Why is my soldering so bad?!

  1. Gwil Member

    Messages:
    586
    Location:
    Portugal
    I'm not a bad stick welder. Self taught, pretty neat, and nothing I've made, including most of the equipment/machinery of a 24 ton ocean going boat, has ever broken (at the weld that is.....but let's not go there). Yes, I know, it's 'cos everything I make is heavier than Belgium....

    But I can't solder worth a damn. Electrical that is. I can manage a solder joint in a copper pipe!

    I've looked at videos, used different irons, guns, solder, but where are those nice shiny blobs other people manage to effortlessly produce? What's the secret? I am the dry joint champion of the world.
     
  2. The_Yellow_Ardvark

    The_Yellow_Ardvark perkele

    Messages:
    12,725
    Location:
    England
    Joints not clean.
    Temp to low.
    Wrong solder.
    Wrong flux.
    Tip to small.
    Dirt wire.
    Dirty components.

    A few points to consider.
     
  3. brightspark

    brightspark Member

    Messages:
    29,508
    Location:
    yarm
    a smallish soldering iron with a clean tip and multicore rosin solder. dab a bit on the iron 1st to silver it with a blob then dab it on the joint
     
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  4. Spark plug

    Spark plug Member

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  5. KemppiFrog Member

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    3,181
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    Aquitaine
    Gosh, I feel for you..
    Long ago, I was told.. clean everything carefully, clean the iron and tin it, then clean the work again. Get everything in position, clean again, then solder.
    In actual practice, I do clean carefully and use seperate flux from a pot, then solder with the cored wire. If concerned, I tin the bits before trying to join them. Short and sharp with the iron is good.
    KF

    Also, have a couple of little irons for the delicate stuff.
     
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  6. carbon

    carbon Member

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    1,534
    Location:
    S. Glos. U.K
    I think flux makes a difference, obviously need the correct size iron for the job
     
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  7. mtt.tr

    mtt.tr Member

    Messages:
    2,837
    Essex England
    On steel and dirty copper i use laco that stuff is brilliant.
     
  8. carbon

    carbon Member

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    1,534
    Location:
    S. Glos. U.K
    I use the 0.5mm version for smaller electronics, to large a diameter will cool the tip of the iron to quick. Very similar to using to big a filler rod when tig welding
     
  9. Gwil Member

    Messages:
    586
    Location:
    Portugal
    Ok, great tips there already.

    What do you all recommend for cleaning? Acetone? That's what I've been using so far. And I hadn't thought of using flux and the cored solder. I'm a belt and braces sort of fella...

    Laco? Google says it's a type of watch!
     
  10. mtt.tr

    mtt.tr Member

    Messages:
    2,837
    Essex England

    La-co flux.
     
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  11. Seadog

    Seadog Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    6,049
    Location:
    NE London - UK
    Don't use Laco on electrical connections. It'll eat them. Also, don't disturb the joint until it's cooled enough for the solder to harden.
     
  12. carbon

    carbon Member

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    Gwil likes this.
  13. dobbslc

    dobbslc Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    5,162
    Location:
    Hertfordshire UK
    I've never used additional flux on electrical solder joints as I too thought it would eat away the wire. I've not had many problems over the years. Get a good hot iron the right size for the wire as too small and it'll cool off and leave a mess looking like dull lead!
    Tin both components that are to be joined first then put a bit more solder on the tip of the iron and put them together. Leave the iron to reheat for a few seconds after every use especially the small ones.
     
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  14. brightspark

    brightspark Member

    Messages:
    29,508
    Location:
    yarm
    as said on electrical stuff rosin solder. it should be clean enough to start with unless its old dirty stuff your working on and needs scraping perfectly clean
     
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  15. mtt.tr

    mtt.tr Member

    Messages:
    2,837
    Essex England
    Does need washing of after use.
     
  16. carbon

    carbon Member

    Messages:
    1,534
    Location:
    S. Glos. U.K
    I don't use the additional flux on general wire solder joints just on pcb repairs
     
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  17. Seadog

    Seadog Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    6,049
    Location:
    NE London - UK
    I use reworking flux where necessary. Usually with clean wire it's not needed. Tinning the wire and the iron bit is usually sufficient.
     
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  18. MoreWellie Member

    Messages:
    1,117
    Location:
    Bedfordshire, UK
    KEEP THE JOINT STILL whilst the solder solidifies
     
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  19. cocker

    cocker Member

    Messages:
    486
    Location:
    lincs , England
    ho ho .
    Last week I went to do some copper pipe soldering , wernt happening .
    I couldn't understand why it wernt working , how had I forgotten how to sodder stuff together ?
    Turned out I was trying to solder with some of that aluminium solder stuff .
    Doesn't work well on ally either .
     
  20. angellonewolf

    angellonewolf Member

    Messages:
    5,090
    Location:
    bristol england
    when i do solddering on conponent stuff smd pcb boards used to do lots years ago

    remove item with iron and solder sucker hit it with enough heat to melt solder within a few seconds less is better but not to hot or you will burn the pad on the pcb

    remove resister etc small bit of flux use solder wick to clean pad

    small bit of flux around the new joint add a tin to clean pad

    wipe iron on cleaning pad add just a dab of solder on to iron to help transfer heat to item and pad as the solder takes add a dab more solder to joint pull of and dont touch joint for untill cooled a couple mins at least

    what most forget clean all flux off the board after you finsh

    and rebuild


    most people turn the iron on sort the stuff to be soldered out then solder dont do this unless the iron is temp controled it gets hotter and hotter then shuts down then when it get cooler it does the same turn iron on leave for a while keep touching solder on the end of tip it should start to melt you ideal need to solder quite soon after this

    if your doing quite a few joints get a temp controlled unit there are cheapfor a fair china verson for £50 quid ish with hot air that seam ok

    or if your doing lots get a good pace or other better makes etc unit

    most stick units are only good for a couple joints unless your very carfull


    clean iron tip regular and retin the tip dont leave it dry at all a good way to wreack the tip
     
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