How to use soldering iron like a pro – A Step by Step Guide

Do you want a top solution of your soldering problem? Need to know how to use soldering iron like a pro more efficiently? My latest user guides on soldering iron would be the best match for you.

You may find lots of advice on the internet on soldering electronic components but not every advice helpful for you. You have to know how you use a soldering iron first then you go to advance level.


Sometimes you may melt solder from that advice and make some acceptable connections. But if you want to get more professional results with the right direction and want to maintain consistent progress then read my step by step user guide for the starters.

After reading this article you may find it is not a difficult task at all. I tried to address the key point that ensures your easy understanding of each section.

You may wonder but soldering is considered one of the favorites in the hobby. When you learn the techniques of how to do soldering without melting your plastic connectors you would fond of it.

So, Read On!!

In this informative article, I organized my contents into 3 major parts so that you can easily read, understand and can acquire sufficient knowledge for your soldering solution.

Step 1: Basic understanding and preparation

About soldering

A soldering iron comes with a metal tip that gets really hot during the time of soldering work.

You can only use this if you want to perform your soldering tasks on thick cables or materials not on PCBs. It may cause damage if you work on thin materials without gaining proper experiences on it.

Materials you needed for soldering tasks:

Materials you needed for soldering tasks
Photo by Limor/ CC BY

A torch:

If you are a beginner then you need to go for handheld butane torch. It provides sufficient heat to finish your small scale jobs.

Flux and brush:

You need flux and brush to clean you soldering iron head. Because, when you heat your metal it leaves natural dirty oxide layer.

You can find a wide range of flux available in the market but if you are not sure, just start with the borax dish and cone.

Solder

When you use solder it must be clean and make them tiny pieces to get most outcomes from your solder.

Cutters

You have to use different scissors for different solder strip. You need to make them small pieces or for pliable sheet metal or wire into shapes.

Heatproof Surface

You must need a heatproof surface for your soldering work. The area must be clean and safe to work is really import part and heat-resistance area would be the best to perform your soldering job.

Repeal Action Tweezers

When you are holding or positioning your work that time the soldering repeal action tweezers plays very important role and really essential. So, Always make sure that reverse action tweezers are available at the time your work soldering.

A thick surface

After completing your soldering work you need the iron to gently cool down for cleaning and you should have a steel plate or thick block to complete your job.

Brush and pumice power

Before you start your polishing work you need a simple brush or toothbrush with pumice powder that will give you a bright surface.

Step 2: General safety instructions

Before start working on soldering you have to know in details about risk assessment and chemical safety information. It must be easily accessible from your soldering station.

These are the following steps that you need to know for your overall soldering safety fail to follow could cause severe accidents or product damage.

Soldering Iron:

  • Do not use any element if your soldering temperature is 400°
  • Use tweezers or clamps if you need to heat the wire.
  • Remain wet cleaning sponge while you are using the soldering.
  • Always switch off and unplug if not using.

Solder, flux, and cleaners:

  • Always wear protective glass for your eyes otherwise may risk of split the solder.
  • Make sure soldiers are rosin and lead-free.
  • Use more clean water and soap to watch your hands.

Guide contact:

  • If you directly conduct solder wear protective gloves.
  • Control fumes with a reasonable level.

Rosin Contact:

  • Keep your eye, throat, and lung away from solder flux.
  • Limit your exposure with flux fumes otherwise may cause respiratory and skin disease and asthma.

Manage fumes:

  • Build your workstation with proper ventilation facilities.
  • Maintain and test your extraction system at least once in a year.
  • Stop work if extract not working appropriately.

Electrical protection:

  • Do not keep electrical cables very close to soldering station.
  • Do not involve soldering operations if you find the damaging body, cable, plug noticeable.
  • Use fire protective clothing to save your hands and legs for accidental burns.

First Aid

  • Place your burning area under water at least 20 minutes.
  • Keep first Aid box near to your soldering station.
  • Seek advice for severe injury.

