






Third Hand
How To Make A Third Hand Useful

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.


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