I have to solder on a part that is in a narrow 5/16" well about 3/8" deep. I can get my iron in there but then I can’t see anything. I have tried soldering blind but that is nearly impossible. Is there a long narrow soldering iron available?
I have tightly wrapped a copper wire around the tip of a soldering iron and used it as a tip extension in the past for electronics. It worked fine. Shape the wire into a tip and tin it. You might have trouble if the item to be soldered has a large heat sink capacity.
That’s what I would do too if you don’t need a fine tip for other work. Here’s a visual representation.
My SMT iron is an Antex.
You could use a jewelry torch, seen here in action.
Irons around the 15 watt size often have tips that are about 1/8" in diameter as far as 1/2" from the end. I think I bought one at Radio Shack once, back when they were in the electronics hobby business. You could probably get one shipped to you from DigiKey in a couple of days.
Thanks for all the ideas. Dopers are the best!!
There’s also hot air for SMT work. You use a solder paste that you could technically apply to the component and the PCB first. Then, place it, maybe use a little Krazy Glue to keep it in place. And then use the hot air to melt the paste. The hot air tips are usually pretty angled so you could see in fairly easily.
Take the tip out of your iron and replace it with a piece of coat hanger, you can file the tip of the coat hanger to a point if necessary. This has worked for me on many occasions.
beowulff- I got my Antex iron and tips this week. Awesome! You helped me make an impossible job do-able. Thanks again.