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soldering

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by supernaut, Oct 31, 2005.

  1. supernaut

    supernaut Registered Member

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    I am practicing soldering wires together. Does anyone have experience soldering? Are you supposed to hold the solder above the wire and drip the melting solder onto it? When I do that I get big beads of solder that just get bigger as I drip more on. Then I try to melt that bead down and smooth it out along the wire. Usually the bead just rolls off onto my working surface and I’m back to ground zero. Any pointers from the experienced?
     
  2. sandawgk5

    sandawgk5 3/4 ton status

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    I have always seen the wire in question on top of the iron and then touch the solder to the wire and the capilary action will pull it down into the strands of the wire.

    Ira
     
  3. Robert D

    Robert D 1/2 ton status

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    Soldering wires together is always fun. Too much to hold and not enough hands to hold them. From my experience I've learned to hold the solder with my left hand, iron-wand in the right, and hold wires together with remaining fingers... Truth is, as long as you solder a decent connection between wires and use heatshrinks, the connections will look clean. I've only been picky about solder quality on solder points on computer board...
     
  4. Robert D

    Robert D 1/2 ton status

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    Yes, Ira's method is also how I apply the solder and iron.
     
  5. gauder

    gauder Banned

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    :waytogo: That's how I always do it.
     
  6. tiger9297

    tiger9297 1/2 ton status

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    Especially when you are trying to work under your truck dash. :angry1:

    The way I was taught is to hold the iron under the wires and heat the wires. Then let the solder melt down on/into the wires. If you heat the solder, then you will get a "cold solder" b/c the solder will not properly penetrate the wires and you will not have a good connection.
     
  7. down4thakrown

    down4thakrown 1/2 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    if you go to a hobby shop most have some alligator clips attached to a base that will hold the wires together or you can make your own using alligator clip and a popcycle stick or somting. if you got a good enough soldering iron, u can use the iron to heat up the wires so u can just feed the soder onto the wire, but drippin works too just a little more messy. but works, just use some heat shrink and it will look alright.
     
  8. crazyhole812

    crazyhole812 1/2 ton status

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    use a little flux paste on the wire, makes the solder bleed into the wire
     
  9. 1-bad-burb

    1-bad-burb Registered Member

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    I'm a pretty experienced solder'er from about 5 years in the radio control hobby, as these guys gave been saying the best way is to heat the wire/wires and then feed the solder directly into the wire, but something that has not been mentioned is this, be VERY carefull with how much solder you feed into the wire, because the solder can actually flow up under the insulation and cause the wire to be very stiff and practically un-useable, you realy dont need flux unless your using certain types of wire, thats pretty much the basics of wire soldering, nothing special, it just takes practice, I taught myself how to do so it has to be easy LOL :crazy:
     
  10. bigjbear

    bigjbear 1 ton status Staff Member Moderator

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    How it SHOULD be done: Strip wires w/o nicking any strands; flux the exposed wire; tin the wire, this means apply heat to the exposed wire, then apply enough solder to coat the wire, but not so much as to wick under the insulation or make the strands look like one solid wire; clean with a stiff bristle brush and alcohol; form the tinned ends into hooks and hook together, this give a good mechanical connection; apply flux to the joint; apply heat to the joint; apply solder to the joint; clean with a stiff bristle brush and alcohol; cover with heatshrink or tape, remember if you want to use heatshrink you need to put it in place before you start & keep it away from your soldering iron.

    A couple of tips: Keep your iron's tip clean and lightly covered in solder. If it gets a black residue on it clean w/ a damp sponge while the iron is hot. If that doesn't work let the iron cool and use a file. If you are using something like 60/40 or 63/37 solder set you iron for between 600*-650*.
     
  11. supernaut

    supernaut Registered Member

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    Ok, thanks for all the input! I was worried about melting the insulation if I heated the core. Apparently that’s the way to go!
     
  12. 3 on the tree

    3 on the tree 1/2 ton status

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    I intertwine the bare strands together, kinda like lacing your fingers together. The I have an alligator clamp that I use to clamp the bare wire to the soldering gun. When the wire is hot enough, touching the solder to it will melt the solder, causing it to wick into the wires. When all the strands are silver, I stop, unclamp and call it good.
     
  13. cybrfire

    cybrfire 1 ton status Vendor GMOTM Winner

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    Use solder butt joints and heat shrink and call it a day!

    I use to do wiring for a place that built rescue vehicles and this was the only way they would allow you to do it. Codes and what not.
     
  14. randy88k5

    randy88k5 1/2 ton status

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    I actually use an aerosol can cap to hold the wires together. You cut two slits on opposite sides of the cap, and you slide the wire into the cap after you splice them toghether. The cap will hold the two wires together, and catch any solder that falls off. I have used this method for years and it works great. And if you lose/break it, make another...
     
  15. Russell

    Russell LB7 Tahoe Status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    I no longer use an electric iron for anything but really fine soldering like on a chip board.

    For soldering wires together, I have a very small, fine tipped butane torch. It heats the wires about 10 times as fast, and does an excellent job soldering.

    When I am splicing two wires together, I usually flux em, burn all the flux off with the torch, let the wires cool down, twist them together in such a way that the wires are straight (kinda like crossing your arms, the despite the elbows, your arms are straight together) solder them together by placing the blue part of the flame just below the wire (so the blue part does not touch, but the very light blue part does) then apply solder on the top of the wire. Once the solder joint is done, I wait a few seconds, then slide some shrink tubing with that goo inside of it over the joint, and heat it up. Goo fills in the spaces, and seals it right off from moisture and other corrosion sources, and makes a perfectly smooth joint in the wire.
     
  16. Robert D

    Robert D 1/2 ton status

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    Anybody try the cold solder irons? I know of some people from Labs who say they work decent.
     
  17. randy88k5

    randy88k5 1/2 ton status

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    Just bought one from Harbour Freight for $16. Havent used it yet, but Ive heard they work pretty well. I hope it will speed up the wiring. Ill let you guys know how it works.
     
  18. jekquistk5

    jekquistk5 Weld nekid Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    When I solder and heatshrink wires for anything, I useually stagar where I solder It alows for a cleaner finished product
    x =break/solder point
    ----------x------
    ------x----------

    this is the way I do it when I dont have alot of heatshrink

    The cold heat things dont work very well for thick awg wires, but are ok for small stuff.

    Just practice you will develop your own metheod how to do it.

    also It helps to TIN the wires before trying to connect them together. Tining is putting solder into the two wires before connecting
     
  19. MarcS

    MarcS 1/2 ton status

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    Ah, brings back memories of working at Lockheed soldering to military specs.
     
  20. bigjbear

    bigjbear 1 ton status Staff Member Moderator

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    I wonder why :D Actually that is the way I've been instructed to do everywhere I've worked. Including when I was ICP certified.

    Where/when did you work at Lockheed? I worked at L/M in Marietta in the late 90s. (C-130, C-5, & F-22)
     

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