#1
Like what wattage should the soldering iron be and what kind of solder should I use? And uhhh...do I need anything else besides a soldering iron and solder?
Ibanez RGT42FX
Vox AD30VT-XL

Quote by Attack
No. In Soviet Russia, Hell goes to you,
#2
my soldering iron is 30w
always use rosin core solder i think its like 60/40 idk
anything else
a good flat workspace
a towel or something like that to work over
masking tape
wet sponge
burn cream
You get nothing! You lose! Good day sir!
#3
Thanks blacklp I'm probably going to need a lot of burn cream lol. BTW what do you mean by 60/40? Is that thickness or something?
Ibanez RGT42FX
Vox AD30VT-XL

Quote by Attack
No. In Soviet Russia, Hell goes to you,
#4
Yup, rosin core 60/40.

Personally, I've been using a roll of .75 mm, and I find it works really well for me, but something a bit thicker would also work.

EDIT: 60/40 represents the different metals in the solder. 60% Tin, 40% lead.
Will says:
DON'T FEAR THE REAPER!
- SmarterChild - says:
I don't know if I can help it.

Member #6 of the "I play my guitar as high as Tom Morello does" club
Last edited by Will_Minus at Sep 9, 2007,
#5
You dont need a high powered one. The wires for pickups are usually pretty small. Ive put many controls together with a 30 watt. The switchable ones with higher power settings are nice. But cost more if your not going to use it much. The I guess medium .062 solder is good to use. The heavy stuff is to much your not trying to put pipes together. Its not that hard to do just look it over twice before you solder. Nothing worse than putting it all together and something work backwards. Theres plenty of schematics on line to look over. And they are pretty genaric, a strat with 3 singles, 2 tones and a volume carries over to other brands. Look em over and decide how you want the controls to work. I know when I have 2 humbuckers with 1 tone control I usually dont connect the tone to the bridge. So the tone only effects the neck and middle positions. But yea a iron and some solder are about all you need. I will give you a little advice before you put strings on it, hook it up to an amp, and tap each pickup with something metal, going through the switch positions youll know if they are working. Ive learned the hard way its easier than taking it all apart later because a wire got mixed up and hooked up wrong.
#7
For equipment, all you'll need is a 30w soldering iron, a stand, a good light source, half decent ventilation, and a tool for desoldering. I use, and recommend, a desoldering pump
Will says:
DON'T FEAR THE REAPER!
- SmarterChild - says:
I don't know if I can help it.

Member #6 of the "I play my guitar as high as Tom Morello does" club
#8
i usually end up burning my calluses which is not bad but when i first started soldering, when i learned myself how to tin wire i burnt my hands alot, not anymore but burns suck so burn cream
You get nothing! You lose! Good day sir!
#9
Are there any brands that I should watch out for? and how much do you guys think this will all cost? (desoldering pump included)

Edit: is it a bad idea to get solder with acid? >.>
Ibanez RGT42FX
Vox AD30VT-XL

Quote by Attack
No. In Soviet Russia, Hell goes to you,
Last edited by ken112291 at Sep 9, 2007,
#10
I'm getting a new guitar along with new pickups next week, but I've never changed pickups before and I don't own any soldering supplies...so I'm just debating on sending it to someone I know to do it
#11
I've been looking at various soldering guides and it doesn't look that hard. I would really recommend practice on something first though and make sure you read up :p
Ibanez RGT42FX
Vox AD30VT-XL

Quote by Attack
No. In Soviet Russia, Hell goes to you,
#13
is it a bad idea to get solder with acid?


YES.

Acid flux will corrode electrical connections, always use rosin flux. I ruined a couple of guitar jacks long ago before I found this out. Always use rosin flux, never acid. Acid flux is for other uses, never electrical. I use seperate paste flux, I've never gotten good results with flux core solder. Even with flux core I still use my paste flux, it works best.

