I suck at soldering!!! - any tips or instructions?...please? - Jemsite
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-03-2001, 06:44 PM Thread Starter
oop
 
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 15
I suck at soldering!!! - any tips or instructions?...please?

i suck at soldering! *i've never really been shown what to do, or had instructions on what to do so i'm just kinda playing it by ear. *i'm sure you guys out there all know how to solder correctly so please share your knowledge with me cause i don't think i'm doing it right. *thanks for your help all you wise guitar gurus. *
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-03-2001, 07:02 PM
 
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I suck at soldering!!!

what are you going to solder? *Then we can be more specific with tips. *
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-03-2001, 11:04 PM
 
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I suck at soldering!!!

Well, if you're working on guitars, you are probably soldering wires together. *Here are some tips that will get you started, but practice is the key (you may even want to take some plain wires and play around a while):
1. *Wait for your soldering iron to heat up (be patient)
2. *Use a wet sponge to clean the tip off (it'll sizzle when it's hot)
3. *Tin the tip. *This means applying a little bit of solder to it. *(Does anyone else do this?)
4. *Twist the wires together and make sure that they don't come apart when you touch them.
5. *Using the tip of the iron, heat up the metal of the wires.
6. *Apply solder to the METAL, not the iron. *The flux inside the solder will wick the solder into the braids and connections. *(Let the heated metal melt the solder, not the iron.)
7. *Make sure to wipe off the tip on the wet sponge after every solder joint you do. *You want to keep it clean.

Hope this helps - Andy
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-04-2001, 12:11 AM
 
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I suck at soldering!!!

Quote:
Apply solder to the METAL, not the iron. *The flux inside the solder will wick the solder into the braids and connections. *(Let the heated metal melt the solder, not the iron.)
in some cases, if you heat the wire to the point that it will melt the solder, you will melt the plastic on the wire, toast a pot, or just disintegrate a cap. *please let me know if my thinking is flawed, but this has been my experience.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-04-2001, 12:44 AM
 
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I suck at soldering!!!

You're right, Shawn. *You can easily cook your parts. *When I see the plastic around the wiring starting to melt, I let off then try again. *I also use a little heat sink clamp between the capacitor and where I'm soldering. *And I try to *never solder directly to the pots; they take a long time to heat up and I'm scared to fry them. *I usually find a ground wire somewhere else to solder a tail to.

What's your technique?
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-04-2001, 12:50 AM
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Howell, Mi.
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I suck at soldering!!!

Tinning is not always required and I don't use that method. But then, I use a hot iron.

I also use flux, even though the solder has a flux core, it makes for a much cleaner joint.

NEVER NEVER NEVER blow a soldered joint cool.

Let it cool all by itself. You want a "chrome" look to the solder joint.

Do not touch the electronics with the tip of the iron longer than it takes to melt the solder. If you take 2 normal breaths, the iron has been on too long. Start over after the part has fully cooled. I have zorched more pots doing this than I care to count.

Above all else, have patience.

J>
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-04-2001, 01:02 AM
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I suck at soldering!!!

For tinning wires I always just 'wet' the iron heavy and hold the wire in the molten pool. That solder is going to transfer the heat much better than the iron. Hold *a few seconds then let cool. I usually tin whatever I'm soldering to also. *Just add the wire, heat till the solder has melted together, add a drop and let cool. I'd always recomend a low wattage iron, but of decent quality, kindof insures you're not going to torch any pots.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-04-2001, 02:45 AM
 
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Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada
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I suck at soldering!!!

I use a low wattage iron, as not to melt any pots or plastic etc.
However, it does take a certain degree of patience to operate a low wattage iron :doh:
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-04-2001, 07:25 AM Thread Starter
oop
 
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I suck at soldering!!!

hey thanks everyone. *so lets say i'm installing a new pickup, and i'm soldering the wires to the pots. *i think from what i understand, some of you said to heat the pot, then apply the solder and then stick the wires in that?...but you have to be careful of frying the pot or the rubber around the wire, etc. *right? *do the wires have to have full and direct contact with the pots to be fully effecive, or does the solder transfer the electricity well enough? *also, if there's a section of exposed wire, does that have to be covered with solder? *thanks again. *
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-04-2001, 01:42 PM
 
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I suck at soldering!!!

Quote:
i think from what i understand, some of you said to heat the pot, then apply the solder and then stick the wires in that?...but you have to be careful of frying the pot or the rubber around the wire, etc. *right?
Yes. *This may take a few tries, especially with a 25 Watt iron.

Quote:
*do the wires have to have full and direct contact with the pots to be fully effecive, or does the solder transfer the electricity well enough?
The wires don't need direct contact because the solder conducts electricity just like the wires and pot cover.

Quote:
also, if there's a section of exposed wire, does that have to be covered with solder? *thanks again. *
Nope, but you may want to use electrical tape to insulate any long exposed wires if they are close to touching other contacts.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-04-2001, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
oop
 
Join Date: May 2001
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I suck at soldering!!!

ahhh....thank you bachle7 and everyone else. *my lifelong questions about soldering have been answered! *now i can tech my guitar without worry of "crap, am i doing this wrong?" *i'm sure i'll have a billion more questions soon so i'll be consulting all you people's wisdom again. *thanks again!
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