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  • Weller solder guns

    What's the difference between the black and red Weller solder guns? Is the change when Cooper took them over, or is one a hobbyist and one a commercial range?

  • #2
    The older Weller Solder guns were all black (with red label) I believe. Its only very recently they seem to have shifted to the red type with elastomeric over molding like currently on sale
    Click image for larger version

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    Cooper bought them way back in 1970, many many black solder guns made since then! The red ones are 100/140w and have a couple white LEDS
    heres a bit of a historical retrospective on the traditional black guns
    https://stevenjohnson.com/soldering/weller.htm

    Their big feature is fast on fast off but temp control is nonexistent and tip design is very limited, although I have seen foam cutting blade tips which might be useful.

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    • #3
      I think marketing mainly.

      I maintain that SUVs and running shoes all started to look like one another. And nowadays, so many products have to have sweeping lines and patterns, like many running shoes.

      I have an old Weller 100/140 gun I have had for over 60 years. One of my earliest tools. Not much can go wrong with one. I did buy a new plastic body/housing for it once after one too many trips to the cement floor from the bench top. And I did replace the trigger switch once. I do buy the real tips because they have that extra hunk of metal at the tip, but easily half the time in its life, I just bent a hunk of 12ga copper wire into the shape and used that. The thing is really just a transformer. the pipe you stick the tips into is one piece of pipe bent into U shape. With the tip installed it is a one-turn secondary to the transformer. The mains primary is just many turns of wire with a wattage tap.

      A trick I learned years ago was to rewire the switch backwards. Stock, the 100 watt position was the halfway trigger. gets tiring. Since I usually only wanted the 100 watt setting, I reversed the 100 and 140 wires to the switch. Now grabbing it full on is 100 watts. If I want 140 for something then I hold it on the half click.

      LEDs are a great improvement. I quit keeping #222 bulbs a long time ago.
      Education is what you're left with after you have forgotten what you have learned.

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      • #4
        We used to have a rented B&W all-tube TV set and the repairman came round regularly. I always remember as a kid that pistol solder gun and his fibre-board case full of tubes. I always fancied the idea of a solder gun but thought of them as inferior and brutal. Enzo mentioned in another post using one, so that got me to rethink my prejudice. Last week I picked up a British-made gun (Burgess) for pretty much nothing just to give it a try. Cheap and cheerful but not Weller quality. I have to say I much prefer it for some jobs and I've used it quite a bit. I don't like leaving my solder station on all day long and near-instant heat is pretty handy. Perfect for eyelet boards and soldering onto 1/4" switch terminals. Really quick for soldering onto the back of a pot and I don't have to wait for my station to get up to temperature. That only takes 30 seconds but in that time I can get the job done with a gun. I think the way to look at it is to use it on the type of equipment that it was designed for back in the day.

        That Weller history link makes for interesting reading. I love this kind of background story to something we really take for granted as though there's nothing to it.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Mick Bailey View Post
          We used to have a rented B&W all-tube TV set and the repairman came round regularly. I always remember as a kid that pistol solder gun and his fibre-board case full of tubes. I always fancied the idea of a solder gun but thought of them as inferior and brutal. Enzo mentioned in another post using one, so that got me to rethink my prejudice. Last week I picked up a British-made gun (Burgess) for pretty much nothing just to give it a try. Cheap and cheerful but not Weller quality. I have to say I much prefer it for some jobs and I've used it quite a bit. I don't like leaving my solder station on all day long and near-instant heat is pretty handy. Perfect for eyelet boards and soldering onto 1/4" switch terminals. Really quick for soldering onto the back of a pot and I don't have to wait for my station to get up to temperature. That only takes 30 seconds but in that time I can get the job done with a gun. I think the way to look at it is to use it on the type of equipment that it was designed for back in the day.

          That Weller history link makes for interesting reading. I love this kind of background story to something we really take for granted as though there's nothing to it.
          Well yeah, in inexperienced hands a gun will decimate a PCB. Just as you don't use an elephant gun to go dove hunting. Ok well analagy may be a bit overkill but the point is in there somewhere...I think

          nosaj
          Binkie McFartnuggets‏:If we really wanted to know the meaning of life we would have fed Stephen Hawking shrooms a long time ago.

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