soldering a strat's ground wire to the trem claw...

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by spaceboy, Jul 13, 2004.


  1. spaceboy

    spaceboy Member

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    well, I noticed that the ground wire, despite having a blob of solder on it, wasn't actually attached to the claw. i tried for ages to get it properly soldered on, but it just wouldn't stick. a little nudge with a pair of pliers and off it comes. i left it about as attached as I could get it... didn't bother trying to dislodge it this time cos I knew it'd come off.

    anyhoo, i thought if i could get it on properly it might help with that buzz that goes away when you touch the metal on the guitar - you know the one. but how the hell am I supposed to do it?? I'm no soldering genius, so I need help...

    cheers!
     
  2. Pedro58

    Pedro58 Supporting Member

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    The problem is twofold. You need an iron bigger than the 15-20 Watt pencil irons. Maybe you can borrow a soldering gun or a higher wattage iron. You need more heat, more juice, to get the spring claw hot enough to make solder stick. The second thing is that you will probably need some paste flux to get it to stick, anyway. If you don't have access to these things, take it to a competent tech.
     
  3. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    Do you have a gas hob in your kitchen? :)

    (If not, you'll probably need a small plumber's blowtorch.)

    Remove the claw from the guitar entirely, and also remove the wire (unsolder it at the volume pot end). On the claw, scrape the spot where you want to stick the wire with somthing like a knife blade so you're definitely down to shiny metal. Make sure the end of the wire is nicely tinned with solder too.

    Now... go into the kitchen. Holding the claw in a pair of pliers, heat it up in the gas flame until it will melt the solder if you touch the end of the solder wire to it. With a little care you'll be able to get a nice 'pool' of solder just where you want it. Take it out of the flame, and before it cools, stick the tinned end of the wire into the pool of solder.

    :)

    If you're not confident about this - or your wife/girlfriend/etc will kill you for using her prized cooking equipment as a small forge ;) - it may be better to take it to a tech.
     
  4. spaceboy

    spaceboy Member

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    right, so it just needs to be hotter. i kinda figured that, and tried getting it hot with my 30 watt iron, but i obviously need something heavier duty - such as my 100W soldering gun! (unfortunately the gas blowtorch would be a little impossible with my lack of gas... :( would've been fun though ;) ) I'll try scraping down the metal and using the gun then, cheers guys!

    oh yeh - and what's the proper way to use flux? I haven't used that before... (though i do have some)
     
  5. Old Fuzzface

    Old Fuzzface Member

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    I've done these with a 25W iron.

    Like John said, maybe you just need to clean up and rough up the area on the claw that you're trying to solder on to. That and make sure you're using multi-core solder (that's the electronic stuff) so you don't need flux paste.
     
  6. spaceboy

    spaceboy Member

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    well, I STILL haven't gotten around to trying it. there's a few things I wanna do to that guitar now, and I'm so busy with getting ready to move and lots of other stuff that it always seems like a very daunting task.

    but thanks for the geberous offer John! i may take you up on that if my meagre soldering abilities fail to do the job.

    but multi-core solder - didn't know about that... I'll need to have a look around for that.

    thanks
     
  7. poipounder57

    poipounder57 Member

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    What I do is...make sure my 25 watt soldering iron is nice a hot. After cleaning up the area with some sandpaper I place a dab of solder onto the claw. Next I move the solder in a circular motion until it sort of spreads out over the area that was sanded. Then I put a thin layer of solder onto the ground wire a place onto the thin layer of solder on the claw. Just touch the tip of the soldered end it'll bind the ground wire to the claw. And to finish up you can add a little more solder to the wire. This is what works for me:D
    Good-Luck!!!

    http://tools.aubuchonhardware.com/do_it_yourself_projects/how_to_solder.asp

    Aloha:cool:
     
  8. spaceboy

    spaceboy Member

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    ah - brilliant description poipounder, cheers!

    i promise I'll let you know how I get on when I get around to it :D

    (moving tomorrow - eek!:eek: )
     

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