Electronics > Manufacturing & Assembly

Refurbishing Wave Solder Machine


Hi All,

I've recently acquired an elderly wave soldering machine for not very much money. It's main advantage is that it has a small solder bath (35kg). I've got a bit of work to do to the machine (I think it dates from the mid 1980's), but one thing I am wondering about is the solder pot itself. It seems to be made of steel, but coated with some kind of reddish coating, much of which appears to have rubbed off with time. I have emptied the bath and it looks pretty ugly, but the solder doesn't seem to stick to the sides at all and I've produced a nice constant wave of solder when the bath was full.

Does anyone have any thoughts on:
(a) should I shot blast and re-coat the bath with something, if so, what?
(b) should I change the single phase motor that generates the wave for a motor with a variable speed?
(c) the solder bath and internal structure needed to make the wave look fairly simple, I could potentially completely re-fabricate in stainless steel

Any thoughts appreciated.

P.S. The machine is a British made "Soldermatic" - no model number, but there was a date code on a control board from 1987, the styling of the machine is definitely earlier though.

P.P.S. I used to own one of these professionally about 10 years ago - its solder pot was in a similar state and it didn't seem to cause a problem, the only reason we scrapped it was we upgraded to a selective machine.


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