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Old Jul 18, 2008, 02:56 PM
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zackesch's Avatar
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flux substitute?

i ran out of flux and im not able to get any until tues. do you have any ideas of what may work untill then? the wire i use needs to use flux, its duratrax version of deans wet noodle.
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Old Jul 18, 2008, 04:09 PM
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vintage1's Avatar
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Is this for electrical wwork> if so find a vioiinist and nick their rosin..

If its for pianowire,well, find a DIY plumber and nick his.
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Old Jul 18, 2008, 04:29 PM
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this is a bit odd... standard multi-strand wire, the solder will flow into it w/o flux, but with duratrax wet noodle wire, the solder will just sit on top. i am using a 60W iron too...hmm im a bit puzzled.
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Old Jul 18, 2008, 06:48 PM
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Radio Shack sells flux.
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Old Jul 18, 2008, 09:16 PM
CamLight Systems
New York City, USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vintage1
If its for pianowire,well, find a DIY plumber and nick his.
It's implicit in your post but wanted to make sure that it was understood that no one should ever use plumber's flux with anything electrical. It's corrosive and can damage wiring or components over time unless completely removed after soldering.

John
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Old Jul 18, 2008, 10:49 PM
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all i use for my wiring is silver solder that i got from home depot. i use rosin solder for mechanical joints like control rods.
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Old Jul 19, 2008, 12:02 AM
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I use plastic-core solder on everything :-D
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Old Jul 19, 2008, 12:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zackesch
all i use for my wiring is silver solder that i got from home depot. i use rosin solder for mechanical joints like control rods.
wrong way round.
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Old Jul 19, 2008, 12:44 AM
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if thats the other way around, why would they call it eletrical solder... fasle advertising?
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Old Jul 19, 2008, 12:52 AM
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Beats me. Rosin solder is for electrical work, solid bars of solder is for plumbing. With external flux.
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Old Jul 19, 2008, 12:55 AM
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ok. j/w, whats the big difference between lead and silver solder? if silver solder is bad for electrical, then why would Novak/ Deans sell their brand silver solder? i'm a bit baffled.

im not disregarding what your saying, im new to the properties of solder.
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Old Jul 19, 2008, 03:39 AM
CamLight Systems
New York City, USA
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The difference (at least) is the metal alloy used. Lead solder is lead/tin. Silver solder is lead/tin/silver. Both alloys are used extensively for electronics work and the alloys themselves are not inherently bad for that. There can be differences between the fluxes used though, and that's where a particular solder can be bad for a particular application.

Any solder without flux is OK to use for just about any purpose. Just pick the flux you need for the job. There are differences between the melting points, the way the metal flows, whether it goes plastic before melting, etc., but any of the solder alloys themselves won't attack electronics and wiring.

Certain fluxes however can be very dangerous to electronics/wiring. They contain very corrosive compounds that are great for removing oxides from pipe and other non-electronic-related metals. But, those corrosive compounds can literally eat away at wiring and electronic components.

Carefully check the packaging for the solder you purchase. If it says "rosin-core", it's probably OK. If it doesn't, or it appears even a little bit to be a plumbing solder, avoid it like the plague for electronics work. Or, if there are any warnings about it being corrosive.
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Old Jul 19, 2008, 09:55 AM
Jack
USA, ME, Ellsworth
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For a good. all round use, non-corrosive to anything flux, look for a can of the Oatey's lead free paste flux at Home Depot or Lowes. It comes is a handy shoe polish tin and it is great for cleaning soldering iron tips too.

Look for either the red and white lead free or the green and white "okay for plumbing that humans are going to use/drink water from" type.

I dip the stripped end of wires in it before tinning and keep a toothpick in the can so I can rub a small smear of it on the tabs on Dean's connectors. If I want to solder crimped on contacts for JST or servo connectors, I also put a small smear of the flux on the spot I want to the solder to adhere to.

Stay away from any acid based flux or flux that has an acid core. If you can find it. It is mostly left over from times past and it really serves no useful purpose any more. There was a time when a lot of acid core solder was used in electrics and electronics but that was way in the past and using it required that the acid be neutralized and cleaned off to avoid later corrosion.

Jack
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Old Jul 19, 2008, 01:17 PM
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The Northeast Kingdom, Vermont
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Jack,
If you are referring to Oatey #5 or #95, they are very corrosive, just read the fine print on the back of the can. I use it for plumbing and it sure causes the "galloping green crud" on copper pipe if you don't clean it off completely
Repeat after me and breathe deeply, rosin core, rosin core is all you need
Cheers,
Pete

Danged, now where'd I leave my Flux capacitor
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Old Jul 19, 2008, 06:41 PM
Jack
USA, ME, Ellsworth
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Read the MSDS, they are not free from risk if you eat it or breathe the fumes but it does not leave a residue that draws moisture from the air and forms an acid. Read the MSDS, it says:

"The fumes may be hazardous during soldering operations. Fumes can cause eye irritation and may cause headache and respiratory system irritation. Ingestion of metal alloys may be harmful."

I've soldered several hundred copper water pipes with #5 and #95 and not seen one of them grow "green crud". The only joints in my basement with green crud on them are the ones that were done by master plumbers and other professionals because I was not allowed to do some work on some systems for myself.

I've been using #5 and #95 in electrical and electronic work for 10-15 years, a lot of the stuff is still around and seen regularly, and no green crud has appeared.

It's okay if we don't agree on this but I think the problems that came from acid core solders, the use of sal-amoniac, and number other techniques of the past are pretty will behind us. I still have a roll of acid core solder, it must be a collector's item. And Grandpa's blowtorch, coppers, lead pot, and they chunk of sal-amoniac are still out there somewhere too.

Cheers,

Jack
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