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The bigger the heat path the more energy you need. As has been said for motor leads etc. 20W and up is good. Don't buy a cheap Chinese pistol grip unit for $5!!

Buy a soldering iron holder. Not expensive and $5 Chinese ones are just as good,



Like wise a soldering stand is good if you can find a cheap one.



Clean the tip on the damp sponge between joints.

Make sure the outlet into which the iron is plugged allows enough free cable to allow you to change the position of the iron.

Buy some soldering flux or soldering grease.


apply a small amount to both parts makes the job so much easier.

"Tin" wires/connectors before soldering together. Dip wire in paste, Put a "little" solder on the iron. Put the iron under the wire and touch the solder onto the wire.

Sometimes soldering irons get too much solder on them. Give the iron a flick and the excess solder will fly off. (Not recommended in a carpeted room :) ). The solder solidifies on impact with the floor or the bench and can easily be swept up.

If working on circuit boards a solder sucker is a neat piece of kit to have.

Failing that some solder wick. Bonus solder wick can be used for braids.

There are lots of tutorials on-line and practice on some junk before attempting the real work.
 

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QUOTE (300SLR @ 29 Apr 2012, 00:41) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi StuBeeDoo
For that sort of use you don't need to bother with high power irons or separate flux
60/40 rosin cored solder and irons like Bigbird suggests are fine.

yes . But I would still advocate getting some soldering paste it make life much easier.

QUOTE The work must be clean, clean, clean!

The most common mistake made in soldering is to use the iron to carry the solder to the work. You can sometimes get away with this when soldering fine wire onto small tabs such as motor terminals but the correct thing to do is to use the iron to heat the work to the point where solder liquefies on contact. This will avoid the problem of "cold" solder joints which occur when liquid solder contacts a cold work part and solidifies before completely wetting the joint.

Wot he said!
 

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QUOTE (RichG @ 30 Apr 2012, 16:54) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Well I have been soldering wires & electronic components for 40 + years now and have always used 18swg Multicore 60/40, and for very small stuff, 64 pin surface mount components etc I use 26swg Multicore 62/36/2 which has a small amount of silver in. I have tried lead free solder and hate it. Melting point is too high. and joints just do not look as good. Which reminds me to go buy another roll of 60/ 40 before it is banned.


Have never used additional flux on electronic components, and I have done a lot of joints in my time.


Rich

This is valid but what the OP said was.

QUOTE What I meant was repairing the electrics;- fixing "dry joints", replacing blown LEDs, making connections in cables, wiring-in a new motor, that sort of thing. .....
 
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