The Soldering Mega Thread

pickdropper

I am Soldering Iron Man
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regular solder-suckers sure, everybody should have one.

i was referring to the actual desoldering iron thing, your link shows one for almost $300
Not only that, but there are times when ChipQuik works and a desoldering iron (or even a solder sucker) won't. Try cleanly removing a 40 pin Microcontroller with a desoldering iron. Braid can sometimes work, but it's tricky business to do it cleanly, particularly on a cheap board. The braid is better used for clean-up after the chip has been removed with ChipQuik.

I have a number of tools that I use for desoldering. I have an older version of the Hakko solder sucker gun that I'm not a huge fan of, a set of Metcal tweezers that I think are fantastic, simple blade soldering tips, solder wick and a fairly cheap solder sucker from Japan that I think is great:



The tool I use depends on the job.
 

Bill Hershey

Member
Messages
124
Since it seems to come up time and time again, I thought I'd see if I could get a soldering mega thread going. I'm hoping this can be a one stop shop for everything and anything related to solering, soldering equipment, supplies, etc.

I'm kicking it off with a series of videos. I've named them the world's most BORING videos. They are slow...and monotonous. They show every step in excruciating detail. I talk a lot...I say a lot of things people will agree with, and a lot of things people don't agree with. I actually build real, functional things from start to finish!

The first ones in the series will deal with basic equipment, basic technique, PCB soldering and wiring. The next ones deal with basic cable building. Then I start going into guitar specific wiring....pots, switches, trem claws, etc. Along the way, I'll go into rework, cleaning up other people's messes and things like that.

You can start with these two for now, but don't say I didn't warn you...these are easily the world's most mind numbingly BORING videos.








Now we finish the box. I really wish I had better quality on this, but it's what I can do right now. Not strictly just soldering anymore, but general wiring/project techniques that can be applied. 5 parts coming...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0u97gBccTw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzyGpqKV1po

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYgMzdX4fY4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTckRqG8BL0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vfJJJxJyzo
Check this out man!waterproof-solder-wire-connectors
 

Jena

Member
Messages
7
Sticky material definitely . . . great ideas for anybody, imho.

A great idea, John!

.... wish I'd had a video camera on my bench over the years.... I could have the world's greatest blooper reel.

:
)
LOL
Well, I take enough pictures but not gonna do live video anytime soon -
too professional for my "pay-grade" and -yup - the bloopers would need an editor department -lol
Alot of my "luthier-wannabe" stuff is wood work, and the dust mixed with glue is messy enuf for .jpgs of a Gretsch Streamliner mods -
I do have some soldering/light brazing going on, using a used architect's table for a work bench. I am gonna be interested in lurking on this thread a bit, and checking out these videos in small chunks of time.
 
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pickdropper

I am Soldering Iron Man
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do you like it better than the little blue aluminum one that everybody has (including me)?


our amp tech at the store prefers the big ugly plastic one
I do, actually. I have the cheap blue Radio Shack/Weller one that everybody has (which aren't great) and various Solda-pults (which are much better), but I prefer the little SS-02 solder sucker. It just seems to pull harder, but I suspect it's really because the tip of it is soft silicon tubing and it conforms better around the joint. It comes with a couple inches of replacement tubing and you just cut off a bit as needed and replace the tip. In 4 or 5 years, I've replaced the tip once (with 0.25" of tubing), so it should last a while. Also note that it's quite a bit smaller than both of the ones you pictured, so it's somewhat easier to position in tight spaces.

If you don't get an SS-02, a Solda-pult (similar to the blue one you pictured) would be a significant improvement over the one you have now. At least that's been my experience. Tools are highly personal, so you might feel different.
 
