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krispn

Best soldering iron/solder for use in wiring a bass

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Having had a disaster last night when the input jack of my Squire decided that it wasn't feeling like doing anything remotely what it's supposed to I'm gonna go get a soldering iron - a guy I know did a full rewire on this bass recently but didn't change the input jack as I had thought (and asked) - so I'm gonna do it myself and be safe in the knowledge if it screws up I've only myself to blame.

Just wanted a heads up on a recommended decent iron and a pointer at some decent solder. I know Maplins and Ebay are full of these and I may even construct a varitone box once I get up to speed with the soldering.

Thanks in advance folks.

Edited by krispn

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Anything under 40 watts and you will not have enough heat on some jobs. As for solder, some of the generic brands can be horrible and it's probably worth going for a well known brand. I can't advise on the composition, as I'm still using up my stocks of leaded.

Edited by stevie

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[quote name='krispn' post='989950' date='Oct 16 2010, 09:06 AM']Having had a disaster last night when the input jack of my Squire decided that it wasn't feeling like doing anything remotely what it's supposed to I'm gonna go get a soldering iron - a guy I know did a full rewire on this bass recently but didn't change the input jack as I had thought (and asked) - so I'm gonna do it myself and be safe in the knowledge if it screws up I've only myself to blame.

Just wanted a heads up on the recommended voltage and a pointer at some decent solder. I know Maplins and Ebay are full of these and I may even construct a varitone box once I get up to speed with the soldering.

Thanks in advance folks.[/quote]
If you are investing in a tool to do all & do it well + last for years, an investment, if you are going to get the use out of it, then get a Weller temperature controlled iron with interchangeable tips for different jobs. It's what you'll find on practically every pro & hobbyist workbench. Not cheap but you get what you pay for, there's usually some on ebay.

Cheerz, John

Edit: [url="http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Weller-WTCP-50-Soldering-Iron-Station-Set-/280574496585?pt=UK_Home_Garden_PowerTools_SM&hash=item41538b0f49"]A good example[/url]

Edited by KiOgon

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[quote name='KiOgon' post='989987' date='Oct 16 2010, 10:12 AM']If you are investing in a tool to do all & do it well + last for years, an investment, if you are going to get the use out of it, then get a Weller temperature controlled iron with interchangeable tips for different jobs.[/quote]
I've owned one of those myself for many years and agree they are excellent. You can get a wide variety of tips and spare parts are easily available. They're not exactly cheap for once-in-a-blue-moon use though.

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I've used an antex 25W iron for years and it does most things well though Stevie is right it will struggle to solder the earths onto the back of the pots. I get round this by warming them with a hair dryer if I need to do that job. A 40W iron can be too clumsy at times for working on small components. I'm using Adepto solder from maplins and like Stevie it's an old lead based roll, they last forever. Make sure it's rosin cored

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i use a 40W or a 25W iron depending on the size of the job

Edited by ahpook

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[quote name='Phil Starr' post='990089' date='Oct 16 2010, 12:09 PM']I've used an antex 25W iron for years and it does most things well though Stevie is right it will struggle to solder the earths onto the back of the pots. I get round this by warming them with a hair dryer if I need to do that job. A 40W iron can be too clumsy at times for working on small components. I'm using Adepto solder from maplins and like Stevie it's an old lead based roll, they last forever. Make sure it's rosin cored[/quote]

Same here, been using Antex 25W irons Professionally for years. Not often its not enough, but if it is, a fag lighter under the middle of the bit works a treat.

18 or 22 swg multicore 60/40 solder, if you can still get it anyway. Last time I bought it was long long ago.

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I've had a couple of these, and they work well:

[url="http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=35016"]http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=35016[/url]

30 quid now, but they put them on 'special' at £10 every few months - worth a look to see if they're cheap in the store. The tip is quite fine (although it certainly doesn't feel like a 50W iron) and the variable temperature is nice. Cheap fixed temperature irons can be badly regulated and get much too hot, burning the solder and overheating components.

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Thanks folks I'll go hunt one down this week with a bit more confidence thanks to your collective input!

