Soldering is process of joining two metals together with soldering iron by the use of a solder to form a dependable electrical joint.

This is a basic soldering guide for beginners about hand soldering with a soldering iron. I hope that it will be good help for most of your DIY projects from electronics. If you are experienced in soldering, your comments are welcome in "comments" area.
In this instructable I will cover the following topics:

- safety precautions before we start soldering operation

-choosing appropriate soldering iron and solder

- preparing for soldering


-inspection of solder joints

Step 1:

Most of solder wires or solder paste contain lead (solder alloy is mixture of tin and lead). During soldering operation lead may produce fumes that are dangerous for your health. In addition, soldering wire usually has a flux in the middle of wire. There are different types of cored solder with different solder to flux rate. Flux containing rosin (colophony) produces solder fumes that, if inhaled, can be hazardous.

• Soldering should be performed only in a well-ventilated area.
• Use smoke absorber
• Soldering iron is very HOT (for most of soldering operation temperature of iron is 350 -400 degrees Celsius). Never touch tip of the soldering iron with your hand.
• Never leave your hot iron down on anything other than an iron stand.
• Keep flammable liquids and materials (such as alcohol, solvent etc.) away from the work area.
• Wear eye protection.
• Do not cut off a grounding prong on an iron plug to make it fit an ungrounded receptacle.
• Hold wires to be heated with tweezers, pliers or clamps to avoid receiving burns on your fingers from objects that are heated.
• Wear ESD (Electro-Static Discharge) protection if you are going to solder electro-static sensitive components such as CMOS components. For most of DIY projects it will be good enough to wear ESD wrist straps (shown on the picture below).
• Wash your hands with soap and water after soldering.
<p>Good Job. One thing, I was taught to put the side of the conical solder head against the side of the lead then put the solder between the iron and the lead, does this make much of a difference. Great Instructable and make sure to check those solder joints, was making a led display and had one bad connection and it made it display all kinds of weirdness. Man was that a pain in the but to find afterwards.</p>
<p>A few additional details to an excellent guide; 1--A cheap or low powered soldering iron can be very frustrating. A 40 watt can be good for normal #14 and smaller wire 60 watt for bigger stuff--it should quickly (= less than 1 second) melt the solder. After a while an iron can lose power but often simply taking the cold tip out and putting it back in will renew it. 2--Lead free solder can be hard to use--A small fan can blow the little bit of leaded solder smoke away from you. 3--It is easy to over heat the wire which makes it brittle and prone to breaking down the road. Because of this it is now illegal to solder many joints in Aerospace and transportation where vibration and movement occur. Getting a good hot iron to quickly heat up the joint then getting it off quickly is the trick. In aerospace Anderson connectors are often used--they require a special crimper but eliminate the need to solder connections and provide a superior joint. They are a plug and are very good for some applications. 4--Constantly (every 20-30 seconds) wipe the tip on the wet sponge mentioned to keep the tip smooth and shiny looking--prevents the tip from deteriorating. This is why most iron holders have a sponge holder built in.</p>
<p>Circuit boards may require lower powered irons! the 40 and 60 watt suggested here is for wire and metal.</p>
<p>I cant get the solder to melt. I'm using a 117v ~ 25W solder iron. I melt a little solder on the tip of the iron like you and all the other tutorials say, but even that takes longer than 2 seconds. It takes about 3 to 4 seconds. I then apply the iron to the wires that I am soldering (I'm not soldering a circuit board. I soldering wires together. But other tutorials confirm that the process is the same as you described) for a few seconds, then apply the solder to the other side of the wires as you recommend and other tutorials recommend as well. NOT to the iron tip. It doesn't matter how long I leave the iron or solder applied to the wires or how still I hold either, nothing happens. I have not been able to get any solder to melt onto any wires. It is becoming very frustrating. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.</p>
<p>I use a 40 watt iron--anything less is frustrating.</p>
Make sure the tip is tinned, for proper heat transfer.
<p>Useful tips. A good iron makes light work. After using an unregulated iron for a long time, I switched to a Hakko 936/907. A world of difference. Should have done that years earlier</p>
<p>Nice Explanation and useful... Thank you... </p>
Great effort! Your ible on soldering covers all the basics in a clear, focused manner. I had 40 hours of soldering class, from the Army. That was 42 years ago. Almost everything else has changed. Soldering by hand has remained the same. I look forward to more items from you. Thanks.
you should also add that after cutting the left over from the component you should heat the solder joint once more to prevent the solder from fractioning in use or over time. also if possible the component for soldering should have straight legs, not bent ones like in the pictures. but good guide! (remember anyone! when you solder something, do it right so it will last. if possible do a medical and military crade soldering.)
Thank you for your comment and suggestions. I agree that component for soldering should have straight legs and that is shown on image in step 4. Component for soldering in that image has a straight leg but there is also solder wire touching component leg and tip of soldering iron. This solder wire is very thin 0.020&quot; (0.50 mm) so it looks like leg of another component. I understand from your comment that this is a little bit confusing and thank you for pointing at this.
very nice...........information............
indeed a helpful one!!!.... <br>
Very helpful, Thanks for the grerat post!

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