Flux for feeder and joiners soldering

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by prodigy2k7, Feb 4, 2007.

  1. prodigy2k7

    prodigy2k7 Member

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  2. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Member

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    When I click on the link, I get the Lowe's home page so can't tell what flux you're refering too. I'll bet it's the wrong one though. Don't use flux or solder made for copper pipe or other plumbing work. You need to use flux and solder specially made for electrical parts. Try an electronics supplie store, such as RadioShack or your local hobby store.
    Doc
  3. prodigy2k7

    prodigy2k7 Member

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    Man im stupid HAHA i never thought to look at radio shack... thanks! i found it at their website.. :)
  4. EngineerKyle

    EngineerKyle Member

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    or...

    You could use the thinnest gauge solder you can find that has a flux core. That stuff works well for me.
  5. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    make sure you have a high wattage soldering iron, too. 40 watts or greater. You want to be able to get in, heat up, solder, and get out before the ties have a chance to melt.

    kevin
  6. prodigy2k7

    prodigy2k7 Member

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    Actually, I bought a 40 watt one :p thanks hehe
  7. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

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    You don't really need flux to solder wire to rail if you use a rosin-core solder. If you are using it, use it sparingly. Whether you use it or not, be sure to clean the rail with a file or some fine sandpaper before you solder. Tin the tip of the hot iron with the solder, and wipe it off on a wet sponge.

    Make sure your wire is in place before you touch the iron to anything. Solder is not a replacement for a good physical connection. Lay the wire next to the rail (on the spot you cleaned), then touch the tip of the iron to the wire and the rail (the idea is you want to heat them both up at the same time).

    Let the iron warm up the wire and the rail, then touch the solder to the rail just above the wire. If the rail is hot enough, the solder will melt and flow onto the rail and wick into the wire. As soon as you see that happen, take the iron away.

    The solder should cool with a shiny surface. If it appears to be dull, it means that the wire was moving while the solder cooled, and you won't have a good joint. If it is dull, press the wire against the rail with a screwdriver (not your fingers!) and touch the tip of the iron to the wire. Once the solder melts, take the iron away, but don't move the screwdriver until the solder has cooled.

    Good luck!
  8. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

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    I agree 100 % with Squidbait , you don't need flux to solder.
    I use a 25 Wsoldering iron and 0.032 " diamater standard rosin core solder purchased at what used to be "Radio Shack" here in Canada ( for whatever legal reason, they are not allowed to use the name Radio Shack anymore here).
    The most important ( as I was taught 40 years ago at the technical high school ) is that the solder melts because the 2 parts to join are at the right temperature, not because the soldring iron is hot.
    You have a cleaning sponge don't you

    Attached Files:

  9. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

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    Without causing a debate, I have to strongly disagree about not using flux on a solder joint. Even if you use rosin-core solder, there's not enough rosin flux in it to do a good job, especially with .015 solder. See my comments in this thread. I always use a liquid flux on every joint, even when using tinned wire, and especially when soldering rail joints and the flux breaks though the toughest corrosion. It just makes the job so much easier and you get a better solder joint.

    You are right, the solder should melt because the joint is hot, the iron is only the medium to bring heat to the party. You should never have to touch the solder to the iron.
  10. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Member

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    Here's another tip to keep ties from melting. Usa a pair of alligator clips (also from RS) on either side of the solder location to draw the heat away. Here's a pic of mine.
    [​IMG]
    Doc
  11. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

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    I will concede that you should use flux if you're soldering a rail joint - the solder will flow nicely inside the rail joiner if you've got flux in it. I use a paste flux called "Orange Crush" that works really well. For soldering wires to rails though, I still maintain you don't need it with a good rosin-cored solder. Beginners (in my experience) tend to use way too much flux, and it runs all over everything. If the joint is clean, and the wire and rail are hot, it'll work fine.

    If you don't want to use the alligator clips, some tissue paper soaked in water works well as a heat-sink too .
  12. prodigy2k7

    prodigy2k7 Member

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    THis is the only stuff I could find:
    waterFLow 2000
    Water SOluble Paste Flux

    The thing I cringe on is that it says "For non-electrical soldering and sweat fittings"
    I just knew i had to get water soluble so I got this...
    WIll this work?
  13. EngineerKyle

    EngineerKyle Member

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    Don,

    BALONEY!

    I've never used flux, except in the core, and my joints are fine.
  14. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

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    That is NOT what you want - that's for plumbing.

    You want this stuff.
  15. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

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    Or something like this flux pen would be handy. I've never used one, but it looks like it'd be a lot tider than paste.
  16. radar

    radar Member

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    I've be modeling for 30 yrs, certified electronic tech, rebuild aircraft instruments, never need flux inless soldering solid brass !
  17. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

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    Well, like I said, I didn't want to start a debate. If not using additional flux works for you, great. I just found that there's not enough in the .015 solder to get a nice looking joint. I've soldered some pretty ratty-looking rails and they soldered fine without burnishing them, just as long as I used flux on the joint.

    I guess we're all creatures of habit. I never used flux before either until My wife was taught to use it on all her assembly work. I saw what kind of work she was doing and so I became an instant convert and won't solder anything without it now. That's just my choice and what I'm now use to. If anyone asks me, that's what I recommend. If not using it works for them, that's fine too.
  18. prodigy2k7

    prodigy2k7 Member

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    Radioshack I went to didnt have any... :(
    WHy cant I use the waterbased stuff I got...it wont hold? it will deplete my electric current or corrode my rails?
  19. radar

    radar Member

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    It has an acid in it that will coroade the rail joint!
  20. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

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    The difference between the flux used for plumbing and that used for electrical work is the plumbing stuff is acid-based and will corrode an electrical joint in time. If you bought your solder or flux at a home center or hardware store, the chances are that it's not for electrical work. It's best not to use flux at all than to use the wrong kind, and I think I made it quite clear about how I feel about using flux. :rolleyes: The water-based flux I use I got years ago for use with a wave soldering machine. Anyone that sells solder should also sell flux and other soldering supplies. Try an electrical supplier or an electronic parts dealer, I found some in the Mouser Electronics catalog.