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Precision heat gun


glebert
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OK, I'm not a luthier, I'm barely competant to do some setup work, but I did want to pass along an idea that might be of interest. I had to reattach a cello fingerboard and wanted to preheat my surfaces a little to give me a little extra time for clamping if I needed it. I could have pulled out my 800/1500W heat gun or a hair dryer, but instead I used the small, digitally controlled heat gun on the soldering station that I use for amplifier repair (an area I am slightly more qualified in). The airflow isn't quite so overwhelming as the others, and I can set exactly the temperature I want and use small or wide tip attachments to make the flow more or less precise. My dual station with heat gun and soldering iron was about $60 from Amazon, so it is not a huge investment. You can get units without the soldering iron too. Just thought I would pass this along since I don't see similar heat guns used for other purposes, but maybe it could be helpful in repair work for others. 

 

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30 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

Neat. Thanks. Do you know if it actually has a thermistor  in the air gun outlet controlling the temperature?

There is a thermistor, probably with a PID control loop. I'm not sure exactly where it is in the tip, when you turn it on you can watch the temp go up to your setpoint. I believe there may be a calibration process to make sure the digital readout is accurate. I checked the temperature on the soldering iron and it was close enough for me. On the heat gun the temp obviously drops as you get away from the element. It is also handy that the heat gun element turns off when you put it in the cradle but runs the air for a bit until the element temperature drops. When you pick it up from the cradle it turns on again and goes back up to the setpoint.  

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1 minute ago, Bill Yacey said:

Steinel makes a variable temperature hot air gun that pulse width modulates the heating coil. It works very well at regulating temps.

https://www.steinel.de/en/tools/products/heat-guns/gun-type-tools/hg-2320-e-351502.html

I have one of those, and it works well.  A bit pricey, though.  It can be gotten through Amazon.

71NmwLPnICL._AC_SL1500_.jpg

 

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4 minutes ago, Don Noon said:

I have one of those, and it works well.  A bit pricey, though.  It can be gotten through Amazon.

The model I have is much older, bought sometime in the 90's; It has a large round dial on the back for setting the temperature, but it still works great and is a quality tool.

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3 hours ago, Don Noon said:

Only if you use fingers to test it.  You could still put it away in the case and have it melt stuff if you don't use the burnt finger test first.

True.

However, mine didn't come with a case, just packed in a deluxe cardboard box along with the shrink tubing deflector. Mine lives on the end of my electronics bench standing nozzle up anyways, so I just run the fan without heat until it's cool enough to shutdown completely.

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In a previous life, I used one of these hot-air guns to heat the pad cups on saxes,clarines,oboes, and other instruments requiring pad replacement. Prior to my purchase of this unit, I used a large Weller 240W soldering gun with the wire tip reworked to use an an inductance heater on the pad cups.

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