to Install a Solder Clevis
This is a question I've received several times over the years as it
appears some guys have the same problems I had when attempting to solder
something because I didn't know the fundamental principles of soldering.
There are really only five things you need to know:
- Keep your soldering iron tip clean and tinned.
- Clean whatever it is you are soldering.
- Don't use acid flux or acid-core solder unless you absolutely have to.
- Heat the joint with the soldering iron underneath it because heat goes
up. Do not put solder in the joint and apply the iron to the solder.
- Allow the joint to cool naturally. Never do anything to rapidly
cool the joint just as dipping it in water or liquid hyrdogen.
Number one is where I was going wrong. I was trying to solder and
the solder wouldn't melt or flow because the tip was cruddy. So the
iron stayed plugged in way too long which made the tip even cruddier.
Plus it burnt up the iron. Eventually I would pull out my butane lighter and
get the job done with a resulting joint that was permanently burned black.
I can answer Neil Young's question, "What is the color when black is
Number two usually means using some type of mild abrasive. I use
#0000 steel wool whenever possible but have also used very fine sandpaper,
800 or 1000 grit. A wire brush can work too. The idea is to
clean corrosion and tarnish off the surface you plan to solder. Any
type of abrasive scratches the surface which usually invites rust. So
you don't want to use anything coarser than necessary.
Finally you need to clean the solder joint very well to remove left over
flux. At this point I use one of several plastic brushes such as an
old toothbrush. The toothbrush is used 99% of the time but sometimes I
need a different brush to reach where a toothbrush won't.
After the part is clean I usually use a light oil and watch it for a
couple of days. If I missed a spot cleaning it will probably start to
rust. If I catch it soon enough I can clean it up again and oil it and
it's good from there on out.