1. The Rules have been updated regarding posting as a business on TGP. Thread with details here: Thread Here
    Dismiss Notice

Solder quality and gauge (for pickups)

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Frethog, Jul 4, 2006.

  1. Frethog

    Frethog Member

    Messages:
    1,333
    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Location:
    Portland, Or USA
    Over the course of the last couple years, I have replaced 2 or 3 pickups using some old solder I had laying around.

    Ersin™ ‘Five Core’ non-corrosive flux. It claims: “High tin television & radio quality”. 60 tin/40 lead (which means nothing to me…)

    Of course this particular stuff is about as old as the first television…

    I dunno if solder can age or if I should be using a different gauge. We have a tendency to split hairs around here, and that’s ok by me ;)

    Tell me if there is a definitive high quality brand/gauge of solder that I should be using instead.

    Thanks
     
  2. LavaMan

    LavaMan Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    5,256
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Owasso, OK
    I use WBT silver solder on all my cables and it is outstanding, much better IMO than the Kester 66/44 I was using before. I send you a sample if you like.
     
  3. Frethog

    Frethog Member

    Messages:
    1,333
    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Location:
    Portland, Or USA
    That's nice, thanks! I don't think it will be necessary. Is that the smallest diameter? (.032).

    I'm guessing I won't find that at Radio Shack...

    I assumed the 60/40 meant percentage of content. 66/44 quickly dispels that myth...
     
  4. pfflam

    pfflam Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    7,058
    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2005
    Location:
    PDX: The Rose City
    Does the silver solder have lead in it?

    are there any solders that have no lead that are good for electronics?

    Where can I buy this stuff?

    --I worry about the fumes a bit
     
  5. scottywompas

    scottywompas Member

    Messages:
    1,595
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2006
    Location:
    Sunny California
    You can find .032 silver solder at rat shack. I have been using it when building my pedals for about six months now.

    Just an anti lead thing more than a "it sounds better thing" I just don't want any lead in my house with my little boy running around.

    Scott
     
  6. pfflam

    pfflam Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    7,058
    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2005
    Location:
    PDX: The Rose City
    Do you know that if you google 'rat shack' you'll get Radio Shack?

    Anyway, that's how I made sure about yer nick-name usage . . . thanks for the info.
     
  7. CAFeathers

    CAFeathers Member

    Messages:
    633
    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2003
    Location:
    Vacaville, CA USA
    I use Rosin Core 60/40 in .025 diameter. I buy locally at Fry's Electronics, but they have a website too. http://www.outpost.com/
     
  8. ClinchFX

    ClinchFX Gold Supporting Member Vendor

    Messages:
    649
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2006
    Location:
    Brisbane Australia
    Mouser and Digi-Key have lead free solder. It is mostly tin with small amounts of silver, copper and sometimes other elements. It has a higher melting point than lead solder. If you use it on a previously lead/tin soldered joint, you should remove all of the old solder first. The higher melting point makes it more difficult to solder cables and other things that contain plastic insulation, without melting the insulation.

    Most consumer products that are marketed world wide are now manufactured with lead free solder and components. It is now illegal to import or sell electronic items containing lead and a couple of other substances in European Union countries under Reduction of Hazardous Substances (ROHS) legislation that came into effect a few days ago. Some medical equipment and avionics (airplane electronics) are exempt from this law at the moment, which raises questions about reliability. I think California and some other US states will follow the EU lead next year. Here in Australia, the government seems to be largely ignoring the issue.

    This will create problems for boutique manufacturers, particularly those using NOS components, because the rules apply not only to the solder, but to all components as well. If the manufacturer is outside the EU, there's not much the EU can do to the manufacturer, but the person importing the item can be fined and have the item confiscated.

    Peter
    ClinchFX
     
  9. pfflam

    pfflam Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    7,058
    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2005
    Location:
    PDX: The Rose City
    So silver solder also deands a higher temperature?

    Will I be able to use it using my cheap-arse 35w gun?
     
  10. WailinGuy

    WailinGuy Member

    Messages:
    1,266
    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    Location:
    Silver Spring
    Most "silver" solder also contains tin and lead. The percentage of silver is only a few percent; most of the metal is still tin and lead. At least that's true for the Radio Shack stuff I have. I've never heard a good explanation of why silver-bearing solder is better than regular 60/40 solder. (Does 3 or 4% silver really make the solder noticeably more conductive?)
     
  11. pfflam

    pfflam Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    7,058
    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2005
    Location:
    PDX: The Rose City
    So the Bearing Silver solder that I just purchased is not in fact Lead free?

    Do I need to get the kind that specifically says "lead free"?
     
  12. LavaMan

    LavaMan Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    5,256
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Owasso, OK
    The WBT Silver solder I use is lead free.
     
  13. Cusack Effects

    Cusack Effects Member

    Messages:
    445
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2005
    Location:
    Holland, MI
    I would recommend against lead-free solder for a newbie. It's hard enough to learn to solder, with lead-free you have no real feedback as to how good your joints are. In any case, leaded solder is, and will be allowable for repair work for many years.

    As for recommendations, I used to use Kester 44, but now I use Kester 245, which has an organic no-clean flux. It's available all the way down to .015" or less I think. .015" is the smallest we use here.

    We are currently planning to change to leadfree solder only on those projects requiring it. This is mainly because leadfree solder is not only harder to use, but it is also an unknown as far as reliability. It is known to be more brittle than leaded, and oh yeah, the medical industry is not changing over. Insteresting, because you would think they would be first? Anyway, they aren't for the same reason I'm not, the unknown reliabilty.

    My 2 cents anyway...
     
  14. Frethog

    Frethog Member

    Messages:
    1,333
    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Location:
    Portland, Or USA
    Turned out to be an interesting conversation on what appeared to be a mundane topic.

    Thanks for the replies. The WBT may require a new iron (45-100 watts) to achieve 700 degrees F. I'm not against that if I can obtain a less than industrial quantity.

    The Radio Shack lead-free advertises 96% tin and 4% silver that works at 430 degrees F in a small container. That may be enough of a compromise for an amateur like me and my old gun should still be able to do the trick.
     
  15. ClinchFX

    ClinchFX Gold Supporting Member Vendor

    Messages:
    649
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2006
    Location:
    Brisbane Australia
    +1

    Peter.
    ClinchFX
     
  16. WailinGuy

    WailinGuy Member

    Messages:
    1,266
    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    Location:
    Silver Spring
    Don't confuse wattage and tip temperature. They have nothing to do with each other. A 20-watt iron can easily generate a tip temperature well over 700 degrees F. Higher wattage irons are required where more HEAT is needed; for example, when soldering chassis grounds.

    An analogy: Which gives off more heat, a bathtub full of warm 80 degree F water, or a lit match?
     
  17. Frethog

    Frethog Member

    Messages:
    1,333
    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Location:
    Portland, Or USA
    I also think I misinterpreted the melting temp for the WBT solder. I was quoting this site:

    http://www.vhaudio.com/solder.html

    The indication is that the WBT solder will melt at 356 degrees F (not 700).

    But the same site still says:

     

Share This Page