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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

    Aug 23, 2005
    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. 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. 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. 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.
  5. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    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.
  6. ldervish


    May 22, 2005
    Johnson City, TN
    +1 on "star grounding". Simple and effective.
  7. gr8estbassist

    gr8estbassist Guest

    Oct 9, 2004
    South East
    use FLUX.
  8. someone might want to explain star grounding
  9. 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!
  10. +2
  11. SirGus


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


    Oct 5, 2006
    Athens, Greece
    what's star ground?
  13. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    TB search function has it's flaws but as often as not you'll get your answer in short order and learn in the process. Now google's included as an option.


    I assumed it was covered in FAQ - it should be.

    It's taking all grounds to one point in the control cavity.
  14. SirGus


    Oct 5, 2006
    Athens, Greece
    thanks ;)
  15. 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.
  16. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

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