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Weller soldering irons

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Phil Pascoe

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It's unlikely anyone here has a Weller 101D, it's a specialist iron for stained glass work, but I wonder if anyone has experience of Weller stuff breaking down? The woman who runs the evening classes I'm doing has three that have broken down (she has a 25 y. o. one still working, but these three are not much out of guarantee) and she knows someone else who runs courses who has five broken down. She can't even get a reply to her enquiries to Weller, and has no idea if or where they can be repaired.
I would expect a soldering iron at £100+ for one to last for years and for two to be repairable (albeit at at a cost). She has tried to get some info on specialist U.S. forums, but has had no joy there, either.
Before someone chips in and says a soldering iron is only a heated element, there's nothing to go wrong - they are thermostatically controlled. :D
 

Pete Maddex

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I use the Wella TCP soldering irons and I would say they are the most reliable soldering irons I have used.
Looks like the 101D probbaly uses the same temprature control system, the curie point of a magnet, when a magnet gets to a certain temprature it looses its magnet field, this releases a metal plunger which opens the contacts stoping power to the heating element.
If you pull the bit out you will see the magnet in the end, you should hear a slight click.
Spare parts should be avalable.

https://www.soldering-shop.co.uk/index. ... irons.html

Pete
 

Phil Pascoe

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This is in the tip or the body of the tool? She has replaced the tip on one only for it to fail again very quickly. Is there anything in the body to fail or are the working parts in the tip?
 

novocaine

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quite likely the "magnastat" as already said. 30 quid to replace. easy enough to test with a hot air gun and a multimeter. Rapid and RS sell the parts too.

granted it's a third the price of a new one, but it's also about a third the parts of a new one.

They are a good product, having 3 fail is a surprise. I'd be contacting Weller about it, even though they are out of warranty. they maybe interested in looking at the failure.

as an aside, the only difference between a 101 and a 101d is the tip. they both run at 370c.

Edit: just seen your post.
it sits up the middle of the heating element. if it's failed closed it will fry the element pretty quickly.

found a picture.
 

Phil Pascoe

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According to Creative Glass in Bristol, there is no difference between the two ............ which of course makes little sense. The other chap has five that have failed, and they cannot get any reply from Weller. I'm trying to do a little research before I part with the money - there is apparently an American alternative for this purpose, but she couldn't remember the name. I grew out of buying cheap tools when I was about fifteen. :D
 

Phil Pascoe

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I'm no electrician, but I would think the supply to the tip should be live when the tool is switched on, with the tip regulating the temperature by cutting in and out?
 

novocaine

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the power runs though the switch, if the switch is failed closed it will always be on, the tip will overheat and burn itself out, most likely breaking the circuit. no circuit no heat.
it's a pretty mechanical way of doing it as you can see from the piccy. for me, I'd want to split it apart and have a look if it's just stuck or something.

Antex?
 

John Brown

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phil.p":ug6g14nl said:
I'm no electrician, but I would think the supply to the tip should be live when the tool is switched on, with the tip regulating the temperature by cutting in and out?
I think it's the supply of heat that gets cut off, not electricity.
 

Jamesc

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Not a solution to the problem but a possible cause?
I at one time worked for a stained glass company and have one of these irons. We had many at the shop, one thing we religously did every evening was to slacked the nut holding the tip on as the owner said the mechanism would stick otherwise. I know the instructions to do this came with the iron I bought and have done this with my iron which has lasted over 30 years.
 

Phil Pascoe

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flying haggis":3g0mhdnv said:
are these any good as replacements? even less than spares from weller
They run too hot - the reason for the temperature control is so you can set it above the melting point of solder, but below the melting point of lead.
 

RogerS

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The cynic in me says that it is, sadly, yet another example of a company trading on its name for excellence (because when they made the stuff inhouse, it was) outsourcing manufacturing to some S**thole in China because said company are losing market share because other cheap c**p soldering irons from China are good enough for 95% of people out there who know the price of everything and the quality of SFA.
 

Phil Pascoe

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I would expect a tool at the top of their price range to be repairable, even if at an eye watering price. The most off putting thing is that the person I spoke to with the duff ones and some of the people making on line comments can't get any reply from Weller - which I find astounding. I believe you're correct on the manufacturing - it seems be newer ones that are failing.
I'm looking at a Hakko 60101 if someone can confirm it'll work off a 110v transformer - the100v one from the States or Japan are £50 ish (probably plus import taxes) but 230v here are £150. Rip off Britain.
 

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