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Topic: Free (almost) Solder Suckers (Read 1 time) previous topic - next topic


I tend to use the jack pump design instead of the bulb. Most of the time braid is still required or at least a steel sewing needle to push the left over solder out of the hole. Some people have excellent luck with the bulb style with the iron attached. I always just end up burning myself with those.


Son, I have been using lead based solders for 50 years with no ill effects, I've had my blood checked several times for poisoning for Lead, Mercury and Cadmium among others and has slight levels of lead and mercury...

Well I'm glad that you haven't had any issues, and I know there must be millions of people with similar histories working with lead solder that never got lead poisoning in any form.  I have used 60/40 solder for over a decade before any real alternatives were available.  It's a well established fact that lead solder can be worked with safely if proper precautions are taken. 

However, as you mentioned, there should also be concern about what happens after the useful life of a device.  That is the real reason I choose not to use lead solder.  Even if I don't dispose of anything I've soldered (not a realistic situation), I'm not going to live forever so eventually someone is going to throw it away and then it will most likely end-up in a landfill somewhere.  Therefore, if there's no lead in the solder then there is no lead to possibily leech into the surrounding soil and groundwater.  I know you stated that the possibilities of that are low, but a non-existent chance is lower still. ;) 

As for the new types of flux for lead-free solder, I'll agree that phosphorus has it's own problems.  However, as mentioned I always have adequate ventilation.  As far as long term enviornmental and health concerns, it's much less of a problem than lead as there are many biologically useful molecules incorporating phosphorus so the potential is high for even harmful compounds to be metabolized into something innocous by microbial activity (which isn't the case for lead).  In addition I avoid it whenever feasible; and if for some reason a MSDS for the solder and/or flux is unavailable I just take my money elsewhere.

I'm not making any personal judgements about anyone else if they continue to use lead solder.  I was just mentioning why I decided to stop personal use of lead solder and, for me at least, the transition wasn't a significant issue.


The Don Quixote of solder... I am not being negative here but I should think that MY Lifetime contribution to world waste... Wouldn't add a speck to the backside of a fly... compared to ... China in the 1700's... for example. I fully agree in EVERY respect the bans on solder for ANY NATION... But I am not so conceited as to believe for a minute that any contribution to either side of the argument is going to do anything except.. Lip Service... Much better in my way of thinking to conserve your resources for things that really matter. I purchase a pound of solder about every 5 years... and here is an example of why I consider the "Ban" to be a total waste of time for the private, non commercial "Limited" use of solder... In this world there are MANY Stained Glass windows and More being built by the day... What is done for the runoff from the lead used to create those Majestic creations to the Glory of... Were I Sony, Mitsubishi... any of the giant's it would be of some concern, Some Great Concern. However my use of solder, if continued unabated until I died of lead poisoning wouldn't be enough to make any difference whatsoever and it does make a great deal of difference to me, That ersatz stuff crystallizes and breaks where lead based solders don't. I repair equipment today as a hobby and the number one failure on most laptops is bad solder... when you finally get to the hardware level. 2. the whole movement is based on bad science distorted all out of proportion to the real effects... Yeah there is a great deal of money spent on re-mediating the "Solder (Lead)" Problem... Damn shame 10% of that money wasn't spent on dealing with Carbon Pollution... and I would be willing to bet that atmospheric warming is a whole lot more likely to be the cause of your eventual demise... than a case of lead poisoning... for that matter there is about 20% of the lead based solder used to make a  color television today... compared to even 20 years ago. I believe in Ecology with ALL my HEART, however I Believe that "Tree Huggers are getting in the way of REAL ECOLOGICAL PROGRESS... Simply by being a nuisance.
There was a man who a Very long time ago, That made one important observation... Fight the Battles you can win... Sun Tzu... The Art of War.

Let the War Begin...
--> WA7EMS <--
"The solution of every problem is another problem." -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
I do answer technical questions PM'd to me with whatever is in my clipboard


The Don Quixote of solder...

Well as far as I'm concerned, there are worse people to be compared to. ;) 

In any event, I'm not trying to imply that someone is a bad person or attempting to make anyone feel guilty if they don't switch to lead free solder.  If I in any way seemed to be doing that earlier in the thread I'm sincerely sorry!

You are quite right that any individual's usage of lead solder is miniscule relative to commercial and industrial scale.  However, if I want my contribution to this particular type of waste to be as small as possible, and I find the alternatives workable; why is this a problem for you?  I never advocated any bans on lead solder use or do more than bring up the fact that there are lead free solders and that I find them a realistic alternative.  Again, if something I intended as a mere suggestion seemed like something more I apologize for not communicating my intentions correctly in my original reply.  Yet if that isn't the case, I don't understand how my personal choice to use lead free solder should agitate you in any significant way.

Just for the record, this isn't the only such choice I made.  For example, when I started my current job I found a place to live where I could walk regularly to work and other common destinations like the local grocery store.  Oh I know that everything I do still doesn't add up to the rest of the world, and it doesn't make me some sort of martyr either!  I just want to have a decent life while being as responsible as I realistically can, and if I'm not trying to control anyone else's life what's wrong with that?

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