Waste Management:

  • Put all your squander into the cover
  • Put level perfectly and dispose of as hazardous waste.

These are the important safety procedures you have to follow for protected soldering work. If you do not care your soldering jobs according to safety guideline you may face severe damage to your particular equipment. Also, it could cause severe persona injury.

Step 3: Start practicing of your own project

It is most important part of your soldering iron projects. Because you already have a better idea about your soldering equipment and basic health and safety procedures.

Now it is time for you to start practicing by completing some small projects that will boost up your confidence. It also gives you a room to gain efficiency to move forward to next level.

Connecting parts:

Now the question may arise as for how to use a soldering iron for wires. Just you have to grasp in your dominant hand and use another hand for the long piece. If are planning to join two parts of wires you need to stroke the iron head where you connect with soldering iron.

The amounts of solder you need to use vary according to your project, application, and size of the solder.

Now you have to take away the solder first and do holding bit more time until its continue to melt and forms an excellent joint.

It will take few seconds to do the experiments then it will take bit more time to work for quick soldering.

Re-soldering:

If you make mistake or just in case the work is not appropriately done then you can do repeat-soldering. You just remove the old solder completely and add again a touch of new solder.

You can use generally two soldering tools one is vacuum-based solder sucker or a solder wick for your de-soldering work.

Now, I am going to discuss a practical project with you so that you can have a good idea to perform your soldering work by yourself.

Building a Taser

To build a taser is a very easy process just follows my step by step guide:

Parts:

To perform this job you need a one-time use camera so used disposable camera would be the best option for you.

Materials required:

  • You need a good quality soldering iron
  • Some copper wire
  • Tape electrical would be fine.

Get the circuit:

You need to break the camera to get the inside circuit.

Enough charging:

Circuit
Photo by Richard Corfield/ CC BY

Just take the battery and stick the battery with the back of the circuit. You can use electrical tape to make sure it sticks with the circuit.
You have to hold the battery for few seconds and if your whine stops then you confirm that your connectors are ready.

Test your Taser:

You can check your taser by touching it. Most capacitors need 300-360 volts with extremely little amps for charging.

You also can fix the solder wires instead of capacitor still you get same voltage and the shock will remain same but it won’t hurt you badly.

Troubleshooting:

Trouble1: The solder won’t adhere with the foil or came

Justification:

  1. Did you use any flux?
  2. Did you use sufficient flux
  3. Was your iron getting not enough to cool

Clean the lead with brush and start doing again.

Trouble 2: My solder seams are irregular in width.

Justification:

  1. Probably you might have fitting pieces but very poorly made so it is responsible for building different size gaps.

Use a craft knife to trim the foil and still not working then remove foil and start your project again.

Trouble3: Attached hooks and rings are pulling away from my project.

Justification:

  1. You should not attach hooks and rings at the same time to just a thwarted edge.

If you do not have vertical seam or intersection then do horizontal seam in the piece to attach the hooks and rings.

Trouble4: My iron seems to be hot, but the solder isn’t melting as fast as normal

Justification:

  1. Make sure your tip not loses.
  2. Make sure it is properly clean.
  3. Every time clean it with a wet

Trouble 5: how long for soldering iron to heat up

Justification:

It depends on the quality and manufacturers. Normally it may heat up within seconds but the inexpensive one can take up to 5 minutes.

Trouble 6: how to use a soldering iron on a circuit board

Justification:

First, you have to curve the leads as it will stay in its position. Then put the tilt of the iron on the circuit board surface so it heats the lead and surface of the circuit board.

Just hold and heat them for a second then apply solder. Finally, remove the solder wire and inspect your joints check if it looks ok.

Final verdict

So, I think you are confident enough to perform your soldering iron like a pro because I hope already you gather sufficient knowledge and skills to start your soldering tasks.

Follow my step by step process so you can practice by investing a reasonable amount of time and that will help you to take your expertise level for further.

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