How do you clean your componet leads ?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Dr.killjoy, Dec 31, 2013.

  1. Dr.killjoy

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Apr 28, 2013
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    As the title says how do you guys cleaning components before they get used for breadboard or used on a PCB ???








    Thanks
    Jason SR
     
  2. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    I don't. That's what flux is for.

    Very rarely, I need some corroded POS (piece of scrap) that I thought I'd never use. Then I just scrape the leads with my pocket knife.
     
  3. KMoffett

    AAC Fanatic!

    Dec 19, 2007
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    220 sandpaper or #0000 steal wool.

    Ken
     
  4. Dr.killjoy

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Apr 28, 2013
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    Thanks for the info

    I have used a knife and fine grit sandpaper before and it works well.. But the other day I saw this and thought it would be easy to build and want do you guys think ??




    [​IMG]
     
  5. GopherT

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 23, 2012
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    Same - any sand paper 220 or above. If the lead dust concerns you, you can use some Mother's Quick Cut Swirl Remover or similar. The waster carrier keeps the dust down. It dries quickly and wipes clean easily while removing much less material than sand paper.

    Mostly it is not worth the effort unless you need a big old power resistor or similar.

    The swirl remover is also a great prep for PCBs instead of scotch brite if you gave very fine lines.
     
  6. Metalmann

    Active Member

    Dec 8, 2012
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    Hmmm, I can see that being made out of two, wooden, paint stirrer sticks.
    Quick and cheap.
     
  7. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
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    I'm with #12... I've NEVER cleaned a lead.. again thats what flux is for..
    Even with push in breadboards just the insertion/contact design is wiping/self cleaning (or self scraping)..
     
  8. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
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    Same here. I don't clean component leads.

    If your components were supplied on sticky tape that looks like masking tape for machine insertion, it is tempting to store them still on the tape. Over time the tape hardens and leaves a residue on the component leads. This is going to gum up your solderless breadboards. You are better off to snip off the portion of the leads stuck to the tape.

    ICs or transistors that have been in storage for a number of years (say 20 years or more) will have oxidation built up on the leads and this is difficult to solder to. In this case, cleaning the leads with a knife, sandpaper or emery cloth will help soldering.

    Some components such as power jacks, audio and cable connectors do not take to solder easily. Filing of the chrome plating on the solder tab makes it easier to solder.
     
  9. MaxHeadRoom

    Expert

    Jul 18, 2013
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    I use needle nose pliers to give any component wire lead a swipe to take off any residue.
    Max.
     
  10. Dr.killjoy

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Apr 28, 2013
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    I fully agree with you guys and I use Kester 44 solder and love it ..
    But sometime I get old parts or oxidation on part or wire and thought this would a quick and painless tool to clean stuff and pretty nice to have around ...
     
  11. Metalmann

    Active Member

    Dec 8, 2012
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    Deoxit D5, will clean everything.;)


    For heavier contact cleaning, I always use these:


    http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/...MTgs_9PT2NK374G_N2RL3FHWVK_GPD0K8BC31gv)&rt=d



    Several years ago, I found a few boxes of 7440 on sale, so I give them away to the Grandkids for cleaning almost everything.

    Using light pressure, you can even clean filthy plastic objects; without scratching the hell out of them.

    Using heavy pressure, they are not bad at sanding, shaping, wooden items, either.....

    Multi-purpose pads, galore!:D
     
  12. russ_hensel

    Well-Known Member

    Jan 11, 2009
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    I like 600 wet dry ( used dry ).
    It is not ethical to steal wool, and wool will not clean heavy corrosion.
    Steel wool may be ok but keep the fibers way way away from you construction area.

    Many of my components are old, flux alone will just not cut it.
     
  13. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    I keep an old diamond fingernail file on my bench for that purpose. Works on battery terminals, too.:)
    But only if you are going to solder them. Do not file off the protective coating if you're going to stick them in a battery holder.

    I also keep some, "old school" toluol for adhesives, but dried adhesive is so nasty that you're better off cutting away the fouled part or trying sand paper if the dried adhesive is so dry that it is brittle.

    40 years ago, Toluol was the, "proper" flux remover. Now, the popular wisdom is to use alcohol.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2013
  14. Meixner

    Member

    Sep 26, 2011
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    Im also like #12 I never clean leads.
     
  15. RichardO

    Well-Known Member

    May 4, 2013
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    Yes, been there and done that. :)

    If I remember correctly...

    In the good old days Tektronix showed cleaning leads in a slot cut in a pencil eraser.

    I know that erasers work for cleaning PCB edge connectors, as well.
     
    PackratKing likes this.
  16. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    We also used pencil erasers to clean the contacts in mechanical TV tuners...when dinosaurs roamed the Earth.:D

    They work very well on precious metals like copper, gold, and silver.
     
    Metalmann likes this.
  17. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
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    I spent a good portion of my life cleaning gold plated contacts on circuit boards using pencil erasers.
     
  18. PackratKing

    Well-Known Member

    Jul 13, 2008
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    When you could still find them... the pencil-type abrasive typewriter erasers work very well, w/o removing a whole lot of material from the leads... Flux takes care of the rest...
     
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