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Removing old solder?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by bassoniac, Jun 16, 2007.

  1. bassoniac


    Sep 22, 2006
    Hi there,

    Wanted to replace my pups on a jazz bass, and noticed a lot of old solder on the pots (someone did a really nasty job earlier). Tried to remove it with my soldering iron, but it want melt, so I'm afraid of overheating the pots if trying to long.
    Any advice?

  2. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol

    I'd use a soldering gun (for faster heating) and a pump.
    Or I'd just replace the pots since stock Fender are far from great.
  3. bassoniac


    Sep 22, 2006
    These are '73 pots, and working great, so I definitely want change them.
    Thanks for the response.
  4. sunbeast

    sunbeast Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    Given the age of the pots, I'd be hesitant to screw with 'em. If you must, use a higher wattage iron (probably 35 watts at most though- thats the highest I've ever needed) and get a solder wick (looks like a copper ribbon). Put the end of the wick between the soldering iron and the solder, so when it heats up to temperature the solder will immediately be wicked up- naturally, remove the iron as soon as possible. This is probably the fastest way as it doesn't require any extra steps (I much prefer it to a pump). I'm not sure what it is about old solder joints, but they are almost always harder to undo!

  5. A decent soldering iron, and a roll of solder wick (pictured) will make cleaning up your old pots a quick and easy job.

    Here's a tip: Trying to melt the old solder with a dry iron will make it much more difficult to melt the solder, and increase the risk of overheating and damaging your pots.

    Use some fresh solder to form a "bridge" between your iron, the solder wick, and the old solder. It will speed up the transferance of heat, and allow the wick to draw out the old solder much quicker.


    Vacuum desoldering pumps work fine when used properly, but in most instances I prefer wick.

  6. Foamy


    Jun 26, 2006
    Sac Area
    Size = "GOOD". Hmm, OK, then this must be the right size!
  7. ROFL

    ....I didn't notice that :D

    .....just bit the image from Google image search ;)
  8. +1000000000000

    i never do any soldering without havint this stuff handy.
  9. i much prefer 300 watts to 30 watts, so much quicker :p
  10. ibnzneksrul


    Feb 2, 2007
    So Cal
    +100 on solder-wick. Excellent stuff.
  11. This stuff really does work. The other idea of 'tinning' your iron's tip prior to heating the old solder on the pot will indeed speed up the transferance of heat. An additional idea: a decent "solder sucker" a spring-loaded, plastic tool that you "cock" is my first choice .. Liquidfy the solder, aim the tip, then push the button on the solder sucker.. no more solder

    I recently had to remove two input jacks from the PC board from one of my best Peavey's. GOBS of solder held the multiple pins of the jacks to the board. All that solder had to go prior to removing the input jacks. The solder sucker did the trick.
  12. bassoniac


    Sep 22, 2006
    tnx guys,
    think I did a decent job. used a vacuum pump and solder wick.
    Also, what would be the best way to check the pots for eventual damage, before I solder the pups?
    Is there any way to check them with an instrument?
  13. Johnny Crab

    Johnny Crab HELIX user & BOSE Abuser

    Feb 11, 2004
    Size = Good

    Leave the solder on there! It's where the old tone comes from.
    Just kidding about the tone...but if it's being stubborn I'd rather leave it on than damage the original pot. Why fix it if it ain't broke?
  14. EddieN


    Mar 21, 2007
    Aw man! A fantastic idea I can't wait to try. Thanks!

    I'm having the same problem as the original post. A mess I created thru lack of knowledge. Hopefully I can save it (it's an oldie too). A shame if I screwed it up already.
  15. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

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    Jan 22, 2021

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