Introduction: How to Solder: Tips/Tricks

Picture of How to Solder: Tips/Tricks

This is a project for my high school robotics class. Helpful comments and suggestions are encouraged! This instructable will give you some tips and tricks to successfully solder. I will also give you advice on what not to do in order to be even more successful. I will also display the whole process of soldering.

Step 1: How to Solder: Basics

This video will teach you the basics of soldering. You will learn how to solder joints, which will allow you to complete whole soldering projects. To make a basic solder joint, touch the soldering iron to the board and the solder at the same time. This will melt the solder onto the board. You should have enough solder to cover the whole joint, but not too much that it overflows over the single joint.

Step 2: Gather Materials

You need many materials to solder. The following few slides will show you what materials you need to solder.

Step 3: Soldering Iron

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This is the main component for soldering. It is extremely hot, so be careful. It will melt the solder, which will connect the components to the board.

Step 4: Solder

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This is the metal that you melt with the iron. It connects the pieces to the board of a project.

Step 5: Fan

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You need a fan to suck up all the fumes from melting the solder. The solder releases led fumes which are toxic, so be safe.

Step 6: The Project

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You need a board and components to solder to the board for a project. These usually come in kits that you can purchase.

Step 7: Heat

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Heat is a very important factor in soldering. Your soldering iron should be a certain heat, depending on what kind of solder you are using and what you are working on. The best way to find the right temperature is to look up what temperature you should use with what materials you are using.

Step 8: Clean the Soldering Tip

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A good tip is to clean the soldering tip often. This will help the solder melt when in contact with the tip, because the tip will be hotter. This is because it will not be obstructed by solder to block the surface of the soldering iron.

Step 9: Use a Helping Hand

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The helping hand can hold a board or other object for you while you solder. This is extremely helpful, and it is even necessary to successfully solder. This will make soldering much easier for you.

Step 10: Organize Your Station

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If you organize your station, it will make soldering much simpler. You will be able to mover around your space much more easily, and you will be able to access everything you need efficiently. If you organize correctly, you will solder better and more efficiently. To organize, put everything where you feel it best belongs, because organization is completely personal.

Step 11: Practice

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Practice is very important for soldering. When I first started soldering, I was not great. Now, I have improved greatly because I have practiced through multiple different projects. To practice, simply use soldering projects. It is okay to mess up, because it is just practice. Also, once you are finished, you get to keep an awesome project that you made.

Step 12: No Short Circuiting

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Do not short circuit the board. You can do this by having two solder joints connected by solder. If this does happen, make sure to fix it by using a solder plunger or solder wick. These will get the solder off so you are able to restart.

Step 13: No Cold Joints

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Cold joints are when there is not enough solder on a joint. This is visible by a gap or exposure in the joint where there should be solder. Fix this by putting more solder there. The picture above displays acceptable solder joints. If they look like this, they are not cold joints.

Step 14: Do Not Rush

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Rushing is bad for soldering. Although you may be able to go faster, you should take your time to make sure everything is the correct orientation, and correctly soldered. If you don't have time, don't rush, because that will only make it worse.

Step 15: Do Not Mess Around

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When soldering, the soldering iron is extremely hot. Therefore, whenever the soldering iron is on, do not goof off anywhere even remotely close to it. You could get seriously injured if it touches you. Always practice safety first when soldering. In this picture, you can see that the iron burned a hole in the table because it is so hot.

Step 16: Follow Instructions

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When soldering, always follow instructions carefully. Treat the instruction booklet as your bible. If you want to do the project correctly, you must follow the directions. I have witnessed multiple errors in instructions, which caused twice the work to be done to fix that problem. That is never pleasant, so try your best to do what the instructions tell you.

Comments

connor cody (author)2014-09-15

You should definitely add more steps and pictures, maybe even a video showing how to solder. You should also include some slides on setting up or gathering materials for soldering.

mmartella15 (author)2014-09-15

This is awesome! thanks but heres a couple of things I would like to add:

1) could you add a picture or video on cleaning your soldering tip?

2) What if I think I'm a better Solderer without the helping hands, is it still necessary?

3) Could you add a video on how to fix the short circuiting?

4) I really liked how you said do not rush because when people start to get the hang of it they tend to rush and mess up.

5) thank you!

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