How To Use Soldering Gun
Soldering is a popular method used to bind metallic components together. As a quick and efficient method, it is used to make electrical repairs and connections. This method is far better than pig tailing two connections together.
One of the best ways of soldering metal components together is by using a soldering gun. In this guide, we will highlight what a soldering gun is and how to use soldering gun.
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What is a Soldering Gun Before knowing How to Use Soldering Gun
This is a pistol-shaped electric powered tool used for binding metal components together using tin-based solder. A soldering gun has a trigger style switch easily operated using one hand. To provide the right amount of power to melt and bind metal components together, the pistol-shaped tool comes with a transformer.
The transformer has a primary winding which is then connected to the mains electricity each time the trigger is pressed. A secondary winding composed of thick copper is also fitted in the soldering gun. This has a very low resistance.
The soldering gun has a soldering tip made of a thinner copper wire. This is secured to the transformer using screws and completes the secondary circuit. When powered, the transformer is energized and current begins to flow heating the copper tip.
How to use a soldering gun – Step by Step Guide
Step One – Connect the soldering gun to a power outlet
Soldering guns are commonly used for heavy electrical binding such as heavy wire or cable lugs. They can also be used for binding metal components in smaller projects but the amount of heat produced is too much and may damage surrounding soldered areas. So, care must be exercised
As said earlier, a soldering gun comes with a transformer which is housed in a pistol-shaped metallic frame. To power the transformer which in turn heats the copper tip, an electric cord is fitted. Take the electric cord and plug it into a compatible power outlet and turn it on.
Step Two – Press the trigger to heat the tip
Once you have plugged in the electrical cord, press the trigger on the soldering gun. This will heat the copper tip. If the soldering gun has been used to bind metal components before, you need to clean the tip. To clean the tip, flick off the soldering gun and use a moist sponge. Alternatively, you can use a dry cleaning tool.
Once you are done cleaning the soldering gun, press the trigger again. Allow the tip to become hot before feeding in some solder.
Step Three – Binding metal components with solder
Now that your soldering gun is clean, it’s time to bind metal components together. This process is delicate as you may end up damaging the soldering gun if you don’t use it properly. To avoid damaging the soldering gun, don’t press the trigger continuously. Unlike a soldering iron, a soldering gun has a high wattage. If you keep pressing the trigger, you will wear out the tip and even the transformer.
To solder metal components together, melt a little solder on the tip of the soldering gun. This process is called tinning. Once the fresh solder is melted on the tip, allow it to drip on the metal components you would like to bind.
Use the copper tip to shape the solder.
Tips to keep in mind during and after soldering
When binding metal components, it is important to take precaution. Use other equipment such as alligator clips for holding components in place, thick gloves to protect your hands and safety glasses to protect your eyes. Safety glasses protect you against solder fleck. You also need a solder stand to rest the soldering gun when not in use and a fan or work in a well-ventilated room.
Pass the soldering gun tip over the moist sponge from time to time. This will cool and clean the tip. The soldering gun is heavier than a soldering iron and this can cause physical strain especially if the project takes more than 15 minutes. So, don’t solder for too long in one sitting. If the project takes more than 15 minutes, you need to take regular breaks. Take a walk outside where there is plenty of fresh air.
When soldering, the copper wire may dissolve. To keep using the soldering gun, replace the copper wire. This extends the life of the soldering gun and allows you to complete the work.
Remember, a soldering gun is best for intermittent use.
Be careful and good luck!