The Maker Show: Episode 6 - Soldering Basics

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If you've ever wanted to learn how to solder and didn't know how to get started, then this is the video for you.

Sooner or later in your maker projects, you will come across a project that requires soldering. The time to learn is now, so you can be ready.

In this video, Frank La Vigne (@tableteer) talks about the various types of soldering irons, accessories, and safety tips before diving into soldering. 

[00:34] Why Learn to Solder?
[01:00] Different Types of Soldering Irons
[01:23] A Soldering Iron for Every Budget
[01:50] My Soldering Iron
[02:13] Accessories
[02:20] Safety
[02:57] Helping Hands
[03:22] Wire Cutters
[03:28] More Safety
[03:45] Patience is a Virtue
[04:01] Solder
[04:36] Safety tips for lead solder
[04:54] Soldering Time!
[05:02] Soldering Station Demo
[06:08] Soldering Accessories
[07:09] Soldering Pins onto a Chip
[09:53] Closer Look at First Soldered Pin
[12:12] Closer Look at Finished Job
[12:38] Tinning
[15:18] Closer Look at Finished Wire
[15:24] Twitter/Website

Feel free to ask questions in the comments section below and let us know what topics you'd like to see covered in future episodes of The Maker Show. Bookmark to come back to the main show page, and follow us on Twitter:@TheMakerShow.



Hardware, maker, IoT



The Discussion

  • User profile image

    This video is great, guys! I have never been good at soldering, so this will help me do a better job.

  • User profile image

    Thanks, Rob!

  • User profile image
    Steve French

    What is the brand/model of the helping hands?

  • User profile image
    RC Roeder

    When soldering, always heat the biggest object or the object that will carry the heat way. In the case of the 25mm posts, touch the post just above pad first, slide down to the pad then touch the solder to the post and pad.. The solder should travel down the post an flow thru the hole for a nice filleted solder joint You are putting the solder to high on the post.


  • User profile image

    Sorry I meant Frank. 

  • User profile image

    I'm not trying to be a troll, just giving you some advice.
    Touch the iron to the copper pad on the PCB AND the pin at the same time then touch the solder to the opposite side of the pin.
    You were just touching the top of the pin and hoping the solder melts so you ended up with rather ugly looking joints.
    For soldering 0.1 inch headers like that you're better off forgetting the helping hands and just plugging it all into a breadboard, using it as a jig, so everything lays flat and square.

    Part 2 of this three part series by Dave Jones is a good place to start.

  • User profile image
  • User profile image

    @RC Roeder:Thanks. I'm still a soldering n00b. :D

  • User profile image

    @dentaku:thanks for the tip. I'm still a soldering n00b. :) I'll practice more and shoot another video with lessons learned. :D

  • User profile image

    , FrankLaVigne wrote

    @dentaku:thanks for the tip. I'm still a soldering n00b. :) I'll practice more and shoot another video with lessons learned. :D

    There's al lot you can learn from watching Dave Jones's videos.
    there are other soldering videos out there that show you what military regulations require but they're ridiculous. No average person would bother soldering like that. :)

    By the way, this ancient PACE video is still totally useful today. It also explains the importance of flux which some people add to their PCB before soldering but for something like a new untarnished logic level translator like you have you can just rely on the flux already in the core of your solder.

    Does the other side of you spool of solder show if I has flux in the core? The image you show in the video doesn't mention it on the label.

  • User profile image

    @dentaku:That's a great video! It looks like it's first in a series that Pace has put online. I'm going to watch them all.

    The other side of the spool had the same label with no mention of flux.

  • User profile image

    Several mistakes in the video that will lead to cold soldering joints.
    1. add a small bit of fresh solder to the iron tip to help transmit heat to the material.
    2. heat the materials, not the solder; allow the materials to melt the solder. the liquid solder must flow over the materials.
    3. do not move the material AT ALL as the iron pulls away and as the material cools.
    4. when soldering wire-to-wire, it is best to twist the two wires together first to avoid movement. This is easier to do without tinning the wires, tin the joint.
    5. learn about "flux" which cleans metal. for electronics use rosin core solder, for copper pipe, use acid core solder.
    6. for delicate components, use a heat sink to wick heat away from the component. also touch a heat sink to joints after some cooling to bring them quickly back to room temperature.
    7. disassemble a retail electronic device and examine the solder joints to gain experience of how good solder joints appear; generally very little solder, shiny not dull. most devices are wave soldered these days, if your hand soldering can approximate wave soldering, you have become a professional.

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