Don't use lead free solder?
I just bought a 25 watt Weller soldering iron with lead free solder from Lowes. I saw that Stew Mac sells lead free solder and a 60/40 blend.
Is my lead free fine for soldering new pickups into a Squier Fretless project?
I already did a search to find out ya'll's opinions on lead free solder. Couldn't find any stickies or anything.
It's ok. Not too easy to work with for a beginner, but will do the job.
Just mmake sure you get the lead tin solder off as much as possible from the piece you are working on and use the correct flux, lead free does not work and play well with mix solders
Yes you'll be fine. IME I hate lead free solder because of its working characteristics (and this coming from a guy that is by no means a beginner), difficult to melt (i.e. needs more heat which in some cases can damage components) and looks strange even when the joint is proper (i.e. a proper LF joint more or less looks like a poor leaded solder joint), and I too use a 25W Weller Professional iron (also sometimes a cheap 40W station). I'd follow tmdazed's advice because it is absolutely correct.
On a related note, tin has a property whereby it can sprout random tiny hairs that eventually cause short circuiting, which in my book is a big a$$ no-no. (Here's a better explanation.) This is the other half of the reason I don't use it.
EDIT something else I should mention about the whiskers, is that people have tried, for example, to coat finished boards etc. with insulating material (glue, liquid tape, you get the picture) to prevent these whiskers, which is an exercise in futility because the whiskers can pierce things like that without much issue.
25 watts enough?
Make sure your tip will get hot enough to get the solder to flow adequately. You need to be able to heat the work and flow the solder.
I use a Weller WES50 and find I need to crank it all the way up to melt lead free solder. I think it's 50 watts wide open. I set it at about 70% for the 60/40 solder.
I already connected some wires with the 25 watt and the lead free solder. Was a little frustrating but I thought that was how soldering went.
Thanks for the advice! I was a little worried it wouldn't go well and I would have to buy a 60/40 blend. I will definitely melt away the other solder so that they don't mix on the spots where I am adding wires and connections.
What about the flux? My kit didn't come with flux.
This is what I got: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Weller-25...8#.UiZPjPHrQ6U
It came with chisel tips which I used to start out, but I didn't finish the wiring yet. I am not ready to finish because I am a little confused. I am posting pictures to trouble shoot later tonight.
Thanks for the reassurance.
15 and 25W irons just make lead free solder hard work. Hotter irons, and quicker work are fine. You just need to re-learn your technique. I also use finer tips sometimes.
I hate the stuff. I use Kester No-Clean 63/37 solder.
that's good stuff
I only use lead free when I'm required to --- production jobs being sent to Europe (google RoHS
If you haven't done a lot of soldering , the lead free is a pain to work with. Higher melting temps. and a much narrower workable temp. Make sure you use a rosin flux and NOT an acid based one. To make it much easier to work with I would suggest a 60/40 rosin core solder. much less hassle to work with than a solid core solder (you don't have to separatly flux the joints) , much lower melting point than the non lead solder , and a wider workable temp.(temp where it acts more like soft butter than a total liquid) I think you can get this stuff at Radio Shack. There's a thread in this section of the forum titled "tactics of the soldering masters" Check it out...... some fantastic advice there
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