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  1. #1

    What wattage Soldering Iron for Pots?

    Getting ready for some Push Pulls. I'm looking for a new soldering iron. any recommendations so I don't cook any parts?

    My old 40w is being retired.

    Thanks
    Last edited by ALEX999; 09-13-19 at 10:45 PM.

  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member renderit's Avatar
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    Re: What wattage Soldering Iron for Pots?

    I would suggest putting in some extra coin and going to a soldering station. I bought a Hakko FX888 and am really impressed. That way you are dialing in the temp (650-700 is great for pots) you need. They heat in seconds and cool very quickly. Most come with tips for various jobs. At around $100 I think they are a much better solution. I have several 30 and 40 watt stick types for under 50 but the tips most sell these days for them are total crap. You can certainly go higher in price and lower, but this may give you food for thought.


  3. #3
    Les Paul Forum Member Don's Avatar
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    Re: What wattage Soldering Iron for Pots?

    I agree with renderit about paying a little more and buying a soldering station with temperature control. I use a Weller WES51 (60 watts). It revolutionized soldering for me.
    I use a 1/8" wide screwdriver style tip to solder pots and grounds (and pretty much everything in guitars), a 1/32" tip on PCBs and 1/16" tip on eyelet boards in old Fender amps. I've generally got mine set at around 650F. Sometimes a little higher.

    We use Wellers and Hakkos where I work. You can't go wrong with either. If I needed to replace my Weller, I'd probably save a few bucks and get the Hakko.

  4. #4
    Les Paul Forum Member toxpert's Avatar
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    Re: What wattage Soldering Iron for Pots?

    Yes to the prior responses. For grounds and chassis soldering you need the largest and thickest tip you can get. I use a thick, heavy duty chisel blade tip that is 3/8” wide. This tip transfers a lot of heat quickly without being excessively hot. It’s the kind of tip you see used with stained glass and industrial soldering...this large tip takes a while to heat up...but once it’s hot, you can get on and off chassis and pot soldering points quickly and neatly.

    Two things to avoid:
    1 insufficient heat transfer (small tip and not hot enough)...you’ll cook the pots to death, chassis joins may not wok (cold join)
    2 soldering gun...these operate with an induction field coil and can degauss, demagnetize magnets...compromise pickups.

    Cheers,
    Mac

  5. #5

    Re: What wattage Soldering Iron for Pots?

    Great Info! Thanks!

    I guess I wont be burning the table anymore with a station!

    Are you using Rosin in the solder and or do you need to brush Rosin onto the pots to make a best connection?

  6. #6
    Les Paul Forum Member sonar's Avatar
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    Re: What wattage Soldering Iron for Pots?

    I assembled 2 amplifiers with sticks. It's doable, yet difficult when I soldered on the chassis and, you guessed it, the back of the pots when I was putting my ground scheme together.

    For the money the Hakko looks really good. I bought a Weller WLC100 for around $50, rated at either 40 or 80 watts (can't remember) and have been able to do whatever I've needed to with a couple other builds. as mentioned, the right tip for the job is probably more important than wattage for 95% of guitar needs. A tip set was an extra $15-$20.

  7. #7
    Les Paul Forum Member AA00475Bassman's Avatar
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    Re: What wattage Soldering Iron for Pots?

    I have a Weller station works for me , like my playing I'm a hack !
    Ive never confused owning a bunch of high end gear with being some kind of a guitar player I'm a hack and I love guitars !

    He thinks the mirror is a photo of a clown ?

    The Myth: Neat wiring layouts always equate to great-sounding amps.

    The Myth: If I would have lived with MOM & mooched till I was 48 I would play like Clapton !
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    won't you ...... Please !

  8. #8
    Formerly Tweedguy buckaroo's Avatar
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    Re: What wattage Soldering Iron for Pots?

