Soldering Question

I just found a really good series of soldering videos from about 30 years ago.

They have been helping a lot, but he is doing some things different than what I have been told. The guy states that you should clean the circuit board with something like q-tips and isopropyl before soldering, and that you should also clean the leads of the components like resistors. Sometimes he uses a brush dipped in alcohol instead of q-tips because it doesn't leave crap behind.

Then you use flux, and solder, and then use isopropyl again to clean and remaining flux off of the solder.

He also uses this interesting component tool for bending the leads perfect every time, which is something that I have trouble with.

I'm not sure what the tool is called, or if it's still available. Does anyone know what it is?

Also, is this still the proper way to solder?

I also don't know what this "stick" is that he's using.

Video looks good all these years later. I have old thru hold parts that I've used erasers on to clean leads. Fine grit sandpaper on really bad resistors or caps. I don't bother with extra flux most times, current solder seems to have sufficient flux in it.
https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/mg-chemicals/4894-227G/473-1128-ND/2000365
I buy 1 pound rolls locally, shipping works out to equal local sales tax it seems, and no waiting.

Pace seems to still be around
https://www.paceworldwide.com/
Send them a message and see if they still offer the lead forming tool. I usually just kind of wing it with pliers.
If they do still offer the tool, I'd go for one too.

Cleaning parts and boards is needed if you work with 30-year old oxidised parts.
But usually not needed with 'fresh' parts.

I have been soldering (a lot) for 50+ years WITHOUT flux.
Flux is generally NOT needed if you use proper electronics solder.
Electronics solder is hollow, with a rosin flux core.

I must admit I sometimes use a flux pen for 'difficult' smd parts.

A temp controlled solder station is a must for good soldering.
Leo..

Wow that is an old video. Most of us don't use steam-powered soldering irons any more. :smiley:

He says in the video what the stick is - a "rubberised abrasive stick".
There's a little more info here:- Cratex Rubber Abrasive Products

CrossRoads:
Pace seems to still be around
https://www.paceworldwide.com/
Send them a message and see if they still offer the lead forming tool. I usually just kind of wing it with pliers.
If they do still offer the tool, I'd go for one too.

They were still selling them 2 years ago, according to their comment under the video. A little expensive at about USD$30 though, considering they're only made of plastic according to another comment.
I think I'll just stick with my mini long-nosed pliers. :slight_smile:

Edit: On the 'Pace' website, the "ComForm" tool can be found here:- ComForm 1 Tool

I found the component bending tool on Amazon, but it’s a plastic tool and apparently not manufactured anymore. It costs $30, so I probably won’t buy it.

That is the exact same solder that I use, MG 2.2% etc… but mine is 63/37 and it seems to work good. Do you think I should buy that 60/40 next time?

I started with lead free solder and I had a really hard time learning how to solder. I broke so many boards… The pads all fell right off. I melted components and burned wires. I don’t know what I was doing wrong.

I started using this MG solder and it’s has been really easy so far. I haven’t had any trouble at all.

OldSteve:
Wow that is an old video. Most of us don't use steam-powered soldering irons any more. :smiley:

I think that was video 6. You could try watching the 1st video in that set, it was really good, but a little longer. It was so interesting to watch. They had so many weird tools back then.

Flux isn’t needed for through hole, usually, but it’s very helpful for working with smd parts

adele:
They had so many weird tools back then.

I was working in the industry "back then".

Regarding bending component leads, where I worked it was done by a machine. It sucked a belt of resistors in one side, bent and clipped the leads, then spat out the prepared component like a Gatling gun.
It could do quite a few components per second, and even put an extra little 'kink' in the lead that rested on the PCB surface.

adele:
I found the component bending tool on Amazon, but it's a plastic tool and apparently not manufactured anymore. It costs $30, so I probably won't buy it.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Components-Bending-Tool-Axial-Diode-Resistors-leads-Forming-bender-4-PCS-set-/271891069321?hash=item3f4df87989:g:Oo0AAOSwrklVcKVp
Never use one. Just longnose pliers if needed.

adele:
I started with lead free solder and I had a really hard time learning how to solder. I broke so many boards... The pads all fell right off. I melted components and burned wires. I don't know what I was doing wrong.

