Soldering is both an art and a science.
As an art, it is known to date back as far as 3000 B.C. from which time, vases with silver soldering have been found.
As a science, it goes back to around the turn of the century when it was used widely in the manufacture of tin cans.
Today, the major use of soldering is in making secure, efficient electrical connections.
Solder - Cored
A type of solder manufactured with the flux as an integral part of the core resulting in a much quicker and easier method of soldering.
This plays a vital part in soldering operations.
When heat is applied to metals, oxides can form in seconds. However, when flux is applied, it prevents oxides from forming. This leaves a clean, secure solder joint.
This is the resin distilled from the turpentine of white-pine and provides an excellent non-corrosive, non-conductive flux. This usually dispenses with the need to clean electrical components prior to soldering.
Rosin-core solders are widely used and readily available in a variety of sizes.
This is an alloy of two or more materials, usually lead and tin.
The main property of solder is that it melts at a low temperature but sets hard. It should flow over the work to be soldered creating the most efficient joint.
A full range of solder and accessories are shown in this catalogue, including stick solder, fluxes and pastes and multicore solder of which sizes and details are clearly shown.
Until the 1930s, solder and flux were always considered as separate solder ingredients supplied and applied independently as solder and flux or paste. However, in the 1930s, as a result of higher standards required for radio technology and military applications, multicore solder was developed.
The introduction of multicore solder saw the production of flux and solder together as one product in single reels of 'drawn wire'.
These are usually bought by wattage ranging from 12 watt to 175 watt.
The general rule is that the lower the wattage the smaller the soldering iron.
The low wattage irons are used for intricate work.
Higher wattage irons are used for heavier soldering applications where the heavier material may draw more heat from the bit.
It is important to keep the tip clean. If required they can be rubbed with light emery cloth.
Pistol style instant heat guns from 100 watt to 250 watt are available where instant heat is required and gas powered irons are available for those soldering tasks where no power supply is available.
The range of tips varies from 0.25mm to 15.9mm (1/64in to 5/8in) to enable the user to select the right tip for the right job. Wood burning and stained glass kits are also provided for those special applications.
With this type of solder it is necessary to use flux in either paste or spirit form to complete the solder connection.
Ensure that the items to be soldered are clean, particularly that they are free from grease.
Remember that just because a piece of metal or wire looks clean, it does not mean that it is clean.
Make a sound mechanical connection before soldering. For example, twist wires together before applying the solder.
Apply the heat to the workpiece NOT to the solder.
The theory is to heat the work to such a temperature that the solder will melt and flow when applied to it.
Do not apply more solder than is required.
Excess solder can fill up sockets or cause short circuits.
It is advisable to 'tin' wires before soldering, especially stranded wire.
Twist the strands together, heat and saturate with solder.
Remove the solder coil from the work before removing the soldering iron. This will leave a neat and tidy joint.
When the soldering iron is idling always store it in an appropriate bench holder for safety reasons. The iron is probably at a temperature of 450°C or more.