return of real solder?

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had a small repair job to do this PM and my beloved Weller soldering station was left in my friend's garage as I've been helping him rewire an old Avanti...
so I stop at Radio Shack on my way home and pick up the cheapest soldering iron they have along with a small roll of solder... get home and I realize the solder is marked "60/40 Rosin Core Solder." Now it doesn't say what the 60 and the 40 stand for... but... I just realized that this is the first time i've seen same in years... have the rules been relaxed to allow the sale of non-lead-free solder again? or did I stumble across some old stock? Last time I bought solder was maybe 5 years ago and I couldn't find goold old 60/40 to save my life...
nate
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60/40 solder == 60% Tin / 40% Lead
There's nothing illegal about tin/lead solder in the US, at least yet (Ssshhhh! Obama hasn't thought of this one). You do *NOT* want anything else for electronics. Sure, lead-free (RoHS) solder is available unless you really know what you're doing it's impossible to use. Leaded solder is not supposed to be used for plumbing, however.
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It's used quite a bit in SMT (surface mount technology) soldering, which I'll soon be exploring. Not exactly sure why, since I've heard there are problems with non-lead solder forming "whiskers", over time, which are bad mojo. I'm still learning about this.
As for lead solder, I keep hearing it's being phased out, but you can still get it at many places. Radio Shack continues to list it in 1/2 lb and 1 lb rolls, but it's no longer available in the little 1/2 oz tubes. I don't know if they're just running out their stock or what.
http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId 62714
There are still many electronics kits, specially for amateur (ham) radio hobbyists, including $1K+ radios which still need lead solder. Some of these companies (Elecraft, Ten-Ten) provide links to vendors who still provide lead solder and lead solder irons, stations, and supplies.
nb
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We've been using a RoHS SMT process for a couple of years. Trust me, you're in for a *lot* of pain.

RS may be phasing it out (haven't they been phasing out all electronics for years?), but deaded solder isn't going anywhere.

All the tools are the same, though if it's touched leaded solder it is no longer acceptable to use that tool in a RoHS process.
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On 07/08/2010 12:44 AM, notbob wrote:

Not sure where I bought my last roll, probably one of the horrible Big Boxen, but my only choices were plumbing solder and "lead free flux core" solder. I guess I ASSumed that since I didn't see something it'd been outlawed or at least restricted, but maybe it just means that my local stores suck (this isn't really news.)
I'm thinking of going back to the Shack and getting a pound or so because I forgot how much easier it is to work with. Plus I keep hearing people bitch about cracked solder joints with lead-free stuff.
nate
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At my local HD, only lead-free solder is on the shelf in the plumbing section, but in the tool dept. you can find tin/lead solder near the propane and butane torches.
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On Fri, 9 Jul 2010 02:29:06 +0000 (UTC), snipped-for-privacy@sdf.lNoOnSePsAtMar.org (Larry W) wrote:

That makes sense. AIUI, leaded solder is good for plumbing because drinking the water from it will leave a lead lining in your stomach and intestines that will cut absorbtion and help you not gain weight. But it also gets absorbed into your blood where the heavy lead weighs down he red blood cells and causes them to settle in your feet, and other places to move too slowly.
So it ends up doing more harm than good and that's why it's banned from plumbing.
This must be true because I read it on the net.

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mm posted for all of us...

I always thought all the lead settled in my A$$ because I don't do nuttin.
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Nate Nagel wrote: ...

Only because apparently you were looking at plumbing supply instead of electronics...afaik that's the only restriction.
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wrote:

60% tin, 40% lead

That may be a state-by-state thing, but here in Indiana at least, the sale of leaded solder was never prohibited.

You weren't looking in the right places, then. I've never had any trouble finding leaded solder -- especially at electronics-supply stores. There's no reason to require lead-free solder on anything but potable water.
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wrote:

Lead solder can be purchased in Ontario, Canada. It is illegal to use it on potable water, but I went through a bit of it installing a tricky shower control with body sprays. Tin/lead solder guaranteed that my joints were good and not leakers. I have experienced non-lead soldered joints testing good with no signs of a leak, but start to leak three months after they were put into use. This could possibly be in a sealed wall, where a slow leak could do a lot of damage.
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snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote in wrote:

63/37 (eutectic) is the usual replacement for 60/40 in electronic/electrical work.
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On 7/8/2010 8:56 AM Jim Yanik spake thus:

Just curious: how different is eutectic from 60/40? If eutectic is the best, why make 60/40 at all?
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wrote:

Not that much difference. 60/40 melts at 370F and 63/37 at 361F (pure lead melts at 621F). 60/40 should be a little harder. Often the mixture is set for a specific melting point such that the part can be soldered without another joint melting. For common electronics use, either will work.
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Tin costs more per pound than lead. If your making tons of product per year even the 3% differential between eutectic (63/37) and 60/40 adds up. There are also situations where a slightly longer elastic phase might be beneficial, compared to the almost instant "freeze" of eutectic solder
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On Wed, 07 Jul 2010 23:37:36 -0400, Nate Nagel

The European RoHS directive doesn't prohibit the sale of SnPb solder in the US.
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On Wed, 07 Jul 2010 23:37:36 -0400, Nate Nagel wrote:

The stuff I have here is 63/37 - surprising how different it is to work with (I really don't like it). I've got a huge reel of 60/40 over in England that I'll move over here one day (well, customs officials permitting - I'm not sure if there are rules about such things)...
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It's always been for sale here in Maryland, just not allowed for plumbing use or other uses where it would contact potable water.
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On 07/07/10 8:37 PM, Nate Nagel wrote:

63/37 is the ideal mix of tin and lead.
I bought a 5 lb roll of 60/40 solder in Atlanta at a Hamfest in 1976. I'm about 1/3 way through the roll.
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