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Author Topic: why is my soldering gun rubbish?  (Read 9648 times)
KJ4RWH
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« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2012, 04:57:09 AM »

I used to be a "gun man" for most all medium to heavy work. Usually the Weller 8200 (100-140w) or it's big brother at 300w sufficed, but not always as hoped for. I then changed to a 150w iron for PL-259's and wished I had done that 30 years ago! I googled and found an iron meeting my needs for $20 shipped. Superior heat reserve and transfer to a gun. I'm still using my old stock of 60/40, lead/tin solder. Can you still buy that anymore?
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K1CJS
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« Reply #16 on: January 17, 2012, 05:39:40 AM »

Tom, you're spot on.  Those newer Weller guns are nothing but throw-away junk.  They can't hold up to the kind of use that the older ones can--not by a long shot.  The older style plated alloy post guns with the nuts that fasten the tips are far superior to the screw and collar type posts.  The older Craftsmen guns aren't much better than the new Weller guns either.  The name Craftsman used to stand for quality and ruggedness--up to about fifteen or twenty years ago, especially for hand tools.  They started cheapening the products that carried the name, and now the Craftsman name is just another brand.  There are a few brands far superior to the Craftsman brand now--and I'm not talking about brands like Snap-On either.

Agreed with the statement that if you can find older Weller guns get them instead of a new one.  It's getting harder and harder to find the replacement bakelite shells too.  Chances are that in the near future you won't be able to get them new at all.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2012, 05:43:07 AM by K1CJS » Logged
VE7DQ
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« Reply #17 on: January 23, 2012, 04:51:29 PM »

The newer plastic housings work on the old guns, and seem more rugged and less prone to cracking.  The gun in my travelling toolkit is just such a beast with its new gray (grey?) plastic housing.  The newer labels are stick-on and cheap; the old ones were silkscreened aluminum and rivetted to the housing.
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K1CJS
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« Reply #18 on: January 24, 2012, 06:29:36 AM »

That well may be, but the original housings are hard to find, and that is what I was referring to.  Also, how old is your gun?  The original aluminum labels were attached by adhesive since at least the 1960s.  Rivets weren't used because of the stress to the bakelite and the possibility of cracking the housing.  Anyway, those labels aren't necessary--unless you're going to take that gun into some some straightlaced, super stuckup hoity-toity installation where each and every item has to have certain identification on it!   Grin  73!
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VE7DQ
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« Reply #19 on: January 24, 2012, 05:26:58 PM »

1957.  My comment about the labels was in reference to the continued cheapening of the product. 

Actually, the label retainers are brass eyelets and there are no cracks around them.  They're not very large nor very tight after almost 55 years.  Got the gun on my 10th birthday, along with other tools which I still have.  Thus began the endless downward spiral into the electronics hobby!   Wink
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K1CJS
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« Reply #20 on: January 25, 2012, 05:43:19 AM »

Gotcha.  Just goes to show that quality products last.  Mine is circa 1966, and has seen three housings that I can remember.  AAMOF, the way I stopped breaking those housings is I got a newer Weller gun in a plastic case with a styrofoam liner/holder.  The gun didn't last too long, but with a little cutting and reshaping, the case and the liner did--and that's what holds the old gun now!  73!
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