The Soldering Mega Thread

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by John Coloccia, Apr 3, 2014.

  1. John Coloccia

    John Coloccia Cold Supporting Member

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    I haven't quite decided yet. I'm not sure I've even been in that Epi ever. I'll be very honest here, and I'll probably make a lot of enemies, but I really never liked Les Pauls. I've always TRIED to like them...honest...but I just don't. I'm a Tele/Strat guy. The only reason I bought it is for pedal development. I figured I'd better have something LP-like kicking around. I really want to put some nicer pickups in it, though I really don't think the stock ones are too terrible.

    But at a minimum the switch has got to go. What a turd. It was a turd from day one and hasn't gotten better. Yeah, it's not an expensive guitar, but for heaven's sake they could have done a little better there. That's really what pushed me to finally replace the pickups. I figure I'm in there anyhow, so I may as well just do it and get it over with.
     
  2. John Coloccia

    John Coloccia Cold Supporting Member

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    Hey, Walter, which pots are the ones that people have the most trouble with? Are they the Alphas?
     
  3. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    Probably; that would be the crappy alphas, not the good alphas (I think it's two different companies). A little bit about using heat sink clips on the lugs to keep from killing them wouldn't be out of line either, the cheapies seem way more prone to that.
     
  4. John Coloccia

    John Coloccia Cold Supporting Member

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    I'll see what I can find here. Honestly, nothing ever really give me much trouble, though I hear about people sanding them and doing other things too. I just solder them and it always flows nicely.
     
  5. John Coloccia

    John Coloccia Cold Supporting Member

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    I think I've occasionally seen a pot with some sort of yellow lacquer, or something, on it that may have given me trouble and needed to be removed, but I don't think I have any of those. My recommendation for that is to spend an extra nickel and buy a pot designed for the job. :)
     
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  6. '59_Standard

    '59_Standard Member

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    :omg John!!!!!!!!

     
  7. John Coloccia

    John Coloccia Cold Supporting Member

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    I'm so ashamed. :anon

    I'll make it even worse and say that I'm seriously considering installing a center pickup and mounting a 5 way switch where it belongs instead of that goofy 3 way up by the neck. Did the same things on my Wolfgang about 20 years ago. :)
     
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  8. m-m-m

    m-m-m Member

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    Sounds like somebody should've bought a nighthawk. I'm not a LP fan either.
     
  9. John Coloccia

    John Coloccia Cold Supporting Member

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    I bought it specifically for product development. Honestly, it's grown on me a little bit but it'll never be comfortable.
     
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  10. John Coloccia

    John Coloccia Cold Supporting Member

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    justabubba, coit and corn husk bag like this.
  11. Python

    Python Member

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    I just watched all the videos. This is incredible and I wish I had this information 10 years ago!

    One thing I'm still confused on is what a solder bridge is. I watched some of the sections discussing a solder bridge over and over again but I'm missing something.

    It was said a few times, "here's the bridge and here's the solder".

    I don't get it. What is a solder bridge and how is it used?

    My soldering skills have improved 100% with these videos. I've been soldering my own guitar parts, make all my own cables and fixing my own pedals for over 10 years and I have always dreaded soldering but now things are starting to come together. I could always get soldering to "work" but was always so frustrated because it seemed to be so difficult to get right.

    I just ordered Hakko FX888D-23BY with some extra tips. I'm looking forward to using it on my next soldering job (installing new pickups in my Strat).

    Thanks
     
  12. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    it's that extra little droplet of solder you put on the iron right before you take the iron to the work.

    that little droplet hanging off the iron transfers heat way faster than just a dry iron contacting a dry piece of metal at one tiny point.

    kinda like how things cook much faster in a pan if there's a bit of oil in there to transfer the heat from the pan to the food.
     
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  13. vortexxxx

    vortexxxx Member

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    Buying a good iron alone will boost your soldering skills substantially. The cheap irons make for sloppy joints, cold solder joints and often, melted things (like pots).
     
  14. Python

    Python Member

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    Thanks, that makes sense. I thought the extra solder on the iron was called "tinning".
     
  15. Python

    Python Member

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    I just ordered a Hakko FX888D because of the recommendations here. I'm looking forward to using it. It should be here in a couple of days.
     
  16. Alan Dunn

    Alan Dunn Member

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    Good choice. For the price they cannot be beaten.

    It's also a good idea to get yourself a slightly larger tip than the one that ships with the unit for soldering thicker wires and pots:

    Hakko T18-D32 [Shape-3.2D] is what I use and recommend.

    The tip that ships with the unit though is wonderful for delicate pcb type work.

    I would also suggest buying some gel based flux in syringe form as it lessens the time you need to hold the iron on components and it allows the solder flow in a more uniform manner.
     
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  17. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    the thin layer of shiny solder over the whole iron tip is the tinning.

    the solder bridge is an actual hanging liquid drop of solder that you put on the iron right before you hit the thing to be soldered.
     
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  18. Python

    Python Member

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    Awesome, I get it now. Thank you!
     
  19. Python

    Python Member

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    I just watched all 10 videos again and scanned a few for a third time.

    John mentioned something about a video showing how to solder pots and spring claws. Does anyone know where they are? Those are two I have the most trouble with.

    Thanks!
    Jim
     
  20. corn husk bag

    corn husk bag Silver Supporting Member

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    https://m.youtube.com/results?q=john coloccia&sm=12
     

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