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walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
37,574
I prefer the little SS-02 solder sucker. It just seems to pull harder, but I suspect it's really because the tip of it is soft silicon tubing and it conforms better around the joint.
so you've pushed me into clicking "buy it now" with that thing, but in the meantime, after looking at a couple youtubes about the ss-02 and its care and maintenance, then finding some silicone tubing hanging around the shop, then looking hard at my regular little blue solder-sucker, i decided to have a go at it:



i put the black plastic nozzle in my hand drill and crudely turned a flat "nipple" onto the end with a flat file, then stuck 3/8" of silicone tubing over it:



i'll be damned if this cheap solder sucker doesn't work a million times better now! the silicone tubing is indeed heat-resistant, i can push it right against a hot iron for a second or two with no ill effect. one of the youtubes mentioned using a pinch of white lithium grease on the plunger gasket to improve the suction and the speed of the "snap", so i did that and greatly improved the action of the plunger as well.

had i done all this first i might not have even bothered with buying the ss-02, as it is i guess i'll have a nice backup for it
 
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pickdropper

I am Soldering Iron Man
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so you've pushed me into clicking "buy it now" with that thing, but in the meantime, after looking at a couple youtubes about the ss-02 and its care and maintenance, then finding some silicone tubing hanging around the shop, then looking hard at my regular little blue solder-sucker, i decided to have a go at it:



i put the black plastic nozzle in my hand drill and crudely turned a flat "nipple" onto the end with a flat file, then stuck 3/8" of silicone tubing over it:



i'll be damned if this cheap solder sucker doesn't work a million times better now! the silicone tubing is indeed heat-resistant, i can push it right against a hot iron for a second or two with no ill effect. one of the youtubes mentioned using a pinch of white lithium grease on the plunger gasket to improve the suction and the speed of the "snap", so i did that and greatly improved the action of the plunger as well.

had i done all this first i might not have even bothered with buying the ss-02, as it is i guess i'll have a nice backup for it
They, that's a pretty good idea! I hadn't thought of that.

I'm still glad I have the ss-02 as I like the size and build quality of it. Hopefully, you have the same reaction.
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
37,574
that's a pretty good idea! I hadn't thought of that.

I'm still glad I have the ss-02 as I like the size and build quality of it. Hopefully, you have the same reaction.
finally got mine and yeah, it's a clear step above the old blue thing even with my improvements.

smaller and yet pulls harder, and also just obviously nicer design and machining
 

atarilovesyou

Member
Messages
326
do you like it better than the little blue aluminum one that everybody has (including me)?


our amp tech at the store prefers the big ugly plastic one
I own the top one, as it was the only thing I could find locally. Makes you miss Radio Shack...almost.

I would have preferred that bigger one on the bottom, that's the kind I used in my college days. Maintained properly, they worked great.
 

Alan Wolf

Member
Messages
171
The Japanese solder sucker that pickdropper likes is made by Engineer. They make exquisite hand tools. Best pliers I’ve used. That’s my favorite “mechanical” solder sucker too. I finally broke down and got one of the Hakko gun style suckers because of the smaller multi pin surface mount parts in digital equipment, but use the Engineer for most boards.
 

pickdropper

I am Soldering Iron Man
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7,234
The Japanese solder sucker that pickdropper likes is made by Engineer. They make exquisite hand tools. Best pliers I’ve used. That’s my favorite “mechanical” solder sucker too. I finally broke down and got one of the Hakko gun style suckers because of the smaller multi pin surface mount parts in digital equipment, but use the Engineer for most boards.
Yeah, their hand tools do look nice. I'm heavily invested in Erem side cutters and pliers, so I'll probably stick with those for finer work, but I may check out some of the heavier built Engineer variants.

It's funny how everybody has their preferences. I have a Hakko gun style sucker and I almost never use it. I know folks have good results with them, but I've found them easier to pull pads with. Like you, I use the Engineer solder sucker the most, but my other favorite tool is a pair of Metcal soldering tweezers. I have tip sets that go from very fine points (0.4mm) to various blade tips (6.35mm - 28mm in various steps). With those, I can pull through-hole and SMT ICs easily. I can't do BGA, QFN or any 4-sided package, but I'd generally need hot air for that anyway.
 

pickdropper

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How about this? Although I doubt it’ll stick to my porous table.

The vice part should work fine, depending on whether or not the size works for you. I haven’t had much luck with vacuum bases either, so I would probably seek out an option with a different base. But that’s personal preference.
 

Yr Blues

Member
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1,895
The vice part should work fine, depending on whether or not the size works for you. I haven’t had much luck with vacuum bases either, so I would probably seek out an option with a different base. But that’s personal preference.
 




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