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The picture above that shows the solder being applied to the IRON is incorrect. You use the iron to heat the component lead and the solder pad. The solder is applied to the lead and pad at the same time, on the opposite side of the iron. The solder should flow smoothly onto both.
Very good tips. To make good solder connections also takes practice. Very few of us made good solder connections the first few times.
A note on picking an iron. There are 2 ways that solder irons and pencils are heated. Some use a wire wound heater and others use a ceramic heater that fits inside the tip. Both will heat the tip to melt solder but the ceramic heater doesn't hold the heat long enough for soldering large joins or heavy wire. If you are working on old vacuum tube equipment or soldering to a metal chassis you will also need a good soldering gun of at least 100 to 200 watts.
I should have mentioned that the "picture above" means the picture of the resistor lead being soldered to the PC board. You apply solder directly to the iron tip for tinning the tip but only for tinning. You always apply the solder to the join, not the iron, when soldering.
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