Soldering tips & tricks?

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

  1. Bowmap

    Bowmap I nose a thang or two Platinum Supporting Member

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    There has to be a good story behind that bit of advice. ;)
     
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  2. RobZ69

    RobZ69 Senior Stratmaster

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    Another bit of advice, especially when using solder with a flux core and you're soldering near the guitar body: cover the body for protection as small hot beads of solder can be launched onto the not so heat resistant lacquer.

    (not so much an issue with strats where you can remove the complete pickguard far away from the body)
     
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  3. Wound_Up

    Wound_Up Senior Stratmaster

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    It lasted about 24 hours and I was fine after 36. From what I could find it was basically a bout of gastroenteritis. I never even had a fever or anything. I just noticed I was exhausted after running errands through the snow and tallied it up to stress from driving, around 3pm.

    I took my daily prescription around 4 and noticed I felt a little sick. Well I laid down and fell asleep about 5 and woke up about an hour later. I got up to make hamburger patties for dinner and about the time I got done, I ran to the bathroom and threw up. And I felt pretty freakin bad. So I finally fell back asleep, maybe 7:30 and slept on and off til 9am when I got up and ready to run more errands and was still exhausted and out of breath easily. No more throwing up. Just that once.

    It wasn't until that evening before I finally felt better and everything tasted normal again. It was almost like when I get a migraine, without the migraine and with exhaustion added on. I dunno. That's why I figure gastroenteritis. It fits almost perfect.

    Its Kester 44. Recommended for surface mount electronics, it says on the tube. I'm sure it'll be OK. I haven't seen anything saying not to use it. So that ought to be a good sign lol.


    After a few quick tests, I'm just going to assume I had the heat up too high with, crappy lead-free solder. I lowered it to closer to 4 and everything went fine on the couple of test pieces I soldered. Hopefully that's all it was.

    Well, that was also with the Kester 44 62/36/2 and the larger chisel tip. Anyway. What matters is I can solder correctly again lol.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2021
  4. Wound_Up

    Wound_Up Senior Stratmaster

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    A lot of those have an accelerometer built in that causes them to drop the power when idle/in the holder, which helps preserve the tips. The good ones apparently heat back up within seconds once picked up. That'd be pretty nice.

    I figure I could just manually crank my Weller to 1 each time I set it down for the "same effect" lol
     
  5. Dibbs

    Dibbs Strat-O-Master

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    Or, place a platform on your stove, in the kitchen, and use it as a work table. THEN, you can use your range's stove hood fan to draw the solder fumes out of the area. You can also use the range hood's light to illuminate your work. Needless to say, be sure the burners on the range top have cooled, before placing your platform upon them.

    You're welcome!
     
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  6. Wound_Up

    Wound_Up Senior Stratmaster

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    That's the one thing I always forget. Luckily the poly on mine has held up to my misfortunes so far lol. I always see this one excellent luthier on YouTube use his thing and I tell myself I'm gonna make something like it and I never do. I'll have to watch a few of his vids so I can recall what he uses again.
     
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  7. StratUp

    StratUp Strat-Talker

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    Except solder the DPDT switch lugs on a mini-pot.

    Lead free... I just bought an iron from Weller and it came with a smidge of solder. You could tell by the look it was the lead free stuff.
     
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  8. dogletnoir

    dogletnoir V----V

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    i'm sure you can pretty much guess how it ends, too.
    :whistling:
     
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  9. Wound_Up

    Wound_Up Senior Stratmaster

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    That's how I ended up with this base station. I set mine down on my little tray, on that chinchy "stand" you get with the SP40 iron. Well it rolled off and even off of my tray and onto the carpet. Yea, I was on the floor at the time.

    I start seeing smoke, then realize the soldering iron is melting the carpet. F***!!! Luckily the carpet is long enough that you can almost not see it.
     
  10. Wound_Up

    Wound_Up Senior Stratmaster

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    Yep. A quick google search shows that's all they sell with their kits.

    My Seymour Duncan '59 Model humbucker came in yesterday, as well. Can't wait to get it installed.
     
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  11. Wound_Up

    Wound_Up Senior Stratmaster

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    Quick question. What about mixing solder? As in...the tips on my Weller are pre-tinned with lead-free solder from the factory. Will this affect how well or if they work with lead/tin solder at all?

    I didn't notice any issues yesterday in the few wires I test soldered but I figured I would ask anyway. I just loaded the lead solder on the tip over the stuff already there and used it like I normally do.

    Anybody got any opinions on this? Or recommendations? No way am I going to try and remove all of the lead-free solder. Should I just keep on like I was? Lead-free solder is like 96-99% tin anyway, right? Versus 63% tin in 63/37 solder, for example. So there shouldn't be much of an issue, I'd think.

