Author Topic: man.....i'm in a soldering slump  (Read 4323 times)


Re: man.....i'm in a soldering slump
« Reply #20 on: August 18, 2016, 05:52:31 PM »

I always keep a little wad of #0000 steel wool and bits of fine sandpaper on the bench, and any component lead that isn't perfectly shiny, new or old, gets a quick wipedown.  Often followed by a shot of spray cleaner.  Well, that would be resistors, capacitors and such...not chips or anything with fragile leads.  And obviously you don't want to leave steel wool fibers behind that could cause shorts.

Another good point, I do that too but can 'get in a hurry' and plain forget. I'm mostly in the habit now because I tend to notice the feel in my fingers.

rutabaga bob

Re: man.....i'm in a soldering slump
« Reply #21 on: August 18, 2016, 07:06:24 PM »
Use a piece of scruffy pad (scotch brite).  No concerns about metal fibers causing shorts.   ;)
" sharp as a sackful of wet mice" - Foghorn Leghorn


Re: man.....i'm in a soldering slump
« Reply #22 on: August 18, 2016, 10:10:45 PM »
We used to have a number of printed circuit board houses we used (at one time there were 45 of them in the greater Toronto area) and one thing we found with all of them was that a nice shiny silvery board would be difficult to solder whereas a duller solder plating could be soldered readily.  I have a roll of tin-lead solder in 0.032 inch and another that is much thicker and these will probably last a lifetime.  I tend to use sandpaper on aged or corroded component leads (and I have radios dating back to 1925, so aged means 91 years old here) and 50% lead 50% tin was a common solder alloy used at the time.

I often need to use sandpaper to clean up leads before soldering.  It really does cut through corrosion although it may also cut through plating so you should not use too much force on it.  It is quite common for electrolytic capacitor leads to be plated steel as can be proven with a magnet, so they should be cleaned up carefully so you don't break through the plating.


Re: man.....i'm in a soldering slump
« Reply #23 on: August 20, 2016, 10:46:53 PM »
I just call them "brain farts" and laugh them away.

Last one I had was cutting a 14/2 electric cable while having the wrong breaker off.
Let's just say that POOF scared the crip out of me.

But now I laugh about and know that I will be exceptionally careful when turning off breakers in the future.

At work, we're required to try to turn on the device we're working on to see if it energizes in spite of the "correct" breaker being turned off. We're also required to check the wiring for voltage with a meter. Glad you're ok!
R.G. Keene: EXPECT there to be errors, and defeat them...


Re: man.....i'm in a soldering slump
« Reply #24 on: August 22, 2016, 11:31:34 AM »
> meticulous time to get shiny solder joints too

It can be shiny on top and totally un-stuck underneath.

Are the leads and pads DEAD clean? Can't solder to oxidation.

Good plan to pre-tin leads and pads separately so you can SEE the solder "WET" the raw metal surface, not just blob-up on oxide or gunk.

Electronics grade solder with rosin flux core?

Exactly this. When you take an IPC soldering class they have you scrub the board with 99.9% isopropyl and an acid brush. You then have to clean every lead with alcohol and pre-tin before putting the part in the board. Once the part is on the board you clinch & cut the leads, apply flux, and then solder. Doing it this "proper" way makes thru-hole assembly painfully slow compared to SMT hand assembly.

Before IPC training I'd just pop parts into the board, solder, and clip leads after soldering. A lot of boards worked. A lot didn't. I'd say that my yield has gotten better as my soldering technique improved.