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Machine Shop and Tool Talk Shop Equipment, fabrication, repairs, how to fix it, which tool to use for the job. Machinist shop talk, straight to the point.

Machine Shop and Tool Talk

Old Craftsman soldering gun- repair help


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  #1  
Old 01-08-2010, 01:16 PM
HoMade HoMade is offline
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Default Old Craftsman soldering gun- repair help

I have an old Craftsman soldering gun that I found at a thrift stor several years ago. It is probably 40+ years old...and I love it. It is a dual range 200/150 watt...but now I have a problem.

It has a 1 piece...well, it used to be 1 piece, now it's 2 piece, element. The element attaches to holes with set screws like a standard tip would, but the attachment is all the way back on the body of the gun. In other words, rather than 2 "arms" coming from the body and a tip attaching to the "arms", the arms and tip are 1 piece and attached to the body. Problem is, the tip has degraded and has now broken.

All I can find is replaceable tips. I need either a new element (tip included) or to make my own. Below is a pic of the model I have....but that is not mine- I would not have put the element/tip on upside down.

I have seen other have just stuck a tip into the attachment holes...making for a very short gun- not what I am after.

Any ideas?
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  #2  
Old 01-08-2010, 01:27 PM
JohnCarter JohnCarter is offline
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Default Re: Old Craftsman soldering gun- repair help

I'm pretty sure that gun was made by WEN. Weller guns use nuts to secure a shorter tip to the large posts that come out of the gun.

Do a Google search for
wen soldering gun tips
or check Ebay

Be sure that any tip you find really is for a Wen - I've seen Weller tips (short copper) advertised as Wen tips. Wen uses the longer silver (probably aluminum) tips.

John
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Old 01-08-2010, 01:47 PM
HoMade HoMade is offline
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Thumbs up Re: Old Craftsman soldering gun- repair help

You, sir, are a genius. I did a search for Wen replacement tips and found a picture of a tip that fits a Wen 199, 250 or 288...and it looks for all the world that it will fit my gun, so I ordered it. Granted, at $14.70 it cost $10 more than the gun did at the thrift store...but I'll still be about $80 ahead over buying a like quality new one.

Thanks!!!
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Old 01-08-2010, 03:01 PM
PTSideshow PTSideshow is offline
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Default Re: Old Craftsman soldering gun- repair help

You can silver solder the two parts back together. Temps by the gun will never reach that point.
It was made so you can put the elements ins to suit your work. They also had some kits that came with plastic, faux leather cutting heat blades, and a flat plate blade that could be used to heat an area about 1SQ"

glen
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Old 01-08-2010, 03:16 PM
HoMade HoMade is offline
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Default Re: Old Craftsman soldering gun- repair help

The original tip (just the tip) is so corroded that I would have to cut it off, but my original thought was to get short tip and silver solder it to the 2 legs from which I cut the tip...even though I have a new one on the way, I'll still probably do that to have an extra. It's the Staker way!
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Old 01-08-2010, 04:36 PM
Jim Tremble Jim Tremble is online now
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Default Re: Old Craftsman soldering gun- repair help

What I do is make a new tip from some 10-12 gauge, solid, copper electrical wire. If your tip has the bent, 90 degree ends and a clamping nut, you can make your own.

I have been doing this for the past 40 years and have not bought a new tip yet.

The gun still work GREAT !!!!!

Jim
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Old 01-12-2010, 12:36 AM
Ray Forrer Ray Forrer is offline
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Default Re: Old Craftsman soldering gun- repair help

Damn, I thought I had a patent on that idea! You can even hammer to wire flat to fit joints better. Used to work until I could get a new one. Sucks when you break the last tip you have at 9:30 at night, no where open back then.
Ray
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Old 01-12-2010, 06:54 PM
sqm1 sqm1 is offline
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Default Re: Old Craftsman soldering gun- repair help

I do the as Jim does make my own from copper wire.Even made a few for special projects by silver soldering flat copper as a knife blade for cutting plastic

Joe
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