Introduction: How to Get an Instructables Patch by Contributing to "Learn to Solder Month"

In case your calendars haven't already alerted you, it's Learn to Solder Month! As cold weather sets in and darkness comes early, why not curl up next to the warm soldering iron and try your hand at
learning how to solder?

As part of Learn to Solder Month, guides on how to solder have begun to appear all over the place, including Make Magazine's How To Solder Skill Building Work Shop by Joe Grand and Boing Boing's link to a Street Tech How-To by Gareth Branwyn. We even have our own right here! -- How to solder.

For many of our best Instructables, soldering is a fundamental skill, and one where you just can't have too many guides or references. So for the entire month of January, if you post an Instructable whose main purpose is to teach an aspect of soldering, we'll send you an Instructables patch.

Any aspect of soldering at all is fair game and will earn you a patch. If the technique you want to teach has already been covered here or anywhere else, that's OK - give your Instructable a personal touch and highlight specific details that helped you. Cover the basics, or go into great depth on a specific aspect. Your Instructable must meet our minimum criteria, which includes good images, preferably ones using macro, and proper spelling and grammar. Add your Instructable to the How to Solder group so it's easy to find.

Here are some of the other guides that you might find useful:
Make Magazine's soldering guide
Soldering guide by Tom Hammond hosted at Ladyada.net
http://www.epemag.wimborne.co.uk/solderfaq.htm
http://www.kpsec.freeuk.com/solder.htm
http://www.aaroncake.net/electronics/solder.htm

Step 1: How to Claim Your Patch

Publish your Instructable during January 2007. If it meets our criteria for good documentation (good images, preferably using macro, proper spelling and grammar), we'll contact you via personal message.

Comments

author
soldering+iron made it!(author)2012-04-19

There is another soldering guide "How to solder with soldering iron" here: http://www.soldering-store.com/soldering_guide/soldering_guide.html

author
mage2 made it!(author)2007-01-30

My first instructable is up! Now to start work on the next few. If this is learn to solder month, what is next month?

author
ewilhelm made it!(author)2007-01-31

I'm not certain yet. What other skills are people interested in learning?

author
sharlston made it!(author)2009-10-19

sewing ,mechanical thibgs like fixing bikes

author
pfred1 made it!(author)2007-01-13

Here is how I solder. I clean the materials I wish to solder. I use either steel wool, or sandpaper. Sandpaper creates scratches, scratches that aid in solder's ability to grip a surface. This is called brightening. I use a clean soldering iron tip. Clean is the operative method with soldering. Rosin flux acts as a cleaning agent, and aids in the wetting action of solder too. Appling a small amount of rosin flux is often helpful in aiding solder flow over a joint. Tinning materials prior to soldering them makes soldering easier. Tinning is applying solder to one piece of a joint. Create a stong mechanical connection between materials to be soldered together, by twisting wires, folding sheets, or clamping items together. Objects need to maintain their physical relationship to each other until the solder solidifies. Heat the joint between materials equally. Proper soldering iron tip orientation, and location is important. Feed some solder into the joint. Solder the joint, not the iron. The iron is to apply heat, you wish to create a solder joint though. Solder runs to heat, so feeding solder onto the iron will not feed a joint. You may need to touch the iron with solder a little to begin the wetting process though. This is about the only place where experience teaches in soldering. Once wetting begins remove solder from the iron and feed the joint. Apply heat until solder has flowed throughout. the entire joint. As an aside, when soldering a component onto a printed circuit board, try to heat the board pad, not the component. A properly executed solder joint will have a bright shiny appearance. Not dull, or wrinkled. The form of the underlying material shape should be able to be seen through the solder. A fillet is preferable to a convex shape. One does not want blobs, globs, or beads in their finished work. Soldering is easy if you follow these simple rules, clean, tin, attach, and flow. May all of your connections be strong.

author
ron_vernon made it!(author)2008-12-23

Right-On-Brother, Ive soldered for years thats as good as it gets.....

author
Vendigroth made it!(author)2007-02-19

DAMN! I missed it! if only i'd known, i'd have posted an instructable on how to solder with a gas torch, or how to braze (high temp. soldering using a copper based alloy)...i'll keep an eye out next time for what month it is. I want a patch!

author
EMT_Andrew made it!(author)2007-01-19

Will an entry qualify for the patch if I write about first aid for solder injuries and soldering safety? I'm an EMT so I have burn training.

author
ewilhelm made it!(author)2007-01-21

That's stretching it, but to be honest, I've burned myself a ton of times while soldering and could definitely use a refresher on what to do. So, yes it would earn you a patch.

author
EMT_Andrew made it!(author)2007-02-01

I posted my Instructable. I was going to include a page about the cold soldering device but I have never tried it and as such do not feel comfortable recommending it.

author
ewilhelm made it!(author)2007-02-01

Looks like you haven't hit "publish" yet. Also, an intro image would make it much better. Other than that, it looks good!

author
exponent made it!(author)2007-01-15

I've created an article and added it... now how do I get my patch?

author
ewilhelm made it!(author)2007-01-15

I'll contact all the solder Instructable authors via personal message.

author
Aeshir made it!(author)2007-01-20

Sorry to be annoying but do we really just have to add the instructable to the group, or do something else? :P

author
ewilhelm made it!(author)2007-01-21

Just add it to the group before the end of the month. Nothing else, besides making sure it's a great Instructable, of course!

author
Aeshir made it!(author)2007-01-20

Yaaaay Instructables patch... I think...

author
Aeshir made it!(author)2007-01-17

What if my camera is really crappy? Is it still possible to "meet the criteria" and get a patch?

author
ewilhelm made it!(author)2007-01-18

There are a number of instructables on taking good picture with poor cameras. Check the Instructables Help group. Also, I'm sure there's an element of soldering that you can document with the tools you have.

author
theRIAA made it!(author)2007-01-12

i would prefer a sticker

author
icanryme2002 made it!(author)2007-01-13

wouldn't stickers be cheaper and easier to make.

author
Crash2108 made it!(author)2007-01-12

So if we make a good enough instructable, we actually get to advertise instructables?! What's the catch?

author
xsmurf made it!(author)2007-01-12

Dude, you don't advertise. No one advertises crack. ( https://www.instructables.com/id/EYD937GUSWEUMVDU2H/?ALLSTEPS ) You show your love! I would say even more... You digg it! ( http://www.geekculture.com/joyoftech/joyarchives/901.html ). (sorry links don't seem to work in the comments 0.o)

author
ewilhelm made it!(author)2007-01-13

fixed.

author
FrenchCrawler made it!(author)2007-01-12

You have to place a space between anything before and after the link to make them work.

About This Instructable

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Bio: Eric J. Wilhelm is the founder of Instructables. He has a Ph.D. from MIT in Mechanical Engineering. Eric believes in making technology accessible through ... More »
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