"Wire Glue" Conductive Glue

Gizmo2011 Feb 17, 2014

  1. Gizmo2011

    Gizmo2011 TrainBoard Member

    Has anyone tried wire glue?

    I was thinking it would be a good alternative to soldering rail joiners. The glue conducts electricity using micro-carbon particles in it.

    I often struggle soldering rail joiners often melting rail ties, especially on turnouts.

  2. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

    It doesn't have a very strong bond and will not hold a rail joiner by itself. After it cures you could try a coating of super glue but I have my doubts. It's meant for electrical connects that have low stress.
  3. robert3985

    robert3985 TrainBoard Member

    Learn how to solder. It's certainly not difficult, BUT there are definite rules, which if you religiously keep, will eliminate your soldering problems.

    Bob Gilmore
  4. lexon

    lexon TrainBoard Member

    I see this question every so often in different forums with the same answer. Does not have much bonding strength.
    Learning to solder is not to hard with practice on scrap wire and track, plus a good soldering station, rosin flux and solder with rosin flux. Proper cleaning of the rail solder point is important.
    There are hundreds of links on the Internet about how to solder.

  5. Gizmo2011

    Gizmo2011 TrainBoard Member

    Thanks for the recommendations.

    I guess I cannot take the easy way out this time. :uhoh:
  6. lexon

    lexon TrainBoard Member


    Maybe the links will help. Practice on scrap track first.
    I started soldering at age 13 in 1953 using rosin flux solder and a 100 watt soldering gun building electronic kits. Soldering is an acquired skill.
    Your best bet is using a soldering station with replaceable tips. I use a Weller WLC100. I use 70 percent heat for feeders.



  7. lexon

    lexon TrainBoard Member

    Some might suggest a soldering pencil from Radio Shack but they have experience with that type of iron. New users will probably not have very good results starting off.

  8. TwinDad

    TwinDad TrainBoard Member

    I'll pile on that soldering is one of those skills you will be glad you took the time to learn if you are going to do much of anything in this hobby. It's really not that hard and it allows you to do a lot of very fun things from solid track work to hand laying to decoder installs to layout lighting to...
  9. MarkInLA

    MarkInLA Permanently dispatched

    I bought this stuff at Radio Shack long ago. It don't do the job for MRR wiring. But, it may work in rail joiners. I was trying it for neutral wire to Atlas switch frog powering. I didn't hold up. I am no great solderer but , in retail the 3 most important rules are: location, location, and ...location.. The 3 most important rules in soldering are : heat, heat and.....heat ! This is what got me on track . You want intense heat so that solder liquefies and migrates pronto ! It's too low heat which causes plastic ties to melt; you're at spot too long...I learned this from the experts in Tboard.
  10. lexon

    lexon TrainBoard Member

    One thing I learned some years ago, the proper tip is important.
    For rail feeders, I use the wedge tip which is 3mm wide and sufficient surface area.
    For PC board and wires splicing, I use the pointed tip. The pointed tip does dot have enough surface area to contact enough of the rail flange.

    I also use plated tips and never file of the plating on the tip. Filing tips is old school.
    All I use is the damp sponge to clean the tip off. Radio Shack tip cleaner helps keep th[e tip clean slightly longer.

    As I said before, soldering is an acquired[ art. Some do not like soldering and that can be an issue.

    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 19, 2014
  11. Gizmo2011

    Gizmo2011 TrainBoard Member

    Thanks for the additional tips. I have soldered before but have never been able to achieve consistent results. From what is mentioned above I think I have a few problems I need to correct.

    1. I have been using a pointed tip for rail joiners.
    2. I think I need to pay more attention to the heat level.
    3. The tip of my soldering iron is very dirty. I need to replace it.

    These may just be a few of the problems I have. I guess it is a good starting point though.

    Thanks again everyone
  12. jdetray

    jdetray TrainBoard Member

    No matter what kind of soldering tools you get, there are some tips and techniques that will help you be successful.

    The Three Rules of Successful Electronics Soldering
    1. Keep it clean
    2. Make a good mechanical connection (where possible)
    3. Heat the work, not the solder

    Keep It Clean
    Have a damp sponge or cloth handy, and wipe the hot tip on it before and after each and every soldering operation. Do this every time so that it becomes a habit. The result will be better, more reliable solder joints and a longer lifetime for your soldering iron tips.

    Make a Good Mechanical Connection
    Electrical soldering isn't really designed to hold parts together; it is designed to make a good electrical connection between them. So, whenever possible, make a solid mechanical connection between the parts to be soldered (the work) before you actually solder them. For example, when soldering two wires together, twist the wires together first if you can. It's not always possible to do this, but if you can, it's a good idea.

    Heat the Work, Not the Solder
    Proper technique is to get the parts you are soldering (the work) hot enough that the solder will melt and flow over the parts without the soldering iron touching the solder. Let me repeat that: The work should be hot enough that the solder will melt and flow over the parts without the soldering iron touching the solder. If you don't get the work hot enough, you can end up with a "cold" solder joint, one that is electrically poor and subject to failure.

    Now some practical tips.

    - A 25-40 watt pencil type iron with a small conical or chisel tip is the right tool for our kind of soldering. A temperature-controlled soldering station nice but not essential.

    - Use rosin core solder designed for electronics work. The rosin core solder from Radio Shack is fine. Separate flux is helpful but not essential if you use rosin core solder.

    - Damage to nearby materials is most likely to occur when the iron is not hot enough. A sufficiently hot iron allows you to complete the solder joint quickly and minimize heating of nearby materials.

    - The smaller the work, the smaller your solder should be. Solder with a diameter of 0.032 inch works well for most modeling work.

    - A proper solder joint will be smooth and shiny. If it is dull, lumpy, or grainy looking, it's a cold joint and may not be reliable.

    - It is normal for the tip of the iron to discolor when it heats up.

    - Accumulating a blob of solder on the tip of the iron and then touching it to the work is definitely NOT the right way to do it!

    Your first step should be to tin the iron. Let the iron heat up, then apply a small amount of solder to the tip of the iron. It should melt very easily and coat the tip. Using a damp sponge or damp cloth, wipe the tip to remove excess solder, leaving a smooth, shiny coating of solder on the tip.

    It can be helpful to tin the work before soldering. To do this, heat each piece of the work with the iron and melt a small amount of solder onto it. You don't want a big blob of solder, just a very thin coating. When tinning stranded wire, be sure the solder flows into the strands and doesn't form a blob on the surface.

    Find a way to hold the work very steady so the parts are held together and do not move while you are soldering them. Spring-type wooden clothespins are useful for this, as are "Helping Hands" tools. The parts (or wires) must not move while you are soldering them, or you risk cold joints.

    To make the solder joint, first apply the iron to the work and let the work heat up. Keeping the iron on the work, touch the solder to the work. It should melt and flow over the work. In the case of stranded wire, the solder should flow easily into the wire strands. If the solder does not flow when touched to the work, the work is not hot enough.

    Even if you have tinned the work, you should still add at least a little more solder to assure a good joint. Just re-heating the tinned parts to stick them together without adding more solder may result in a cold joint.

    Remember: Wipe the tip on your damp sponge or cloth before and after each joint. Never let more than a very thin coating of solder accumulate on the tip of your soldering iron.

    - Jeff
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 20, 2014

Share This Page