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Old 25th March 2005, 04:46 PM   #1
bigwill is offline bigwill  United Kingdom
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Unhappy Solder dilemma

I recently bought some lead free solder and a copper tipped soldering iron. This combination simply doesn't work, the tip just refuses to tin. I REALLY don't want to use lead solder - for fear of being exposed to lead. The root of this fear is from OCDish behaviours, fear of being contaminated with poison. As a result of this fear, handling any poisonous substances like heavy metals is extremely worrying and stressful, but I really want to make my project. My dad has a nickel tipped soldering iron which he said would work, and I really hope it does. This is worring - since it will have lead solder on the end. I know there probably isn't enough to hurt me - but I can't help it. I want to make things, but my fears of contamination are holding me back . Will this nickel tipped soldering iron work?
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Old 25th March 2005, 04:50 PM   #2
Netlist is offline Netlist  Belgium
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Default Re: Solder dilemma

Quote:
Originally posted by bigwill
Will this nickel tipped soldering iron work?
Just give it a try. What kind of copper tipped iron do you have?

/Hugo
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Old 25th March 2005, 04:53 PM   #3
bigwill is offline bigwill  United Kingdom
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Default Re: Re: Solder dilemma

Quote:
Originally posted by Netlist


Just give it a try. What kind of copper tipped iron do you have?

/Hugo

I don't know, but the soldering iron cost seven pounds so go figure
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Old 25th March 2005, 04:59 PM   #4
Netlist is offline Netlist  Belgium
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Try to get a decent one if you plan to DIY a lot.
It's really worth it, saves a lot of frustration, bad solder contacts and is a good start for good working projects.

/Hugo
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Old 25th March 2005, 05:03 PM   #5
bigwill is offline bigwill  United Kingdom
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I'll probably use my dads if I can get over the fact it has had lead on it
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Old 25th March 2005, 05:38 PM   #6
joeykmc is offline joeykmc  Taiwan
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what kind of led-free solder have you bought?
was it solid solder wire without flux in it?

you can't do soldering without flux...and i guess the solder iron
is not a problem.

just for your reference....
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Old 25th March 2005, 05:40 PM   #7
bigwill is offline bigwill  United Kingdom
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It definately has flux in it.

My dad found his nickel iron for me, and it seems to work He also tinned it with the lead free solder, and it leaves a nice shiny surface instead of the BLACK of the copper one, but it still seems to attack the tip slightly.
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Old 25th March 2005, 09:13 PM   #8
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To make effective joints with lead free solder ALL of the components to be soldered have to be lead free, contamination from lead tinnig on component leads will ruin the joints. The industry is still sorting this one out, many components are still not available totaly lead free. This includes tinned PCBs unless they are purchased as lead free.

The lead in solder is not the main health problem for peoplu using it. Many of the fluxes used are carsonagenic. So soldering should only be carried out in well ventilated areas, and if necessary fume extraction should be used.

Occational exposure to solder and solder fumes is not considered a health risk.

I understand your problem with OCD, (still taking the tablets myself) it can be very disruptive to even the simplest of tasks.

Chris
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Old 25th March 2005, 09:57 PM   #9
bigwill is offline bigwill  United Kingdom
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If I didn't have this OCD thing, I would probably just solder with 60/40 like everyone else.

I tried soldering my veroboard with my dad's soldering iron, it just didn't flow. My dad's an experienced solderer, and he said it was rubbish!

I think I'll have to use 'normal' solder!
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Old 26th March 2005, 03:10 AM   #10
rabbitz is offline rabbitz  Australia
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As an OCD sufferer I can tell you you just have to confront it, challenge yourself and weigh up the risks vs the fun you will have building these things...... we're not going to live forever so enjoy it while we're here.

Once the solder starts to flow and you see some results you'll forget about the fears.

You should see me putting in a resistor....
R12 is 56K
Get the DMM out..... 56K... OK
Check the colour bands.... 56K.... OK
Put it in the PCB
Now what was R12?
56K you idiot!
Get the DMM out..... 56K... OK
Check the colour bands.... 56K.... OK
Get on with it and stop being stupid
Get the soldering iron.....56K? Yes!
sssssssss...... done
sigh

Just have to manage the condition and look on the lighter side of it and BTW, I don't make many mistakes.
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