Soldering Through Hole Components | Soldering Basics




Introduction: Soldering Through Hole Components | Soldering Basics

About: Creating DIY projects

In this Instructable I'll be discussing some basics about soldering through-hole components to circuit boards. I'll be assuming that you've already checked out the first 2 Instructables for my Soldering Basics series. If you have not check out my Instructables on Using Solder and Using Flux, I recommend that you do since I'll be applying information from those Instructable in this one.

If you're interested in learning about some other aspects of soldering, you can check out the other Instructables in my Soldering Basics Series:

I'm open to adding more topics to this series over time so if you have any suggestions, leave a comment and let me know. Also, if you have any tips to share, or if I get some of my info wrong, please let me know. I want to make sure this Instructable is as accurate and helpful as possible.

If you would like to see a video version of this Instructable, you can see that here:


Step 1: Place the Shortest First

For this Instructable I'm using a circuit board here where I've removed some of the components so that I can demonstrate how to solder through-hole components to a circuit board. The parts I'm using are not the correct ones for this board, so ignore the marking on this board. I'm just using this board to demonstrate the process of soldering parts to the board.

You'll want to place the shortest components first. It's easier to put these in place before taller components because the taller ones can get in the way. Bend the leads of the component so that they are spaced to line up with the corresponding holes.

Step 2: Position the Part, If Needed

Typically, resistors will lay flat on the board, but depending on how the board is designed they may stand on their end. If you need to bend them down, do that before adding the solder.

Step 3: Bend the Leads on the Back

On the back side of the board, bend the leads apart so that they will hold the component in place while you add the other components of the board.

Step 4: Repeat Steps for Other Parts

I'm also adding a transistor and a capacitor for this demo, using the same steps. Bending the leads so that they can go through the holes, then on the back side of the board I bend the leads apart to hold the components in place.

Step 5: Now Solder!

Now that all of the components are positioned, it's time to solder. This is where the information from my previous soldering videos come into play. When adding the solder, watch the solder to see if it's flowing, and also look an the shape it's making. You want it to look like it's clinging to the wire and the solder pad, while not making a blob or clump of solder. If it is clumping up, adding some flux should help.

If needed, you can check out my reference Instructables here:

Step 6: Sometimes You Have to Hold the Part

Sometimes you'll have a part with short leads that you cannot bend to hold it in place. For these you'll need to hold them with something else. For the part in this set of pictures, I'm holding it from underneath with my finger. Since I only have one hand available to add the solder, I put a little bit of solder on the iron off camera, then add that to one of the leads on the part. It's just a little bit of solder, but it's enough to temporarily hold the part in place. If you're doing a part with a lot of pins, add a quick dab of solder to a few of the pins.

Step 7: Finish Soldering the Part

When adding more solder to this part, add the solder to the other leads before adding more to the first lead. If you try adding solder to that first lead before securing another lead, the part may fall out.

Step 8: And That's It!

There is more to soldering, but this is good to start practicing. I'm working on a few more Instructables with more soldering basics, so watch for those. And if there are any tips that you would like to share, please leave a comment and let us know.

Here are the other Instructables for my Soldering Basics Series:

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    2 years ago

    Those videos were great. Thanks!

    Would you be willing to put together examples of good (and bad) soldering and how to fix?

    How Do You - DIY
    How Do You - DIY

    Reply 2 years ago

    It will probably take a while before I get to that, but that is a great idea to include with this Instructables series! I've been having some trouble getting good close-up shots with the detail I want to show for some of my attempts. The images either ends up dark or there are too many reflections in the solder joints to show what I want to show. It's been working out good for what I've done so far, but the metal is so reflective that it's been hard to see the fine details of the actual solder joints.

    But yeah, this is a great idea! I'll continue working on getting good examples to show. Thanks for sharing your idea!