Bare Knuckle Pickups Forum

Forum Ringside => Tech => Topic started by: ailean on October 12, 2008, 11:19:34 PM

Title: Soldering Tips
Post by: ailean on October 12, 2008, 11:19:34 PM
The first time I picked up a soldering iron in years was when I put in my first set ok BK's. I'd be surprised if there aren't a few others like that, so I thought I'd start a thread of tips and tricks to make life easier for anyone trying the change their pups for the first time. I'm not expert and I'm hoping others will contribute.

Get a good soldering iron. I recently bought a digital temperature controlled soldering iron and it made a huge difference. Cost me 35 (half price in maplins). Goes up to 450 degrees. These get much hotter than your standard cheap irons, thus melting the solder faster. Just be careful not to cook your pots using a hot iron. The temperature gauge also lets you know when the tip is up to temperature, saving you some guess work.

One of the hardest things is to remove the existing solder (I find anyway), especially if you have a large blob of it on a pot. You need to get a good contact with the iron tip to get enough heat transferance to melt the solder. I found one way to speed things up was to hold the iron against the old solder and then add a small amount of fresh solder, this melts quickly against the iron and being a liquid forms a good contact area with the old solder, speeding up the heat transferance considerably.

Tin the tip. Coat the tip of the soldering iron with solder, also coat the ends of the wires / componants with solder. This helps to form a cleaner join when you solder the wire / componant in place and helps avoid a dry solder. (A dry solder is where a componant looks to be soldered correctly but the solder has not formed a good electrically conductive bond).

Keep the tip of the iron clean. Have a damp cloth or sponge around that you can wipe the tip of the soldering iron on. The solder will stick more easily to a clean tip. Turn your iron off if you are not using it to cut down oxidation. (This is where a good iron comes in, they get back to opertaing temperature quickly and you know when they are ready)

I hope this helps someone. :)
Title: Re: Soldering Tips
Post by: Lazy_McDoesnothing on October 12, 2008, 11:43:50 PM
Good idea for a thread, BKPs were the reason I learned how to solder!

For more visual learners I suggest having a look through these videos:
Title: Re: Soldering Tips
Post by: Ben_W on October 13, 2008, 08:49:10 AM
That was helpful, thanks! :) I'm terrible at soldering, but luckily one of my good friends works with Nathan Sheppard, making guitars, so he's pretty handy at those sort of things and gives me a hand... :)
Title: Re: Soldering Tips
Post by: Stevepage on October 13, 2008, 09:37:41 AM
Also, use a Soldering Iron Stand with a wet sponge near by. That way you save a lot hassle trying to find a safe place to put the iron and you can clean the tip when needed without fuss.
Title: Re: Soldering Tips
Post by: MrBump on October 13, 2008, 09:51:40 AM
I can only reiterate getting a decent soldering iron.  I was having a nightmare with an underpowered one... updating to a higher powered one and it became a breeze.

Title: Re: Soldering Tips
Post by: Stevepage on October 13, 2008, 10:55:04 AM
I had nightmares with soldering irons that weren't powerful enough too. I went with a 40 Watt Weller Soldering Iron with a couple of tips for about 17. Does the job quite nicely.
Title: Re: Soldering Tips
Post by: sjwebb90 on October 13, 2008, 07:37:07 PM

If you do and lot of soldering and want  a pro soldering iron, check out the Weller. They ain't cheap but they are excellent. (Industry standard).

Soldering Iron TCP Series