Friday, October 4, 2013

Tips for soldering your guitar wiring.

To start off with I use a weller 35 watt iron. It gets hot enough to heat the part being soldered quickly and melt the solder at the same time. Quick is the key you dont want your iron touching a capacitor or resistor lead as well as your potentiometer lugs or body long enough to damage the part.  You can take an old piece of metal or an old damaged pot and practice a bit till you get the hang of it. Run the wire through the lug you are soldering to touch the soldering iron tip to the lug and hit it with solder. It should usually take a second or less to solder the joint and on to the next lug or wire. Another good idea is to tin the wire ends with solder before you attach them to the lug they are soldering to. Strip the wire end give it a twist then apply heat and solder to the wire.  It is the same with soldering the ground wires to the back of the pot. Now with some pots you need to scratch or buff the metal where you are going to solder. This removes any finish or oils that are left behind from the manufacturing process. I use a small file to clean a spot for the ground wire. For connecting wire to wire or splicing strip the wire ends to be attached tin both ends with solder. Touch the tinned wire ends together and touch them lightly with the iron. The solder will fuse and you have a very clean splice then you can tape or shrink tube the connection. That is about all there is to it. After just a little practice you will get the hang of it and be on your way to building all of your own harnesses. I use a 60/40 solder for fine electronics it has a diameter of .032. You can find it at your local radio shack or ace hardware. You wont find many guitar wiring parts though you will have to purchase online or from your local music store if they carry parts. A good source for parts is ebay or guitar center also carries a lot of parts. Another good source for electronic parts is Mouser especially if you order in bulk.If you have no desire to learn how to solder or build your own wiring harnesses then there will always be guys like me who will build them for you. If you have a custom project or an instrument you need to wire up give me a shout at my email address I will be glad to help.