I have a soldering iron at home, it's a butane powered one. My dad said it was good for delicate electronics, so I figured it would be safe for my guitar.

However, can it damage my guitar's electronics? I don't know its heat output, in comparison to a 30-watt soldering iron.
it shouldnt do any thing as long you dont try to melt something that your not suposed to...(ie. middle of the wire)
the wattage doesn't mean the iron is hotter, in fact, most irons heat up to the same temperature

wattage is a measure of power, so the higher the wattage, the better

if you have a higher wattage, the iron will stay hot longer (ie, it won't cool down after soldering a few joints). It will also be able to heat up objects with larger heat capacities (if you're grounding to a plate or chassis for example.

So a higher wattage will in fact, be SAFER from damaging your guitar's electronics, which are heat tolerant btw, so you won't really need to worry about damaging anything unless you really try.

And btw, i wouldn't consider the electronics in a guitar especially delicate. It's just switches, pots, and maybe a cap or two.
Yeah, I was just wondering I cause I just got everything done, i just put in a new neck pickup and a push pull pot for a coil split, and my guitar doesn't seem to work...So I dunno, I'm just a bit confused.
I used combinations of these wiring diagrams:
dual coil split
standard, 2 independent volume

also, when you ground wires...i'm a bit confused.
I have copper foil shielding, and i didn't wanna ground em to that, so I used the top of one of my tone control pots, and grounded all the ground wires to that same soldering point.
I had heard thats what you're supposed to do. is that right?
yeah, generally that's what alot of people do (ground to one of the pot covers). Try and make sure you didn't accidentally ground one of your 'hot' leads, that'll make it so that no signal comes out of your guitar.
That's probably what happened, since I can't get any sound.
I'll double check the wiring.
One of the pickups is a 4 conductor humbucker (Seymour Duncan) the other one is a 2 conductor humbucker. I'm gonna take it out once my other pickup comes in the mail.

Also, there was this other wire that comes out the hole where the pickup wires came from.
I assume thats the bridge ground?
Okay, i got it working. Although, I have sometimes have trouble making the pots accept solder, any tips on that?
For any wire/surface to accept solder, it has to be at a hot enough temperature, if you're heating a large object like a pot cover, a low wattage soldering iron might take FOREVER to heat it up to an appropriate temperature. So either invest in a higher wattage soldering iron, or wait for your iron to heat up, make sure your surfaces are clean, and try to solder it on.

Btw, the other wire is most likely the ground for the bridge.


Think of it like this, a soldering iron is like a tank of heat, soldering transfers heat out of the tank, and into whatever you're soldering. Now, they all have pretty much the same size/temperature of heat. But a higher wattage flows more heat to "refill" the iron with heat.

Trying to solder a larger object will drain heat faster from the iron than the wattage can refill.

I could probably word that alot better, but that's the basically what's happening.
A high wattage iron is especiallly important for the backs of pots...those things make GREAT heat sinks.
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pinky, what wattage would you reccommend for techy stuff..ie soldering pots...pedals..basic electronics?

i use 25 atm...but its a bit naff..i need a new one
I've been using a 35 I think...

I'm probably gong to pick up an adjustable temperature one though.
I'm not very active here on UG currently.
I'm a retired Supermod off to the greener pastures of the real world.
i got what you were saying, greenbox.
sounds like i need a new soldering iron, then. the solder drops will stick to the pot, but its a pretty weak hold, or it doesnt stick at all.
^No that's normal, and in my experience, doesn't have much to do with the iron being used. Take some sandpaper or a file and scrape up the back of the pots so the solder has something to stick to. Some acetone to clean it up can also help.
I'm not very active here on UG currently.
I'm a retired Supermod off to the greener pastures of the real world.