I think im addicted to tube amp building

Discussion in 'Ampage Area' started by garagegods, Dec 2, 2021.

  1. tmcq65

    tmcq65 Electromatic

    65
    Nov 10, 2021
    Pennsylvania
    I have this:
    https://www.radioshack.com/collecti...roducts/45w-desoldering-iron-with-vacuum-bulb
    which I actually bought at a brick and mortar Radio Shack. I really like it because the solder doesn't cool and harden again as I'm trying to get the plunger in place (which always happens with me trying to carefully sit a hot iron back down and grab the plunger tool all while holding the piece I'm working on).

    I'll add, the gizmo keeps the removed solder hot inside, so you can create cool silver splatter art when you puff it back out.
     
    Randy99CL likes this.
  2. Randy99CL

    Randy99CL Country Gent

    Feb 17, 2020
    Albuquerque
    No offense but those systems don't really work as well as that $20 sucker. The military bought some of the expensive gear but it doesn't create the huge vacuum that sucker does and they often clog and generally slow you down.

    Hold the sucker in one hand, the iron in the other, hit it with heat, put the sucker (teflon) tip right on the joint and hit the release. That thing will ingest a huge amount of solder, instantly.

    The bottom cap pries off the tube and all the solder dumps out easily. Add a few drops of oil occasionally to help the seal and keep the suction.
     
  3. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    Atlanta
    I highly recommend Aiken's advice on amp building. My favorites:

    • Don't chew on a length of solder while contemplating your next move - ingesting lead kills brain cells....
    • ...what were we talking about? Oh, yes, now I remember....
    • Never work on amps around small children - you will be embarrassed when they pick up the language you use when you touch live wires.
    • Never solder in your underwear (don't ask!). Seriously, short pants and soldering don't mix very well. Wear appropriate clothing.


    https://www.aikenamps.com/index.php/safety-tips-for-working-on-tube-amplifiers
     
    Henry and garagegods like this.
  4. Mark 6120

    Mark 6120 Electromatic

    89
    Nov 5, 2020
    DFW
    Off topic, but I had no idea Radio Shack still exists! I spent a lot of quality time in Radio Shack as a teen.

    Right now I am an "armchair tube amp building addict. " I have lots of plans, a good number of (but not enough) parts, but not enough time. And I can't make my own cabinets, which is a huge expense.
     
    garagegods likes this.
  5. DougWheeler74

    DougWheeler74 Synchromatic

    542
    Jul 10, 2019
    NE Wisconsin, US

    I use braid and a sucker but mostly a sucker. Slot cars? Oh man, I loved those things. We had a club and because we lived in the country we had different tracks set up at different houses. We would also drive to the tracks in a store about 20 miles away. The 74 in my name is from one of my first 'step ups' from my Strombecker set; a Porsche 904 with lower voltage motor, soft brushes, silicone tires, etc.

    But back to soldering/desoldering. No magic or mystery; just practice. I didn't have week school in it but 6 years in the Navy upped the skill set. Ships, like aircraft, are minimalist at times and in constant motion. (Not to mention the occasional sloppy work from the guy ahead of you. :rolleyes: ). As has been suggested, get some electronic scrap and practice desoldering. Buy a turret board and wire and unwire it until you get it down. A vice to hold the part is essential as well unless you have 3 hands.
     
  6. garagegods

    garagegods Electromatic

    93
    Sep 30, 2021
    Los Angeles
    Im sure with that kind of experience your much better at soldering than I am, I get by ok and ya those cold solder joints are tricky also on circuit boards damaged traces are a MF to find. I got lucky once and found a circuit board of a vintage drum machine that had a bad trace and was amazed when i was able to fix it.:cool:
     
  7. garagegods

    garagegods Electromatic

    93
    Sep 30, 2021
    Los Angeles
    Lol if your referring to my spool of radio shack solder was purchased before they shut down all the stores and yep loved radio shack all sorts of cool stuff, got my first stereo receiver and turn table Realistic and i think speakers too! they might still be alive for online purchases not sure guess if they are Amazon will kill them off
     
  8. Mark 6120

    Mark 6120 Electromatic

    89
    Nov 5, 2020
    DFW
    They are still alive online - I just found that out this week. I'm not likely to be buying anything there when there is Mouser and Digikey -and the smaller folks that cater to tube amp builders.
     
    garagegods likes this.
  9. garagegods

    garagegods Electromatic

    93
    Sep 30, 2021
    Los Angeles
    i hear that before they closed radio shack i bought several decent pots,switches, etc still have some unopened
     
  10. toddfan

    toddfan Country Gent

    Mar 12, 2012
    Kansas
    This is what I learned to solder on...

    Solder.jpg
     
    garagegods likes this.
  11. DougWheeler74

    DougWheeler74 Synchromatic

    542
    Jul 10, 2019
    NE Wisconsin, US
    I'd burn down the house. My dad had a soldering iron that had a tip that was about an inch wide. I always assumed it was for plumbing work, I can't imagine using it for electronic work.
     
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