Author Topic: Tutorial 7: Soldering  (Read 253 times)

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Offline Gonzo_Descente

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Tutorial 7: Soldering
« on: April 24, 2019, 09:16:30 AM »
How to use a soldering iron

When you have two pieces of metal that you need to stick together, glue won't work.  You need melted metal.
While there are two main types of soldering, a soldering iron is used only for electrical soldering.  (The other
type, used to connect pipes in plumbing, requires a blowtorch!  Better to save that for later.  Electrical soldering
is used to make connections on circuit boards and wires.  The solder allows current to flow between parts.
When you get really good, you can eventually use a soldering iron to do internal repairs on a laptop.

Along with a soldering iron, there is a soldering gun, which is much more powerful and makes a lot of heat, and
is used for large objects.

Older method:  you need a spool of electrical solder which comes as a wire on a spool, plus electrical flux, and
fine-grit sandpaper.

Newer method:  Soldering wire is now available with flux included inside the wire itself.

1.  The first step is always to clean the tip of your soldering iron with the sandpaper. Its ready when it looks shiny.

2.  Next, turn the iron on so it can heat up.  It happens quickly, so be careful!  When the iron it hot, touch the tip
of it with solder.  This is called tinning. (part of the solder wire is tin).  It keeps the tip of the solering iron
clean, and helps the solder stick where you want it to.

3.  (older method) Put a little flux on the surface of the two parts you want to solder together.

4.  Hold the tip of a piece of solder over the pieces you want to connect.  Then touch the solder lightly with the
 iron so that it melts and flows onto the pieces.  You want the work pieces to be hot so that they melt the solder.
Don't melt the solder on the soldering iron and then glob it onto the work pieces.  That will not make a good
electrical connection.

5.  The solder will cool and harden, creating a strong connection.