How to solder? - Chevelle Tech
Electrical & Wiring Troubleshooting electrical problems.

 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old Oct 20th, 03, 2:41 AM Thread Starter
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Hi, I bought a Weller soldering gun, and some Rosin core solder, I tried twisting some wire together and then heating up the wire and applying the solder, but the wire didn't get hot enough that the solder would start melting when touched to the wire. It will melt if you tough it to the tip of the gun, but not against the wire, i put the gun on high and heated up the wire for awhile and it still didn't work. Are you supposed to heat the wire and then touch the solder to the tip of the gun? any help is great!

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old Oct 20th, 03, 6:51 AM
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I use a small diameter (.080) solid solder and
paste flux. Tin your soldering iron first, flux
the wires, hold the iron to the bottom of the
wire, lightly press the solder onto the topside
of the wire and presto you should have it.
I like a small wire alot better than large wire.
Is you iron hot enough?
Good luck and don't forget to put shrink tubing
onto the wire first.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old Oct 20th, 03, 9:49 PM Thread Starter
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What exactly is tinning? the iron gets real hot, as a matter of fact, the entire wire gets too hot to hold in your hand! How important is the flux? I have never heard of anyone using flux unless it was for brazing copper. thanks!

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old Oct 20th, 03, 11:32 PM
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Tinning is heating your iron up, fluxing it and then
giving it a light coat of solder.
I like to use a seperate flux over flux core wire
because you can flux where you want the solder to
go and you can use a smaller dia. solder wire.
It sounds like you have plenty of heat but might
be using too large of a flux core wire for the
size of electrical wire you are trying to solder.
I know alot of people the don't like to use a
seperate flux but I have found that for me it
gives you alot better control and you have to
apply less heat.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old Oct 20th, 03, 11:52 PM
 
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Ideally after you are done with the joint, it's best to clean the joint with something like isopropyl alcohol. Even rosin flux is slightly corrosive.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old Oct 21st, 03, 1:05 AM
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The trick is to melt a little puddle of solder onto the tip and let that puddle be what touches the wire to transfer the heat.

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old Oct 21st, 03, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dean:
The trick is to melt a little puddle of solder onto the tip and let that puddle be what touches the wire to transfer the heat.
That's what I do too, it will give you a larger contact area = quicker heat transfer. Once you see the solder "soaking" into the wire, you can add a little more to it, if needed. You can also use a heat sink to prevent the insulation from melting. When working on loose parts on a bench, I have used a pair of flat-nosed pliers, set up in a vise. It will work as a heat sink, and also be your third hand to hold the wire.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old Oct 21st, 03, 8:32 PM
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Cody,
What type of solder are you using ??? For electrical / electronics work you need a 60/40 (60% tin - 40% lead) rosin core solder. Get it a t Radio Shack. It sounds to me like you are doing the process correctly...you might have the wrong solder. Also, make certain that the wire is very clean...solder does not like to flow into corroded wire. By the way...you can get the connection too hot. Try practicing on the stripped end of a wire before you actually start making connections, and always remember...the solder is just to help the connection...the connection should always be mechanically sound first. Dont depend on the solder to hold it together.
When I was in the Navy (many years ago) we actually had a 2 or 3 day course on soldering ! It was that important on aviation electronics equipment. Any more questions...ask away.
Hope this helps,

Bill Koustenis
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old Oct 22nd, 03, 2:29 AM
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By the way I told you wrong, the solder I use
is .031" in diameter.

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old Oct 24th, 03, 11:56 PM
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Most of what is posted above I agree with. In just thinking of some things that might also be possibilities.

#1. I HATE the "gun" type soldering irons. I have had a lot of troubles with them.

#2. If the tip of the soldering iron is too small compared to the diameter of the wire, you are going to have a harder time heating the wire enough to melt solder.

#3. Absolutely agree with Bill K. about the wire being clean. It's absolutley essential ....unless you use some strong acid flux..which is not advisable.

Clean with a pencil eraser (or something similar)if possible, or if it's not too bad use alcohol and a clean paper towel. Don't ever scrape the wire to get the top coat off to get clean copper. Clean the flux off after soldering as well. The acid will eventually eat at the wire and surrounding areas.

#4. Agree with having a tinned iron at the bottom of CLEAN wire, with the solder on top. The solder will flow to the heat after melting.

Use a mild rosin core 60/40 (melts at lower temp) or 80/20 and remember there is lead in this for health reasons. For the ultimate mixture I believe the ratio is 63/37 and if I remember right they called it "eutectic". But 60/40 is close enough and probably cheaper.

You can even find some solders with silver in them for the ultimate electrical conductivity properties, but very hard to work with as it requires a hotter temp to melt. I believe jewelers use Silver Solder.

Steve

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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old Oct 26th, 03, 12:37 AM
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Ok, i read this entire post and didn't have anyone mention this.


Today i completly rewired our 64 chevy suburban by soldering every spot, or crimping then soldering all eletrical contacts.

IT WAS VERY WINDY OUT WHEN I DID THIS.

The real trick to soldering is to cut the tip of your gun, and make the wire or connection the spot that completes the circuit of the cut tip.

The wire will start smoking immediatly and you will have a connection done in less than a minute. The solder will flow AWESOME!!!!!!!

Please anyone who solders use this trick.

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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old Oct 26th, 03, 1:02 AM
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You can even find some solders with silver in them for the ultimate electrical conductivity properties, but very hard to work with as it requires a hotter temp to melt. I believe jewelers use Silver Solder.

Steve [/QB][/QUOTE]
You can get silver wire also instead of copper.
(very expensive though much more conductive than
copper)
I know they make a low temp silver solder and a
high temp siver braze, I have used the silver braze
on gun sights and such. It is very simular to
regular brazing and needs a very high temp.

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