    Quote Originally Posted by renderit View Post
    I would suggest putting in some extra coin and going to a soldering station. I bought a Hakko FX888 and am really impressed. That way you are dialing in the temp (650-700 is great for pots) you need. They heat in seconds and cool very quickly. Most come with tips for various jobs. At around $100 I think they are a much better solution. I have several 30 and 40 watt stick types for under 50 but the tips most sell these days for them are total crap. You can certainly go higher in price and lower, but this may give you food for thought.
    I have the same station Hakko FX888D. Works great for my rather basic needs. A big step up from a single soldering iron. The masterbuilders at Fender appear to have Weller stations on their benches. So if you "want or need" better than the Hakko you might look at Weller; it may be considered an industry standard for many electronics shops.

    Buck

  9. #9

    Re: What wattage Soldering Iron for Pots?

    I recently got a 60 watt after having 30's and 40's for years. I found it much easier with the 60 watts, I was very worried about cooking things but really it made things so much quicker I think for me it's actually safer.

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  10. #10
    Les Paul Forum Member Triburst's Avatar
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    Re: What wattage Soldering Iron for Pots?

    Quote Originally Posted by buckaroo View Post
    I have the same station Hakko FX888D. Works great for my rather basic needs. A big step up from a single soldering iron. The masterbuilders at Fender appear to have Weller stations on their benches. So if you "want or need" better than the Hakko you might look at Weller; it may be considered an industry standard for many electronics shops.

    Buck
    I have both (the Hakko was a gift), and they're really comparable as far as I can tell. Both give you a nice assortment of tips, quick temperature settings, and quality.
    That said, if I had been sitting behind a Weller station for a long career, confidence being part of the art of soldering, that would probably have an edge.

  11. #11

    Re: What wattage Soldering Iron for Pots?

    I picked up the Weller WLC100 5 - 40-Watt Soldering Station.

    The iron doesn't fit in the holder. It stops at the set screw for the tip. I'll check it out later to see if I'll drill out the hole of return it for something else.

    Oh well something else that needs to be fixed!

  12. #12
    Les Paul Forum Member sonar's Avatar
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    Re: What wattage Soldering Iron for Pots?

    Quote Originally Posted by ALEX999 View Post
    I picked up the Weller WLC100 5 - 40-Watt Soldering Station.

    The iron doesn't fit in the holder. It stops at the set screw for the tip. I'll check it out later to see if I'll drill out the hole of return it for something else.

    Oh well something else that needs to be fixed!
    Got a pic?

    Mine fits fine.

  13. #13
    Les Paul Forum Member Dave P's Avatar
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    Re: What wattage Soldering Iron for Pots?

    Weller stations are nice before they crap out. Unfortunately, they tend to do that a lot. I know some electronics companies who got away from using Weller for that reason. Hakko seems like they are more reliable.
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  14. #14
    Les Paul Forum Member renderit's Avatar
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    Re: What wattage Soldering Iron for Pots?

    Yes, my last stint at occupying my free time had many Wellers. (The number they use is WESD51 I think). None of which worked correctly. They went out of business shortly thereafter. The new one (though I do not do much soldering there) has the same Wellers which seem to be in working order.

    I would suggest not buying a Weller station used.


    That said, in my limited experience in this field I would state that businesses must buy them for a reason.

    But at 3 times the
    Haako FX888D price and for home I would not diss the Haako. I love mine.

    I see Weller has some stations at 89 bucks. As I have not been impressed with Wellers lower priced offerings I would hesitate on them though. Their 39 dollar 40w stick has the worst tips I have ever seen. You throw away the tips every 15-30 minutes...


  15. #15
    Les Paul Forum Member Don's Avatar
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    Re: What wattage Soldering Iron for Pots?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave P View Post
    Weller stations are nice before they crap out. Unfortunately, they tend to do that a lot. I know some electronics companies who got away from using Weller for that reason. Hakko seems like they are more reliable.
    I had a Weller WES51 die several years ago. I replaced it with another WES51 that has been fine for years. We use them where I work (and the last place I worked) and they were fine. But, if this one dies, I'll probably buy a Hakko.

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