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Craftsman
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I took delivery of a new bit of kit yesterday, and managed to have a bit of practice with it today. The machine in question is a dial foot solderer



It has a clamp to hold the dial, another to hold the copper wire which goes to make the new foot, an on off switch, a power button and a "soldering iron" that has a carbon rod in place of a tip.



The idea is clean the dial down to the brass and mark the foot position, clamp it on the earth post, clamp the wire in place with the adjustable crocodile clip, apply a dab of flux, place some pieces of solder around the joint, touch the carbon rod onto the wire and press the button until the solder flows.

I found an old dial with one foot missing and the other folded flat against the dial to have a practice with. I did the all the above and the result was as below.



It took me three attempts to get a good joint, I found that filing the wire flat where I'd cut it and placing the tiniest chunks of solder around the periphery of the joint was the best method and gave the strongest joint.



The excess wire is cut and the end filed flat.



I snapped the other foot off as it was almost split right the way through and had another go.



Another strong joint



Both cut to length and filed flat.



And most amazingly of all no dial damage. There is a small bit of discolouration by the window where I had my first attempt, but I did have three goes to get that one right thereby putting a lot more heat into that area than would be normal. When I came to attach the second foot I'd refined my method and it only took one attempt to get a strong joint, with the result of no discolouration.



Off to find a few more broken dials for some more practice now. :)
 

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WOW...Very nice piece of equipment...I am sure you will have more than a few inquiries :)
 

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WOW...Very nice piece of equipment...I am sure you will have more than a few inquiries :)
Yes you will! Just discussing a dial that the feet 'fell off' (!!) with another SCWFer. Two small dabs of glue on the back make me think it wasn't all my fault :/

I would much rather this as the fix than glueing....

T
 

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I took delivery of a new bit of kit yesterday, and managed to have a bit of practice with it today. The machine in question is a dial foot solderer



It has a clamp to hold the dial, another to hold the copper wire which goes to make the new foot, an on off switch, a power button and a "soldering iron" that has a carbon rod in place of a tip.



The idea is clean the dial down to the brass and mark the foot position, clamp it on the earth post, clamp the wire in place with the adjustable crocodile clip, apply a dab of flux, place some pieces of solder around the joint, touch the carbon rod onto the wire and press the button until the solder flows.

I found an old dial with one foot missing and the other folded flat against the dial to have a practice with. I did the all the above and the result was as below.



It took me three attempts to get a good joint, I found that filing the wire flat where I'd cut it and placing the tiniest chunks of solder around the periphery of the joint was the best method and gave the strongest joint.



The excess wire is cut and the end filed flat.



I snapped the other foot off as it was almost split right the way through and had another go.



Another strong joint



Both cut to length and filed flat.



And most amazingly of all no dial damage. There is a small bit of discolouration by the window where I had my first attempt, but I did have three goes to get that one right thereby putting a lot more heat into that area than would be normal. When I came to attach the second foot I'd refined my method and it only took one attempt to get a strong joint, with the result of no discolouration.



Off to find a few more broken dials for some more practice now. :)
Question : Did you have a waiting period before the machine got hot
enough to do it. Does that machine get hot instantly with out preheating.
Did the heat have an effect on the existing dial surface, like any signs of bubbling or pealing ? Did the solder grab hold right quickly then you stop
doing it before anything happens to the Dial Face Surface ?
 

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well that is a great piece..looks like you might have a side business to start up..thanks for sharing
 

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Craftsman
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Question : Did you have a waiting period before the machine got hot
enough to do it. Does that machine get hot instantly with out preheating.
Did the heat have an effect on the existing dial surface, like any signs of bubbling or pealing ? Did the solder grab hold right quickly then you stop
doing it before anything happens to the Dial Face Surface ?
The machine works by the carbon rod arcing and heating the copper wire/dial up instantly, it only takes a couple of seconds for the solder to flow and once you stop the current it cools down rapidly too. No destructive signs on the dial finish if done in one attempt which is due to the instant intense heat generated by the carbon arc rather than a gradual build up of heat.
 

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thank for the reply Sir,Thought that ......

The machine works by the carbon rod arcing and heating the copper wire/dial up instantly, it only takes a couple of seconds for the solder to flow and once you stop the current it cools down rapidly too. No destructive signs on the dial finish if done in one attempt which is due to the instant intense heat generated by the carbon arc rather than a gradual build up of heat.
Great and thanks for the update.
I thought it worked similar too that when I saw the....
" Carbon Arc Solder Rod ". ( ZAP, ZAP )
Well its good to have but the price must be kinda high for it.
Might get my Eletronic's friend busy on one. Together we might get on
made.
( Also Love .... Nice Clean That Dial, a 7290 need one back here.)
________________________________________________
( Checked it out on the Bay, ..........
Australia Seller .......... $352.44 Aus. Dollars.)
USD ........ 195.00
_______________________________________________
Aloha LongBike
 

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Dial foot soldering

Hi,
I've read this thread several times. I'm intrigued as to how you got the positional accuracy. It seems you have to remove all traces of the old foot - what sort of positional error is possible before the mis-alignment starts to show?
Regards
David
 

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That's an interesting technique - I wonder how it'd do on enamelled PW dials? :D
I restore enamel clock dials. As long as you heat up the dial first so as not to shock the glass enamel then you should be ok. I use a hair dryer to warm up enamel dials before I work on them.
 
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