Attempt to solder rails together...

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by prodigy2k7, Feb 7, 2007.

  1. prodigy2k7

    prodigy2k7 Member

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    I am trying to practice on my old bachmann track...
    I am using a new wellers 40 watt soldering iron with a pencil tip thing (lol)

    Why does the track turn black or darker? Is this soot from something?
    Did I leave the iron on too long?
    People say you only need to hold it about 2 seconds to heat the rails up...but it takes me longer...like 5 or more

    I also have a problem melting the solder itself...
    The very tip of the soldering iron isnt hot enough even when its been on for 30 minutes...
    the fatter part of the pencil tip melts it but the very point doesnt...

    i do put the tip at an engle so the side is on the rail but it doesnt seem to heat the hail that well...

    Once I manage to melt the solder it goes easily...(and is shiny not dull for the most part)

    I got a screen shot of me messing around, I am wondering if they is too much, not enough or just perfect...any ideas or suggestions lol...
    NOTE: I KNOW I SUCK SO DONT DAY PRACTICE CUZ I AM Lol...

    [​IMG]
  2. radar

    radar Member

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    the brass rail oxidies real bad that why its hard to keep clean on a layout! before soldering the brass rail it needs to be clean of the oxidation use some steel wool or sand paper to polish it other than useing the brass rail looks good .
  3. prodigy2k7

    prodigy2k7 Member

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    thats brass rail? lol
    I thought it was nickel silver...
    I got it back in 01 from my LHS
    Bachmann ez track..
  4. radar

    radar Member

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    I need to get a better camara so I can post pics the solder should not blob up on the rail joiner it should flow down inside the joiner to were other than being bright silver you cant see any solder build up but the rail has to be clean for that to happen so I would try to clean the rail ends !
  5. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    make sure it is not steel rail. Some EZ track is steel rail. You can tell because a magnet will stick to it.

    If it is nickle silver, my best thought is that it is not clean enough. Even oil from fingers will make soldering difficult. Cleaning the rail ends and joiners with denatured alcohol first will help the solder.

    kevin
  6. prodigy2k7

    prodigy2k7 Member

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    oh well I did that on purpose lol...I thought it was supossed to go there lol... Ill play around again and get it INSIDE instead :p
  7. radar

    radar Member

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    my 40 watt iron the very tip gets hot but not hot enough, I use the side of the tip on the inside of the track ,let it heat up about 5-10 sec touch the solder to the outside of the rail and it done ,make sure there is no little gap between the rail ends have the iron touching both rails. and keep the tip of the iron clean by using a damp sponge or folded up paper towel. then just touch the solder to the tip thats called tinning the tip.
  8. prodigy2k7

    prodigy2k7 Member

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    why do you "tin" the tip after cleaning it?
    The separateion is from the bachmann junk it was screwed up..
    I had some left over flex track (cut out pieces) both 2 inches long ish...
    I did this..
    (Ignore the ugly cut job of the rails...it was the butt end of when i was cutting rail lol)
    [​IMG]
  9. prodigy2k7

    prodigy2k7 Member

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    and yes i know the right side kinda touched the top a little lol...
    Its not the best of jobs...but do I got the right idea? try to some some solder inside the joiner itself?
  10. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

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    Keeping the tip coated with solder (tinned) makes it transfer more heat to the work faster. I guess it also helps keep the tip from oxidizing. Use a sponge or damp rag to keep the tip clean. I don't know if you have a hot enough iron. The hotter the better, I think. A hot iron will heat the rails faster and let the solder melt before the whole section of rail gets hot enough to melt the ties. A hot iron also keeps up with the heat that your heat sinks are removing, so the local area you want to solder gets hotter. I think the best heat sink is a wet rag or paper towel laid over the rails and pushed down between them. The ties are really protected that way.
    The whole joint should be hot enough to let the solder flow into the joiner.
  11. radar

    radar Member

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    Put the side of the tip right where the 2 rails meet you want to solder both rails and joiner at the same time.
  12. radar

    radar Member

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    after you cut the track to what ever size u need I remove 2-3 ties so I dont melt them after I'm done I cut the spike heads off with a hobby knife and glue them back under the track.
  13. prodigy2k7

    prodigy2k7 Member

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    Im confused, what I heard is the track should be ho enough to melt the solder itself and the solder shouldnt even need to touch the tip..
    Anyways, How do i get the solder inside the joiner if the solder is going on the outside of it?
    As you can see from the picture, I was putting the solder in from the inside...

    This is why I want to see a video for solding rails lol...anyone got one?
  14. ukon30fan

    ukon30fan 0n30 Rail Baron of Leeds

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    Well one thing I would suggest is to change the pointed tip for a small chisel tip to get a greater transfer of heat to your rails. I'd also run a drop of flux where you want to solder.
  15. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

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    When you ever get the joint hot enough for the solder to flow, it will all become clear to you. The solder will flow into the joiner by capillary action if and only if the whole joint is hot enough to keep the solder liquid. Not touching the solder to the tip is a very nice concept, but a little wet solder at the interface will make your life a whole lot easier and get the heat transfer you need to heat the joint without holding the iron there long enough to melt ties. High heat, fast heat transfer, shortest time with iron to rail. If you try soldering a couple of wires together you will get a better idea of how the solder will flow like water.