#1
I saw in a wah mod thread some time ago several people that were new to soldering. They were talking about flux useage and maybe even rosin core solder if I am remembering correctly. I am not a certified solderer, but I have soldered a little in my time.

What I was taught one time, a long time ago, was that rosin core solder was corosive and therefore should not be used on circuitboards. Secondly, lead/tin based solder was not preferred over what we called at the time 'Silver Solder'. Silver solder used silver and tin as its base materials - NOT lead and tin. If someone is using lead/tin , typically 60/40 (or mayby it's tin/lead-60/40) solder, you should at least be aware that it contains lead and you should not breathe the vapors in as you solder.... at the very least. (I am NOT insinuating<sp?> that you should breathe in the silver solder vapors either)

I have been out of the loop for many years in the electronics indusrty so I am not sure if this is still the preferred practice or not.

Actual soldering technique was taught to me as the following:
1. The lead (the metalic connection of the electronic component or bare wire) of the component should make as good a mechanical connection to the circuitboard or other electronic component as possible (i.e. twisting wires together, looping a lead or wire through and around a potentiometer lug, wire lugs, etc...)

2. Heat the lead with the soldering iron.

3. Touch the solder to the lead - NOT to the soldering iron tip. When the LEAD becomes hot enough to melt the solder add solder to the point that the air void <gap> is filled. Do NOT put excessive ammounts of solder on a connection.

4. Remove heat and do NOT move any of the components that are being soldered. If movement occurrs, the solder many times hardens as it cools and does NOT have a 'shinny' appearance. We typically called this a 'COLD' solder joint. And cold solder joints were not desired if you wanted a good electrical connection. I am not sure if cold solder joints had/have more inherent resistance with them or not, but they were not desired.

Now all this has to occurr in such a short time that the electronic component, or wire insulation does not melt, burn, or otherwise get destroyed. It's no fun replacing a component that you just soldered in because you burned it up just soldering it into place. There are 'heat-sinks' made to help with this aspect. Or you can attach a very thin jawwed needle-nose pliers <that stays closed when its at rest> (can be made to do so by putting rubber bands around the handles if you like) to the lead you are working with.

There's probably allot I am leaveing out but maybe this will get some more experienced guyz/galz to chime in. I know there are allot of talented people that come to visit this site - form electrical or electronic techs and engineers to some really good players - guitarists. So if I left much out... apologies.

CS
#2
Good thread. as someone who has had to re-solder loose wires many times this should come in handy in limiting the ammount of times i gotta re-do it.
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#3
You are pretty much right in proper technique.
What you are talking about is called "Leading"

1) Heat up soldering Iron
2) Touch the wire to the tip of the soldering Iron
3) touch the Solder to the hot end of the wire.
4) eventually, the hot wire will suck in the solder
5) remove heat and solder from wire and let the hot solder cool
6) repeat the process with contact you are soldering too (AKA with a guirat enpin heat the contact and let the solder melt on that.)
7) Connect the two point with small amounts of solder
8) just tap the soldering iron on the cooled solder for only a few secs and both will melt and come together nicely


2 Basic Points
1) the solder and the soldering gun never come in contact until the very end.
2) Always Lead all contacts before soldering together.
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#4
tek,

'leading' to you is what was called 'tinning' when I was in the trade. We 'tinned' wire leds (stripped ends of wires). And I did use flux at times. I think especially when I tinned a wire led.

And I never touched solder to the tip of the soldering iron (lmao... . hmmm do you think? )

tc

CS
#5
your process seems good to me. one thing I was taught to always do before hand, though, is to tin the tip of the soldering iron.
just once the tip heats up, touch a little dab of solder to it* (see the note at the end), then give the tip a quick wipe on a damp sponge to clean it

I think you have a few things mixed up in your second paragraph, though
Quote by Curious_Sort
What I was taught one time, a long time ago, was that rosin core solder was corosive and therefore should not be used on circuitboards.


I believe you're thinking of acid core solder.

rosin core solder is actually preferred, because it eliminates the need for flux on most joints. wikipedia should have more information for you, but ..basically, don't worry. it's safe to use. the rosin is a built-in flux

Quote by Curious_Sort
Secondly, lead/tin based solder was not preferred over what we called at the time 'Silver Solder'. Silver solder used silver and tin as its base materials - NOT lead and tin. If someone is using lead/tin , typically 60/40 (or mayby it's tin/lead-60/40) solder, you should at least be aware that it contains lead and you should not breathe the vapors in as you solder.... at the very least. (I am NOT insinuating<sp?> that you should breathe in the silver solder vapors either)

silver solder is seen as the 'better' type, but (in this type of audio electronics, at least), you won't notice much of a difference (if any).

