How hard is soldering?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by bgriffin, Feb 18, 2009.


  1. bgriffin

    bgriffin Member

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    I've never soldered before, and am tired of spending money on pickup changes at a guitar tech. How hard is it to change out pickups? Specifically on a fender nashville tele!

    thanks in advance guys.

    B
     
  2. markj

    markj Member

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    It's not very difficult at all if you have a somewhat steady hand. You can probably find some decent "how to" examples on youtube. If you can follow a wiring diagram then hooking up the pups is very simple.

    I hadn't done much of this until recently and now I've modded a couple of pedals and have an amp project in the wings. Once you get the hang of it, it's actually a bit of fun as well as satisfying.

    http://www.youtube.com/results?search_type=&search_query=soldering+tutorial&aq=0&oq=soldering+
     
  3. skronker

    skronker 2010/2013/2015 S.C. Champions Gold Supporting Member

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    soldering is easy, but you should practice before you do your first soldering job http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X87Vt38ceSg&feature=related

    just google soldering and there are a bunch of video demonstrations available...
     
  4. bgriffin

    bgriffin Member

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    wow guys thanks a whole bunch!

    that was easy enough of an answer!

    :)
     
  5. TwoTubMan

    TwoTubMan Member

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    Soldering takes practice. DE-soldering is a pain in the rump.
     
  6. GAD

    GAD Wubbalubbadubdub Silver Supporting Member

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    One of the toughest things to get right is soldering to a pot, which is often where pickups connect. Problem is heat dissapation, and the pots take a lot of energy to heat.

    I recommend making some small kits before you attack the guitar.

    GAD
     
  7. Pat Healy

    Pat Healy Member

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    Get some clamps, alligator clips, or something to hold your work piece in place while you solder. Otherwise you'll be wishing you had three hands.
     
  8. bgriffin

    bgriffin Member

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    awesome, thanks for all of the help guys!
     
  9. getbent

    getbent Member

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  10. Blue Tile Fever

    Blue Tile Fever Member

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    I just recently learned myself. One of those helping hand tools is essential imo, especially when you're soldering multiple wires into one location like the backs of pots. I practiced one a bunch of el cheapo pots till i had the confidence to tackle my first pickups/electronics install. Oh, and make sure you clean the tip often and tin the tip, area to be soldered, and the wires or whatnot that'll be going to it. Hope that helps :AOK
     
  11. bgriffin

    bgriffin Member

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    Thank God for TGP!

    you guys are great!
     
  12. rick13

    rick13 Member

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    Get the right wattage iron for the right job. I use a big mother 100/140 watt gun to solder to pots, and a pencil tip soldering station set to 600 + degrees to do fine work.
    It's really easy once you get the practice.
    Rick
     
  13. john b

    john b Supporting Member

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    I just did my first "big job" on a guitar - pots, wires, cap, pickups. I had done some soldering before and it always turned out badly. I went on youtube and searched "guitar soldering". There is some really useful stuff there and very helpful. When I did the job I felt pretty confident, had all the necessary stuff and, it was a blast!!!

    I say go for it, just practice a little first to get the hang of it. I had used a 25w iron in the past and it wasn't hot enough. A 40w did the job no problem.

    BTW - I'm just about to add a middle pup to my tele, turning it into a "nashville" tele. I've got it down pretty good if you have any questions.
     
  14. JLee

    JLee Supporting Member

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    Use a large chisel tip for soldering to the back of pots. A 40 watt iron, a chisel tip and a finer tip for wires and lugs is all you need. Just watch out for surrounding wires and caps. I've burned/melted more than I care to mention.:puh
     
  15. RL in Fla

    RL in Fla Member

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    +1 on " Bigger iron " for pot bodies , get a "3rd Hand" gizmo , and I change out one of the gator clips on it for one like this : (Mueller 48b)


    [​IMG]


    or a "modded" plain old clothespin . Gator for wire , Big'un for potshafts .... ;)
     
  16. SnidelyWhiplash

    SnidelyWhiplash Supporting Member

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    I got all the info i needed from Stewmac's website. A month & a half ago,
    i bought a soldering iron. Took my time & everything went as planned. If
    a moron like myself can figure it out,anyone can.
     
  17. Kingbeegtrs

    Kingbeegtrs Senior Member

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    if you do enough soldering you'll get so good at it that you'll brag to your friends about how well you can solder....and they'll look at you like you're absoulutely crazy.
     
  18. Boris Bubbanov

    Boris Bubbanov Member

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    Terry Downs over at TDPRI has an instructional video which is superb.

    He's recovering from a serious car crash but I think he's able to fill orders at this point.
     
  19. bgriffin

    bgriffin Member

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    Someone recommended that DVD earlier in this thread, and i pulled the trigger and bought it! I'm not doing any soldering until I watch that whole thing!
     
  20. Eagle1

    Eagle1 Member

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    A 25 Watt iron is big enough for all but Gibson pickup covers and strat spring claws. If you go with a 40 be careful not to overheat stuff and destroy it .
    DPDT switches and small stuff will melt.
     

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