The Soldering Mega Thread

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

  1. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Supporting Member

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    Well, we do not want it in the wrong places. Same with mercury.
    But I think the main point with lead-free is to diminish the mining and processing demand which is, apparently, hazardous.
    Musical instrument building and repair has to be a drop in the bucket on a world level.
     
  2. m-m-m

    m-m-m Member

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    I’m not a scientist, and I don’t consider myself a tree hugger, but here’s my two cents:

    Lead is in the ground, but it’s highest concentrations are incased in rock, which is why it needs to be mined. When it’s in the rock, it’s not likely that it will find it’s way into our drinking water. The traces that are found naturally (in topsoil and what not) are not enough to cause a problem; similar to the way that the trace amounts of natural cyanide inside apple seeds is not enough to harm us of they are ingested.

    There’s probably more lead in the walls of my 80 yr old house than what’s in a half a pound of solder, but for the time being, that lead is sealed behind many layers of non leaded latex paint.

    Landfills are just holes in the ground. They aren’t that deep, and they’re just covered over with soil. When it rains what’s in the landfill gets into the groundwater. There’s a landfill not too far from my house that’s right on Lake Michigan. So the contaminated water gets into the lake. If I’m not mistaken, lead isn’t too difficult to filter from drinking water, but it’s a problem none the less because the fish get contaminates, and you can’t filter the lead out of the fish. Now, anything that eats the fish is eating lead. I understand the desire to keep lead out of our waterways, but how much lead contamination is actually due to consumer electronics? Wouldn’t a greater amount also come from construction debris, and industrial pollution? That’s possible, but since the start of the industrial revolution we’ve been adding lead into our environment that had been previously out of our environment (encased in rock).

    I think that taking steps to lower the amount of lead in our environment is good for the health of the life on the planet.
     
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  3. KGWagner

    KGWagner Member

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    I heard somewhere that we have more lead in the topsoil now than at any time in history due to leaded gasoline combustion byproducts washed out of the atmosphere. But, since the introduction of unleaded gas, some are even crediting the drop in violent crime over the last 20-30 years to the fact that there's less lead in the air we breathe. People aren't as irrational/crazy as they used to be. Of course, read the news any day of the week and you might be tempted to doubt the "less irrational" observation, but that's another discussion ;)
     
  4. Multi Angle Vise

    Multi Angle Vise Member

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    That's a fair point, hence steel shot is gradually replacing lead shot. Similar with other outdoor activities, you find people trying to recover old fishing weights from water, and dive weights are increasingly PVC dipped.


    Similar here - I know there's already lead in the landfill, and it's entering the groundwater, but I don't want to add to it. If I can put my lead into a waste stream that's expecting to process lead, all the better.

    My other thought is that all the effort expended mining/refining the copper, gold, aluminium, lead etc. is wasted if it ends up in landfill. Better for it to have a chance of another use. (Anyone seen overlay photos of massive gashes in the landscape compared with the tiny amount of material that was extracted?)

    But if you've no access to e-waste, it's all moot.



    Slight tangent - your immediate environment - I've seen videos on YouTube of people soldering in the kitchen on their food preparation surfaces...





    Returning to RoHS solder that doesn't suck:

    I forgot, I also used to use an Interflux IF14 lead free solder, but I don't think it was quite the same as the current offering. Again OK on fresh boards/components, hard to rework.

    I see they have a "new" product - NH 1 - "NH1 works very well on brass and oxidized and degraded surfaces. The solder wire exhibits fast and excellent wetting combined with very low spattering."

    I'm interested - if it can really wet those difficult surfaces, that would really be something.


    I like Interflux's Colophony free flux too. It's much kinder to your lungs and zero clean. If you're using extraction, maybe not so much difference, but if you're a mobile tech. stuck in an enclosed space, it helps. Their IF14 63/37 is my favourite leaded solder. That flux is not as aggressive though, so sometimes you need a more conventional flux to cut through the surface crap on old equipment.
     
  5. John Coloccia

    John Coloccia Cold Supporting Member

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    FYI, part of the extreme cleanliness when dealing with lead solder has more to do with business than with real environmental concerns, though you obviously don't want to just dump lots of lead randomly into the environment regardless.

    RoHS rules are quite strict, and even very insignificant bits of contamination will cause a failure if the product ever gets tested. For example, I know of a case where a company got busted for contamination that got traced back to a common tip cleaning/shock sponge. So companies take extreme measures to keep RoHS compliant and non-compliant lines very separated, and take precautions to prevent any possibility of contamination.
     
  6. GorgeousTones75

    GorgeousTones75 Member

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    Nice! I learned soldering the hard way & made a bunch of mistakes that rendered more than one expensive piece of equipment useless.. So this is a great idea!!

    *My one quick piece of advice for those who’ve learned the basics & wish to say; mod their non-vintage amps or other PCB equipment, build a pedal or maybe a full tube amp etc. The absolute number one thing I wish I had done sooner, (and made me realize my abilities were wayyy above what I had thought!) Was; Purchase a good quality, Digitally adjustable temp control station!!!! I can’t express how much this changed electronics work for me! A Hakko station is the ideal unit, But there are several cheaper options like the X-Tronic Model #3020 that you can find on amazon for a fraction of the cost of a Hakko or the pro level Wellers.
     
  7. GorgeousTones75

    GorgeousTones75 Member

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    Please check out my post ^^


    -But that Weller gun is for like plumbing and industrial electrical work. You see those sold at places like Home Depot & Lowe’s. Not for fussy control cavities or chassis..

    There are Desoldering irons & Rework/Hot air devices included in the really pricey soldering stations.. Metcal Mx-5341 comes to mind @ 1,450$ plus for just the base unit (and you have to buy the soldering/rework attachments separately!!) Yikes.. 250 bucks for the accessories and you’re well into two grand territory.. That’s exclusive to only successful computer techs or millionare hobbyist folk..:eek::eek:
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2019
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  8. Multi Angle Vise

    Multi Angle Vise Member

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    RoHS solder that doesn't suck update:

    Shenmao PF604-R by Shenmao - melts at 227°C, Sn 99.3%, Cu 0.3%. It wets closer to 63Pb37Sn (melting point 183°C) than anything else I've tried, possibly due to an amazing flux(?). You'd really not realise you were using lead free at all after a short time, so low is the level of suck. (Although you would probably want some external suck in the form of extraction, the flux is so amazing I'd imagine it scours your alveoli pretty well too.)
     
  9. whatdisay

    whatdisay Gold Supporting Member

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    So excited to find this thread. Just completed my first 2 pickup swaps and my soldering of ground wires to the pot-backs was horrible. Looking forward to learning from y’all’s experience.

    I’m currently using a Weller WLC100 and recently purchased an ST2 “screwdriver” tip, as the one I was using was balling up solder at point of contact way too often.
     
  10. vortexxxx

    vortexxxx Member

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    Not quite a soldering tip, but something you may have to deal with once in a while. I bured my index finger or my first finger (next to it) for a split second on the highest heat setting of my digital Weller. The best way to deal with this if the skin isn't broken is to let cool (not cold) water run over the burn for 20 minutes. Make sure you clean it with some sort of anti bacterial liquid gently after. I put a band aid over it. There was a tiny white blister right after the burn.
    It was my fretting hand, so I wanted to make this heal as fast as possible. I took the band aid off after a few hours and no noticeable damage, blister or pain. Ice is supposed to be bad as it can damage the tissue. Anyway, it worked and that is why I'm not sure what finger was burned at approx 850 degrees F. I can't recall the last time I burned myself soldering so it must have been quite a while, but things can happen. My hand holding the solder coil slipped.
     

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