60/40 is pretty much the standard, and it costs less than silver solder, as well. at least where I buy solder it does


* note: touching solder to the tip is done when you're using rosin-core solder. because the rosin (flux) inside the solder cleans the tip.

so you're really doing it for the rosin, not the solder around it


..hopefully that makes sense

EDIT: I just noticed your second post. so you already know about tinning the wires, but I'll leave what I said about tinning the soldering tip, because that seems to only be nessecary with rosin-core solder, which you're less familiar with
Last edited by james4 at Sep 23, 2009,
#6
Actually you want to use rosin core solder for electronics. You don't want to use acid core solder. It will corrode component leads.
#7
Both of you are correct on both accounts I believe. May have been acid core solder that was warned about<not rosin core> (was a LONG time ago that I had such training... my excuse lol)

And tinning the soldering tip is a must. Then wiped clean as stated. Very good advice thanks for the comments.

CS
Last edited by Curious_Sort at Sep 23, 2009,
#8
Quote by Curious_Sort
you should at least be aware that it contains lead and you should not breathe the vapors in as you solder.... at the very least. (I am NOT insinuating<sp?> that you should breathe in the silver solder vapors either)


those vapors you speak of are not from the solder, but rather from the rosin. i breathe them all the time. i doubt its gonna do any sort of long term damage, but then again i also smoke a pack and a half a day so the vapors while soldering are the least of my concern.
#9
For silver soldering, don't you all use a brazing hearth? I always have in the past. I've never used it for electronics (I've used it for metal working joints). I wouldn't want to put the brazing hearth's flame anywhere near any electrical stuff. While it's called soldering, the two things are very different to me.

Or are we talking about 2 different types of silver solder here?
#10
Quote by supergerbil
For silver soldering, don't you all use a brazing hearth? I always have in the past. I've never used it for electronics (I've used it for metal working joints). I wouldn't want to put the brazing hearth's flame anywhere near any electrical stuff. While it's called soldering, the two things are very different to me.

Or are we talking about 2 different types of silver solder here?


No, you can use a soldering iron with silver solder. I think your talking about something different
#11
noisefarmer: I would think that since the lead is melting that some, i dont know how much, lead is vaporized in the process of soldering. So, I am just commenting as a precaution that tin/lead solder may vaporize some lead and if inhaled, to some extent, may become a health issue(from long term exposure) for someone. I'm no doctor so, just triyng to be careful is all. You are right though the pack n a half a day will affect you certainly.

supergerbil: silver solder does melt just fine with a soldering iron. Least the silver solder I have used in the past - I thought!

Brazing is a whole other issue. If I remember correctly, brazing uses a flame and a rod(the filler material) that melts at a higher heat than what is typically used for soldering. I know some custom bicycle frames were brazed (by someone I knew a long time ago) - not soldered. This process used a torch with an open flame. Brazing produces a strong joint - but not as strong as a welded joint. Brazing would be way too much heat to use in electronic components or cladding on circuitboards. Unless someone else says otherwise.... this is what I believe.

Hopefully some that are more experienced than I will chime in.

CS
#12
Let me correct a few things.

rosin core solder was corosive

Acid core solder is corrosive.

If someone is using lead/tin , typically 60/40 (or mayby it's tin/lead-60/40) solder, you should at least be aware that it contains lead and you should not breathe the vapors in as you solder.... at the very least. (I am NOT insinuating<sp?> that you should breathe in the silver solder vapors either)

You're breathing in rosin from the flux, not lead or tin, or silver for that matter. So the fumes for silver and lead solder are pretty much the same as far as toxic fumes go.

1. The lead (the metalic connection of the electronic component or bare wire) of the component should make as good a mechanical connection to the circuitboard or other electronic component as possible (i.e. twisting wires together, looping a lead or wire through and around a potentiometer lug, wire lugs, etc...)

Not really necessary as long as the two leads are connecting together. For example, you can just insert a lead through a potentiometer lug and solder, should be fine.

2. Heat the lead with the soldering iron.

Heat both leads.

Also, be sure to have a nice "volcano-shaped" area of solder with nice flat sides, like a wide cone. The joint should be a shiny, silvery color.
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Last edited by asfastasdark at Sep 23, 2009,
#14
It seems like this thread has been a good effort. Most errors have been caught:

1 thing about silver solder:

Silver Solder is (typically) 62% Tin, 36% Lead, and 2% Silver.

Silver solder was once highly recommended over typical 60/40 Tin/Lead solder. However, silver solder has a higher melting point. This lead to overheating of circuits that were being repaired. With PCBs, this lead to traces being lifted off the board.

Now it is recommended to use either standard 60/40 solder or "Quick Set" solder, which is 63% Tin and 37% lead. The advantage of this type is that it melts and solidifies at 183 degrees C. Meaning, as soon as you take heat off of it, it is back to a solid, unlike standard 60/40, which has what's known as a "Plastic Range" where it fully melts at 183 degrees C and solidifies around 171 degrees C.