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Thread: The basics of soldering.

  1. #1
    Jedi Council Member Firebird21's Avatar
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    Default The basics of soldering.

    The basics of soldering.

    This is for the people that have never picked up a soldering iron before.
    For the more experienced members, any constructive criticism is welcome. I want this to be as simple and straight forward as possible.

    You will need:
    Soldering Iron
    "Rosin Core" Solder (Lead Free and NOT ACID core solder)
    Wire
    Clamps or "Aligator Clips" (Optional)

    First you must ďTinĒ your brand new soldering gun (or iron). You do this simply by pulling the trigger to heat up the iron, when it is hot enough just put some Solder on the tip. This will help to add solder to your connections.


    Now Strip the wire you wish to solder.


    It should look like this.


    You donít need to strip this much off, but you want to leave yourself enough to work with.

    Next you want to Tin the wire you just stripped, and the part you want to solder it to (If it doesnít have any on it yet).

    Hold the wire, Rosin Core Solder and the Iron (if you canít hold them all at once, use the clamps to secure the wire), heat up the Iron until it can melt the solder. Once itís hot enough place it on the wire and melt the solder onto the wire.
    Like thisÖ




    This can be the tricky part. You want to heat the metal enough so the Solder will attach to it, but you donít want to heat it up so much that you start melting the sheath.
    This is especially important when soldering switches and such. I have destroyed many good switches by over-heating it wile soldering. And youíll get really peeved if you fry your LED!

    Also, you must make sure you get some Rosin onto the wire. Solder will not stick to the wire with out the Rosin. So donít just use that big Glob of solder on the end of the Iron, use fresh Solder from the spool.

    You need to make sure u clip the tip of the solder now and then if you get that excessive melted solder on the tip of the solder wire, this helps the solder to melt quicker.

    This is were ďPractice makes perfect!Ē You may want to take a piece of wire and keep practicing on it by Tinning the end, cutting it off and staring over until you are comfortable in your ability.

    Next youíre going to solder the wire to the part.
    In this example Iím soldering the wire to a junk Battery box (From the Thomas project)

    Here you just heat the Iron and hold the wire on the part you are soldering it to, when the Iron is hot enough, just touch it to the joint for about 1-2sec. or until the solder melts.



    Pull the Iron away, wile holding the joint together until the solder cools.

    Then youíre done!



    This is the same for soldering two wires together. The trick there is being abole to hold it all. Some people twist the wires, but I just hold them together.

    Try not to have any Sharp Edges. They will poke through the Shrink Wrap and may cause as short if it hits something.

    Remember to put you heat shrink wrap on BEFORE you solder your joint together or you will be very mad! lol


    Remember, PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE!!!
    Before you know it youíll be a pro!

    Do-Clo's Clue:
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote">Originally posted by Do-Clo

    Soldering is really something that requires practice, one can look at a picture to see the desired results but until time is spent with your iron in hand you really can't master it. Another requirement is a good soldering iron, that will make or break the quality of your work. Another requirement is a hot soldering iron, wait for the iron to heat up to maximum before attempting to use it, just because it melts the solder it is not ready to use. I use a 800 degree soldering iron for my work and home use it gives the best results. Soldering guns are really not the best for saber building. A wet sponge is a peect way to clean the excessive solder from the tip of your soldering iron, just wipe your hot iron across the sponge and it will remove the extra solder and you have a clean tip once again.<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">


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    Default

    Although I doubt anyone here will be soldering that much... LEAD FREE too! The lead stuff, while easier to work with, the fumes are not good for you if exposed for a while.

    <center>Read the FAQ or x-wing won't be happy.
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  3. #3

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    Right on man! I use the lead free inside and the lead based outside.
    I use the flat blade to heat the wire to wire connections and the smallest point for circuit board work.
    When I use stranded wire I spread it out mix the strands together like joining fingers give a slight twist to blend them together to get that same low profile look as putting the wires together.
    You may also want to point out that the soldering iron while conveinent for the shrink tube it is not a good idea to use it for that, the wife's hair dryer is much better suited for that task[]

    Good job firebird, it is a dang fine tutorial.

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  4. #4
    Jedi Council Member Firebird21's Avatar
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    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote">Originally posted by james3

    ...the wife's hair dryer is much better suited for that task[]
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">


    Is it wrong that I use a lighter?


    If I had some Heat Shrink I'd add that too, but I used the last of it on my saber...[]

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  5. #5
    Jedi Knight Ambo's Avatar
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    I use a Grill lighter....dosnt burn the didgets like a bic does




    "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."
    Albert Einstein

  6. #6

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    I have used the lighter sticks a few times but I read somewhere way back that a hot air gun or simmilar is better then open flame. I think it had something to do with the fire retardant properties start to degrade.
    Or I could be smokin' crack and that has to do with plenum wire, it's late.

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  7. #7
    Sith Lord Do-Clo's Avatar
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    A heat gun is the best way the shrink heat shrink tubing but I don't have one so it falls to the lighter that is lying on my bench. Remember if you don't burn yourself then you are not soldering.

    Firebird my professor would have failed you on the quality of your solder joint[]

    Do-Clo
    Brotherhood of the Sith

    Don't make me destroy you...

  8. #8

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    So True I used to use a lighter and matches but nothing get's the HeatShrink to form and shrink evenly like a Heat Gun. Especially if you are using the 1" or larger Diameter Stuff it would take forever with a lighter and on light colored stuff you don't get the carbon scoring.[]
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"> Remember if you don't burn yourself then you are not soldering. <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote"> So True, you got to suck it up especially while trying to hold the wires together while the solder joint cools to get a good connection.[]
    I also recommend using Rosin Core Flux Paste to get a nice even solder flow.
    " I am a Jedi like my Father before me"



  9. #9
    Jedi Council Member Firebird21's Avatar
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    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote">Originally posted by Do-Clo

    Firebird my professor would have failed you on the quality of your solder joint[]<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    I said constructive criticism.
    I was never taught how to solder. Yet another skill I was forced to figure out on my own.


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  10. #10

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    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote">Originally posted by Do-Clo

    Remember if you don't burn yourself then you are not soldering.
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    Does buring a hole in my shirt count? Grabbing a soldering iron from the wrong end? A speck of moying onto my cheek, Or was that the rosin core flying?

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