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Hi Kevin, I am a real fan of resistance soldering and I use the Super Chief  unit you showed in the video.

 

By dialing down the power/resistance, I am able to achieve some very small soldered joints even close to each other; although, if you can use a heat sink that is better.  To do this the most important thing, as with any soldering type, is to develop/use a jig that will hold the items in place while you make the joint. Also, a 'clean' tight joint always works best, but I have managed to gap fill using this method.

 

My preferred method is to put a dab of 'NoKarode' flux between and around the joint and place a small pellet (small piece cut from the wire) of solder on the opposite side of the joint so it flows towards the heat source.  I have found that sometimes depending where you place the points of the rod/clip affects this, so sometimes I need to reverse the leads to the unit.  I prefer to use a lead with an alligator/crocodile clip on one side as that frees your hands and provides a good contact -  American Beauty can make these up for you.  I use the single probe lead to then place the point at which I wish to supply heat.  For joints closer together I use different melt point solders, as for any other type of soldering.

 

As you can see from the attached, the small eyes and the lug at the base (shown on top) of this bowsprit cap I am assembling, are quite close together and I was able to achieve this with no heat sinks, including soldering the side plates.  The piece is still being completed and a bit of clean-up still required.  I prefer to use silver solder for its strength and variety of melting points even if there is no real pressure being applied to the joints.  I stay away from the premix silver solders and cored rosin solders as I find they leave too much residue which affects the blackening process (even if I pickle) but if you are painting this should not be a problem and will widen the range of melting points for you.

797349187_BowspritCapwithLugs.thumb.JPG.9a0b8fa500626b63a6ff679ed73b46bd.JPG

 

I hope this helps?

 

cheers

 

Pat

Edited by BANYAN

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Pat

thanks so much for your response. Makes me want to purchase the unit. What do you think i need to buy with the first purchase? I live in Trinidad so its problematic to get stuff. I am also not sure if i can even get to clear the items from  the courier service as the country has just implemented a total shut down. The airport is now closed.

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I've owned the resistance soldering unit you pictured for a long time. I don't use it for every soldering task, but for things where joints are very close together, it is an ideal solution. The oyster tongs pictured below are made entirely from brass with every joint soldered. I don't think it would be possible to do this with a standard soldering iron because the rods are so close together. It's a shame they are so very expensive, but I don't regret having spent the money.

 

My normal technique for something like this is to use a soft solder like Tix. I'll apply some flux to the joint, then lay a very small piece of solder in the flux. The flux helps to hold the solder next to the joint. The trickiest part is getting the points of the hand piece on the joint without knocking the solder off.  It only takes a second or so for the solder to melt once you press the pedal and it's so quick, the heat is confined to the joint you're working on. Of course, the heavier the material, the longer it takes. The wires on the tongs are .032" so they're quite small.

 

Hope that helps -

John

 

tongs01.jpg

tongs02.jpg

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Well, I don't know anything about resistance soldering, but it was fun to see & hear one of our members!

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This looks really useful, but my head is at busting point trying to handle  a  band saw. Booked marked for later- at least post corona.

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Decided to try to drill post as i have no idea when our airports will reopen. To my surprise i have been able to drill 4 holes in three post. Difficult as the drill bit tends to wonder as i can punch the post. I used a file to score the post. I do not think the drill bit will last too long but it will be much cheaper than buying the resistance soldering unit which is currently unavailable.  Keep you fingers crossed. 

3E087B67-904E-42AE-8D71-4B22A6A2F6FB.jpeg

20F9C2CB-FEFD-4F5B-89AD-8E1FC117D352.jpeg

9ABA66CB-F645-4BA4-9A89-9242F296E845.jpeg

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What happened to the video - any chance you can repost it?

 

Thanks

 

Derek

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HI Kevin,

 

Sorry for the delay but the time zones interfere  with quick communications; not that it will make much difference as you have realised (due to closures etc).

 

For the same reasons, cost of transport etc, I put together a package I thought I would need.  The following are my experiences BUT it all depends on how much you use the unit, and for what purposes.  I mostly use it for smaller jobs and use a small torch (hand held) for bigger (not real big) jobs.  I have built a special soldering jig for my purposes which comprises a 6 x 4 inch soldering pad (with holes) and a GRS single arm articulated arm and some special hold down fingers (based on the Gerald Wingrove rig).

 

Firstly, I must say that the guys at American Beauty were very helpful in putting together my kit, and also for the one small issue I had.  The LED in the on/off switch stopped working, but the unit itself was still functional.   I am not an agent etc just a very happy user.  Our power supply is 240V which required them to put together a unit that also met our Certifications Standards - no problem for them at all.  I opted for the Super Chief kit as the power/resistence range is ideal for our needs; even then I mostly operate with the lowest settings.  I have even been able to control the soldering power to the point of safely soldering Photo Etched (PE) parts..

 

I ordered the unit with the tongs (came as a package - Super Chief) but I rarely use the tongs.  I also ordered the  hands free vise (product #105V12) - not sure they still sell it as it did not come up in a quick search I did.  The truth is I rarely use it as I can do most jobs with a special set of leads I had made up that include an alligator clip on one lead and a single probe on the other.  I had two sets done, one with the normal size aligator clip and another with a micro clip (be sure to ask for one with good gripping power/capacity as the small one I ordered initially had no grip at all :( .  Also, be sure to order some additional probes.

