[sdiy] unleaded solder

Eric Brombaugh ebrombaugh1 at cox.net
Sat Apr 2 18:27:06 CEST 2016


It's not your imagination and not your age or technique - lead-free solder is harder to work with. It requires a higher melting point and generally gives joints that are more likely to appear "cold". It also does very strange stuff if it alloys with remnants of lead-based solder, so it's best to use a tip that's never been near leaded solder.

I'd avoid lead-free for DIY applications - it's not worth the effort.

Eric

On Apr 2, 2016, at 9:19 AM, Phillip Harbison wrote:

> Last night I was soldering for the first time in many years. I
> am trying to use lead-free solder. I believe it is 99% tin and
> 1% copper. In the lead solder days I never had a problem with
> getting good joints. Last night I had lots of problems. Perhaps
> it is more a matter of declining vision and unsteady hands, but
> I'm inclined to believe the solder is part of the problem. When
> using lead solder it was quick work so my eyes and hands did
> not have as much time to become fatigued. It seemed to take
> forever to get the solder flowing. I had my iron set at 430•C.
> I'm not sure if that is sufficient temperature, but it is near
> the iron's maximum temperature. I struggled to assemble a kit
> with a ZIF socket, a dozen discrete components, and a handful
> of connectors on a 1.25" x 4" board. I did not time myself but
> I'm guessing at least 90 minutes. Any suggestions on what I
> might be doing wrong? Should I give up on lead-free solder? I
> would appreciate any advice anyone can offer.
> 
> -- 
> Phil Harbison
> 
> 
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