Simple: Why won't my solder stick to the back of the pot?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by garth elson, Dec 5, 2006.


  1. garth elson

    garth elson

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    It may be the fact that I'm using lead-free solder, but I just can't get it to stick to the back of the pots for grounding. Help me TB!
  2. laboitenoire

    laboitenoire

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2006
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH/Worcester, MA
    Use some sandpaper or steel wool to roughen up the back. More surface area will make it stick more easily. Also, you need to hold your iron there for a long time. With my 25W iron, I often have to hold it to the back for at least half a minute before the old solder will melt on my pots.
  3. niftydog

    niftydog

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2005
    Location:
    Canberra, Australia
    There's a horrible coating on the metal - are your pots coloured goldish? Rough it up with sandpaper and/or clean it off with a solvent. Use a high power soldering iron to lessen the time the internals are exposed to the radiant heat.
  4. Christov

    Christov

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2003
    Location:
    Winchester, Virginia
    Make sure you are using a resin core solder and not an acid core solder. You may also need some solder paste flux to help too. As mentioned by using an abrasive to rough up the surface on the pot. Heat the pot and solder until fully melted and shiny, insert the wire and hold it with pliers. Remove the soldering iron and hold the wire in place without moving until the solder joint has hardened.
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  6. luknfur

    luknfur

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Location:
    DIXIE
    FWIW

    there are soldering tips in FAQ.

    My guess is you're not getting the pot hot enough if your using appropriate solder. It does no good to melt solder onto a cool surface. A low watt gun with a small tip won't cut it. You need a large tip (preferably) or 50 watt gun.

    You might consider skipping the pots and star ground.
  7. ldervish

    ldervish

    Joined:
    May 22, 2005
    Location:
    Johnson City, TN
    +1 on "star grounding". Simple and effective.
  8. gr8estbassist

    gr8estbassist Guest

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2004
    Location:
    South East
  9. JacksonsMen

    JacksonsMen

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    Location:
    Tampa / On Tour
    someone might want to explain star grounding
  10. joeyl

    joeyl Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2006
    Location:
    New Orleans, LA /El Paso TX
    lead-free solder needs a much higher temperature to melt, and then cools rapidly, resulting in cold joints. Use the regular lead stuff, it won't harm you unless you solder for a living!
  11. i_got_a_mohawk

    i_got_a_mohawk

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2005
    Location:
    Edinburgh & Dundee, Scotland
    +2
  12. SirGus

    SirGus

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    you may use a 63/37 solder as well!
    It's fantastic!
  13. SirGus

    SirGus

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    what's star ground?
  14. luknfur

    luknfur

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Location:
    DIXIE
  15. SirGus

    SirGus

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Athens, Greece
  16. bassophile

    bassophile

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2003
    Location:
    World-Europe-Serbia-Belgrade
    To get solder stick to pot you must have appropriate temperature on pot. Because of large surface of pot chasis, occurs fast distibution of heat at whole pot which cools the spot that you want stick to. Use higher watt solder for short period of heating, which is better then holding it too long.
  17. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Location:
    PDX, OR
    Disclosures:
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    +1, and I do find that an extra dab of flux really helps a lot.

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