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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was talking to a long time friend today about soldering techniques. This came about because one of the products he sales has a stuff single core steel element wire and although I could solder to it, sometimes it took me a while. He showed me this:Flux dispenser pen. I've just tried one out for the first time, and although I've always thought I could solder a good joint the result and the ease of use is impressive. I just filled mine with Carrs Red label flux and when for it. Highly recommended, for ease of use and results.
 

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Looks worth a try. Thanks for the link.

My problem is that, although my (electrical) soldering is generally sound it's not really that neat. The main problem I now have is with the so called environmentally friendly solders - it just not seem to be as effective or easy to use as the older stuff. Also it's very diffecult to use on joints originally made with real solder.
 

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Seems like a neat idea for brass, copper etc soldering work.

I would never recommend any flux be added to an electrical joint. The only flux needed is that which is inside resin cored (Multicore) solder, which is the correct solder for electrical / printed circuit board soldering work. The art of soldering is ensure both items are clean and free of grease etc. and the soldering iron is up to full heat and capable of maintining that heat as the work is undertaken. The item here on my site covers this Soldering
Caution needs to be exercised, as some fluxes contain strong acids and this causes the electrical joint to become high resistance over time and eventually leads to electrical and joint failure. That is why all the flux manufactures advise you to 'wash off flux' from the item once soldering is completed. This of course can't be done with electrical joints!
As for the newer 'Lead Free' solders.. If you're resoldering a joint/component which was originally soldered with the older lead content solder then the answer is to heat the old joint and remove as much of the old solder as is possible (Solder sucker tool or solder wick etc makes this a little easier! ). Then fibre brush or scrape the joint clean before resoldering with the new lead free solder.
 

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Re acid fluxes - it's not only these which need to be kept away from electrical joints.

My first job was with Plessey making small inductances and other wire-wound components - there was a complete ban on all fruit and even fruit-juice drinks being taken onto the production floor because of their acidity and the risk of getting them in a component causing premature failure!

Brian is quite right about having a soldering iron with the right temperature and capacity. I use a 60 Watt Weller with changeable temperature-controlled bits. This makes easy work of small to large joints, the right-sized bit being selected.

Regards,
John Webb
 

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QUOTE (John Webb @ 14 Apr 2007, 19:38) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>My first job was with Plessey making small inductances and other wire-wound components - there was a complete ban on all fruit and even fruit-juice drinks being taken onto the production floor because of their acidity and the risk of getting them in a component causing premature failure!

Wow! That takes me back a bit. I worked for Plessey for about 6 months when I left school in 1966. I remember that about the fruit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well Plessey, fruit or not, the applicator works really well for me and I challenge anyone to solder the element wire I've been tackling without using a flux.
 

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MMD - apologies for the reminicences - it's one of those things I had never come across in school or college but was faced with in my first-ever job.

I have to say that you will need flux for soldering to steel, but if you are soldering a copper wire to it any trace of flux should be removed once the job is done. (Unless the flux maker says you don't have to.) I'm a bit intrigued about this steel element - what is it for?

Regards,
John Webb

PS for Free at Last's information I was at Vicarage Lane, Ilford, Essex from 1967-69.
 

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When I did my apprentiship one of the things they made us do was make a cube out lengths of copper wire and solder it together. The joints had to be perfect and each the length of each side within 0.5mm of each other, now that taught me how to solder.
 

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QUOTE When I did my apprentiship one of the things they made us do was make a cube out lengths of copper wire and solder it together. The joints had to be perfect and each the length of each side within 0.5mm of each other, now that taught me how to solder.
Yep... Practice, practice and even more practice is the way to ensure your soldering is ok and up to the job needed.
 
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