There are only two that I am aware of, PBL and American Beauty, and can claim to actually using only one of them.

This would be my recommendation:   American Beauty

You did not say what you were doing beside the caboose steps and some people might say go for the more expensive one for future power needs, but I think this should fill most of your toy modeling needs.

Plus, America Beauty has a nice selection of add-on items that might be useful for your application.

Charlie

For small parts like steps a tweezer hand tool would be best. I am using the tweezer tips from American Beauty in a homemade handle. I also used and old soldering pencil modified to accept gouging rods from the local welding supply. These are copper coated carbon rods. Much cheaper than getting them from American beauty.

If you have a post war ZW transformer you could try that first. I know one forum member who was able to do small parts with a 1033.

Ideal transformer would be high current, low voltage. 3-5 volts >30 amps. Maybe you could find one on eBay.

Google "homemade resistence soldering tool" you will get dozens of how to tips.

Pete

Yes, if you want to go the homemade route, that will save some money. My answer above was related to commercially available units for small/detail work.

Not saying you won't use your soldering iron again as it is just a different tool, but resistance soldering for spot applications is much easier and quicker and I think safer in terms of keeping close by solder joints and plastic parts from melting.

Charlie

Charlie posted:

This would be my recommendation:   American Beauty

You did not say what you were doing beside the caboose steps and some people might say go for the more expensive one for future power needs, but I think this should fill most of your toy modeling needs.

Go for more expensive?  Isn't $568 kinda' expensive?  I suspect that 250W is more than sufficient for most stuff you're going to run across, that's for sure!

I have the PBL Hot Tip unit which I purchased new about 35 years ago.  I use both the tweezers and the probe tip.  It has definitely paid for itself over the years.

Stuart

 

The light at the end of the tunnel is the headlight of an on coming train!

gunrunnerjohn posted:
Charlie posted:

This would be my recommendation:   American Beauty

You did not say what you were doing beside the caboose steps and some people might say go for the more expensive one for future power needs, but I think this should fill most of your toy modeling needs.

Go for more expensive?  Isn't $568 kinda' expensive?  I suspect that 250W is more than sufficient for most stuff you're going to run across, that's for sure!

GRJ, my answer did come out a little confusing.

I posted the link of the unit I choose based on the research from some local guys (as well as Glenn Guerra, former owner of Mullet River Kits) and the 250 watt was the minimum starting point from all who I asked. The smaller one, 100 watt is the less expensive version and that is what I was referring to as "go for the more expensive one for future power needs".

As for the price, no, I do not think 568 was too much. It is less then 100 more then the less powerful and not recommended version.

However, as the original poster asked about a inexpensive resistance soldering kit. I took that to mean not a homemade job. If someone has the time and the parts laying around, I would think you could probably build one a cheaper. I also think it is not worth the time to build one yourself, as this is probably a once in a lifetime purchase and averaged out over 20 years or so and the cost of the unit is worth the price in my opinion, as is any quality tool.

Charlie

Resistance soldering is where the soldering tool passes a high current through the workpiece to heat it.  In traditional soldering, the soldering iron has to heat up the workpiece. 

I also have a PBL Resistance soldering unit, have had if for about 32 or 33 years now and it has been more than I need for most jobs.  I highly recommend it.  You can get it from the guys at PBL, they are a huge force behind Sn3 modeling, I believe that the letters stand for Peter Built Locomotive Works and they reside in Ukaiah California.  They used to be in Chama, NM but health reasons forced them to move out West.  Bill and Mary Ann Peter are terrific folks and they have an extremely talented and knowledgeable guy that is gradually taking over the business by the name of Jimmy Booth, he is terrific.  I'm sorry, I don't have a link to post at this time.

JEM

sptrainnut

TCA 12-67009

 

Brendan posted:
Maybe I live too far east but what is the difference between NM and Calif? 

Brendan

I think that you mean "distance" instead of "difference".   New Mexico Magazine publishes a "One of Our 50 Is Missing" article every month about people mistaking the state of New Mexico for the nation of Mexico south of the border.  The capital of New Mexico is Santa Fe.  

Two hours flying time or about 800 miles is the distance from California to New Mexico.  

gunrunnerjohn posted:

Sean, that's a pretty low powered unit. 

Includes 63 watt* transformer 

Thanks John - I was just going by price. If I was doing resistance soldering I would move up in features and price.

 

 

Sean

 

TCA 14-6985#

 

Buy me a ticket on the last train home tonight.


I meant difference - weather wise.  In the midwest/east, "going west for health reasons" traditionally meant more favorable, dryer, weather.  That usually meant anywhere in the southwest.  Thanks for the clarifications.

Brendan

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