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Old 12-05-2014, 06:20 AM   #1
Outside Octaves
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DIY Soldering for a "first timer"

Ok, I've done a bit of soldering before, and now realize why they never really worked or lasted ... cold joints...


That little fiasco with some cheap headphones a few years back now, has me wondering if I should even begin to attempt to do my own pup replacement, let alone a rewiring job of providing a push/pull pot. to allow individual volume control of the pups... (I have a bit of a wierd back-plate system where there's a back-plate for the controls but not the pups... have to fish the wire through heh.).

This has me a bit nervous of frying the electronics, but practice does make perfect... eventually.

So would it really be worth it to learn this skill by practicing on some loops of wire first, and then maybe perhaps some cheap electronics around the house (like those cheapy headphones), or is this a skill that will just take an increadible amount of time to get right enough for pup replacement?


I've watched a few of those youtube vids that come up upon searching, but they make it look easy. If something is made to look easy, it usually means years of practice lol. I mean Yngwie makes playing arpeggios look like a chimp could do it!

Anyways, I know soldering could be a very useful skill to have, but in the end is it easy enough to become basically/intermediately skillful enough to do this kind of work or not?
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Old 12-05-2014, 09:30 AM   #2
WeZ-84
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As you say, practice does make perfect so your suggestion about some practice runs on spare bits of wire or old headphones is a good idea.

It doesn't take too much practice to be able to make a good solder joint.
The youtube videos are a good way to learn too

So do some practice runs first before until you are confident enough to let yourself loose on the wiring of your guitar.

When you do start on your guitar wiring don't rush and and take your time over it and you'll get a good end result.
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Old 12-05-2014, 10:50 AM   #3
Cajundaddy
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Soldering is really pretty easy. Clean your contacts, tin your contacts, solder them together. Getting them clean and the iron hot enough so solder flows throughout the joint is the key. Practice on a few bare wires first until you can make a nice pro looking joint, and then dive into your guitar.
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Old 12-05-2014, 04:34 PM   #4
Tallwood13
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some tips
tin every wire and contact prior to soldering
a solder sucker i think they call it if you ever run into cold solder joints
60/40 solder with rosin core works, (1.0mm diameter for control ) - 60/40 is way easier to use
use shrink wrap tubing after connecting two wires. It prevents shorting
remember to clean your soldering iron tip after every use with a wet sponge or that copper looking SOS pad I forget what they call it.

when heating up an existing solder bead the heart says solder like the wire would stick out like an antenna but don't. Make the unshielded part lay flat when it's done soldering

other than that when soldering remember after tinning the contact to place the iron near but not on the connection and then stab the wire through the wall of solder. Make sure that there is solder all the way around the connection and it doesn't jiggle when you tug at it. I don't suggest soldering the other way around where you solder after the unshielded wire is in the lug it looks unprofessional.

cheap electronics to try on? ebay sells prewired harnesses from china for about 6-10$. A good seymour duncan diagram and a cheap beat up guitar from craigslist or ebay and you're all set.

color codes change one pickup to another so have assurance of which wire goes where for the desired results. Every guitar pickup maker mentions this on their website to the point I laugh.

Last edited by Tallwood13 : 12-05-2014 at 04:36 PM.
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Old 12-06-2014, 01:32 AM   #5
Outside Octaves
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Cool. yea, I plan on some other stuff after this if it goes well. Like some pedal kits, like the TS808 kit, etc... heh would be fun I bet.

Just got to go get some real 60/40, what diameter am I looking for here?

Wait, that part about sticking it through the wall of solder sounds like it would/could create a very cold connection as you aren't heating both up at the same time and just sticking the solder onto the both at the same time... o.0

And near but not on? Again, same thing... cold connection there right?
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Last edited by Outside Octaves : 12-06-2014 at 01:38 AM.
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Old 12-07-2014, 06:26 AM   #6
Outside Octaves
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What's a good brand and model of variable heat (wattage?) soldering iron... I hear Weller's good, but any suggestions on model? (not set on that, just heard)
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