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Thread: I Now Have an Ancient Weller 8200 Soldering Gun... and QUESTIONS!

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    Default I Now Have an Ancient Weller 8200 Soldering Gun... and QUESTIONS!

    When it comes to soldering, I know SQUAT. Today while out at my boyfriend's storage garage, I remembered that a large lot of locksmith stuff he bought last year had a soldering gun in it. I brought it home and did some browsing on Weller's website.

    The one I have is a model 8200 100/140W. I think the model number may have been changed for modern guns.

    I have many questions, but for now, why do they offer two different replacement tips, and which is better for model RR stuff? Neither look very useful for small things...

    www.newenglanddepot.net
    But... what if I don't WANT to weather it? Hmmmmmm??

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    That'll be too big for N-scale I think.

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    This is one of the finest soldering tools ever made. The top tip is the one you want - much better heat transfer. It's my go to tool away from the workbench.

    Don
    If you're having fun, you're doing it right.
    This is not a contest.

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    Attached are photos of it... notice the box!

    :-)

    It does seem large for even N scale rails...
    Attached Images Attached Images
    www.newenglanddepot.net
    But... what if I don't WANT to weather it? Hmmmmmm??

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    That iron is fine ... if you are soldering together a G-scale water tower or a 1948 Ford truck bed repair. For N-gauge other than the most trivial of operations, it is WAY too big. WAAAAAAY too big.

    Jim

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    @NellsChoo - A soldering iron is fine, if you wanna do BIG items. But I think what you really need to be on the lookout for is a pencil tip soldering iron. It'll make working in N scale a whole lot easier. Nice find, that's got to be circa 1960s, eh?
    N-joy!
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    Looking like maybe I should buy a new tip and try to sell it as-is. I had a feeling it wasn't for me. Maybe someone else can use it.

    OH, and I ALSO remembered I might have ANOTHER ONE of newer vintage in the basement, this one from a bunch of car mechanic's stuff. I never even opened the case. I have a nasty feeling it will be exactly the same gun, only newer... and YES, it takes me a while to remember to look at some piles of stuff...

    www.newenglanddepot.net
    But... what if I don't WANT to weather it? Hmmmmmm??

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    Quote Originally Posted by jweir43 View Post
    That iron is fine ... if you are soldering together a G-scale water tower or a 1948 Ford truck bed repair. For N-gauge other than the most trivial of operations, it is WAY too big. WAAAAAAY too big.
    This simply is not true. Soldering is a skill that you develop. Some tools are better than others, but the proper technique is what matters. I've seen a lot more track damaged by using a too small iron and having to leave it applied too long than by using a large one. I my thinking may be a bit skewed, I learned to solder with and oven and the big tipped irons that held the heat, so you could work for a while. Having something in your hand that could heat up as needed was a BIG step up.

    The 8200 is great, the first trigger position is 100 watts. It is a good iron for feeders on a properly prepared piece of track and of course, feeders to bus wires. Just don't do it the way Model Railroader shows - putting the solder on the tip and trying to transfer it to the track and wire.

    If anybody cares, the 8200 is still available from both Lowes and Home Depot, but the modern one is a pale imitation of original. I'm close to 70 and I got mine when I was a teenager - it still works great. Since Cooper was bought out and these are made in China instead of Apex, NC, they are built cheap, like every other soldering tool I've seen lately.

    Tips are not that easy to find. Neither Lowes or Home Depot sells them. One staff member told me to just buy a new gun(50.00 plus dollars for a 2.00 tip). Radio Shack used to be the go to place for the tips. Now I find them at Ham Fests and stock up when I can. I use the gun regularly and replace the tip every couple of years. Just make sure to keep the nuts that hold the tip in place tight. I've learned over the years to check them before each use.

    I remember that old box, so this one may be of the same vintage as mine. Don't let any of the nay-sayers bother you, you have a fine tool that will last as long as you want to use it. I don't want to think about how often I've dropped it over the years with no ill effects except and occasional bent tip.

    There is a place for a smaller iron. I have a Weller TC202 on my bench that I bought in 82 and carried with me in my tool kit all over the country and overseas during my years as a field tech. This is what I use for all my prototyping and circuit board work.

    Don
    If you're having fun, you're doing it right.
    This is not a contest.

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    Nell,

    These regularly sell for $15.00 at Ham Fests - the old ones that is, the new ones just sit there with no interest.

    Don
    If you're having fun, you're doing it right.
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    Can't believe it's that old, my near-new 100/140W unit looks nearly identical! Despite the naysayers here, a soldering gun does have many uses, even in N scale. I use it to solder my feeders, as it will absolutely blast the tiny section it's in contact with without melting the ties, as you're only there for perhaps half a second at most. If you solder feeders to a beefy bus wire, this is your best friend. And, with my handlaid turnouts, sometimes a mainline point breaks during an op session - I'm not waiting for the pencil iron to warm up! I also use it to solder a whole lot of random electrical things.

