Soldering tips & tricks?

Discussion in 'Sidewinders Bar & Grille' started by Wound_Up, Feb 18, 2021.

  1. Wound_Up

    Wound_Up Senior Stratmaster

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    I bought a Weller WCL100 soldering station a week or 2 ago and I've had nothing but problems using it. Every single time, the tip oxidizes and becomes unusable within minutes. I kept it tinned. I cleaned it after each use. I did everything I thought was correct(it worked fine on my other Weller 40w) and still lost 2 tips to blackness/oxidation. I tried turning the heat down and that didn't help, either.

    Anybody got any tips and tricks to keep the tips from oxidizing and burning up so quickly? At this point, it's almost gotten to me turning off the iron after each soldered joint, then turning it back on for the next one.

    I'm using whatever the solder is that came with the Weller kit. I didn't have this problem before I got the soldering station, using the exact same solder. Using my other 40w iron plugged into the wall worked fine. So I can solder without destroying a tip. Makes me look at the sponge they sent with it and the base station itself. I'll try a different sponge to clean it next time and plug straight into the wall and see if it still happens.

    Until then, what do you all do? Do you use separate Flux or Flux core wire? What about tip tinner? It says using tip tinner can rehab blackened tips so I just picked up a can to try it and see. If it helps, I'll use it.

    So what about you all? What's your standard setup to solder? Do you use separate Flux? Tip tinner? Anything else?

    Thanks.
     
  2. StratoMutt

    StratoMutt Senior Stratmaster

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    Good solder #1. Nothing better than Kester 44 60/40 .031 diameter. It has all the flux you need.

    Clean your iron tip before every joint. Every single one. The brass wool stuff packed in a mini trash can works great!

    I load the tip with Kester 44 and clean the excess in the curly stuff and have at it. All the tinning your tip will ever need. A Kester 44 shiny tip and you are good to go.

    Make sure the tip is clean and shiny before unplugging the iron.


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2021
  3. rolandson

    rolandson Most Honored Senior Member

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    yeah, I clean it, then tin it.
     
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  4. Ed Storer

    Ed Storer Strat-O-Master

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    I use Kester 60/40 rosin core solder and clean and tin the tip frequently. The solder you got with the iron may be the ROHS junk. I don't know where you can get it now, but I have a tin of Radio Shack tip cleaner/tinner. I use that and then wipe the tip on the sponge. I moisten the sponge before I start. I wipe the tip on the sponge everytime I take it out of the holder.

    My Weller station is an old one - I have no idea what may be different with yours.

    Best of luck.
     
  5. Bowmap

    Bowmap I nose a thang or two Platinum Supporting Member

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    Stick with Kester 44 won't do ya wrong. I prefer a 63/37 blend over 60/40. 63/37 changes phase much faster so you are less likely to get a 'cold' joint.
     
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  6. StratoMutt

    StratoMutt Senior Stratmaster

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    A chisel / screwdriver tip is best for soldering onto pots. When soldering on pot backs, you want to heat fast and get out of there even faster. 40 watts minimum.

    Conical tips are fine for wire to wire or lug to wire, but not the best choice for a pot back.

    I have a .125" and a .25" chisel. The .125" can do everything in a guitar cavity with a bit of practice.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2021
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  7. BelairPlayer

    BelairPlayer Strat-Talker

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    Kester 44 flux core. Accept no substitute.
     
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  8. Wound_Up

    Wound_Up Senior Stratmaster

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    Looks like I'll have to get some solder. I appreciate the responses. I was reading that 63/37 is eutectic, which is what's recommended because of its melting point and it solidifies all at once vs 60/40 that doesn't. It goes through a sort of transition where any movement during that time can cause a cold joint.

    Not sure what this stuff is that I have. It's not labeled lol! It did come with the Weller soldering iron so I assume it's decent.

    I have a 120? watt gun that I use when soldering pots and the trem claw in the back. I've used it multiple times to wire stuff in my first guitar, also. Never degaussed the pickups like most people say will happen, either.