A soldering tutorial, since you seem unfamiliar with this:

Everyone here seems to agree a 25 or 30 watt iron will do fine, I'll go along with that every time. I have a 25 and a 30 watt, both do a nice job on 99% of my soldering.

Always give your iron time to heat up, it's aggravating to try and start soldering and the iron is not hot yet. Plug it in while you get everything else ready, and make sure you have a good heat resistant place to set it while not in use. Not having a proper stand, I use a glass ashtray, large one.

Do it quick. The faster you get in there and out the better off you are. Taking too long can heat up wires and parts too much. Not such a problem with pickups, but the wires can get too hot and melt the insulation.

Tinning:
Practice for a while on a few pieces of wire to get the hang of it. Tin all connections first. Get a small amount of flux on the wire, it only takes a tiny bit. Clean the tip on a wet sponge or paper towel before each solder attempt. Melt a small blob of solder onto the iron (size of a BB is enough for two tinning jobs or more) and touch it to the wire. As soon as you see solder flow onto the wire, pull the iron away, it's done. Once both contacts are tinned the solder will flow a lot quicker for the final soldering job. Use a toothpick to spread flux, it works great.

Final solder:
To solder the contacts together, put a small amount of flux on each, place the wire through the contact hole, (most pots have holes for that purpose) make sure it's stable and you can easily hold it in place while cooling. Some people like to bend the wire back, I prefer to avoid this, it makes it much more difficult to remove later if necessary to replace a pot or redo it. Depending on the positions of the parts I do sometimes bend the last 1/4" of wire to a 45 or 90 degree angle and put just the end through the contact hole.

Melt a very small amount of solder onto the iron, this allows the heat to transfer quicker, only a blob the size of a pinhead is needed. Touch the iron to the prepared contacts and touch the solder to the other side of the contacts, solder should melt and flow pretty quickly, 1 or 2 seconds if everything is prepared right. As soon as you see solder flow onto the contacts get outta there, you're done. Make sure you hold the wire as still as possible while cooling, if it moves you get a loose or "cold" solder joint that will not last.

Use a wet sponge or paper towel to keep the iron clean, it makes a huge difference. A dirty iron cannot transfer heat well and can transfer contaminants onto your job. Just wipe the tip on the sponge while twisting it to clean off all soot and impurities. A good iron ready to use should have a shiny silver tip. Clean it immediately before each soldering attempt.

An alligator clip makes a good heat sink, heat goes to the clip rather than further up the wire than you want it to go. Do not place it at the contact point, place it on the wire if one is needed, behind the contact point. For pickups you shouldn't have to worry with a heatsink, it won't be necessary.

Use small solder on projects like pickups, large diameter solder melts too slowly.

Double and triple check your wiring before soldering, as mentioned already it's annoying to get through and find out your volume pot works backward.

It's a very good idea to take some pictures of the original wiring with a digital camera, get a dozen shots from every angle. Then you have the original wiring to go by and can re-wire it exactly the way it was originally. Or draw it out on paper.

Strip only a short bit of insulation from the wires, for pickup to potentiometer you should only need 3/8" or so, 1/2" at most. A good pair of wire strippers is invaluable. If you must strip wire with a knife, a dull one actually works better, since it won't be as likely to cut the wire. Wire strippers are much more reliable and easier, avoid using a knife if possible.

That's all I can think of for now, I hope I didn't miss anything too important...Soldering is not difficult if you know how to get it right, just be sure and practice on some scrap wire before getting into your guitar. A good solder joint should be shiny silver and smooth, if it's grey and lumpy you have a cold solder joint that will not hold long. Redo it.
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
Last edited by Paleo Pete at Sep 9, 2007,
#14
Thanks a TON Pete your my hero
Ibanez RGT42FX
Vox AD30VT-XL

Quote by Attack
No. In Soviet Russia, Hell goes to you,
#15
You're welcome, glad to be able to help out.
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
#16
uhh hi doubt burn cream would do anything, a burn from a soldering iron thats heated up all the way is an instant 3rd degree burn, i know from experience.