I've always wondered this myself and now that I need more it's finally time to ask. I've come across a variety of different types of solder...tin, lead, silver, copper, etc. all in different quantities per wire. In terms of guitar related projects (pickup wiring, pedal PCBs, etc.) what type of solder should I be looking for? Are there any red flags that definitely cannot be in the solder I use? Or anything I need to make sure is in?

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Ugh, guess I didn't actually link to the review I mentioned.

If you happen to be an electronics geek, this guy's videos are wonderful to watch.

I got a Hakko FX-888d last year and I love it.  A lot of people want to start with a "wand" iron which is usually too low powered to do what they want, particularly when it comes to solding wire. An accurately calibrated, adjustable soldering station just makes the job easier. It not only makes the job easier it's also easier to learn how to do it with a good soldering station. 

It's also important to take the time to learn how to do it right before you start on the good stuff. As Rusty pointed out, there's a lot of good tutorials and advice on the Internet. But you really need to practice on something old and junky. Any old electronic gear can supply a board and wires to practice with and learning how to desolder is as important as learning to solder. 

BTW, I didn't know that 63/37 was so quick to change states. Naturally, it's completely possible that I'll miss the challenge of producing a perfect shiny, clean solder joint rather than the twisted, dull, cold joint that a few seconds of a semi-solid solder state can give you but I may have to give 63/37 a try. 

Honestly, I think in most cases the differences between 60/40 and 63/37 are negligible, so long as the connections aren't subject to vibration or disturbance in the cooling process. I lean toward 63/37 almost on academic principle, but in practice 60/40 works just fine. I don't think I've ever seen a failed joint where I said "boy, that would have worked if they used 73/37". :)
Thanks for all the great info. I currently have two different irons that I like...a Weller WLC100 and a Solomon SR-965. The Weller seems to get dirty very quickly and needs a little flux often. I'm guessing I'm at the point where I don't know what a "really" good iron is.

Paul, PM sent.


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