Q:

How do you use a soldering iron?

A:

Quick Answer

Solder electrical connections by protecting the work surface, preparing the soldering iron, mechanically connecting the materials and soldering the joint. Avoid touching the end of the soldering iron, as it is very hot.

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Full Answer

  1. Protect the work area

    Cover the work surface with cardboard to prevent burns from dripping solder, or cover the iron if it touches the surface.

  2. Prepare the soldering iron

    Preheat the soldering iron and clean the tip. Tin the soldering iron by touching the solder to the hot iron and allowing the solder to spread, creating a mirror-like surface.

  3. Secure the joint

    Join the two pieces of metal before applying heat. Use a soldering stick or alligator clip to hold the work together. Apply flux if it is being used.

  4. Solder the joint

    Touch the tip of the soldering iron to the metal. Allow the metal to heat for two to three seconds, and touch the solder to the metal. Do not touch the solder to the tip of the soldering iron. When the solder covers the wires, remove the solder from the joint, then remove the soldering iron. Leave the joints in place to allow the solder to cool and harden. Place the soldering iron in the stand to prevent burns.

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