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Leave a solder blob?

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Nolefinity, Apr 7, 2021.

  1. Nolefinity

    Nolefinity Tele-Meister

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    I’m not a soldering pro, so while removing TexMex pickups from my road worn Telecaster, a couple of the wires came off easily with heat, but in one place, three black wires joined together, and nothing I did would melt the blob at all. I ended up basically having to just cut the wires. So on one of the pots is still a little ball of solder and wires. Can I just leave that there, and when I put a new pickups, just attach the three black wires with new solder in a new place on the pot?

    Thanks!
     
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  2. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    You can leave it. But it sounds like your iron doesn't get very hot. BUT, sometimes the tip needs to be tinned. Without the tip being tinned it can't transfer the proper amount of heat to the solder. I would try tinning the tip and try to remove it again. I would also suggest getting some solder wick which will absorb excess solder. Very useful for cleaning up sloppy joints.

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08X3DX51F/?tag=tdpri-20
     
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  3. SnidelyWhiplash

    SnidelyWhiplash Friend of Leo's

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    Buy better equipment to make the job easier.
     
  4. Nolefinity

    Nolefinity Tele-Meister

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    Great answer so far, and I will gladly take recommendations on better equipment. If anybody could post links here, like Amazon, that would be awesome. There is one above for the wick. Sounds like I need a better iron as well. Thanks!
     
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  5. DavidP

    DavidP Friend of Leo's

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    FWIW, its difficult to think of a soldering iron that can't melt a blob on wires... Take the advice above: clean/tin the tip (IMHO it still should have worked even if you didn't) or invest in a 30W iron (or if you're serious about more guitar tech work, a solder station with variable temperature control).
     
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  6. Cpb2020

    Cpb2020 Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    +1 on cleaning and tinning the tip of the iron.
     
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  7. bender66

    bender66 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Plenty of good youtube tutorials on prep, tinning, etc. Plenty of good articles too if you prefer to read.
     
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  8. Steve Holt

    Steve Holt Friend of Leo's

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    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B087832Y16/?tag=tdpri-20

    I picked up one of these. I thought I had a pretty decent soldering iron, but I was wrong. This thing heats up faster and you can adjust the temperature easily. My soldering got a lot more professional just by having better equipment.

    You're supposed to heat up the part you want to solder and apply the solder to the part, not to the iron and let it drop down. I could never really do that with my old iron, but now I can in just a few seconds.
     
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  9. maj34

    maj34 Tele-Meister

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    It'll look untidy but no hurt if it's trimmed short. You need a bit more heat to get things on or off the back of the pots. I think mine is a 40 watt iron with a dial (still a fairly cheap one) and I usually have it set at about 20 (out of 30). Yours might be a good iron but low wattage for small electronics work. IME you're better off putting things on and taking them off the back of the pot at a bit more heat, but not a ton more, that is if you have a variable iron. But you're better off getting heat on the pot, getting those wires off, and removing the iron than having to hold the iron on it at a lower temperature for 2 minutes. Also, get some soldering wick, worth it if you're soldering and especially if you're inexperienced.
     
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  10. dogmeat

    dogmeat Friend of Leo's

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    clean the tip. lay the tip a bit sideways on the blob to get the maximum contact you can, let it warm for 8-10 seconds or so, then add some fresh fine wire solder by putting it straight on the iron. it should flow out and increase contact, melting the works. have a dry cloth or something to quickly wipe off the solder & residue.

    if that doesn't work, you need an iron with more watts
     
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  11. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I bought a weller gun from walmart and that made pot back soldering a piece of cake. My low watt pencil created more issues than it solved. That being said...don't overheat your parts.
     
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  12. stormsedge

    stormsedge Friend of Leo's

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    solder blob---band name?
     
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  13. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    the marginally acceptable pencil would be a 40 watter, but that's amateur city... it's not enough to solder tele bridge pup bottom plates, Strat trem spring claws, or pots... realistically you need something like a Weller soldering station... but when I'm soldering the heavy duty stuff.. I call on my Weller 8200N soldering gun, and the vintage one not the new cack... you can tell 'em, they use screws to attach the solder gun's tip...

    the problem with a 40 watt tool is that to get the back of a pot hot enough to allow the solder to flow, the whole thing will have gotten hot enough to begin distorting the plastic components that are inside the pot... something like a soldering gun or a good soldering station, blasts the small area with enough heat, the solder can flow before the rest of the pot's case gets that hot..

    r
     
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  14. Old Deaf Roadie

    Old Deaf Roadie Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I have a Weller pencil-type iron with 3 LED's on the front to light up your work piece. I've no clue what it's current rating is. It works for everything you can solder on a guitar, including pot casings. I think I paid less than $15 at the local Ace Hardware store, and is available on Amazon, as well.
     
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  15. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    do you know whether the blob is 60/40 solder or the new lead free solder that seems to be a higher melting point?....
     
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  16. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    very good point... the 60/40 most of us "old guys" grew up with is much easier to learn on.. once you've mastered a few basics with that stuff you can make the jump to the more environmentally friendly lead free, or reduced lead content solders...

    and just to note, many of our younger tech types grew up on the low lead solders, they will counter the above... let me just suggest ya try them both am make your own determination..

    also while both Plumber's solder and electrical solder are available at most larger Hardware stores or Home DIY stores.. DO NOT use Plumber's solder on electronics... if you ask the "Helpful Hardware Man" where the solder is, and he directs you to the Plumbing Department.. he's wrong.. ask him where the soldering irons/pencils/guns are.. the electrical solder will be on a peg next to them.. ya use a blow torch with plumber's solder...
     
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  17. dogmeat

    dogmeat Friend of Leo's

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    and I like the skinny solder. about 1/32"
     
  18. Mojotron

    Mojotron Poster Extraordinaire

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    71ewMXnqRyL._AC_SL1500_.jpg
    I use a solder station like this, once someone uses something that maintains the right heat, they never will want to use anything else.

    On circuit boards it's important that minimal solder is used and heat is controlled and that is because heat or extra solder will degrade the glue that holds metal stuff to the circuit board. On pots or going from wire to wire I don't think you have to be careful with how much solder you use at all. I have proven that I can destroy pots - but generally if someone uses reasonable care extra solder on wires or a pot is not a problem as long as it's not going to short out.
     
  19. DavidP

    DavidP Friend of Leo's

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    Yeah, this is quite likely the case if wire blobs won't melt... I'm 60/40 vintage.
     
  20. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    What do you have now?
     
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