Reducing Solder Splatter

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by jellytot, Sep 25, 2014.

  1. jellytot

    Thread Starter Member

    May 20, 2014
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    I'm still a beginner at soldering. It seems to be going... relatively well. But often, when I tin my soldering iron little drops of molten solder splatter and burn my hand. Is this common? I tried pulling more of the solder out so that my hand is farther out, but this makes it worse as it seems to catapult the solder farther. So is this normal? Anyone have any advice? I'm using 63/37 SN/PB, 0.813mm (0.032 inch) solder and a brand new 30W soldering iron.
     
  2. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
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    I have never seen this happen. Is your soldering iron temperature controlled?
     
  3. jellytot

    Thread Starter Member

    May 20, 2014
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    No, it`s a simple 30W soldering iron. Takes about 2 minutes for it to heat up. I don't see the solder splatter. But 1/3 of the time when I'm tinning the iron, I definitely feel it. It's like a hot needle.
     
  4. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
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    My guess is that the iron is too hot. It should be 700°F or 370°C.
     
  5. Lestraveled

    Well-Known Member

    May 19, 2014
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    Wow. What is the brand and model number?
     
  6. KJ6EAD

    Senior Member

    Apr 30, 2011
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    Try using a different solder. The problem is usually related to the quality of the flux core and as previously mentioned, the temperature of the iron.
     
  7. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    Something is very wrong. Thousands of people solder regularly and do not feel hot droplets!
    Try a different solder. If that doesn't work, try a different iron. This is NOT normal!
     
  8. tom_s

    Member

    Jun 27, 2014
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    may be solder that does not contain resin or; taking too long to actually solder and burning off all the resin.
     
  9. kubeek

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 20, 2005
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    Are you sure that what is splattering off is actually solder? I have had similar experience with one brand of solder, but the splattering thing was the rosin from the core, definitely not the solder.
     
  10. jellytot

    Thread Starter Member

    May 20, 2014
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    Thanks all for the responses. To address everyone's comments:
    Is the iron too hot? I can try to check the temperature later with my laser temperature gun. I don't know if it can read an area as small as the tip though.
    The iron model is a TENMA 21-8120. The solder is DURATOOL SPC22158.
    I have also thought it may be the rosin from the core that is flying and burning me. Next time I am burned I'll check out the burn area to see if there is any shininess (which would indicate solder and not rosin that is burning me).
     
  11. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
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    +1
    Exactly what I would have said. I get globs that fall off due to gravity, but never self-launching splatter.
     
  12. jellytot

    Thread Starter Member

    May 20, 2014
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    I bought the 63/37 SN/PB solder because it has no "plastic" (semi-liquid) range. At 180°C, the solder turns from solid to liquid. But I do have a tube of 60/40 solder I could try.
     
  13. gerty

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 30, 2007
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    Are you melting a blob of solder on your iron, then applying it to whatever you're trying to solder?
     
  14. jellytot

    Thread Starter Member

    May 20, 2014
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    Nope. Problem occurs when tinning the iron.
    Thanks all for the comments. Just a quick update: I'm no longer getting burned; what I do is pull out about 4 inches of solder from the hand-held tube, then I bend the last inch so it's like an upside down "L". Then I tin the iron by holding the solder behind the tip/shaft of the iron (right over the hand holding the iron). I used my laser thermometer to try to measure the temperature of the tip, but the tip is too thin to get an accurate reading. My thermometer reads 140°C, which I'm sure isn't correct since 180°C is required to melt the solder (and it melts fast). Anyway I'm definitely going to try another brand of solder in the future. Thanks all!
     
  15. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
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    I would also consider saving up some money and buy a temperature controlled iron.
     
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