Hi. What is the proper way to solder? I am trying to solder 2 copper
wires, same material as electrical wires, 14 gauge as a matter of fact
together, but the solder won't stick to the wires. I cleaned the wires with
sandpaper, but no luck. I am holding the solder on the wires and touching
the soldering wires to the solder, but it won't take to the wires. Any help
is appreciated. Thanks.
Thanks toller. I was not using flux, so mistake #1. Second, just so I
understand you, hold the soldering iron so it touches the wires and then
touch the solder to the wires themselves, not the soldering iron?
You need solder with a non-corrosive flux for electrical work. It sounds
as though the solder you're using has no flux at all.
Moreover, you're supposed to heat the *work* (in your case the wires)
with the soldering iron/gun/torch until it's hot enough for the solder
to melt when it (i.e., the solder) touches the work.
Here's one how-to site:
On 05/17/05 06:40 pm Eric and Megan Swope tossed the following
ingredients into the ever-growing pot of cybersoup:
Eric and Megan Swope, 5/17/2005, 6:40:25 PM, wrote:
The wire has to become very hot before the solder will melt onto it.
14 gauge wire is pretty thick so you need an iron that is relatively
Add some solder to the iron and touch it to the bottom of the wire for
a while. Hold the other solder on top of the stripped wire until it
starts melting. It is important to have solder on the iron for heat
transfer to the wire you are tinning.
No matter what happens someone will find a way to take it too seriously.
Proper soldering heats the workpiece,not the solder.Then the workpiece
heats the solder to melt it,and it wets the workpiece.You need enough iron
wattage to heat the joint.Probably around 40 watts.
You also need to use electrical solder,either 60/40 or 63/37,with a rosin
Not plumbing solder,which melts at a higher temperature,and may use an acid
flux,which you do NOT want.
Clean the wires with sand paper and don't touch them with your greasy hands
after that. Standard solder requires you to use a solder paste on the wire
before you apply heat and solder. You can buy solder that has the a solder
paste impregnated then all you have to do is apply heat to the wires and
when their hot enough the solder should flow freely. Do not heat the solder
and and expect it to bond to the copper wire, even if it seems to work you
will probably find the joint won't last very long. If you use regular
solder paste be sure and wash it off with water because it will cause
corrosion over time. Solder specially formulated for electrical work uses a
none corrosive rosen core so use that if you can.
I'm no expert but the above works for me.
You are getting lots of good tips. Make sure you are using solder that has
60% tin and 40% lead with flux inside the solder. You may find some 63/37
which is even beter but is often hard to find. Have a rag handy maybe even
wet it slightly. Clean the tip of the iron by making sure it is hot enough
to melt the solder. Melt a small ammount on the tip and then wipe the tip
clean on the rag. Bring the tip to the wires to be soldered. It may help
to melt a small ammount of solder between the tip and the wires to help
transfer the heat. Then move the solder away from the iron and put it
directly on the wires. When you have enough melted take away the solder and
the iron. Do not move the wires tul the solder has hardened. If you do
move the wires the solder joint will look 'frosty' and not shiney. This is
a cold soldered joint and is not very good or strong. As solder cools it
will pass through a 'plastic' state and if moved it will form the cold
Another 'trick' is to make sure you have a big enough iron to heat the joint
fast. If the copper wire takes too long to heat it will oxidise and the
solder will not stick.
Lots of good advice so far. One thing I didn't see mentioned was 'tinning' the
leads. What that basically means is that before soldering the wires together,
coat each lead with a small amount of solder first. Then proceed to solder the
two leads together.
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