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  • Recommended soldering kits/supplies?

    I'm looking to pick up a soldering kit and teaching myself how to install pickups, etc. Any recommended brands of soldering irons or kits? I know I need to stay in the 30-40 watt range. Also, what kind of solder should I use, 60/40 rosin core, etc....

    Thanks
    After Osmosis | My Music | Instagram

  • #2
    Re: Recommended soldering kits/supplies?

    I use a Weller 25 watt iron, and Kester solder, .040".
    I'd also get at least a hemostat and a wire cutter/ stripper, such as a Klein.

    some of these are available at Home Depot or Antique Electronic Supply, as well as lots of other places.
    "music heals"
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    • #3
      Re: Recommended soldering kits/supplies?

      Very cool, thanks for the info .
      After Osmosis | My Music | Instagram

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      • #4
        Re: Recommended soldering kits/supplies?

        Actually Radio Shack has a starter kit around $16 to $25 that includes a 30watt iron, and a bunch of tools, get that, a pair of hemostats (curved nose, they sell them also), and some solder of choice ... go for the lead free stuff, as it's better for you, and works just as well. You might want to get a soldering stand (the fit comes with a tiny one, just enough to keep it off the table), if not just grab a sponge from the super market and you are pretty much there, get a small roll of the solder (not the big roll) as you'll have quite a bit to hold you over for a while, you can if you want get some in the small tube ... most Radio Shacks still stock all that stuff ... the home Depot places aren't a bad idea, but if it's your first time, Radio Shack does put together a nice little kit with some tools that you'll need later on ... check the other places for soldering kits, you often get more in the kits for less than buying it separately, but you still need extra solder, sponge, and hemostats.

        I think the old RS catalogue number was ...64-2803 ... was $19.99 ... probably still the same ... I mention Radio Shack here because they are often in every mall in the country, and they do have a cool kit, with the scredrivers, heatsink, needle nose pliers, wirestripper/cutter, probe/scrapper, etc.
        The curverd jaw hemostats should run you around ...$5 ... it's #64-1866, extra solder around $6 for a 2oz. roll (that's quite a bit actually) ... it's lead free rosin core, small diameter # 64-027 ...
        Also, if you don't need the extra screwdrivers, cutters and pliers, and such ... there is a 5 piece kit, some same iron, small stand, probe/scraper, and heatsink for around $7.99 ... it's #64-2802 ...
        You may also need a solder sucker ... you can get desoldering braid ofr a couple bucks, or a sucker bulb for a few bucks.
        I always keep an old RS catalogue around ...I'm pretty sure the prices are still close to those, ask via phone if the location nearest you has these items in stock if interested (they should it's XMAS season). That's about everything I can think of that you'd need for a good long while.
        ::::To sound reinforcement engineer::::
        ... What? ... ::::snicker:::: ...Yes, ... Right, ...
        Could we please have everything louder than everything else ? ...

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        • #5
          Re: Recommended soldering kits/supplies?

          Thanks Kent, excellent recommendations all around. I'll write down those numbers and head to RS this weekend and have a look around.
          After Osmosis | My Music | Instagram

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          • #6
            Re: Recommended soldering kits/supplies?

            What's up with this board? I know I replied to this topic, yet my post seems to be mysteriously deleted. This happened on another topic too.

            Anyway, I recommend a 40 watt iron. Anything less, and you may have difficulty heating the pot enough to get your ground wires to stick. I've always gotten the best results with silver bearing solder, but any solder designed for electronics use should be fine. If you plan on doing a lot of soldering work, I'd recommend getting two different thicknesses. I use thin and medium gauge solder...thin for smaller connections, medium for larger connections. You'll also want to get a roll of copper desoldering braid, a spare tip, and some tip tinner/cleaner (optional, but highly recommended.) All of this is available at Radio Shack for about $25 total.

            Ryan
            Originally posted by JOLLY
            I'm the reason we had to sign waivers

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            • #7
              Re: Recommended soldering kits/supplies?

              I started a similar topic in the guitar shop, I wasn't sure if anyone would pay attention to it in the pickup lounge. You might have replied to the other one maybe? I probably shouldn't have double posted, but once I write down this info I'll axe them anyways.
              After Osmosis | My Music | Instagram

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              • #8
                Re: Recommended soldering kits/supplies?

                Is this the type of solder you guys are talking about? I'm unsure if this is the correct mixture or a good diameter.

                After Osmosis | My Music | Instagram

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                • #9
                  Re: Recommended soldering kits/supplies?

