#1
Yeah, I am attempting to install some new pickups into my Eastwood Town and Country, but the solder that is in place on the circuitry wont budge, even when a 12W / 230V soldering iron is placed. I have tried leaving it on longer, but te component / pot itself starts to get v.hot, what is the problem?

Also, the same is true of the pickup covers... I was trying to remove those off of the stock pickups but the solder won't melt?

Help please.
Last edited by joeddmorgan at Dec 24, 2008,
#2
I can barely get stuff to stick to the back of potentiometers with my 35watt iron
#4
does the tip of your iron have crud built up on it?

nothing sticks to it.. properly tin your tip.. maybe buy a new tip
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#5
higher wattage is needed, 30-40 Watts is usually suggested
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#6
well, it melts new solder out of a pack instantly... but it just doesn't seem to affect the solder thats already in place on the guitar....does it become super-resistant with age?
#7
Quote by joeddmorgan
well, it melts new solder out of a pack instantly... but it just doesn't seem to affect the solder thats already in place on the guitar....does it become super-resistant with age?


not enough power

its needs to melt the solder directly, not waste its energy heating up the rest of the potentiometer
#8
Have you tried melting a little new solder onto the old solder joints to get it 'flowing'? Usually works for me. Then use a de-solderer (suction thingy, can't remember what it's called )
#9
Quote by joeddmorgan
well, it melts new solder out of a pack instantly... but it just doesn't seem to affect the solder thats already in place on the guitar....does it become super-resistant with age?



What you have to remember about soldering. If you touch solder to the tip of an iron, all of the heat (mostly) is being used to melt the solder.

When you have a heavy metal component like a POT, the heat goes through the solder and dissipates around the metal of the component, ergo, not enough heat remains in the solder, so it won't melt.

You need an Iron that has enough power to maintain heat on the solder, even while the large "heatsink" component is wicking it away.

So yeah, 25-35W iron mate.
#10
O.K, so I have invested in a 30 W soldering iron now... and it still has no effect whatsoever on the solder, how long should I leave the iron on the solder for? I've tried it up to 30 seconds already, which just makes the component v.hot. i'm sure this is damaging.
#11
I have also now tried to melt new solder over the existing solder in an attempt to 'get it started', but as soon as the solder melt off and onto the existing solder it too become's stuck and will no longer respond to the soldering iron.

whats hapening?
#12
Use the side of the iron tip and not the point (more surface area in contact with the solder = less time needed) and either move the wires (with pliers, they get hot) that are soldered or use a de-solderer as soon as it starts to flow. Bear in mind solder cools and hardens really fast so you have to get it while it's hot.

A 30W iron should be hot enough, I use a variable iron and only go above 25 when I need to 'tin' pots.

Which solder point is it exactly you're trying to remove? On the lugs of a pot or on the pot casing or what?

Can't help with the pickup covers, never tried it but a big surface area is going to take longer than a small one.
#13
Well, I resorted to using a knife in fact to remove the solder from the pickup covers.. and have succeeded in emoving them after much labour. However, I also need to remove solder from the 'top' of the volume pot (ground?) and also off one of the lugs. This is so I can remove the existing pickup and put a new one in.

Of course, my knife technique isn't going to work on something as small and delicate as a pot lug... so instead of attempting to 'remove' the wires from the tough solder on the pot, can I simply snip them off and then solder my new cables from the new pickup over the top / beside the old wire on the ground and lug?

Or is that likely not to work?....
#14
That pot is most likely fried.
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Quote by Anonden
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#15
Yes you can snip the wires off but it'll be easier if that contact is good to snip the existing wire on the pot and twist and solder it to the wire you want to put there.

As for the ground solder you can snip that wire and use a screwdriver or something to chisel it off it it bothers you. It won't affect anything if you leave it there.

As for the pot being damaged, put a multimeter across two terminals (one of them the middle) and adjust the knob. At 0 on the knob it should either read 0.00ish or full value of the pot(ish) (i.e. 250k or 500k give or take) depending on which lug you place the other terminal of the meter. That'll tell you if it works.

Hope that helps.
#16
I now believe that for some reason Eastwood (or whoever owned the guitar before me), added something to the solder on the pots to ensure that it would never be removed!....

Anyway, I cut the wires, spliced together and soldered.

It works now.

Thanks for all the advice.
#17
They might have epoxied over the join. Does it look like regular solder?
#18
Quote by Skeet UK
They might have epoxied over the join. Does it look like regular solder?

I wonder why they'd do that?
Current Gear:
LTD MH-400 with Gotoh GE1996T (EMG 85/60)
PRS SE Custom 24 (Suhr SSH+/SSV)
Ibanez RG3120 Prestige (Dimarzio Titans)
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Audient iD22 interface
Peavey Revalver 4, UAD Friedman BE100/DS40
Adam S3A monitors
Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
#19
I have encountered a few of those tough solder joints on the pots before, my Iron is a MetCal 45 watt with a 675 degree medion chisel tip. Well some times this is not enough power to quickly reflow the solder, it depends on the amout of solder and the mass of the pot itself, large thick cans will absord a lot of heat before the solder reflows, I do a lot of pickup swaps, so to reflow the tough ones I purchased a 100 watt soldering gun, they were cheap at radio shack a few years ago I think i payed 20 bucks for it. I only used it when the MetCal will not reflow in 10 seconds, the gun has a very large tip and 2x the power, as long as the tip is cleaned and light tin on it it will reflow the unreflowable joint in 5 secs flat which reduces the damage to the pot. You can also get a solder sucker from radio shack or electronic supply store, if you are lucky to have one locally. Remove all the old solder, contrary to popular belief the bigger the glob the better the job does not hold true, solder your new wire using enough solder to provide minimal mechanical strenght but a good electrical contact, I preffer to use 2 % silver solder with a no clean flux as the remaining flux will not corrode the solder joint and thus eleiminating the need for solvent based cleaners. Of course the 2% silver maked a better conductor and add a little more strenght to the solder. Make sure the solder iron tipare shinny and puta little solder on them when done,a dark dull tip does not transfer heat well and makes soldering a bitch. I hope this helps, enjoy those new pickups.
#20
Quote by oneblackened
I wonder why they'd do that?


I have no idea to be honest. Perhaps they do it in case the joint doesn't hold. But I have seen it before, not on a guitar though.