    It was just kind of weird that I only had issues after I got the adjustable base station. Everything went fine up until I got that thing. The tip stayed shiny and soldering was quick and easy any other time. So I'm going to also remove that from the equation and see if things go back to normal.

    Thanks again. I appreciate it.
     
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  9. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh needs you to go ahead and come in on Sunday, too.

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    Aside from what others have said about cleaning it after it heats up and then tinning, always remember to heat the work, not the solder. Trying to heat the solder itself will just result in brittle cold joints but if you heat the piece, it'll flow in and bond.
     
  10. ukoldgit

    ukoldgit Most Honored Senior Member

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    Anything from Eutectic will be good, they have been in the metal melting game for donkey's years, they know a thing or two.
     
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  11. Jimgchord

    Jimgchord Strat-O-Master

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    Try 67/33 solder.its much easier to freehand solder with it. clean tip before every joint.
     
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  12. Hal Nico

    Hal Nico Senior Stratmaster

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    One of the best things I bought years ago was a," Solder Sucker" to clean up jobs prior to re-soldering,

    http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-5...0001&campid=5338148356&icep_item=312613652981

    I keep a bit of emery cloth on my soldering kit to wipe the end of the soldering iron tip before re-tinning prior to soldering and as per other post stick-to-pot/tang and then solder to job :)

    PS
    I wear a work headlight to aid my eyesight,

    but also recently bought a spare Soldering iron with a built in LED light,


    http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-5...0001&campid=5338148356&icep_item=133016953479
     
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  13. RobZ69

    RobZ69 Senior Stratmaster

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    Yep as others have said: clean, tin, heat work, add solder.

    Make sure the iron is hot enough.
     
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  14. jvin248

    jvin248 Senior Stratmaster

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    .

    I use rosin core solder and a $10 harbor freight iron, before that I used a similar stick iron I had since the mid-80s. Never 'a station'. Like playing guitar, it's technique, not the tools.

    The main trick is you solder the parts first before trying to solder them together.
    Scuff a small patch on the back of a pot and put solder down, put solder on the end of the wire so it soaks in. Then put the wire to the pot. That way you are never overheating one part trying to drive temperature to the other part.

    Also, you feed some solder at the pinch point between the iron and part -- the melting solder will transfer much more heat than the tip alone will -- even a blackened iron tip will transfer heat when using solder to get it to the parts.

    +1 a solder sucker is good for rework/replacements. Some like the solder braid but that's really for more detail cleanup not the first big blobs that need to come off.






    .
     
  15. StratoMutt

    StratoMutt Senior Stratmaster

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    From what I recall the temp specs between 63/37 and 60/40 are not significant for actual soldering. Fairly certain Kester makes 44 in a 63/37.

    As far as Weller providing quality solder in a kit, I’d think by the opposite may be the case. Could be lead free solder which should be avoided.

    I have both a solder sucker and desoldering braid. I think the braid works best more often than not.
     
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  16. StratoMutt

    StratoMutt Senior Stratmaster

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    Quite right.
     
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  17. Bowmap

    Bowmap I nose a thang or two Platinum Supporting Member

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    With a bit of practice it'll be old hat to you.

    temp2.png

    Though the above graphics represents PCB soldering it still isn't that different in a guitar. I will tin my wire first before joining it to what ever. For solder lugs I will push the tinned wire through the lug and then wrap it back. At that point I apply the heat, etc.
     
  18. StummerJoe

    StummerJoe Senior Stratmaster

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    Well, nothing to add here. Well done guys!
     
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  19. StratoMutt

    StratoMutt Senior Stratmaster

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    Kester 44 results. Note how it flowed flat and grabbed the wire on the pot backs.

    A nice amount of solder on the lugs and wires. A shiny joint is a happy joint.


    upload_2021-2-19_14-52-30.png
     
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  20. StratoMutt

    StratoMutt Senior Stratmaster

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    Nice example! If you can get pre-tinned wire, use it. The amp kit I assembled had pre-tinned and was a real time / work saver.

    Also...

    Solder1.png