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Another project, resistance solderer/welder

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  • Another project, resistance solderer/welder

    This came out of my dads dental practice, it was used for spot welding stainless steel bands for something. He gave it to me when he was cleaning up and retiring.

    Micromark sells a resistance soldering station for assembling fine brass locomotives and other hobbie items for way more money than I ever would want to spend on it.
    I was thinking of making some tweezer prongs to use instead of its current setup, like the micromark unit. It has a high and low setting, I think its probably over kill. I guess you smother the 2 parts in flux, heat em up with one of these and apply solder, that how it works? Anything I should be careful of when I go to make the tweezers, like what guage wire, what type of insulation and switch? The tweezer contacts as well.
    Tommorow Im going to go pick up a 5hp 3 phase motor to make a rotary phase converter out of. Also been working on plans for a 2.5" gauge steamer, getting a lot of stuff done without a shop to use, well not until the summer if Im not off to Air Traffic Control school.

    [This message has been edited by BillH (edited 12-28-2005).]

  • #2
    That's cool. Does it have a plate in back that says how much wattage it puts out, Hi and Lo

    Dave da Slave


    • #3
      3.5v at 300 amps max, 6% duty cycle per integrated minute, Hmmmmm.
      It takes in 8 amps.
      This thing may not need solder, lol.


      • #4
        Nope, that's a spot welder. Try it on some cleaned up black iron wire.
        Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here


        • #5
          yep Evan is right on its a over priced mini spot welder for the med profession.
          the different tips are for differnt assemblies on braces.

          Been there, probally broke it doing that
          Been there, probably broke it, doing that!
          I am not a lawyer, and never played one on TV!
          All the usual and standard disclaimers apply. Do not try this at home, use only as directed, No warranties express or implied, for the intended use or the suggested uses, Wear safety glasses, closed course, professionals only


          • #6
            There any way I could use it for resistance soldering?


            • #7
              Yes. You need access to the heavy terminals to attach wire to, then you can either choose the gauge and length of the wire to get the required power at the tip of the soldering tool, or run the thing from a kilowatt variac.

              I'll take a wild guess and say there's about 5 to 7 volts open circuit there, so no shock hazard, but there will be a burn hazard. It's pretty easy to short out too much juice and get way more heat than you wanted. My experience with resistance soldering was in the 300 watt range, and that was lots. Depends on what you want to solder.

              I made up what was basically a tweezer to bring two electrodes together to pinch the junction to be soldered. It's been so long now I don't recall what I used for electrodes. Brass rod, I think. Doing it again I would pay a lot more attention to keeping my fingers cool somehow. Maybe make an aluminum handle which holds one electrode, and the other electrode is pivoted on it via a trigger, and insulated from the handle, of course. If the aluminum handle is massy enough, it will be slow to heat to the point where you can't touch it anymore. It's all about duty cycle.

              You do need to make the best wire connections possible so heat doesn't build up at those points instead of at the tips.
              I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-


              • #8
                For additional sources of information look for model railroad magazines with the text "American Beauty." That is a manufacturer of an excellent product (have not seen the MM one you mentioned).



                • #9
                  From your photos, this appears to be an orthodontic spot welder with a multi turret of heads.
                  My wife who was a consultant orthodontist had a similar machine for making stainless steel appliances. Basically, my knowledge is on bigger stuff and principally in the automotive field. Whether there is a soldering head in the capstan, I know not but the normal practice is to join stainless bands and wires without the addition of any flux. I was idly thinking that you could use solder paste between brass sheets.

                  Nice tool, miniature locomotives, a definite yes.

                  Lucky you! Have fun.



                  • #10
                    Looks like a start on a animatronics production line. Light, strong..

                    You saw that servos don't have to be hooked to a RC airplane? did you know you can operate them with a serial /usb converter? A amtel or other processor makes it easy too.

                    They make software that runs motion-sound scripts on laptops, and the completed product is paid for in many thousands of dollars. I had a dealership talking to me about purchasing the gorilla head my daughter and I made..
                    Excuse me, I farted.


                    • #11
                      Bill -
                      I have done some resistance welding, and IMHO, if the application allows for it, it's waaay better than soldering.

                      I used Unitek stuff, which calls itself "stored energy resistance welding". Instead of the "hum" of say, and automotive spot welder, they make a "thump", kind of like rapping a hardwood table lightly with a rubber mallet. This kind of welder was excellent for making battery packs - you join the cells together with strips of nickel-steel ribbon. The joints were excellent, and stronger than the surrounding material. SERW is also good for welding some dissimilar metals together. Interestingly, it works less well with metals that conduct well, like lead, copper, and brass. But for stainless, it's tops. You can do some nice, fine work with such welders. (Like orthodontic stuff)

                      I had a coworker that worked on the development of an electronic instrument that went down an oil well. In that application, the thing could get so hot that if you put the circuits together with solder, you'd wind up with a pool of molten metal in the bottom. So everything was resistance welded.

                      I've got a welding transformer that I need to make a controller for. It's 110v in and 3.5v 600A out. And yes, it's low duty cycle, but it's made for welding. I'm interested to hear what you do with your welder, though. If it were me, I wouldn't bother with soldering - I'd use it to weld.

                      The curse of having precise measuring tools is being able to actually see how imperfect everything is.


                      • #12
                        Gosh that takes me back a few years. I used to use one similar to that for welding when I did orthodontics in my years as an orthodontic technician nice and small.I have a great big floor standing job now will melt eight inch nails into oblivion.regards Alistair
                        Please excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease


                        • #13
                          Thanks guys, I'll do more thinking on the tweezers and I'll try it some more as is.
                          Dave, yes, I've looked at the signals R/C uses, thought about doing stuff with servos. Your animatronics idea sounds good. You recall Big Mouth Billy Bass? Im thinking you could take a halloween mask of Bill Clinton and have a ball with his talking head.
                          I really am limited to what I can do in this apartment, basically just plan and design things.
                          Ah went duck hunting, friend and I shot a goose that had a 100$ reward ban on its leg, that was cool. We both shot that goose though at the same time, we both swear we got him, we going to split the money 50/50. Oh then the game warden came and nearly gave us 150$ in fines each but since we were both so nice and cooperative we got off with written warnings for not having our duck stamps signed... I dont like this state...