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#39162 - 06/11/04 08:39 AM What Device Could Control Heat Of A Soldering Iron?
AC Offline
Member
Registered: 05/29/02
Posts: 23
Loc: New York, New York
I have a very big, heavy, electric soldering iron that is used mainly to solder sheet metal. It connects to 110V with a two wire cord but has no switch or regulator. It is either plugged in or it isn't.

Adding some kind of switch would not be a big deal, but I would like some kind of device that would allow me to regulate the heat. Does anyone know if that is possible and what kind of device would be used?

Thanks,
AC
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#39163 - 06/11/04 08:47 AM Re: What Device Could Control Heat Of A Soldering Iron?
Creighton Offline
Member
Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 59
Loc: Hayward, CA
There is a stand which holds the iron while not in use and has an adjustable thermostat
so that you can maintain whatever heat you desire. Any industrial supply house should have these.

Creighton
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#39164 - 06/11/04 09:20 AM Re: What Device Could Control Heat Of A Soldering Iron?
NJwirenut Offline
Member
Registered: 09/15/01
Posts: 806
Loc: Bergen County, NJ
An ordinary incandescent dimmer should work fine, as a soldering iron is a resistive load. Maybe build a device something like this one:
http://electrical-contractor.net/ubb/Forum5/HTML/000551.html

, but I would suggest a proper enclosure, not a plastic outlet box.

I use a variac to control my big iron, but I already had one on my workbench for other things.

[This message has been edited by NJwirenut (edited 06-11-2004).]
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#39165 - 06/11/04 10:50 AM Re: What Device Could Control Heat Of A Soldering Iron?
pauluk Offline
Member
Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7520
Loc: Norfolk, England
It doesn't give us much fine adjustment as a variac, but one trick I've used in the past is to make up a stand/switch box with the hot line run through a suitable diode.

A switch in parallel with that diode then allows you to run the iron on full power when using it continuously and reduce the power when it is being used only occasionally.
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#39166 - 06/11/04 10:54 AM Re: What Device Could Control Heat Of A Soldering Iron?
NJwirenut Offline
Member
Registered: 09/15/01
Posts: 806
Loc: Bergen County, NJ
Rigging up a microswitch on the stand to insert the diode when the iron is idling in the holder will greatly prolong the life of the copper tip, by preventing the tinning from burning up.
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#39167 - 06/11/04 06:19 PM Re: What Device Could Control Heat Of A Soldering Iron?
Bjarney Offline
Moderator
Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 2527
Loc: West-Southern Inner-Northeast ...
Depending on iron wattage, a pendant-style "corded" lamp dimmer may do, although they are not very rugged in a shop setting.

Lutron and Leviton should make 'em. SwillMart had Leviton 200-watt dimmers for ~$9.
www.lutron.com/LampDimmers/default.asp
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#39168 - 06/13/04 08:47 AM Re: What Device Could Control Heat Of A Soldering Iron?
Attic Rat Offline
Member
Registered: 12/14/03
Posts: 524
Loc: Bergen Co.,N.J. USA
... If you're doing light soldering,..ie;..electronics,and such, Weller has a self-regulating,thermostatic soldering station for under $150.00...I used to use this type.. http://www.bertech.com/product2/soldering_stations.htm
Russ

[This message has been edited by Attic Rat (edited 06-13-2004).]
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#39169 - 06/13/04 10:30 AM Re: What Device Could Control Heat Of A Soldering Iron?
AC Offline
Member
Registered: 05/29/02
Posts: 23
Loc: New York, New York
I don't know anything about diodes. I'll try the incandencent dimmer thing. This is my third attempt to reply. Hope it goes though.
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