Soldering Station Question

Discussion in 'The DIY Tool Shed' started by String Tree, Apr 8, 2015.

  1. String Tree

    String Tree Doctor of Teleocity

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    I bought an inexpensive Soldering Station.
    It has and adjustable Temperate Control that I have set for Fahrenheit.

    Can anybody recommend a 'proper' Temperature for Soldering the innards on my Tele?
    Pickup's, Switches, Pot's, Jacks.

    Thanks in advance.

    ~ String Tree
     
  2. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

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  3. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    it takes 410 degrees F if I recall... but temp is only part of the equation, the wattage is important too... to low, and there isn't enough "horsepower" to get things moving...

    think of temperature as the fuel... ya gotta have enough to keep the motor running... think of the wattage as hp... if ya put a 120 hp SS engine in a Cadillac Escalade, it's not gonna do much, but that same engine in a Harley and Zoom, zoom...

    Ron Kirn
     
  4. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

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    Ah, I knew Ron would get to it eventually ;)

    between 220 and 410 and I think the solder we use commonly is at 410
     
  5. BelairPlayer

    BelairPlayer Tele-Afflicted

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    How fast you can work is going to have an effect on how high you can run your temperature. I work pretty fast so, I like a higher temp. I run around 650F.

    For a given temperature, the longer you linger (with heat applied), the more likely you are to damage what you're working on. I find when I try to work at lower temperatures, I wind up cooking the components.

    I really crank it up when soldering big surfaces, like the backs of pots. I run around 800F for that. Again, I find I "cook" the components less when I can get in and get out with higher heat.

    Go down to Goodwill, or whatever you have nearby and buy some old, cheap electronics. Remove some parts, install some parts, and find out what temps work for you. YMMV.
     
  6. BartS

    BartS Friend of Leo's

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    You guys run them cold compaired to me. I run mine at 750 for pcb, wires, and stuff. If I am dealling with a larger amount of metal I have to heat up like on a pot or a turret I crank it up to 900 degrees. I also crank it up that hot if I have been having a problem with a joint on a pcb removing the solder. I flux the joint. Resoder it to get it workable again. Hit it with 900 degrees and my solder sucker trying to clean out the hole on the pcb. I want to get in there hot and fast.
     
  7. String Tree

    String Tree Doctor of Teleocity

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    It is a 45 watt Iron.
     
  8. Robbied_216

    Robbied_216 Tele-Afflicted

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    You are often better with more heat rather than less, but this can shorten the life of the heater in your iron. A good quality iron will have easily accessible parts like replacement heaters :)
     
  9. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Okie, here’s how it works… I’ve ‘splained this before, but.. what the heck..

    some feel a small “delicate” little solder tool will not “fry” parts… Not so..

    when soldering small solder lugs, like the tabs on the switch, or pots, the small guys are fine… but move to soldering the ground point on a Tele bridge pup’s base plate, and 40 watts ain’t gonna cut it… heck, 100 watts will be marginal…Same is true regarding the pot’s case..

    when you apply the heat to a large piece of metal… the metal begins absorbing the heat… the area where the solder point will be has to get hot enough to melt the solder, that’s in excess of 400 degrees F.

    with a little tool, you have to leave the tool in contact long enough to get the solder point hot enough, but as the rest of the pot’s case is absorbing heat… the whole thing can get so hot the guts start melting inside.

    If the solder tool isn’t robust enough to heat the point faster than the case of the pot can bleed the heat away, you wind up with those ratty solder jobs, that looks like an amateur with the wrong tool did it.

    Think of a sponge.. if ya pour water on it slowly, the point where the water is hitting it doesn’t get soaking wet until the whole thing is soaked.. Or pour a bucket full on it, and the whole thing is soaked instantly..

    What ya want is enough to make the area you are interested in wet enough to be useable, without soaking the whole thing to the point of obliteration.

    Similarly… a little solder tool, touching the case of a pot.. will have to remain there, as the heat is being sucked away, until the area of the solder point is hot enough to melt the solder. Problem, by time this happens, the whole pot is getting so hot, the plastic parts inside can melt… so the solder point looks great, it’s just the pot is now fried…

    If ya use a more robust tool, you can apply heat faster than it can be sucked away, so the solder point is clean, and once heat is removed, it solidifies rapidly, and no burnt plastic..

    I use a Weller 8200 Solder gun, it has dual wattage, 100 or 140 watts… I solder like I drive… pedal to the metal.. On Tele baseplates.. I’ll use two of ‘em to get the point hot enough, fast enough so the whole plate doesn’t have to be 400 degrees.

    On Tremolo spring claws. I heat the whole thing with a heat gun, then apply the solder gun’s tip to the solder point.

    So.. can ya use a 40 watter, sure… it’s just a time consuming pain… a 20 watter, is barely strong enough for the little stuff, and not effective on large ground points at all… at least at a professional level..


    rk
     
  10. Puggie

    Puggie TDPRI Member

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    Nice description. FWIW I leave my iron set to 350DegC, about 660F on your side of the pond! this is about the 'glass temperature' of FR4 PCB material, ie the temperature at which you can start to melt and de-laminate the PCB board layers. So I know I have to do something 'special' to do damage to the PCB and its plenty of heat for soldering tags and wires IME. you need plenty of wattage, I stick with 60W+ irons in general for doing anything big like pot backs.

    if you are struggling to heat something make sure you have a good clean wetted iron tip, oxidation forms an incredibly effective heat barrier if you are trying to solder with a dirty iron.
     
  11. FallsRockShop

    FallsRockShop Tele-Holic Vendor Member

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    I set mine to between 640 and 660 depending on the tip for soldering and 750-800 for desoldering jobs. In my experience, you're much more likely to fry a pot with prolonged low heat than quick high heat.
     
  12. String Tree

    String Tree Doctor of Teleocity

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    Thanks for all the advice everybody.

    Things went pretty well. I now have a Tele with Vintage Noiseless Pups and the TBX Tone Control System.

    It wasn't until I got it up in the 600f range that it started to work as I had hoped.
    I was able to work pretty fast, and I like that.

    I used to have an old Weller. That thing was a Brute!
    But it was dropped and it broke in to too many pieces to be repaired.

    Looks like I need to get another one. :)

    ~ ST
     
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