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Soldering u/c wires

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fly boy326/01/2019 20:43:54
3520 forum posts
18 photos

I am about to attempt to solder 1/8th dia,u/wire using copper wire. What is the correct solder and flux to use on the job, and can it be obtained in small quantities. As Maplins have gone, is there an alternative. Thanks.

Former Member26/01/2019 20:52:25
724 forum posts

[This posting has been removed]

Peter Miller26/01/2019 20:56:56
10195 forum posts
1192 photos
10 articles

I use standard multicore lead/tin solder. You should be able to buy it on Ebay. I have a 500 gram drum of the stuff as it is always useful.

You need a good iron. I actually use a Weller 40 watt iron but bigger is better.

Using a gas torch is far too hot for ordinaty solder.

Also keepa reel of tinned 26 swg copper wired for binding the joint.This is vital but plain copper wire is OK

Martin Harris26/01/2019 21:10:08
8805 forum posts
216 photos

Baker's Fluid will ensure a good joint - clean to bright metal and wash the joint well afterwards with soapy water. The problem with silver soldering is that you will alter the properties of the wire, losing its springiness due to having to raise the temperature too high.




Edited By Martin Harris on 26/01/2019 21:14:09

Don Fry26/01/2019 21:20:58
3948 forum posts
42 photos

60/40 Pb/Sn. Has not broken yet on arrival. Still in the bin, the wire is not recoverable.

Geoff Sleath26/01/2019 22:28:10
3370 forum posts
272 photos

As Peter says but I use a 120 watt Weller I've had for 60 odd years. I prefer Fluxite as additional flux rather than Baker's which is quite corrosive and needs washing well after the job's done but both work OK.


GrahamWh27/01/2019 09:13:23
356 forum posts
53 photos

Electrical iron, higher wattage the better, standard flux cored solder. No need to use silver solder here and wrap with copper wire, preferably tinned but normal is okay. Make sure everything is really hot and taking the solder properly (so a low watt iron is no good). Also as there is a lot of heating to be done over a lot of surface, a flame would be too hard to use - raising the temp at some points too high. I have tried.

Andy G.27/01/2019 09:30:36
413 forum posts
215 photos

I use an electric paint stripper gun as the heat source, works well. Up until very recently I used my trusty Black and Dekker B&Q special, a two heat wonder, but that recently gave up the ghost and has been replaced with an all singing all dancing digital gun from Ebay with fully adjustable heat control. I've yet to do any soldering with it but it's as least powerful as the old one so see no potential problems.

Don Fry27/01/2019 10:33:36
3948 forum posts
42 photos

Thank you Andy, will try a heat gun.

By the way, tinned copper sheath makes a very neat alternative to copper wire. Or use the non tinned stuff.

Former Member27/01/2019 11:49:23
724 forum posts

[This posting has been removed]

fly boy327/01/2019 12:04:51
3520 forum posts
18 photos

Thanks for all the info lads , much appreciated. I have used 30 amp fuse wire in the past, but now difficult to source. Cheers. .Fluxite Geoff, now there's a blast from the past lol.

Geoff Sleath27/01/2019 12:15:30
3370 forum posts
272 photos

I've just had a quick look at my tin of Fluxite and I suppose it does look a bit tatty. I have no idea how old it is, how long l've had it nor where I bought it (or perhaps pinched it from the old man - when he was younger than I am now). Is it still available? There was always a tin of Baker's in Dad's workshop and that was ancient, too.

There were 2 types of Multicore solder. The electrical stuff with non-corrosive flux was called Ersin and there was Arax which had a corrosive flux and was intended for jobs like soldering piano wire. Not sure if either is still available. I know I sneaked some Arax into my City & Guilds Radio Servicing soldering exam just in case I needed it (I assumed the corrosion wouldn't be obvious until well after the test piece was checked by the examiner.) I don't think I used it.


kc27/01/2019 12:19:27
6032 forum posts
168 photos

Nobody seems to have mentioned that modern lead free solder needs a modern soldering iron which gets hotter than the old irons.. However old fashioned solder with lead is still available ( from The Component Shop amongst others)

Edited By kc on 27/01/2019 12:23:15

fly boy327/01/2019 23:12:24
3520 forum posts
18 photos

Hi Geoff, yes available on eBay. A vintage tin only is going for £12. LoL

onetenor28/01/2019 07:26:55
1900 forum posts

As a plumber I used YORKSHIRE self cleaning flux It is brilliant stuff but I still pre cleaned the metals first with my plumbing scourer. As a heat source these days I use a mini torch or a soldering gun. Always use a heat mat to shield areas in line with the flame from the torch or heat gun. It's surprising how far the heat projects. When using salvaged wire make sure to remove the lacquer from it .Either scrape it or use meths.thinners. Florists wire ( soft iron ) is also good for binding too. Draw it through sand or wet/dry paper first to clean it to bright metal first. The flux is available from any plumbers supplies shop or B&Q Screwfix also is the solder I use for this but only cause I have plenty. Just cut small bits off the stick or hammer it thin for ease of use. Mini blow torches are available from Bang Good Plumbers solder is what I meant to say I use.I kept getting the blue censors pencil wiping out words. A PITA when that happens.. If you want a solder that's a bit harder but don't want to use silver solder for fear of de-tempering the wire There are some "soft" solders with a silver content. See super Tigre's posting.. Need just a little more heat .

P.S. Wash joint after YORKSHIRE flux too to be on the safe side.

Nigel R28/01/2019 09:05:20
3066 forum posts
475 photos

Clean, clean, then clean again, everything involved, wire wool or wet and dry, then wipe with fresh kitchen roll damped with IPA, keep the greasy fingers away from the joint when preparing it, I find those disposable surgical gloves help at this stage. I scrounge my copper from some twin and earth, cleaned up with wire wool & IPA again

use a big iron, 100W +, ensure the tip of the iron is nicely prepared and taking the solder, regular flux and lead core solder, I've had good results from the B&Q stuff

Former Member28/01/2019 09:24:55
724 forum posts

[This posting has been removed]

Engine Doctor28/01/2019 11:57:31
2300 forum posts
27 photos
Posted by supertigrefan on 28/01/2019 09:24:55:

As Nigel says, Cleanliness is the key, regardless of which solder you use, it'll just bead otherwise and not wet into the joint, IPA, cellulose thinner or acetone are good degreasers just do not use brake cleaner if you're using a flame as it produces Phosgene gas!!

Edit: …….or any chlorinated cleaner with a flame.

Edited By supertigrefan on 28/01/2019 09:31:46

And to think that CTC or Carbon Tetra Chloride was widely use as an extinguishing agent back in the 60's !!! Dodgy stuff even breathing the vapour or getting it on your skin when de-greasing can be dangerous .

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