    I couldnt find much info about this when I googled so I figured I would ask.

    I'll have plenty of kinds of solder after this. Just ordered some more Kester 44. Made sure it was 63/37 this time.


    Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021
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  12. Bowmap

    Bowmap I nose a thang or two Platinum Supporting Member

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    Wipe and re-tin with the desired solder like you did. It won't cause any problems.
     
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  13. Strategizer

    Strategizer Strat-Talk Member

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    Absolutely no problems mixing lead-free and leaded solder on an iron tip. The only time that's ever a concern in my world is at the lead-free solder workstations at work... and it's the tools used for leaded solder work you keep away from the lead-free areas!

    Lead-free is such a bear to work with because since less malleable metals are used (relative to lead), it has a higher melting point... it requires MUCH more flux to flow and rework... and, a proper weld looks dull--so spotting a cold joint is near impossible. I don't see anything wrong with the finished work compared to leaded solder... but its definitely NOT convenient for what we want to do!

    I'm with others who've said the burned tips are possibly due to overheating. I will typically have to heat a tip 100-150 degF higher to get lead-free solder flowing, compared to the temps I work with using tin/lead solder.
     
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  14. Wound_Up

    Wound_Up Senior Stratmaster

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    Yes I'm pretty certain by now that's what did it combined with excessive wiping on the sponge. With little to no solder on the tip, it didn't take much to oxidize/burn it. More practice with the base station shows I can keep solder flowing at around 3.5 and the dial basically goes to 6. It says 5 but goes far enough past 5 that it would be at 6 if there was a 6 lol. Like 5.9? As well, I'll likely turn the heat down between solder joints when I have it up higher than 3.5 because I'd rather wait on it to heat back up than ruin more tips.

    Also, I've somehow just realized that I've almost always been using lead-free solder any time I've soldered previously. Not sure how I didn't realize that before now. I guess because it was never labeled. I did always wonder why my joints were never shiny like I was taught was correct. Lol.

    I've got 2 new tips on the way along with 63/37 solder. I was also able to re-tin those tips I thought were ruined using the can of 'tip tinner' that I bought. Not sure how that stuff works but it does.

    I don't mean to write a book each time I post lol. I'm just very wordy :whistling::p:D
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2021
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  15. Wound_Up

    Wound_Up Senior Stratmaster

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    This is the style tip I was using. A Weller ST3/TST3 3/32" screwdriver tip.

    weller_tst3.jpg 8855082I-21.jpg
     
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  16. Wound_Up

    Wound_Up Senior Stratmaster

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    Last bump. I swear lol.


    This entire week has been going by sooooo slowly. As soon as the 63/37 solder gets here, I'll be installing the Seymour Duncan '59 Model bridge pickup. The solder should be here Friday or Saturday.

    I could use the 2% silver solder but I prefer not to. I want to try to eutectic 63/37. I've been using the lead-free stuff that takes a few secs to solidify and I don't like it all that much. Plus it takes a bit more heat to get it to flow, as well. Which could've led to the issues I ran into.

    Anyway. I appreciate all of the help. Thank you!
     
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  17. Wound_Up

    Wound_Up Senior Stratmaster

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    Final update.


    Ended up getting a free replacement tip from Amazon when the first one appeared to be lost. Both showed up only a day apart. So I contacted Amazon to see what to do with this 2nd tip they sent me. Lucky me. They said I could keep it! Score!

    That means everything is here. I'll likely swap the Seymour Duncan '59 in this afternoon. I do want to make a before and after recording so I can actually see what kind of difference the SD pickup made. I've got Ableton Lite that I could use but I don't have a clue how. I installed it, made sure it worked and recorded the guitar when I played, and that's it.

    For this instance, would a cell phone vid be usable since it's just for me to compare pickups? I've never attempted to record anything direct into the PC, except for the few notes I played when I got Ableton installed so I could make sure it worked. I know that'd be a better solution and it'd give much better audio samples. I'm just not sure what I'm doing with it.

    So what to do? Use Ableton or just a crappy cell phone vid?

    There was something else I wanted to ask about, also, but I can't recall what it was at the moment.
     
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  18. StratoMutt

    StratoMutt Senior Stratmaster

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    A pickup winder who I greatly respect cautions against mixing leaded and lead free. A solid connection is less likely.

    No worries, we all glad to help.

    Make sure the iron is plenty hot for pot backs. Not hot enough increases your chances of damaging the pot.

    I was going to caution you against the tip tinner as anything newer is likely to the lead free. 44 is all you tinning you need.

    Sponges work - I used them for years. The the curly brass scrap works far better, I'll never use a sponge again.

    That is a fine tip. It can do it all, except for tiny wires and small connections. A wider chisel is great for pot backs.

    A lot of satisfaction in DIY. Ask away when you remember. :)