 

For those in Australia, "COLTRONICS" (ask for James) in Sydney is the Aussie Agent - very helpful.  No association etc, just a happy customer of these products.

 

cheers

 

Pat

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I have a large 100+ Watt solder gun, and small Weller 25 Watt soldering "pencil" and a 250 Watt American Beauty resistance soldering unit. I have the pen and cable set and the tongs for the resistance unit.

 

For most things I use the soldering pencil. But the resistance unit is really good for quick spot soldering on large pieces. It works by flowing current through one of the pieces to be soldered, through the flux/solder and then through the second piece to be soldered. You place the probes on opposite sides of the joint so the resistance is lowest at the point to be soldered. Because the resistance is greater through any other path, even if the two pieces have been soldered together at other points, the current flows through the least resistance path and generates heat in the solder at the joint. As long as you allow the parts to cool between joints you don't need heat sinks. The power can be adjusted from 0% to 100% of the output to meet the needs of the job. If you want a really fast operation crank it up to 250 Watts and the joint is formed almost instantly - however, you can generate too much heat and actually melt very thin metals.

 

However, I find it very frustrating to use because the tips are brittle carbon that breaks extremely easily. I go trough them almost as fast as the solder. It takes a while to learn how to use the resistance unit effectively. If anyone knows of any other more durable tips I would appreciate learning about them.

 

I bought the thing after I learned that they are used on those very nice HO and O scale brass locomotives that sell for an arm and a leg. By using the right flux, a small amount of solder and the proper technique you can create complex brass assemblies with absolutely no solder showing.

 

****

 

I used to do a lot of micro electronics soldering while designing and assembling prototype electronics assemblies. For that I used the pencil iron with a very tiny tip for solder joints on ICs with 0.01 inch (0.25 mm) wide pins with 0.01 inch spacing. We soon learned that the best flux is the aquatic citrus based flux. It smells like orange juice! It is a liquid and you can paint it on with a small brush. It flows readily between the two pieces to be soldered and draws the solder in for an excellent joint. It flows into extremely tiny holes and cracks. Then, being water based, it is easy to wash off the residue. It works for any type soldering. It is my go-to flux for everything except very high heat soldering with a torch.

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1 hour ago, Dr PR said:

 

I used to do a lot of micro electronics soldering while designing and assembling prototype electronics assemblies. For that I used the pencil iron with a very tiny tip for solder joints on ICs with 0.01 inch (0.25 mm) wide pins with 0.01 inch spacing. We soon learned that the best flux is the aquatic citrus based flux. It smells like orange juice! It is a liquid and you can paint it on with a small brush. It flows readily between the two pieces to be soldered and draws the solder in for an excellent joint. It flows into extremely tiny holes and cracks. Then, being water based, it is easy to wash off the residue. It works for any type soldering. It is my go-to flux for everything except very high heat soldering with a torch.

I was trying to find this flux from internet but found only the flux remover. Is this the stuff you are referring to?

 

Screenshot_20200328-094302.thumb.png.b22b6869b8a4f2aebb4fd33d1f89c1c8.png

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8 hours ago, Dr PR said:

However, I find it very frustrating to use because the tips are brittle carbon that breaks extremely easily. I go trough them almost as fast as the solder. It takes a while to learn how to use the resistance unit effectively. If anyone knows of any other more durable tips I would appreciate learning about them.

 

American Beauty makes a tweezer-style hand piece that uses metal electrodes. Very expensive, unfortunately, but they don't break and allow you to get into very tight places. See an example here:

https://americanbeautytools.com/Resistance-Tweezer-Systems/99/features

 

Cheers -

John

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I don't know anything about these AmericanBeauty resistance soldering units, but they appear to me rather over-priced. Just looked at their Web-site and saw for instance an accessory that is called 'grounding vice' at 160 USD. Effectively it is one of those ubiquitous engravers vices that are sold at around 20 USD mounted to a heavy footplate. Likewise, to sell a foot-switch at 56 USD seems to be a rip-off ... resistance soldering is used, for instance, also in watchmaking and -repair, particular to solder feet to clock dials. There, people have build their own units and I have seen construction plans on the Web.

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Hi Eberhard; agree on the high prices.  One small point is that while the vise looks like the standard jeweler's/engraver's one, it is fitted with a lead at the base such that the vise head becomes one path (ground) of the two electrodes when energized.   This does not detract from the pricing issue (probably as a result that nowhere near as many units as a standard electrical soldering station are sold).  I also have found that I very rarely use it and prefer my own soldering jig.  The rest of the unit, while expensive has proven its worth to me in that once I learned to control the power for the job at hand, it has saved me a lot of costs in wasted time and parts.

 

Dr PR - WRT probes, I have used a single probe hundreds of times with no tip or other breakages, all it does is get shorter with use; must have been a bad lot?   I do however, every so often give the tips a bit of a clean to remove some of the carbon buildup.   I bought a package of replacement probes at time of purchase to save on future shipping costs, but I doubt I will ever use them all :(  Never know though.

 

cheers

 

Pat

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