                  Originally posted by FretFire
                  Is this the type of solder you guys are talking about? I'm unsure if this is the correct mixture or a good diameter.

                  http://www.radioshack.com/product.as...%5Fid=64%2D013
                  That's what I use. I've always gotten the best results with silver bearing solder, but the type of solder is less important than the type of iron. 30 watts is okay, but 40 watts is best. No matter how good my technique was, I would always have a few solder joints that were dull-looking, instead of shiny. When I would try to solder to a pot casing, I would have difficulty getting the solder to stick. Once I switched to a 40 watt iron, all those problems stopped. My soldering is now a work of art, all the joints are solid and shiny, just like they should be. Based on that experience, I strongly recommend a 40 watt iron. I typically think of Radio Shack products as being cheap junk, but their soldering stuff is top notch and very reasonably priced. I think a 40 watt iron is $8 if I remember correctly.

                  Ryan
                  Originally posted by JOLLY
                  I'm the reason we had to sign waivers

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                  • #10
                    Re: Recommended soldering kits/supplies?

                    Very cool, thanks for all the tips everyone, you've been a HUGE help.
                    After Osmosis | My Music | Instagram

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                    • #11
                      Re: Recommended soldering kits/supplies?

                      Originally posted by rspst14
                      That's what I use. I've always gotten the best results with silver bearing solder, but the type of solder is less important than the type of iron. 30 watts is okay, but 40 watts is best. No matter how good my technique was, I would always have a few solder joints that were dull-looking, instead of shiny. When I would try to solder to a pot casing, I would have difficulty getting the solder to stick. Once I switched to a 40 watt iron, all those problems stopped. My soldering is now a work of art, all the joints are solid and shiny, just like they should be. Based on that experience, I strongly recommend a 40 watt iron. I typically think of Radio Shack products as being cheap junk, but their soldering stuff is top notch and very reasonably priced. I think a 40 watt iron is $8 if I remember correctly.

                      Ryan
                      I've got the 40W also, and I swear that kit I mentioned used to have the 40watts version, either they changed it to 30 (which would make more sense for waht the *masses* used it for, or it's a typo) ... If he's just starting out though, I'd stay clear of the silver bearing stuff ... although the lead-free silver rosin core stuff doesn't seem any harder to work with (not that much silver I'd bet) ... There is also an iron that comes with a soldering stand that is switchable from 15 to 30W or 20 to 40w (I forget which it is), thta one has more tips availble, there is also one that it switchable on the iron itself ... just some more options to consider.
                      ::::To sound reinforcement engineer::::
                      ... What? ... ::::snicker:::: ...Yes, ... Right, ...
                      Could we please have everything louder than everything else ? ...

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                      • #12
                        Re: Recommended soldering kits/supplies?

                        Does the Silver Bearing solder have a higher melting point? Why is it harder to work with? I am only familiar with 60/20 Rosin core. That's all I've ever used.

                        I'd also recommend a Wesco WES50 (51 now I think?) soldering station. For around $100 you get a station that is ready to work. User definable thermostat and a thermo-lock so the iron heats to the same temperature every time.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Recommended soldering kits/supplies?

                          Originally posted by Fusion1
                          Does the Silver Bearing solder have a higher melting point? Why is it harder to work with? I am only familiar with 60/20 Rosin core. That's all I've ever used.

                          I'd also recommend a Wesco WES50 (51 now I think?) soldering station. For around $100 you get a station that is ready to work. User definable thermostat and a thermo-lock so the iron heats to the same temperature every time.
                          I've heard that silver bearing solder has a higher melting point than 60/40 does, but I've never had any problems with it. It melts instantly with a 40 watt iron, and I get really nice, shiny joints. To me, it's actually easier to work with than 60/40, but I don't think there's any big advantage over the regular stuff. The amount of silver is only about 2%, probably not enough to make a huge difference.

                          Ryan
                          Originally posted by JOLLY
                          I'm the reason we had to sign waivers

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                          • #14
                            Re: Recommended soldering kits/supplies?

                            Thanks for all the new tips/counter-tips . I'm going to go to Radio Shack this weekend and shop around, see what I can dig up. The only tricky part will be getting the durn employees to leave me alone long enough to do that, they always hover and point.
                            After Osmosis | My Music | Instagram

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                            • #15
                              Re: Recommended soldering kits/supplies?

                              I do electronic work for a living and my favorite solder brand is Kester.
                              But any decent rosin core should do the job. I have 36 watt hand iron I carry in my gig kit along with medium diameter solder. The trick is to get the wires hot enough that they melt the solder. Wetting the tip ( with solder ) can help the flow. A very handy thing to have is a tip cleaner. Remember that the tips themselves go bad so get a couple of spares. Its no fun to realize you need a spare but the store is closed.
                              I carry a mini tool kit ( including all my solder stuff ) in my gig bag and I have fixed gear just before show time more times than I would like to think about it. If you are changing pickups you also might want to get an inexpensive digital multimeter. That way you can read the passive resistance of a pickup. Handy trick if you do not know which one is for the neck and which is for the bridge. Also good for checking ground wire continuity ( got buzz ? ).
                              Last edited by bluesmiester; 12-08-2004, 03:10 PM. Reason: grammar

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