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Drill Battery Rebuild, part 2

I managed to solder up the first battery pack about a week and a half ago. Even with the solder tabs it was quite annoying. It might have been a bit better if I'd had a good iron, but a 25W, non temperature controlled thing wasn't the right tool for the job. However, I did get it all put back together, and got it to fit inside the case. I closed it up, drained the batteries, and put them on to charge again. It seems to do quite well so far, although it doesn't have very much power compared with the 19V system that Karen's father brought up the other day. Since it does seem to be working well enough, I'll probably go ahead and re-build the other 13.2V battery, and maybe order another set of cells to re-build the two 10.8V craftsman's that we've got here, so that I can send those to work with Karen, so that she'll have something to use there.

Using that 19V Craftsman really makes me want to get a set of the Milwaukee tools. The Craftsman tools work fine, but if I were running the saw any more than a tiny bit, the charger and the batteries wouldn't be able to keep up with me. The drill, however, runs nearly forever on a charge.

Comments

dargus
Feb. 6th, 2008 01:40 am (UTC)
I haven't found a good soldering iron yet. Everything sub-$100 is crap. Let me know if you have a good suggestion.
gleblanc
Feb. 18th, 2008 08:51 pm (UTC)
I've been a bit nervous about DeWalt tools since I blew one up in one summer of building decks. They claimed tool abuse, but I didn't think using it 6 hours a day was too much to ask. The website for the Milwaukee ones is at http://www.v28power.com/. Mostly I don't beat on the cordless drills too badly, but there are times when I really want that extra torque. The cordless tools that I've found can't keep up are the circular saws. They tend to be light enough to use, but the batteries can't keep up with me.

As for soldering irons, I've got a Weller unit, and it's great. I did pay $125 for it a couple of years ago. The comparable unit is the WESD51. On ebay, it's going for aroun $130, possibly you can get it for less. It's got a digital readout, good temperature control, and fast heating. Mine has a WMP pencil, which has a much shorter distance from grip to tip than other pencils, which I find very helpful for detailed soldering. I actually prefer my unit (base is a WD1) to the new one, since it has buttons instead of a knob for temp control, and came with a better pencil. Still, if you're going to do a lot of soldering, it's well worth the investment in a good iron.

I've also seen some very good plans for making a hot-air rework iron at home, using some pretty simple techniques. I haven't made one yet, but if I were going to do a lot of desoldering, or surface mount stuff, that's the way I'd go.

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