Soldering is a process in which two or more metal items are joined together. They are heated with a soldering iron. A filler metal called solder, with a relatively low melting point melts and flows into the joint, mixing with and melting a little of the items being soldered.

Solder is a metal alloy usually made of tin and lead which is melted using a hot iron. The iron is heated to temperatures above 600° Fahrenheit which then cools to create a strong conductive bond.

Soldering Safety

Soldering involves working with high temperatures and potentially hazardous materials, so it's crucial to prioritize safety. Here are some important safety guidelines to follow when soldering:

Remember, these safety guidelines are not exhaustive, and it's important to familiarize yourself with the specific safety recommendations provided by the manufacturer of your soldering equipment. Prioritizing safety while soldering will help prevent accidents, protect your health, and ensure a successful and enjoyable soldering experience.

Soldering Accessories

Solder Stand

The soldering stand is the unsung hero of every electronics workspace, providing a reliable and secure platform for your soldering iron when it's not in use. Equipped with a sponge tray, the soldering stand offers a convenient spot to store a damp sponge or soldering tip cleaner. Keep your soldering iron tip clean and at its best performance by easily wiping away excess solder and debris. This ensures optimal heat transfer and extends the lifespan of your soldering iron tips. Whether you're a seasoned professional or a passionate hobbyist, the soldering stand is an indispensable tool that elevates your soldering experience to new heights. Invest in this must-have accessory and enjoy the convenience, safety, and efficiency it brings to your electronic projects. Unleash your creativity with confidence, knowing that your soldering iron is securely supported by the ultimate soldering stand.

Helping Hands

When it comes to intricate soldering tasks, having an extra pair of hands can make all the difference. That's where Helping Hands comes in. This innovative tool is designed to hold your workpieces firmly in place, providing the stability and precision you need for successful soldering projects. Equipped with adjustable alligator clips, Helping Hands securely grips your components, circuit boards, wires, or any small parts you're working with. Not only does Helping Hands provide a stable platform, but it also offers flexibility. The articulating arms and swivel joints allow you to position your workpiece at any angle or orientation you desire. Some models come with a built-in magnifying glass, providing enhanced visibility and allowing you to work with intricate details and fine soldering points. 

They hold your workpieces in place, freeing up your hands for precise soldering, wire stripping, or component assembly. With its versatility and practicality, Helping Hands is an invaluable tool that simplifies your soldering tasks and delivers exceptional results.

Desoldering Tools and Applications

At some stage, you will probably need to desolder a joint to remove or re-position a wire or component. The tools below will help you do this.

Desoldering Pump (solder sucker) 

Solder Remover Wick (copper braid) 

After removing most of the solder from the joint(s) you may be able to remove the wire or component lead straight away (allow a few seconds for it to cool). If the joint will not come apart easily apply your soldering iron to melt the remaining traces of solder at the same time as pulling the joint apart, taking care to avoid burning yourself.

Setting up and Using a Soldering Pen

Preparing the Soldering Iron 

How to Solder

Soldering Practice and Projects

Practice soldering to hone your skills in joining electronic components. With practice, you'll develop precision and confidence, creating clean and reliable connections. Get hands-on with solder, a soldering iron, and practice boards to master the art of soldering.

What you'll need:

1 - Soldering Pen

1 - Soldering Stand with Sponge

1 - Solder Roll

1 - Practice Boards or Spare Perf Boards

1 - Loose Electronic Components

1 - Helping Hands

1 - Desoldering Pump

1 - Solder Wick

Practice Boards

Using a practice board or old perf board is a great way to practice your soldering skills while reusing any waste. Practicing soldering on perf boards is a great way to improve your soldering skills and gain experience in assembling electronic circuits.  Use the following steps when practicing soldering on a perf board.

Desoldering Practice Boards

Desoldering components from a perf board can be necessary when making changes to a circuit or replacing faulty parts. Here are the steps to desolder components from a perf board:

Western Splice

The "Western splice," is a method used to join two electrical wires together. The Western splice is an alternative to other wire splicing techniques, such as the twist-on wire connector or soldering.

It's important to note that the Western splice may not be suitable for all applications. Its effectiveness depends on factors such as the wire gauge, the amount of current flowing through the wires, and the intended use of the splice.

To perform and create the western splice, use the following steps:

Step One

Prepare the wires: Strip approximately 1 inch (2.5 cm) of insulation from each end of the wires you wish to splice. Ensure that the exposed wire ends are clean and free from any dirt or oxidation.

Step Two

Cross the wires: Place the stripped ends of the wires perpendicular to each other, creating a cross shape. Ensure that the conductive parts of the wires make direct contact at the center of the cross.

Step Three

Form the Western splice: Start by wrapping one wire tightly around the other wire's stripped end, creating a full turn or two. The wrapped wire should encircle the other wire securely.

Step Four

Repeat the wrapping: Next, wrap the second wire tightly around the first wire's stripped end. This wrapping should also consist of a full turn or two, ensuring a secure connection.

Step Five

Solder: You can further reinforce the Western splice by soldering. Be sure to rest your solder on the top of the splice and the hot pen tip on the bottom- this will allow the wire to heat up and draw the soldering through the strands from gravity.

Step Six

Inspect the splice: Check that the Western splice is tight and secure. Before putting the spliced wires into use, perform a continuity test or use a multimeter to ensure that the connection is solid and there are no unwanted electrical resistances.

Wire to Component Blades

Soldering a wire to a blade of a component requires careful attention to ensure a strong and reliable connection. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you solder a wire to a blade:

3. Tinning the components

4. Align and secure the wire:

5. Heat the joint:

6. Remove the soldering iron and let the joint cool:

7. Inspect and test the connection:

Solder Sculpture

Creating a soldering sculpture out of different electronic components can be a fun and creative way to showcase your soldering skills and repurpose electronic waste. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you create your own soldering sculpture:

Securely attach the sculpture to the base using adhesive or by soldering it to a mounting plate.

Remember to exercise caution while soldering and handling electronic components. Work in a well-ventilated area, avoid excessive heat exposure to sensitive components and practice proper safety procedures.

Creating a soldering sculpture allows you to explore your creativity, showcase your soldering skills, and repurpose electronic components in an artistic and environmentally friendly manner. Enjoy the process and let your imagination guide you as you bring your unique sculpture to life! Below are some examples that can inspire your creativity!



Diode Dog


If you would like to continue soldering, check out our Printed Circuit Board page that will show you how to design and make a PCB.