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Old 12th October 2017
Lives for gear
cane creek's Avatar

I have a few rules that work for me,

Rule 1
Use a fat tip, soldering is all about applying heat quickly and this cannot be done with one of those useless pointed tips.

Rule 2
Don't not use a wet sponge to clean your tip, wet sponge applied to a hot tip causes thermal shock, ok it will clean the tip but will also ruin it at the same time.
You end up needing to change your tip every couple of builds.

Since i started using a tip tinner called "Qualitek Delta Tip tinner" its now a question of how many years do i get out of a single tip, this stuff is really worth its weight in gold, you can find it HERE

Rule 3
When soldering SMT/SMD chips use lots of flux and the solder will find its way, i just use a "electrolube smf flux pen"

Rule 4
Get a smoke absorber/extractor, when i first started DIY after a build id feel nauseated off the fume, since getting a "solderwerks black jack BK486" smoke absorber I've never had a problem since as it sucks the lot up.

Rule 5
When doing SMT/SMD you need a 10x Loupe to examine your work, I've looked at my work through a magnifying glass and it looks fine then look again with a loupe and find all sorts of problems, i use a "belomo triplet 10x" and swear by it.