Hardware/terminal/connectors for soldering wires to pots?

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by Mr. Neutron, Dec 6, 2018.

  1. Mr. Neutron

    Mr. Neutron Tele-Meister

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    First off, I'll apologize for not knowing what to call this "thing" I have in my mind for soldering wires to the bottom of a pot, or if it even exists.

    Ya now how most of the CTS volume and tone pots we use have the 3 ring terminals on them for soldering in the various wires we attach to them? And most of our pickup selector switches have 2 rows of these eyelet gizzies to solder wires and jumpers to? Does anything exist that you could solder one end of it to the bottom of a pot, and then solder wires to multiple ring terminals?

    I have been "re-wiring" my 3-way pickup selector switch to a 4-way setup. I have a 30 watt soldering iron, but maybe poor soldering technique, I dunno. I noticed the volume pot with several grounds soldered to it got pretty hot after all these grounds got attached. Wanting to avoid "overheating" the pot when attaching stuff to it, I wondered if there exists something that could solder to the pot ONE TIME, and then solder the wires to some eyelets of this connector/part?

    If something like this exists, what is it called? And where might it be available? Am I making too much of worrying about getting the pot too hot?

    Again, I apologize for my poor writing skills and attempt at describing this dealie-o. Thanks, Y'all!
     
  2. edvard

    edvard Tele-Holic

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    There is such a thing as a washer that has an "extension" arm with a solder terminal at the end. So in order from top to bottom it would go pot/hookup washer/pickguard/top washer/nut. I'll look it up...


    EDIT: Found it, and right here on this very forum:
    http://www.tdpri.com/threads/pot-soldering-basics.219568/

    You could probably also use an oversize ring terminal, and solder wires into the part that usually gets crimped.
     
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  3. TimTam

    TimTam Tele-Meister

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  4. Mr. Neutron

    Mr. Neutron Tele-Meister

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    Edvard, I believe I've seen those. Don't they typically have a large hole for the pot shaft to go through, then a 90 arm with a hole in it to solder to?For grounding to the switchplate? Made of thin-gage stamped steel plate? I looked for these at StewMac, where I thought I'd seen them, but couldn't find them?

    Does the bottom of the the pot have continuity to the switchplate? (They say "There are no stupid questions", but I have a dominant stupidity gene, sometimes...... :confused: )
     
  5. Mr. Neutron

    Mr. Neutron Tele-Meister

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    THAT'S what I was trying to describe that I'd looked for in my 2nd post! Thank You, Tim Tam!!!! :cool::):cool:

    Now, again, going back to the question I asked at the end of that 2nd post, will grounds soldered to these rings be "equivalent" to grounds that would normally go to the back of a pot? Is there continuity from the back of the pot to the plate?
     
  6. TimTam

    TimTam Tele-Meister

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    Yes the plate is electrically continuous with the pot shaft (and therefore the rest of the pot) and the solder lug washer - if one is grounded they all are. In fact on a tele, you only really need to ground one pot (from the output jack ground) - it then grounds the contol plate, which grounds everything else screwed to it. It doesn't hurt to ground the other pot / switch 'again' ... it's just not necessary.
     
  7. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    You're not wrong to worry about frying the pot, but the solution is pretty simple. Just get a 60W iron. Set it on high, and yer on and off in a second or two. Pot never knew what hit it. Nice smooth solder blobs, not the usual booger compilation you see on DIY jobs.

    Aside from the logic of "use the proper tool for the job", you seem to be just pushing the problem around. You still need to make a connection, either terminal strip or individual wires. Also, chances are a terminal strip might be too tall, and short out against any cavity shielding. Just do it right and be done. :)
     
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  8. BryMelvin

    BryMelvin Tele-Afflicted

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    With a metal switch plate telecaster you can use large lugs on the pot shaft and never solder to the bottom of a pot.
     
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  9. Bartholomew3

    Bartholomew3 Friend of Leo's

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    Here's how to solder without that problem.

    Before you solder rough the pot with sandpaper. Then create a small pool of solder on the back of the pot where you roughed it up. For some reason the blob of solder is pretty easy to create once the pot is sandpapered. Connect the ground wires by heating the blob of solder you created and put them there. Don't try to just heat and solder individual wires to the back of the pot. It may overheat that way and it's difficult to do properly IMO.

    Very versatile - you can always add another ground or whatever to the back of the pot by just heating the solder pool. Works great with my 30 watt Radio Scrap iron.

    Had all kinds of problems until I found this on uTube...soldering technique 101.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018
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  10. Mr. Neutron

    Mr. Neutron Tele-Meister

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    Thanks, You All!!!

    I really appreciate your tips here, and hope they might help others as well as myself.

    I have never "totally fried" a volume or tone pot after soldering on it. I have traumatized the one I added to my Gretsch resonator guitar when adding a pickup to that one.... :eek::twisted: Everything I've done on my Particlecaster build has worked fine, and in my mind, that's the best you can hope for, huh? And that poor guitar has been the victim of a good bit of "scientific research" of some soldering and resoldering jobs, as I've played with pickups, treble bleed stuff, and reversing my selector switch/tone/volume plate. It's somehow managed to survive nicely. But the posts I've soldered on have definitely gotten a teensy bit warm to the touch after sticking multiple grounds on them. I don't have enough spare hands to hold them all in place, and solder them all at one time. That would probably need too much heat, and then be counterproductive anyway....... :rolleyes:

    My own "process" has pretty much followed what Bartholomew3 wrote above. I do use a only a 30 watt pencil type soldering iron (from Radio Shack!), mostly because that's all I have that works. I scuff up the place on the pot where I want to stick a wire with Scotchbrite, them dab a small amount of flux on it with a q-tip. I will then put the side of my tinned soldering iron tip on my scuffed and fluxed spot, normally for only a couple of seconds as the solder I add melts and forms a small puddle. Next, I'll hold a tinned ground wire to the puddle, and hold my soldering iron on it until the puddle "re-melts", I add some solder, and the wire sticks. Now, I do give it some cooling time in between the next wire I paste down, but like I've said, after a few of these little solder jobs, the pot is really warm. But still, this has worked really well for me.

    But I do feel that if you don't have to heat the thing (potentiometer) at all, that would be best. I think most folks can agree with that. I plan on giving those lugs a try here after they get to me.

    Thanks again, Y'all!!!
     
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