things to practice soldering with?

Messages
260
i want to work on my soldering skills before i start learning how to build amps. what are some things i can practice soldering on? i took a chip from an old remote but there was nothing on it except for 2 little springs that i practiced soldering on and off, etc.
 

Lonely Raven

Member
Messages
1,003
Go to radio shack and get a spool of cheap PVC wire, and some terminal (lugs) that you can screw down to a board and solder the wire to.

If you're iron has variable temp feature, then cheap PVC wire is good practice because it will help you learn to dial in the iron to where you get a good solder joint without melting the PVC right off the wire!

If your iron is fixed temp, then the cheap PVC is good practice because you'll get a feel for how quickly you need to get in and out with the tip to get good flow of the solder, without damaging the pieces being soldered.

You'll know a good solder joint when the solder flows smoothly into and around what you are working on without melting or damaging the parts, and the solder when cooled should look shiny like silver...not dull like pewter.

Remember, solder is NOT GLUE! The wire should have a firm physical connection to the piece on it's own. Solder is there to lock it into place and protect the physical contact from the elements.

Maybe a military trained and certified tech could add how they were trained...I've always been curious about that. But above is how I was trained. Once you get it down, it's second nature to flow a good joint.
 

sethmeister

Member
Messages
2,141
I went from truly hopeless to reasonably capable by building lots of cables. That's always a good way to practice.
 

Lonely Raven

Member
Messages
1,003
I went from truly hopeless to reasonably capable by building lots of cables. That's always a good way to practice.

That certainly teaches you how to strip wire to the correct length, doesn't it! :AOK

I forgot to mention, get yourself a spool of Solder Wick and practice wicking up solder to clean a joint properly. I've seen too many newbs remove a wire by heating up the joint with an iron, and then just pulling on the wire. That's great if you want molten solder splashed all over your workpiece and possibly in your eye! :BITCH

This is a fantastic, budget soldering iron:

http://www.amazon.com/Weller-Soldering-Station-WLC100-120V/dp/B000ICEMYA

I enjoy using this solder:

http://www.amazon.com/WBT-0820-Silv...ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=hi&qid=1202308756&sr=1-1

And here is what a solder wick looks like

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_hi/105-7469208-3709254?url=search-alias%3Dtools&field-keywords=desoldering+wick

You don't have to purchase from the links I've posted, I just grabbed the first ones that looked like what I use. Shop around of course.
 
Messages
260
Go to radio shack and get a spool of cheap PVC wire, and some terminal (lugs) that you can screw down to a board and solder the wire to.

If you're iron has variable temp feature, then cheap PVC wire is good practice because it will help you learn to dial in the iron to where you get a good solder joint without melting the PVC right off the wire!

If your iron is fixed temp, then the cheap PVC is good practice because you'll get a feel for how quickly you need to get in and out with the tip to get good flow of the solder, without damaging the pieces being soldered.

You'll know a good solder joint when the solder flows smoothly into and around what you are working on without melting or damaging the parts, and the solder when cooled should look shiny like silver...not dull like pewter.

Remember, solder is NOT GLUE! The wire should have a firm physical connection to the piece on it's own. Solder is there to lock it into place and protect the physical contact from the elements.

Maybe a military trained and certified tech could add how they were trained...I've always been curious about that. But above is how I was trained. Once you get it down, it's second nature to flow a good joint.

i recently bought a hakko 936. i was experimenting with different temperatures. anywhere from like 400-800 F. 700 seemed to work good, it would take like 7 secodns to melt the solder, it wouldnt take too long or melt too quickly.
 

Rosewood

Member
Messages
1,859
Go to a repair shop and ask if they have any old circuit boards you could have to practice on, would be good to desolder and solder. They would be tossed anyway.
 

NitroLiq

Member
Messages
1,580
Pick up a cheap pedal project and solder that; make cables; build a dummy plug; solder together a simple cap discharger, create a dummy load or a lightbulb limiter....lots of simple projects that can be used with the amp building later.
 




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