solder iron maint.

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by PackratKing, Jan 10, 2014.

  1. PackratKing

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Jul 13, 2008
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    This, from an old-timer, that did a ton of sheetmetal work, and soldering joints in ductwork... long before the likes of OSHA...:eek:

    Our soldering " coppers " were heated in a small gas-fired furnace, until enveloped by the " Green fire " indicating they were up to proper temp. Then cleaned and tinned when necessary by rubbing on a block of Sal Ammoniac. [ google ]

    NO soldering copper ever lasted forever, and we never had anything I saw that was plated...
    The fancy-schmancy ones were electric, and they were plated... but the cord was a total PITA

    So I am wondering if a block of Sal Ammoniac might be a boon to those using their soldering tools a lot... or has this been relegated to the era of dinosaurs...:D like they are trying to do with lead alloys...

    Note that fumes must be vented to outdoors, as S/A produces some rather acrid, and likely unhealthy smoke...
     
  2. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    Arrgh. I've been stricken with a nostalgia arrow. :D

    I bought a block of Sal Ammoniac when I was 10 years old. Only later found that it was useless for electronics work. :(
    The best part? I was gathering the tools and equipment for my future by the time I was 10 years old.
     
  3. PackratKing

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Jul 13, 2008
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    Please explain... I have lost track of my S/A in the obligatory shuffle of my " shop " to other quarters, and was going to get another... what nixes it for electronic work ???
     
  4. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    It's a salt with a Ph of about 5 (acid). Leaving it on a circuit board would be similar to allowing salt water to dry on the board.
     
  5. PackratKing

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Jul 13, 2008
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    OK... That makes perfect sense. Now that I think of it, our boss had us wipe the ducting joints we had just soldered down with a terrycloth rag and a bi-carb solution... Thanx much...:D
     
  6. atferrari

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 6, 2004
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    When I was a kid (60 years ago, appr.) IIRC, seen someone, with a huge sodlering iron, using that salt. Maybe a plumber?
     
  7. ian field

    Distinguished Member

    Oct 27, 2012
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    It was standard equipment on the benches where they made all those hand-wired tube radios - but that may be as long ago as when they cadmium plated the component leads to make them more solderable!
     
  8. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    Ah cadmium. I remember it well. Mossy cadmium used in chemistry class to make some kind of gas. Unfortunately, I went into electronics and forgot most of the chemistry :D

    Or was that mossy zinc?

    Darn senior moments.:(
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2014
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