Did you use a temp controlled solder station, or a cheap (too)hot poker.

DrAzzy:
Flux isn't needed for through hole, usually, but it's very helpful for working with smd parts

I just finished hand-soldering 100 boards, mainly smd, including 0805 parts and smd MCU.
All done without added flux.
Leo..

If you did 100 boards you would be unconscious.

The key in Leo's statement is "without added flux" - you definitely need to use rosin core solder (never use acid core or acid flux around electronics - it will eat it). If they are clean you should have no problem soldering it. Make sure the iron is not too hot (which is how you burn/lift pads etc) and keep the tip cleaned (use a damp sponge). Heat the junction you want to solder - I have seen people try to melt the solder and sort of drip it on the connection - doesn't work. I will often melt fresh solder (with the rosin) on the tip and then wipe it just to clean the tip. Then I move in to solder the connections. If you have really heavy connections, I have a 185amp MIG arc welder downstairs :slight_smile:

DrAzzy:
Flux isn't needed for through hole, usually, but it's very helpful for working with smd parts

I use liquid flux all the time, always have.
A small amount on a cotton cloth, go over all the pads.
Q tips are useful.
May not be needed, but does a great job, no brainer, costs next to nothing.

But whatever works best for you.

Took Pace training years ago, still valid today.

.

Well it sounds like there isn't an "official" method for it. I have never used flux before, but I have a flux pen, so I will try using it.

I'll just see which way works better for me.

Thanks.

I don't use added flux, just the flux in the solder, for thru hole. When reworking, sometimes some added flux is good - but often a little added new solder helps things flow again so a solder sucker can suck it up easier.

For SMD, I use Kester EP256, no extra flux, just what's in the paste. Same as above for rework, to rework a part a little flux is good, like to "drag out" some extra solder between pads.

What CrossRoads said.

Flux leaves a sticky mess. Avoid when you can.
Leo..

Wawa:
What CrossRoads said.

Flux leaves a sticky mess. Avoid when you can.
Leo..

Some fluxes dry hard.
You use isopropyl alcohol to clean, then water before alcohol evaporates.

As the OP said:
"I'll just see which way works better for me."
.

Special eraser stick, or pink rubber pencil eraser… hm… I’ve always used the pink pencil eraser, if needed.

I think the metal on resistor leads must have been more prone to corrosion. I remember having to clean them (usually using the pink eraser) but have not had to do so for many decades. Same with PCBs.

Why would you clean up alcohol with water?

With leaded solder, I also just use the flux in the solder. Very rarely use additional flux. Very rarely clean the flux off, it is not harmful unless the PCB is high frequency, or high impedance, or high voltage.

With no-lead solder, added flux is a requirement. It is also much more active, so it MUST be cleaned unless you use no-clean flux.

Why would you clean up alcohol with water?

I stumbled on this one time.

I cleaned PCBs with alcohol then blew dry with an air compressor.
The result was a PCB that was a bit stickey and had obvious flux streaking.
Had to redo the PCBs again . . .

I though alcohol mixes with water, flux mixes with alcohol.
I tried washing with water while the alcohol (with flux dissolved) was still on the PCB.
The result was next to miraculous.
No flux was left behind!

Finally, I blow off the PCB water with a compressor.

LarryD:
I tried washing with water while the alcohol (with flux dissolved) was still on the PCB.
The result was next to miraculous.
No flux was left behind!

I do exactly the same to get rid of the streaking effect on my DIY boards, so the copper stays nice and shiny when I spray on the PCB lacquer.

Steve, have you ever used the tin plating solution?
Takes about 60 seconds.
Reusable, a small bottle lasts a long time.
Smells like hell, use good ventilation.

Not my board but similar results.

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