Solder Prices

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I'm still in the process of procuring parts for the Fender amp I'm rebuilding for my Rhodes Keyboard. But, I, also, started looking at getting some new solder, as I haven't bought any in quite some time. What the heck is up with solder prices? A pound of Kester "44" solder is way over $40 on both Mouser and Digikey. When did solder turn into gold?

AND, how come Mouser and Digikey, at least, are over $40 a pound for Kester solder, when Parts Express sells the same solder for about $29, which is still WAY too expensive, but a lot cheaper than Mouser or Digi-Key? Even Mojotone is around $29. There's like a $14 or $15 price difference between Mouser and Digikey compared to Parts Express and Mojotone.

The last time I bought solder, I think, I paid around $8 or $10 for a pound.
 
No, I'm looking at 60/40 Kester "44" solder, .031 Diameter. I just checked Parts Express again. The "44" solder is $30.68 there. I was a little off. But, it is still over $14 less than at Mouser or Digikey.

It wasn't that long ago that I bought solder. Seems like a drastic increase in price. My income hasn't gone up in I don't know how long.
 
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rayma

Member
2011-04-29 8:37 pm
What's the metallurgical thinking/theory behind this then?
If its so much better why has 60/40 been the standard for time immemorial?

The popularity of 60/40 beats me, but try it and see. The 63/37 has no plastic range, and a lower melting point.
The 60/40 is somewhat cheaper. http://www.farnell.com/datasheets/315929.pdf

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eutectic_system
Upon heating any other mixture ratio, and reaching the eutectic temperature — see the phase diagram
to the right — one component's lattice will melt first, while the temperature of the mixture has to further
increase for (all) the other component lattice(s) to melt. Conversely, as a non-eutectic mixture cools down,
each mixture's component will solidify (form its lattice) at a distinct temperature, until all material is solid.
 
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Let me ask this.

I'll be replacing "vintage" components, that in all likelihood, were soldered on the boards with 60/40 solder back in the 1970s. Are there any issues using 63/37 to solder in the replacement components, because after desoldering and removing the old components, there will still be some 60/40 solder still left at the joint?
 

rayma

Member
2011-04-29 8:37 pm
I'll be replacing "vintage" components, that in all likelihood, were soldered on the boards
with 60/40 solder back in the 1970s. Are there any issues using 63/37 to solder in the replacement components,
because after desoldering and removing the old components, there will still be some 60/40 solder still left at the joint?

I've done lots of that, with no problem. That said, the more of the old solder that you remove the better,
regardless of the type it is.
 

rayma

Member
2011-04-29 8:37 pm
I don't disagree, but, I'm sure, you know how difficult that is. I've got about 75 total components to replace.
There will be some solder left on the trace.No doubt about it.

Sure, you can't remove it down to the plating. I never tried to do that, just get it clean and smooth.
Remember the metals in eutectic are the same, just present in slightly different proportions.
The old remaining solder will dissolve into the new stuff. Do try to get off the old flux residue, though.
 
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I didn't know this discussion about solder prices would lead to a discussion about solder types, but it's cool as maybe I learned something new. I guess I'll give the 63/37 a try. Hope it works out.

I checked out that Kester Pocket Pak that Rayma suggested here: Kester Pocket Pak Solder 63/37 0.031" 0.50 oz. Tube

I don't think I'll be going with that. I did the math and the cost of buying that in such a small quantity is over $92 per pound..........................YIKES!

I have a lot more soldering to do after this Fender amp is finished. I need to recap my Marantz 2330B, so I guess I'll just buy the 1 lb roll. I'm sure other projects will pop up as well.

Thanks for all the input and advice from everyone.
 
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