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Old February 1st, 2013, 12:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Soldering hints required.

Are there any tips or tricks for soldering the shed load of earth wires on the back of a pot? I'm always uncomfortable about holding the iron on for what seems a long time.

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Old February 1st, 2013, 12:51 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Lightly sand the back of the pot

Tin the leads

Heat up the pot and place a pool of solder

Heat up the pool of solder and place the wire

I liked this video (not mine)
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Old February 1st, 2013, 12:57 PM   #3 (permalink)

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The best trick: scuff up the back of the pot with some sandpaper or other abrasive. That will make it easier for the solder to adhere and you won't need quite so much heat.

It helps if your iron is nice & hot, and you have a little solder on the tip already. It will help carry the heat into the pot. Hold the iron to the pot and count to 5, then apply solder. 20 watts will do it, though more is better.

I like to get a pad of solder on the pot and then solder the wires to the pad. This is called tinning. You should tin the wires too.
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Old February 1st, 2013, 01:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Cheers for that chaps,that's pretty much how I do it too. The difficulty I find is when you have half a dozen earth wires going to the back of the same pot,I always need another hand to keep them all together and solder them in place,it's a bit of a faff.
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Old February 1st, 2013, 01:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Things I've learnt over the years:

Use tweezers

You need less solder than you think

Use a solder sucker and de soldering wick to remove old solder

Cloth covered wired is a lot easier!!

Use a pencil tip iron, I've seen people using far too large an end and it leaves too much room for error.

More heat for less time is MUCH better than less heat for more time... If you know what I mean.

Hope this helps.
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Old February 1st, 2013, 01:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Great info!
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Old February 1st, 2013, 01:16 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I usually get a friend to hold them.
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Old February 1st, 2013, 01:17 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Another tip, if you're soldering a bunch of wires, bring them in from the same angle and coil them together for an inch or so before the soldering point. (if possible). Then you can control the all at once with your tweezers.

And always use a soldering iron stand. :-)
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Old February 1st, 2013, 01:22 PM   #9 (permalink)
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You don't need many wires to the same pot. If each pot is linked together (as they will be) you can spread your earth wires across all of the pots.
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Old February 1st, 2013, 01:25 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GigsbyBoyUK
You don't need many wires to the same pot. If each pot is linked together (as they will be) you can spread your earth wires across all of the pots.
Unless it only has one pot!
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Old February 1st, 2013, 01:25 PM   #11 (permalink)
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If the control plate is in situ, protect the guitar body from accidental damage.
I always use a small amount of Laco flux with ground common soldering. The solder flows better and makes a neater job. Remove any residue afterwards as it may cause rust spots.
Use 60/40 tin/lead solder not lead free - it's rubbish
Temporarily hold bunched wires together with a piece of plastic coated tie wire, the type that comes with most appliance leads.
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Old February 1st, 2013, 01:52 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waparker4 View Post
Lightly sand the back of the pot

I liked this video (not mine)
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHA4SLN4qeA">YouTube Link</a>
Careful CTS pots come pre tinned, so by sanding them down it makes it worse.
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Old February 1st, 2013, 02:09 PM   #13 (permalink)
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20watts isn't enough. Use a bigger iron and don't linger to long. Preparation and flux is a important.
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Old February 1st, 2013, 02:44 PM   #14 (permalink)
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i hold all the wires to the pot with the solder tip until they all melt into one big glob. then i take a flat head screw driver and press down right next to the solder tip so that i can remove the heat.
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Old February 1st, 2013, 02:50 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I solder all the wires together with 1 strand longer than the rest, then I just solder that 1 to the pot. I hold them togther with a small rubberband or string and cut it off after.
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Old February 1st, 2013, 04:35 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The String King View Post
Things I've learnt over the years:

Use tweezers

You need less solder than you think

Use a solder sucker and de soldering wick to remove old solder

Cloth covered wired is a lot easier!!

Use a pencil tip iron, I've seen people using far too large an end and it leaves too much room for error.

More heat for less time is MUCH better than less heat for more time... If you know what I mean.

Hope this helps.
^^^ I think that about covers it

A "chisel tip" that increases contact area to the can. Like a pencil that has had a single knife stroke diagonal cut through to the point

More heat less time! - I recommend a 40W mains iron for this job. (I use a Weller TCP). Iron not huge but not too low on power.
I /could/ do everything with a 40W iron but the wipers and switch probably best with a 20W one: that is not really enough power for the can.

Heat is a funny word, it can mean power or temperature: they are not the same thing. The big ring on the stove has more power but doesn't get any hotter (temperature) than the small ring: it's the one to use to heat (power) a big pan up quickly (to temperature).

Using a small iron on the can lacks power, the heat goes in but gets conducted away and so it take ages to get the can up to temperature to melt solder - and so the pot gets fried and ruined.

Tin/lead solder, electrical, flux cored e.g. Ersin Multi-Core.
If you have lead-free (cof) solder please wrap it carefully and dispose of it in a thoughtful manner.

Practise: dad taught me to solder at 8yo, it's that difficult.
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Old February 1st, 2013, 04:43 PM   #17 (permalink)
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As with life, keep your tip clean.
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Old February 1st, 2013, 04:45 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by telex76 View Post
I usually get a friend to hold them.
Damn. Now I need friends too?

Cheers for the info everyone,much appreciated.
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Old February 1st, 2013, 04:52 PM   #19 (permalink)

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nafees View Post
Careful CTS pots come pre tinned, so by sanding them down it makes it worse.
None of the CTS pots I sell are tinned, and that includes several different models from different suppliers.
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Old February 1st, 2013, 05:17 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I find it's not necessary to scratch up any pot when using fluxed tin/lead and a good iron, unless the pot is over 20yo maybe.

The "untinned" pot tend to be either nickel or tin plated, which readily accepts solder.
An ancient old pot gets oxidised and you have to get through that to metal.

There are a few materials that are "impossible" to solder: stainless steel, aluminium, glass, alumina (sapphire) - with the right preparation (generally acid, abrasion and grease) I can solder these too.
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