The Art of Soldering as Applied to Model Railroading DVD

DVD from P-B-L about soldering techniques
Marc Horovitz
The Art of Soldering as Applied to Model Railroading
PO Box 769
Ukiah CA 95482
Running time: Approximately 90 minutes  
Price: $25, postpaid in the USA
Do you consider soldering to be something of a black art—a thing to be feared and avoided? Or have you wondered what sort of tools, materials, and skills it takes to master this process? If so, The Art of Soldering as Applied to Model Railroading is a must have. Bill Peter of P-B-L has put together a comprehensive video describing various soldering methods and the tools and materials required to accomplish them.

The video begins with a brief discussion of three methods of soldering: using an iron, an oxy-acetylene torch, and a resistance-soldering unit. This is followed by a discussion of various solders and fluxes. Then comes a more in-depth demonstration of soldering with an iron, followed by demonstrations of the resistance unit and the torch. Clear discussions of how each tool works and what actually happens during the soldering process help to remove the fear factor.

Repairs of a roof and ladder on a brass HO-scale caboose are shown. Different soldering methods for this procedure are used and discussed, the point being made that there is not a single tool that is “best” for all soldering problems.
After the caboose repair comes an extended and very interesting section concerning a brass HO locomotive with a badly damaged cab. Bill removes all of the detail parts from the old cab, then removes the cab from the boiler. All pieces had been soldered together.

The engine was originally supplied without a backhead and interior cab detail. Bill scratchbuilds a simple backhead for the boiler out of brass, then solders gobs of lost-wax castings to the new backhead, most quite small, and all without unsoldering or damaging existing work. While this is an impressive demonstration, Bill thoroughly explains the process as he goes, making it clear that, with practice, anyone should be able to accomplish similar work. He reattaches all of the previously removed details to the new cab, finishing the project. Bill goes on to show other repairs to a different locomotive.

This DVD program is actually a remastered VHS tape that P-B-L put out some years ago. It is not a slick, Hollywood production, a fact that is clearly stated at the beginning of the tape. However, it is a friendly, folksy presentation with vast amounts of hard information shared by a person with a great deal of experience. Bill explains things clearly in an easily understandable way. I have been soldering for years but still learned a lot from this DVD. While the program is aimed at small-scale modelers, the information offered can be universally applied to any scale. (It should be noted that P-B-L is also a vendor for both soldering equipment and solder.) If you have always been mystified by, but interested in soldering, this video is highly recommended.


Read and share your comments on this article

Want to leave a comment?

Only registered members of are allowed to leave comments. Registration is FREE and only takes a couple minutes.

Login or Register now.


Get the Garden Railways newsletter delivered to your inbox twice a month

By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Garden Railways magazine. Please view our privacy policy