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idiotic soldering questions


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ok ive done alot of electronic works(replacing pickups/pots/switches etc) but never a full replacement of electronics in a guitar. ive never really been taught or read about 'proper' soldering techniques i just kind of go at it. before doing this big a job i want to make sure on a few points im iffy about.

1)i have always had confusion on this. when i heat the part to solder it, do i want to heat it to the point that i can remove the soldering iron and still melt the solder on the part, or do i want to leave the iron on while applying solder?

2)what exactly is the best way to hold a wire in place while soldering it down(example ground on back of pot casing)and, further, what should i do to hold it down while the solder dries, should i put down the solder and use something else to hold the wire in place while i take the iron away so it can dry or what?

3) a good joint should look......shiny or dull or in between?

4) when i put a wire into the terminal of a pot, should i just lay the wire in so taht it stays or should the wire be bent around the loop of the terminal?

thanks in advance any help will be greatly appreciated!

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1) if you get it that hot you're likely to damage things.....just heat it until the solder jumps into it (iron in one hand....solder in the other)....it makes a better joint doing it that way and you shouldn't need it any hotter than that

2) If I get the wire to stay in position well enough...like soldering lugs on a pot or something I just keep it in place with the solder....then take the solder away and lift the iron off....it should only take a second to cool anyway.....if the wire is springy and being a pain I use needlenose pliers (or fingers if I'm daring) it takes practice holding the pliers and solder in the same hand but it works

3) a good joint is usually shiny....I wouldn't stress about it too much....it's easier to do on a circuit board than on the back of a pot

4) it's easier to solder and easier to know you have a good connection when you wrap the wire...

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