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Think I'll have to act as a solderer...
Old 6th May 2020
  #1
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cubic13's Avatar
Think I'll have to act as a solderer...

Hi, all

I was fearing it would happen one day or another during a while : the jack connection of my Epiphone Korina Explorer bass has died.

Since several months, the nut went loose enough to make the whole connector disappear into the instrument body when connecting it to amp, and I've been more or less solving the issue by squeezing it a little with a pair of pliers. Until two days ago, when the nut exploded in four pieces, after an nth time attempt to make it behave...


Think I'll have to act as a solderer...-dscf1481_60-.jpg


So, the question is multiple, actually :

1) What is needed to replace the whole part ? I gues it's a mono jack like this one, but I would like to be sure.

2) I never made any soldering in the past and, as there is no guitar repairing facility in nearly 200 kms around, I'll have to do the job myself, as we won't be able to move over a 100 kms distance until june, at best, thanks to the pandemic. So, What are the best material for such a fix ? Concerning the soldering iron, I see 25 W, 100 W, multitasks... I also see different soldering wire gauges and I'm rather lost, I admit.

Thanks for any suggestions...
Attached Thumbnails
Think I'll have to act as a solderer...-dscf1481_60-.jpg  

Last edited by cubic13; 6th May 2020 at 10:01 AM..
Old 6th May 2020
  #2
Deleted 714de1f
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by cubic13 View Post
Hi, all

I was fearing it would happen one day or another during a while : the jack connection of my Epiphone Korina Explorer bass has died.

Since several months, the nut went loose enough to make the whole connector disappear into the instrument body when connecting it to amp, and I've been more or less solving the issue by squeezing it a little with a pair of pliers. Until two days ago, when the nut exploded in four pieces, after an nth time attempt to make it behave...





So, the question is multiple, actually :

1) What is needed to replace the whole part ? I gues it's a mono jack like this one, but I would like to be sure.

2) I never made any soldering in the past and, as there is no guitar repairing facility in nearly 200 kms around, I'll have to do the job myself, as we won't be able to move over a 100 kms distance until june, at best, thanks to the pandemic. So, What are the best material for such a fix ? Concerning the soldering iron, I see 25 W, 100 W, multitasks... I also see different soldering wire gauges and I'm rather lost, I admit.

Thanks for any suggestions...
learning to solder is way easier than learning to play a guitar so go for it - even just practice on some old bits of wire first

You'll probably be best to buy an adjustable soldering iron, because once you get in to it you'll be switching PUP's ,Pots etc, and for things like earth to pots you'll need a bit more heat. Not sure what gauge solder I use - about as thick as the pick up wire I think.

Remember to "tin" the soldering iron tip, and also the wire before soldering i.e. put a bit of solder on the end of the soldering iron, and on to the end of either wire prior to connecting to the switch.

Switchcraft Jack's are good, especially for gigging, as they grip well, the one you linked is fine.

Sure others here will recommend solder brands / gauge etc.
Old 6th May 2020
  #3
Deleted 714de1f
Guest
oh - and keep the hot tip well away from the poly finish ..
Old 6th May 2020
  #4
Lives for gear
good video on soldering tips: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-O2TGoArrY
Old 6th May 2020
  #5
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uOpt's Avatar
1) don't touch the paint with the iron

2) there is a hole under the old solder on the lug. Remove it with a desoldering pump or by blowing on it hard (protect the paint while doing the latter)

3) Put the wire in a small loop into that hole, so that it stays in place

4) warm up the lug with the iron and put a small amount of solder
Old 7th May 2020
  #6
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cubic13's Avatar
Thanks for chiming in...

@ sniff : I now have the answer to the first question, so it will be this one, to make things less complicated.
And OK for the adjustable soldering iron, even if I'm not sure how I'll have to adjust it... . Thanks for tips.

@ nedorama : interesting indeed and I didn't think of looking at Youtube, at first. Actually, it seems that there are many videos on the subject. Will look at these ASAP.

@ uOpt : Added tips noted...

Remains the soldering wire gauge needed, but after having look at the different sources on the subject, I think I'll be able to figure all this out and command all what will be necessary. This said, I'm not really reassured about the soldering job itself, to be honest...

Thanks again !
Old 10th May 2020
  #7
Remember not to grab the wrong end of the iron.
Old 13th May 2020
  #8
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Mikhael's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cubic13 View Post
Thanks for chiming in...

