#1
I started getting into making my own leads and was hoping to make some pedals last year (only ended up making a simple footswitch), but the cheap soldering irons I was getting from my local Bunnings kept dying (two in 6 months) so I am in need of something slightly better.
I'm only planning on making instrument leads and some effects pedals, so (I think) I'm after something small (the ones I was using seemed quite cumbersome when soldering wires to a jack). Ideally I'd like to spend around $40-$50 but I could stretch to ~$90 if it's absolutely necessary. I have a Bunnings, a Mitre 10, and a Jaycar nearby where I can buy from.

I was thinking maybe this Weller might be a good one but I don't know if it's powerful enough. For reference this is the one I had before.
#2
Buddy don't buy a shit one. It will just die again.

I highly recommend Weller.

This is one I have and absolutely love. Great price as well. WES51. Analog temperature controlled. You will need that feature for building pedals.

http://www.monstronix.com/weller-wes51-analog-soldering-station-with-power-unit-soldering-pencil-stand-and-sponge-p-33453.html?gclid=COvP29WR7LQCFQmmPAodDBAA6g


Get something like this or better.

Quote by DeathByDestroyr
See, it's important that people clarify when they say "metal", because I pretty much always assume they are a Cannibal Corpse fanboi.
#3
Get an AC unit. A 40 watt iron might not be enough juice for pipe soldering but it is plenty of power to nuke the thin wires that would be inside of a pedal.

I have a Weller iron that looks as if it was made before the earth cooled and it still works fine. I also have a Weller WLC100.
Last edited by bigblockelectra at Jan 16, 2013,
#4
Quote by R45VT
Buddy don't buy a shit one. It will just die again.

I highly recommend Weller.

This is one I have and absolutely love. Great price as well. WES51. Analog temperature controlled. You will need that feature for building pedals.

http://www.monstronix.com/weller-wes51-analog-soldering-station-with-power-unit-soldering-pencil-stand-and-sponge-p-33453.html?gclid=COvP29WR7LQCFQmmPAodDBAA6g


Get something like this or better.



I use similar ones at work (Digital Temp Control). Definitely crank the temperature, the faster you heat up whatever you're working with, the cooler everything else around it will be.

You don't want to have to spend a lot of time holding the tip to a component to get solder to flow. It should be a quick tap, and it's up to temperature. The blade style tips are nice too. They have a nice point for small components, but a large blade that works great for bigger stuff.

Temperature control is nice too, you can work with lead free stuff should the need arise (fixing any modern electronics).
Last edited by earthwormjim at Jan 16, 2013,
#5
Quote by R45VT
Buddy don't buy a shit one. It will just die again.

I highly recommend Weller.

This is one I have and absolutely love. Great price as well. WES51. Analog temperature controlled. You will need that feature for building pedals.

http://www.monstronix.com/weller-wes51-analog-soldering-station-with-power-unit-soldering-pencil-stand-and-sponge-p-33453.html?gclid=COvP29WR7LQCFQmmPAodDBAA6g


Get something like this or better.


The only place I can even find one of those here in Western Australia is eBay, and including postage it's almost $200. I really cannot push my budget past the $100 mark, I legitimately do not have any more money than that which I can spend (don't say save either, I have zero expendable income at the moment).
#6
I got one from Dick Smith when they still sold electronics gear. I think it's like 20-30 watts. Sinplest and cheapest thing ever, but it hasn't broken and has done everything I want it to. I've seen similar ones at Jaycar and Altronics, but if I had to replace it I'd get one of the more expensive ones.

Just sayin
#7
I have this one. You can find it cheaper at other places online. You should be able to get one in AU. There is also an 80 watt model. The 40 watt model comes with a better tip for small electronics.

http://www.amazon.com/Weller-WLC100-40-Watt-Soldering-Station/dp/B000AS28UC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1358358865&sr=8-1&keywords=wlc100

You can buy a digital temp controlled unit, but if you are purchasing a cheap one, it isn't going to be any better or worse than an analog controlled unit.
#8
Here is a good Hakko soldering station dealer that has a good variety of what you are looking for. This is where my buddy buys everything he needs related to wellers. Pretty comparable prices too. This is definitely a product you don't want to go too cheap on. You get what you pay for and you want to be able to use it more than a couple of times. Good luck.