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[quote name='Ancient Mariner' post='990455' date='Oct 16 2010, 06:23 PM']I've had a couple of these, and they work well:

[url="http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=35016"]http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=35016[/url]

30 quid now, but they put them on 'special' at £10 every few months - worth a look to see if they're cheap in the store. The tip is quite fine (although it certainly doesn't feel like a 50W iron) and the variable temperature is nice. Cheap fixed temperature irons can be badly regulated and get much too hot, burning the solder and overheating components.[/quote]
I have had the Maplins one for about 4 years now and it has been excellent - gone through quite a few bits but they are very reasonably priced!

Will.

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I'v spoken to bunches of senior amp techs and they are mostly a bit mental, maybe from the 70s and the drugs, but maybe from the lead solder, so maybe make sure you have good ventilation if you want that lovely flowingness.

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For audio transfer I'd recommend WBT Silver based solder. Companies like SwitchCraft & Neutrik recommend it for best sound transfer. It ain't cheap, but makes a big difference. Sound on Sound and most geek based audio magazine rave about WBT, and if you think the solder is expensive don't look how much a pack of 4 phono plugs cost...!

We sell WBT basic stuff on small reels and the expensive stuff per metre as buying a reel is a tad expensive. WBT recommend using a 30w soldering iron as a minimum. I've used a cheapy cheap one from Wilko for about 3 years with no problems.

WBT Solder - [url="http://www.audiospares.com/home.php?cat=653"]http://www.audiospares.com/home.php?cat=653[/url]

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My soldering iron has bitten the dust. Knowing how keen we are on not wasting paper starting new threads, I am joining this one. 

Can you please help me to choose a new one. I'm not a professional, won't be using it 8 hours a day so it doesn't need to be the best of the best. Just a good mid level iron for the odd job. 

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Posted (edited)

I've been using this one (well, a different brand name, but still the same model) for quite a while. I don't if it counts as 'mid-level' but it does me fine.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0719H8T8Q

I bought it to handle the SMT components in a pedal kit and it worked a treat for that and also for larger jobs like wiring pots. I bought a selection of (cheapish) tips as well.

Edited by ahpook
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I had this same dilemma a few months ago. I've got a dozen or so cheap soldering irons in my shed, but still felt the need for something better. After extensive research, I ended up with a WEP 937D+ (https://www.amazon.co.uk/WEP-937D-Soldering-Station/dp/B015IZ3CIS)

It's a (good) chinese copy of an amazing soldering iron (the Hakko 937), but at about 1/10th the price. So far, it's been amazing. It heats up in next to no time, and if it's not doing the job quick enough, just turn up the heat. Comes with a bunch of spare soldering tips too. I'd have saved a fortune if I'd got one of these 10 years ago.

 

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I bought this a couple of months ago and have been very pleased with it.  As I was new to soldering I didn't want to drop a lot of money on one that I will only use occasionally, but I've been impressed with it so far.

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Thanks, I'll have a look at these suggestions and see how the kitty is looking. 

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Posted (edited)

Indeed - reasonable priced as well - i picked up on this from another BC thread - I have to say I probably like it better that the temperature gauge ones which I often end up flicking accidentally to a different temp

Edited by Cuzzie

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33 minutes ago, Cuzzie said:

Indeed - reasonable priced as well - i picked up on this from another BC thread - I have to say I probably like it better that the temperature gauge ones which I often end up flicking accidentally to a different temp

I saw one adjustable temp with a temperature lock switch and a sleep function. Both of which seem sensible to me. 

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I have been using a 25w antex one for at least 15 years, as a bonus the heating element is replaceable if it ever dies.

Big thumbs up for esr as well, they're not a million miles from me and a the service I've had from them has been top notch. 

 

Matt 

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Posted (edited)

My Antex soldering iron has been putting up with me for about 40 years now.

Anyone want a used soldering iron?

I'm thinking I should get an upgrade. :D

I did buy some new tips for it a couple of years ago, but it'll do me well for a few more years yet.

Edited by Grangur

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