@ sniff : I now have the answer to the first question, so it will be this one, to make things less complicated.
And OK for the adjustable soldering iron, even if I'm not sure how I'll have to adjust it... . Thanks for tips.

@ nedorama : interesting indeed and I didn't think of looking at Youtube, at first. Actually, it seems that there are many videos on the subject. Will look at these ASAP.

@ uOpt : Added tips noted...

Remains the soldering wire gauge needed, but after having look at the different sources on the subject, I think I'll be able to figure all this out and command all what will be necessary. This said, I'm not really reassured about the soldering job itself, to be honest...

Thanks again !
On the solder gauge, I generally get the thinnest I can, then another slightly thicker. Much of my work is on 402-size SMD components, so I have to use little bitty irons and solder. I also use 63/37, because it seems to flow better. I think the solder is 4mm (0.15"); I'd have to go look...
Old 13th May 2020
  #9
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kingofspain's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by cubic13 View Post
Hi, all

Concerning the soldering iron, I see 25 W, 100 W, multitasks... I also see different soldering wire gauges and I'm rather lost, I admit.

Thanks for any suggestions...
Hi.

I use a 25W iron for everyday soldering, and keep a 50W iron handy for more heavy duty work. I've just this morning finished building a Vibro-Champ style amp, and have used the 25W iron exclusively. A 25W iron will be more than adequate to repair a jack socket.

I used a 2.3mm tip for the the majority of the build, which I think came as standard (I use an Antex XS25, cost about £25 maybe half a dozen years ago).
A handy hint is to keep a supply of different sized tips, for when you need to do more/less heavy duty work. I usually switch up to my 50W iron when soldering the earth bus bar, but this time around I simply switched to a wider tip. The increased heat transfer was plenty to get the job done.

For around £40 you could have a new iron and a couple of spare tips (although the standard 2.3mm tip is all you need to solder a jack socket). I'd advise against an adjustable iron (which are sometimes referred to as a soldering station). Unless you invest some decent money, they're universally awful. Even a cheap one will be less than the cost of a decent entry level iron (like my Antex) and a couple of spare bits, and will do a poor job.

Hope that helps, and good luck with the repair. Soldering really isn't difficult. Take your time and you'll be fine.

KoS

PS I use 1mm solder, it works for me.

Edit: Just noticed this thread is a week old. Hope you got the repair done successfully already!
Old 13th May 2020
  #10
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cubic13's Avatar
Well, I'm rather a coward for such issues. Actually, I only ordered the jack replacement piece. I got a message from Thomann yesterday, saying that my order has just been shiped.

So, I'm waiting for it and, actually, I want to see first if the new nut wouldn't be sufficient to solve the problem. If not, I'll have to go for the solder chore...

Meanwhile, I noted your added suggestions, so thanks again all. I'll kep you informed about how the things are going...
Old 13th May 2020
  #11
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kingofspain's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by cubic13 View Post
So, I'm waiting for it and, actually, I want to see first if the new nut wouldn't be sufficient to solve the problem.
For sure. If the threads are a match, and the wires are still firmly attached, a new nut should solve the problem in a fraction of the time, at a fraction of the cost.

Fingers crossed it fits, my experience is that they're broadly interchangeable
Old 23rd May 2020
  #12
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cubic13's Avatar
An update : I have received yesterday the jack socket. Tried immediatly to replace the nut : it's even worse than the previous one. So, I'm for the soldering chore...

From which, two added questions :

- I have seen here that the ideal temperature to work on guitar parts is 360°C, which, after added research would mean that even a 18W solderer would be sufficient. Can someone confirm ? Otherwise, I'll stick to kingofspain suggestion (25W).

- In the same way, it seems that a 60% tin / 40% lead is the best for reliable solder jobs, despite its potential toxicity. Same thing : a confirmation would be welcomed, especially from Mikhael (I guess that the evoked 63/37 ratio is related to this).

Beside this, thank you all again for the help already done...

Last edited by cubic13; 26th May 2020 at 05:45 AM.. Reason: Bad metals translation...
Old 23rd May 2020
  #13
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kingofspain's Avatar
Hi,

Try not to over think it...

An 18W iron may well be enough to get the job done, but a 25W iron will be a better all rounder, should you need to do any more soldering at a later date.

It's better to have an iron which is too powerful, than one which isn't powerful enough. Remember, you control how much heat the iron transfers to the work piece, by the amount of time you have the two in contact.

An 18W iron will take more time to heat the workpiece and solder to the point where it flows and a good joint is made. This increases the chance of excess heat damaging the work piece (volume/tone pots are particularly susceptible to this). Used incorrectly, you run the risk of making bad (dry) joints.

