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Soldering Setup

Discussion in 'Shock Brother's DIY Amps' started by GMAN715, May 10, 2009.

  1. GMAN715

    GMAN715 Tele-Meister

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    Hello! I'm looking for a recommendation for a soldering setup, Iron, tips, temps, watts, etc. New to soldering.
     
  2. pchilson

    pchilson Friend of Leo's

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    I use this soldering iron and an old Weller 250watt gun from a pawn shop for $10 for the heavy duty chassis soldering. Works for me.
     
  3. celeste

    celeste Friend of Leo's

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    I tend to avoid Rat Shack stuff, the quality is just not there and I worry about replacement tips being available.

    Here is a thread about soldering equipment,
    http://www.tdpri.com/forum/tele-tech/134765-inexpensive-soldering-stations-revealed.html

    In the first post, the first link is what I would recommend to someone just starting. good enough not to add frustration to the learning process, inexpensive enough there is really no reason to go cheaper.

    The second link is what I would recommend for anything short of production work.

    Whatever you get, get a selection of replacement tips as well, to see what works best for you. Remember that larger tips hold more heat for those multi wire ground connections and small tips get in to tight places better.

    Also get 60/40 or 63/37 rosin solder, do not get lead free, it is to hard to work with when learning.
     
  4. wnorcott

    wnorcott Tele-Holic

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    I use a Madell SD-06A. They are selling the replacement the SD-06B on eBay for starting bid of $64.

    This is a temperature controlled ESD-safe soldering station with 2 digital readouts (desired temperature & actual temperature) and 3 adjustable preset temperature buttons. I use mine every day and am still on the orginal solder tip. It goes from "off" to soldering temperature in 15 seconds. It also has temperature calibration so you can exactly adjust the actual temperature and the reading on the display to match. Replacement tips are $7 each.

    here is a photo of it
    [​IMG]

    Bill
     
  5. gaddis

    gaddis Tele-Afflicted

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    I have not bought any new soldering equipment in several decades but Weller was always a reputable brand name. 40 watts should be about right for most guitar/amp work.
     
  6. muchxs

    muchxs Doctor of Teleocity

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    I'd steer a noob straight for RatShack. Get a 35 watt iron for around $8.00. RatShack can be found everywhere. It will take quite a while to do enough soldering to burn up a tip. If you find this isn't for you you're only out eight bucks.
     
  7. MickM

    MickM Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

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    What temp do you usually set it at? Nice looking rig BTW.
     
  8. wnorcott

    wnorcott Tele-Holic

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    I usually solder at preset #3 which is 680° F That temperature will do lead solder or lead-free solder but I still think lead solder is easier to work with. 680° F is a lot hotter than the actual melting point of solder but I like to work quickly. Solder pretty much melts instantly at that temperature. It is good for desoldering too. The iron will go from 300 to 900. Preset #1 which is 300 is like "idle mode" when I am done soldering for a while I power it down to 300.

    You can program it to read out in °F instead of °C and that is what I did.

    Bill
     
  9. GMAN715

    GMAN715 Tele-Meister

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    Recommended Solder Brand, Diameter?
    What is tinning the tip?
    What tips to use?
     
  10. tomringg

    tomringg Tele-Meister

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  11. wnorcott

    wnorcott Tele-Holic

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    I use 60/40 .032" solder. It is a standard item. For me that is the ideal diameter to work in tight spaces and get the right amount of solder in the joint. I was getting 1/2 pound rolls for $7 from All Electronics but they have literally doubled in price. Radio Shack has it for under $10 with free shipping. The 1/2 pound spool is easy to handle for me the full pound spool gets a little unwieldy but maybe that is just me.

    http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2062715

    I cannot use the little tiny tubes any more I have to buy in bulk.

    Silver bearing solder is easier for a beginner but it is expensive and I go through a lot of solder and with the right station the tin/lead solder works fine.

    As for solder tips I use a fine tip. It is 0.2mm tip diameter and 17mm long I took another look and the replacement tips are $6 each. Tinning the tip means you keep a very thin coat of solder on all tip surfaces to prevent corrosion.

    Bill
     
  12. MickM

    MickM Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

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  13. SimpleOne

    SimpleOne Friend of Leo's

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    Try this place

    http://www.circuitspecialists.com/prod.itml/icOid/7508

    This is a real nice unit for price. The same as the more expensive "Hakko" branded model. Research if you like.

    The nice thing about an iron which has a digital temp reading is one does not have to wonder if the unit is on and heating up. Just check the reading and solder when ready...less than a minute, I believe, some are faster. Not a lot of scratch if you think you will enjoy this kind of thing...not rocket science either!

    Got this one with a tip and once the total reached "at least $50" I was eligible for a free, bonus, item. I picked a Digital Multimeter and now use that more than the soldering iron.

    Bonus:

    http://www.circuitspecialists.com/level.itml/icOid/190

    The soldering iron is very nice though. Fast warm up, it can be dialed in to really heat a larger piece up fast or dialed back for smaller jobs.

    The net has many places to find excellent tutorials on soldering. Try you tube also..

    For something like $51 I picked up a Multimeter, soldering station, spare tip, and spare heating element. Very satisfied, indeed. I look forward to soldering and using this great product! (I had a cheap Weller iron, their least expensive, and due to neglect, and lack of proper care, I dreaded soldering. Now it is fun...Let us know what you come up with...Best of luck! Nevada Doug
     
  14. SimpleOne

    SimpleOne Friend of Leo's

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    Oh and check out these things...

    "soldering sucker"

    "soldering wick"

    ""flux" (INDISPENSABLE!)

    And do not suck dem fumes! LEAD...
     
  15. Tele-Dave

    Tele-Dave Tele-Holic

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  16. SimpleOne

    SimpleOne Friend of Leo's

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    "tinning" refers to preparing the tip, or the items to be joined, with solder. Heating your iron tip up and placing a small amt. of solder on it will help to transfer heat and solder to the job site. Tinning wires before joining them also makes the soldering easier and makes a quicker and stronger bond. The art of tinning makes the job SO much easier. Always tin!

    So you have an electrode you want to attach a wire to...tin the electrode. Tin the wire. Tin the tip of the iron. Heat the electrode up (this will make the solder stick to the part) til the tinning/solder starts to liquify/melt, place the tinned tip of the wire on this spot, hold till melted together, remove iron, hold parts together till solder cools a few seconds, done! Tinning makes all the difference in the world.

    For guitar work I like a small diameter solder. Usually use a pointy tip. For higher temperture/heat transference, bigger tip. Do it and you will find the best for you...
     
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