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Desoldering track

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  • Member since
    February 2001
  • From: US
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Desoldering track
Posted by snowey on Wednesday, November 19, 2003 12:57 AM
has anyone ever used the Vacum Desoldering Pump from Radio Shack for desoldering track joints? How does this work? Is it hard to operate? And, most important, does it work on track joints and/or rail joiners?
I'm in N scale, if that makes any difference.
I've tried desoldering braid, but that didn't work.[?]
"I have a message...Lt. Col....Henry Blakes plane...was shot down...over the Sea Of Japan...it spun in...there were no survivors".
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,205 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, November 19, 2003 8:48 AM
I've never had any luck with the vacum. The trouble is you can't pull the solder out of the tight areas in the interface between the joiner and the rail. I gave up several years ago and just cut the track behind the joiner and loose a little track. You can also cut the joiner in two and push each end off the rail with your soldering gun. That's the only ways I have found to do it...FRED
  • Member since
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  • From: US
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Posted by Sperandeo on Wednesday, November 19, 2003 10:46 AM
What works for me is to heat the joint with a soldering gun or iron and slide the rail joiner one way or the other with pliers. That gets the joiner completely off one rail, and completely onto the other. If you need to totally get rid of the joiner, move the rails out of alignment, heat the rail with the joiner, and slide the joiner off with pliers.

Good luck,

Andy

Andy Sperandeo MODEL RAILROADER Magazine

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    April 2003
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, November 19, 2003 9:33 PM
Andy's trick works well for any guage. I use an industiral tool called SoldaPulit made by EDSYN. It's the only vacuum pump worth having. If you do a lot of electrical work it's worht having but if you just need to make some occasional changes I would use Andy's technique, it's free and you alredy have it.

Ken
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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, November 20, 2003 8:31 AM
I disagree with Andy's method because you have to get the track too hot which melts ties. It's not like you are going to reuse the joiner, are you? So you cut them in 1/2 and then with your soldering iron heat the 1/2 joiner and push it off the end with the tip which means you only use enough heat to melt the solder. If you grab it with pliers the pliers become heat sinks and pull away heat so you have to get the rail lots hotter and work very fast. And if you use that method with flex track the "loose" rail can pull from the ties unless you hold it tight which results in burnt fingers. FRED
  • Member since
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  • From: Nova Scotia, Northumberland Shore
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Posted by der5997 on Friday, November 21, 2003 9:37 PM
I've used both the Radio Shack bulb pump thing, and their copper wire braid solder wick. Both work to some extent. I find the tip of the pump tends to clog up with solder fairly easily. It also melts a bit which is less than efficient. The wick idea can soak up some solder, but I find that one has to keep cutting off the used end in order to get all the solder off the joint. Lots of hassle for a less than perfect result. Cut the joiner and slide the thing off witht he iron's tip. If you are fussy about your iron, use a spare one for the desconstruction tasks. :D

"There are always alternatives, Captain" - Spock.

  • Member since
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  • 305,205 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, November 21, 2003 11:14 PM
I heat the track at the joiner until the solder begins to melt. I then pull the joiner off and wipe the soldered area off the rail with a rag will it is still very warm. That way the track is nice and clean and ready to use it all over again. I have used this on N scale and HO scale Lots. Watch your heat or you will melt the ties. Good luck practice makes perefect. Also you will burn your fingers if you are not fast enough signed puggy

signed puggy

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