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soldering advice needed


Ace
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Hey folks,

I'm quite new to soldering, but after starting wiring a strat from the ground up over the weekend and installing two fender mexican singlecoils on another one today (my first strat "blackie" and my first real world soldering, it even works, yay!) I've noticed something: Soldering smoke tends to fly exactly where your nostrils are. I have not felt quite like this since I've stopped smoking, head is all light and spinning now... Is it normal that the smoke seems to be magically drawn to me? I know it's freaking toxic and helps growing nice big cancers, so what do you guys do (in addition to ensuring a good airflow in the room)? Wearing face masks? Soldering blindly with the head turned away?

Things I've learned so far:

- even if it's not hot enough to melt the solder, it's still very capable of burning your fingers

- metals are heat conductors

- poties are made of metal

- soldering pins will melt the insulation on any wire, or electrical tape in fractions of a second

- the above mentioned will smell even more god-awful than the actual soldering

so long

ace

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My lungs have gotten very sensitive from years of painting. They hurt bad, so even using thinner, I have to wear my mask. Been doing soldering, the smell does'nt bother me, my dad was a tech and always was soldering stuff...it gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling :D but I don't get any effects from the smoke. My kids run saying it's putrid, I like it, but don't inhale on purpose. I have a small fan running behind my back, does'nt do much but enough to push some smoke away.

Everyone whos soldered know exactly what you're talkin' about... B) good luck, try a small fan.

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thats really wierd- that dosn't happen to me. i don't even notice fumes. maybe i'm using a different kind of solder. i see the fumes.... but i don't seem to inhale them..?

what i hate is melting the wire. and when the wire moves away when you want to solder it.

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i don't really notice a bad smell anymore, maybe that isn't a good thing lol, but try and keep your tip free of plastic that just sits on it and cooks, try to just do things quick, get the wire in position then melt a couple drops of solder onto it hold it there for a sec (the wire) in the little puddle as you hold the gun off to the side and blow on it... hard in a couple of second.. a good stand can help is guess. too cause the gun doesn't have to be in your hand all the time then.... the main thing i just try not to touch to much plastic with it as that's where most of the smell will come from.

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I just have a little fan blowing across the piece I'm soldering. A little tip for soldering: Don't use the soldering iron to melt the solder itself. Use the soldering iron to heat the part you're soldering and let the hot part melt the solder. That's how to get a solid, shiny, conductive solder joint.

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That's good advice Saber. Actually that's what the little book that came with my soldering pen said, too but I find it rather hard at times, let's say when I'm solderin a wire to a pot for grounding (base of the pot, none of those little connection holes). But like I said, I'm still a bloody newb at that and I'll try and get some better soldering technique down

so long

ace

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I think it is ideal to have two soldering guns. One low wattage for wiring (15-25 watt) and a bigger one for heavier objects (60 -100 watts). With the big gun you can get the pot or whatever up to temp quickly, solder and get off. The little ones force you to stay on so long that you end up cooking the pot.

I'm told that the models that offer a temperature control are best (and expensive).

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^ What DannoG says makes sense. ^

find it rather hard at times, let's say when I'm solderin a wire to a pot for grounding (base of the pot, none of those little connection holes).

Also to help transfer the heat from your soldering iron to the part, place a small drop of solder on the tip of the iron before touching the part allowing the heat to be transferred to the part through the solder drop. Then melt the solder onto the part. After a bit of practise, you'll get the hang of it.

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the #1 rule with soldering.

USE PROPER VENTILATION!

I know this from 2nd hand experience. During an electronics competition, my friend and I were both in it, he had been sick, we were in a small room w/o a vacuum system nor were the windows open. About an hour into it he totally colapsed and passed out for a while.

If you have to, use a respirator or at least a painters mask.

Wear safty goggles also, that **** can irritate ur eyes.

Its just safety people :D.

As for tips for soldering.

Heat up whatever your soldering for a second or two @ a 45degree angle, and w/ the solder go in on the opposide side so the heat attracts the solder around the wire/lead.

Don't blow on it, that cools the solder too fast and won't make as good a joint as it should.

Becareful w/ the solder GUNS (big 60-100+ ones). Weller is usually a great bet on those type of guns.

Some people cut the lead to length before soldering, others cut after soldering. I've done both. The "proper" (ie: SkillsUSA competition judgers, which include certified technicians and people from NIDA) way is to do the former. So the solder encloses the entire lead, to prevent oxidation.

If you're soldering stranded wire, solder flux is AWESOME. Just twist the wires nice n good, put some flux paste and then solder.

I suggest getting a pack of resistors, wires, and a protoboard from radioshack and practice soldering. Though the copper protoboards can be a bitch.

And remember "the bigger the blob, the better the job".

Heh. Joking!. You want just the right amount of solder. Make sure its shiny and encloses the lead. With wires, you wanna be able to see the twists in the wires, like a mold or something.

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Indeed it is, Saber. Perhaps we should compile a soldering FAQ or FGA (Frequently Given Advice) and have it in a sticky thread for this board, like the painting tuts and faqs in the finishing section?

so long

ace

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Some people cut the lead to length before soldering, others cut after soldering. I've done both. The "proper" (ie: SkillsUSA competition judgers, which include certified technicians and people from NIDA) way is to do the former. So the solder encloses the entire lead, to prevent oxidation.

How? on Earth? do you cut AFTER soldering? Am i being dumb here? Point2point i cut to rough length,tin,solder job done I.E. Pot to Switch for example

But say a pickup,Once the lead is soldered there is no way to cut it to length

I'm all confused

Rob (help me)

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I would think that this applies mostly to soldering components on a circuit board. The easy way is to insert the component with the leads sticking out on the underside of the board. Solder the leads. Cut off the lead ends that are sticking out beyond the solder joint.

The preferred (and maybe a bit ****) way is to cut the excessive lead ends before soldering them. This is not necessary if you give the underside of the board a quick clearcoat after all the soldering is done, though.

This principle would also apply if you let the end of a wire stick out from a pot's lug while soldering and cut off the excess afterwards. It might be better to simply not have the end of the wire sticking out before soldering so that the whole tip is enclosed in solder.

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