DIY Resistance Solderer

About DIY Resistance Solders For Model Railroaders And Diorama Makers

This reviews resistance solderers for laying track and for fine scale brass modeling.

Resistance Solderer For Laying Track

Joining track or adding power leads without melting sleepers requires localized heating applied such that only the spot where you want to put solder gets hot.

To do this, use a modified electric soldering gun.

The modification is fast, easy and costs noting more than some copper wire.

The electric soldering guns are actually resistance soldering units as they come out of the box. But they heat a tip that then heats the metal.

They are frustrating to use.  It takes time to heat the tip to temperature, the tips keep burning out and they get loose in the holders.

Pull the tip out and insert two straight pieces of copper wire.  The heat is immediate, high and only the metal  between the tips gets hot – provided you add the solder and turn off the gun.

And as an aside, I use another copper wire tip for general solder work.

This type RSU,  using RSU saves typing, is not the best for fine scale modeling.  Reason – its hard to keep steady.

For fine work, use a probe type RSU.


Fine Scale Modeling Resistance Soldering Unit

For fine scale brass modeling, it is best to use a low power RSU.  Too much power will cause arcing and that results in pitting of the brass.

Additionally, you can make a probe that even someone who suffers from shaky hands can keep steady and in place.

Other probes, such a tweezers, straight and paddle,  can also be used with one of these RSUs.

Generally the brass is grounded via an alligator type clamp. Again, for finer control of exactly what gets heated, a metal grounding pin is better.




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