    It's a beast and you need to treat it carefully, but it's a great tool.
    N scale CPR Kootenay Division, started May 2011!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carolina Northern View Post
    This simply is not true. Soldering is a skill that you develop. Some tools are better than others, but the proper technique is what matters. I've seen a lot more track damaged by using a too small iron and having to leave it applied too long than by using a large one. I my thinking may be a bit skewed, I learned to solder with and oven and the big tipped irons that held the heat, so you could work for a while. Having something in your hand that could heat up as needed was a BIG step up.
    I'll have to disagree Don. That thing is a behemoth that is way to bulky and too powerful for N scale. I've soldered all my life, for 24 years in industry and for my own hobbies. I have one of those. Never use it. What you want is a quality adjustable heat iron like the Hakko FX-888. You can have a selection of tips for specific jobs, and you can turn the heat up as needed all the while having a small and light tool in your hand. I've never once run across any job on N scale that it doesn't handle with ease. It can do anything in N scale that thing can do more efficiently and with way more precise handling. It also heats up just as fast as that behemoth.

    If that is all you have and/or can afford, well I guess you use it. Are there people such as yourself who can use it in the hobby? Sure, but again I wouldn't recommend it for anyone as a go to soldering iron for this hobby.


    I can hammer a nail with a sledgehammer but why do it when there are more appropriate tools?
    Last edited by Nskale; 29th Nov 2017 at 12:26 PM.

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    I've had several over the years. They last twenty plus years before the internal works burn out. They are great for performing electrical work on your home, but a little large for N scale delicate work.

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    Shucks, not to be one-up but my Weller 8200 was new in its 1957 box when I got it. Lessee now, that's 60 years if my math is right. Yes, I still use it when I'm using #14 wire and larger but I've never used it around HO and smaller. I didn't even use it on my 1946 American Flyer back in the day. A small 40 watt iron at the correct temperature will do the job quicker and with a lot less likelihood to melt stuff in the vicinity.

    As to replacement tips, Amazon, eBay, ace hardware, home depot, lowes, ..... lots of places.

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    Interesting group of comments!

    I plugged it in (finally) and pulled the trigger... it doesn't get very hot. I am trying to figure out why. Is it because the plug is an older one without the one-large prong? Do I have to plug it in a certain way?

    I took an emory to the tip, and it is all copper, which seems different than the new ones. I'm told via the chat it should get HOT HOT HOT right away.
    www.newenglanddepot.net
    But... what if I don't WANT to weather it? Hmmmmmm??

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    I think these are great for N scale track for the same reasons CN mentioned above. Sounds like yours may be faulty, however.
    Daniel Dawson

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    I FIXED IT!!! I undid the nuts, removed the tip, cleaned it up, and then tightened it all up well... now there's smoke coming off the tip and it was changing color!!

    ;-)
    www.newenglanddepot.net
    But... what if I don't WANT to weather it? Hmmmmmm??

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    Quote Originally Posted by NellsChoo View Post
    Interesting group of comments!

    Is it because the plug is an older one without the one-large prong?
    No.

    Do I have to plug it in a certain way?
    No.

    I took an emory to the tip, and it is all copper, which seems different than the new ones. I'm told via the chat it should get HOT HOT HOT right away.
    Unless the tip isn't tightened well, then it's defective. IMHO consider yourself lucky and go get a nice quality ergonomic adjustable temperature iron with several different tips.

    Edit: I see you posted the same time I did. So I was correct - the tip wasn't tight. There you go.

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    YUP, and the funny thing is, there is STILL a tag on the cord saying make sure those nuts are tightened up!!! I didn't read the stupid thing... in time... :l:
    www.newenglanddepot.net
    But... what if I don't WANT to weather it? Hmmmmmm??

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    I'd suggest you find a new tip. That tip should have been iron plated and you "emoried" it down to the bare copper. It should NOT change color. You can get the crap off of a good tip with a damp (not wet) sponge or superfine steel wool.

    The bare copper will not solder well and will need constant applications of solder (called "tinning" for some obscure reason) to keep a decent soldering surface.

    YouTube has several excellent videos on how to solder. Good stuff.

    Jim

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    I have two Wellers. One from the early sixties that was my dear late father's and one from the seventies I got for Christmas one year. They both still work perfectly and I always use a Weller gun for under table soldering instead of an iron. Heat availability is almost instant.

    The local Ace Hardware store still has tips although they are almost outrageous in price. The ones without the nuts (you reuse the old ones) are more reasonable.

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