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Metals/Soldering Iron?


Hello Rich - a couple of years ago you gave me excellent advice to use glue instead of metalwork on my garage, which i followed and really appreciated that advice.

Twenty years ago, I inherited from my grandfather an electric soldering iron (?).  It's not an iron for soldering small circuits.  It's rather large (size of a large hammer) and I think it's used for tin or sheet metal.  Wondering if you know the name?  Is it a soldering iron?  The Wikipedia article on soldering irons only shows the small type irons.

I'm keen to repair a tin watering can where the joints are slightly loose and I think I can can use this iron but need to do some reading on how to use, what joining agent, etc.

Thanks very much

Canberra, Australia

Hello Craig

I'm glad your prior answer helped out - let's see if this will do so as well.

What you have is a large soldering iron designed for very thin sheet metal soldering, so you have the right tool for the job.

Be certain to use the right solder and flux for the job as well.  Electrical solder uses rosin core solder.  For sheet metal, you need to use acid core solder.  Either solder melts at around 425 degrees F.

To use, let it heat up and with a rag, wipe the tip clean after it comes up to temperature.
Then 'tin' the end of the iron by applying some solder to tip and again wiping it with a rag.  This will give it a shiny appearance.

Clean the area to be repaired with an acid based cleaner.  With the soldering iron up to temp, place it on the inside of the watering can if possible and press on the outside with a small screwdriver to assist the heat transfer.  Apply the flux.  When the metal is back up to temp, touch the joint with the acid based solder to draw it in toward the soldering iron.

Have patience for it is not a fast repair.

And smile knowing your you are doing a project with your grandfather.

Rich Fercy  


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Rich Fercy


Specializing in wear resistant, industrial and construction steels. Also extensive background in welding cast iron, stainless steel and nickel based steels. Welding problems except code issues.


Since 1993 I have worked as a technical salesman in wear resistant steel applications and specialty welding solutions for Wisconsin and Northern Michigan.


Pit and Quarry Magazine, Jan 2014 - 'Wear Steel'. How to select the longest lasting wear resistant steel before writing a purchase order. Portable Plant & Equipment, September 2013 - 'Wear Steel'. Sister magazine to Pit and Quarry - same article. Recycling Today Magazine, August 2009 - "Wear On". Article compares Manganese Steel to Alloy Steel replacement shredder repair parts. Author of "40 Cast Iron Welding Secrets That Welding Shops Don't Want You To Know". Website:

Guest instructor at Fox Valley Tech College, Appleton WI, welding program. MSHA certified welding safety instructor.

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