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Should i learn soldering?

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by eddiewagner, Feb 4, 2013.

  1. eddiewagner

    eddiewagner Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 6, 2005
    Hi guys, i wonder if i should pick it up at the tender age of 54....
  2. Jupiter

    Jupiter Doctor of Teleocity

    Jun 22, 2010
    Osaka, Japan
    Yes. Yes you should. It's easy and very useful for somebody who plays electric guitar.
  3. milkshape

    milkshape Tele-Holic

    Nov 16, 2006
    New England
    Certainly, who wouldn't want to a useful new skill? Llots of good tutorials on the net and probably right here on Tdpri. At a minimum I've done some simple repairs for friends and myself that have saved time and money. Well worth the investment in a soldering iron and time learning how to do it.

    But be careful, soldering on guitars is a gateway to harder stuff. Next is stomp boxes and then amps.
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  5. Rich Rice

    Rich Rice Poster Extraordinaire

    Jul 15, 2005
    Chicago 'Burbs
    Without a doubt. It has helped me in innumerable projects over the course of my life. I honestly can't imagine life without such a basic skill.
  6. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 30, 2003
    Ontario County
    Can you elaborate on that question?
  7. LarsOS

    LarsOS Tele-Holic

    Oct 24, 2011
    No need to elaborate. The answer is yes anyway. ;)

    Everybody should learn soldering. At least if they sometimes do something that has anything to do with electronics.

    The younger the better, but that only means that it's better to learn it at 54 than at 55.
  8. soulman969

    soulman969 Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 20, 2011
    Englewood, CO
    Since when does age have anything to do with learning a new skill? I would hope I'm still learning the day I pass on and since I'm planning on living a whole lot longer than I have so far (and I'm your age plus OP) I've got a long way to go yet.

    It takes the right tools (but those aren't very expensive), some good instructions from one who can instruct, a little intelligence and common sense, and some practice. My first attempt was a semi disaster that resulted in a fried $15 switch but since then every other soldering job has gone well.

    If you ever plan on modifying or repairing your guitars by all means learn how. You'll save time and money.
  9. Jake69

    Jake69 TDPRI Member

    Dec 13, 2012
    I believe learning new things is what keeps our mind young. I try to learn as much do it yourself things as possible. Leaves a good sense of accomplishment.

    I wanted to put in new pick-ups and wanted to try it myself. Got what I needed and throw them in. And it for me felt great that It worked.

    On the other side from learning of to solder actually helped me fix a few things outside of guitars.
  10. PAcaster

    PAcaster Tele-Meister

    Jul 5, 2011
    Scranton, PA
    It may be redundant at this point, but yes. If even for the only reason being next time a loose input jack spins around one too many times and the wire breaks off, your guitar won't be spending a week at the shop (and will save you $$ too). It's actually really satisfying fixing your own guitar for the first few times as well! ;)


    p.s. I practiced on an old wireless router at home, that I wasn't using anymore. I just pulled it apart, and soldered random wires on it until I got the hang of it.

  11. Dolpheus

    Dolpheus TDPRI Member

    Jan 1, 2013
    United Kingdom
    Soft soldering is very easy to pick up, but like all things, practice makes perfect. Like PAcaster did, find something to practice on before you get frustrated melting the sleeving trying to solder a wire onto a pot. Cleanliness is ALL, make sure you use flux and "tin" everything before attempting the actual join. Even if you have solder with a flux core, use extra separate flux as well. Have some emery paper handy to rough surfaces up prior to tinning, especially on things like pot bottoms. Oh, and don't forget to feed the heat shrink on before soldering ;)
  12. LarsOS

    LarsOS Tele-Holic

    Oct 24, 2011
    I agree, practice makes perfect. Kids instinctively spend hundreds of hours figuring out how water behaves. That is probably a smart strategy for most of us, as we all have to deal with the stuff throughout our lives. Solder is less complicated than water, luckily. As an adult, you only need to play with it for 2-3 hours before you figure out the basics of how it reacts when you poke it. Those are well spent hours IMO. Just don't expect to achieve anything other than destroying old electronics in the process.

    And have a tap with cold water ready in case you burn your fingers. Hurts like hell.
  13. deadicated

    deadicated Tele-Holic

    Aug 1, 2011
    Sure you should, I'm yet to find a drawback when it comes to learning to do about anything short of learning to do heroin or something along those lines. Learning keeps the brain happy and healthy. Go for it.
  14. Jack Wells

    Jack Wells Doctor of Teleocity

    Oct 19, 2003
    Albuquerque, USA
    It's not rocket surgery. With proper equipment and a little reading you should be able proficient in a short time.
  15. Rich Rice

    Rich Rice Poster Extraordinaire

    Jul 15, 2005
    Chicago 'Burbs
    I struggled with soldering when I was 8, so I taught my kids when they were younger than that. You can easily master it as an adult. Try not to breathe the smoke. It's bad for ya.
  16. djevans

    djevans Tele-Meister

    Dec 13, 2012

    I just finished my first guitar rebuild and I had an absolute blast. (See my other thread called Complete Squier Remodel) I can't wait to do my next one!!
    In the process I learned to solder (age 51) . There are a few tricks for sure, but its relatively easy for what you need in a guitar and not expensive for the materials.
    I do recommend some "solder wick" - This is great for those just learning as it will suck up the excess solder that you will undoubtedly apply as you learn. It will make your stuff look much neater from the start.
  17. Engraver-60

    Engraver-60 Friend of Leo's

    Jan 6, 2008
    Franklin, TN
    When I was a kid, I lived about 1 mile from a HeathKit store, and I used to go in and ogle the amplifiers, tv's and even Thomas keyboard organs that could be made step-by-step from kits. Later on, when I was in my first bands, I was the go-to guy for repairing broken guitar or microphone cables. Then onto repairing my nearly new blown up '63 Fender Vibroverb amp (real deal), replacing blown resistors and tube sockets. I was unaware of the dangerous high voltages stored in the capacitors, and very lucky to not become aware. Be careful what you do, and research first, then learn how to do it. Helpful people here will be available to advise.
  18. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 23, 2010
    East Tennessee
  19. moody

    moody TDPRI Member

    Feb 25, 2011
    I firmly believe that there is no such thing as a "useless skill", and that any skill a person can learn will come in handy. Learning to solder instantly saves you a bunch of money whenever you have to fix an output jack, want to replace a pickup, or even all those guitar cords that you thought were ruined. While you're at it, learn the basics of plumbing soldering, and the differences between the two, giving you the ability to fix broken water pipes in your home. Neither of these things are difficult and the benefits can last a lifetime, even if it is just knowing when someone is pulling your leg...
  20. electric

    electric Tele-Holic

    Jun 8, 2009
    yes, yes you should.
  21. Dr. Bill

    Dr. Bill Tele-Afflicted

    May 1, 2003
    Upstate, SC
    Basic life skill.
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