A 25W iron will heat the workpiece and flow the solder almost instantly, speeding up the process (handy when you have a lot of soldering to do, not especially relevant in your case), and reducing the risk of frying the workpiece.

That said, an input jack is in no danger of being ruined by the kind of heat a 25W iron delivers.

As for solder, any popular hobby brand will be good enough. I bought mine from Maplin, before it went bust. Checking an old roll, it's 1mm - composition 99.3% Sn, 0.7% Cu. Having googled Sn, it's tin. Copper (Cu) I remembered
Old 23rd May 2020
  #14
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cubic13's Avatar
Hi, kingofspain

About the solderer power, yes, your point is logical. So, a 25W it will be. And concerning the solder, well, it seems that a completely different composition of it can also do the job.

From which, it indeed seems like I am over thinking it...

Thanks again !
Old 23rd May 2020
  #15
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kingofspain's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by cubic13 View Post
And concerning the solder, well, it seems that a completely different composition of it can also do the job.
This is my experience. I'm not an expert by any means, but I'd tentatively suggest that if you were using a temperature controlled solder station, or were a manufacturer who used robots to do the job, composition of solder might be critical. For amateurs like us, we'd probably struggle to buy the 'wrong' solder for the job in hand (don't buy it from a plumbers merchant, for example ).

For the record, I'm curently working through a roll of old leaded solder. It's composition is 60/40. Perhaps that's a standard which applied to leaded solder, but not to the modern unleaded type?
Leaded solder melts (or flows - not sure of the correct term there) at a lower temperature than modern solder, which makes it easier to use. It's horribly toxic though - which is why it's no longer legal for commercial use. Hobbyists like ourselves can still use it though, provided we do so responsibly. But again, don't sweat it. Whatever the Maplin/Mouser equivalent in your neck of the woods sells will do the job.

This Champ Style Amp project was soldered entirely using my trusty 25W iron - a couple of tags on a jack socket shouldn't give you too much trouble
Attached Thumbnails
Think I'll have to act as a solderer...-dscf7134.jpg  
Old 23rd May 2020
  #16
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kingofspain's Avatar
One final thought/tip...

One of the hardest parts (I find) about soldering is that you often need a third hand to hold either the iron, workpiece or solder. You can buy fancy stands with poseable arms, crocodile clips and a nice big magnifying glass, but decent ones are expensive and cheap ones are useless.

I often take a large-ish pair of automotive pliers and wrap an elastic band a couple of times around the handle, making a crude but effective clamp. The barrel of a jack-socket fits perfectly in the jaws, leaving you two free hands to solder.

If I were doing the job, I'd rig the pliers as suggested - jack in the jaws with the lugs pointing your way - and lay them - handles away from you - on a sturdy table or workbench. Next lay a duster or non-abrasive rag over the handles. Finally, rest your guitar on the pliers, with the hole for the socket positioned as close to the jack as practical. Make sure to support the guitars neck, if needs be, and that it's stable.
There should be enough spare wire protruding from the socket to comfortably solder to the lugs, and the jack should be very firmly clamped exactly where you need it! Take care to solder ground to the sleeve and hot to the tip, and be very careful not to touch the guitar with the tip of the iron or to splash solder onto the guitar. Both will leave a nasty mark on the finish.

Just a suggestion - I've done it this way countless times when I've been called on to repair a jack away from the comparative luxury of my workshop.

Godd luck
Old 23rd May 2020
  #17
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cubic13's Avatar
Nice job with the amp, but you're objectively more trained than I. And indeed, the more or less needed "third hand" is a concern, but I'll have to do with it. I have noted all your added suggestions, beside this, thanks for these also.

I'll let you know if I 've been able to do something useful...
Old 26th May 2020
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by cubic13 View Post
An update : I have received yesterday the jack socket. Tried immediatly to replace the nut : it's even worse than the previous one. So, I'm for the soldering chore...

From which, two added questions :

- I have seen here that the ideal temperature to work on guitar parts is 360°C, which, after added research would mean that even a 18W solderer would be sufficient. Can someone confirm ? Otherwise, I'll stick to kingofspain suggestion (25W).

- In the same way, it seems that a 60% stain / 40% tin is the best for reliable solder jobs, despite its potential toxicity. Same thing : a confirmation would be welcomed, especially from Mikhael (I guess that the evoked 63/37 ratio is related to this).

Beside this, thank you all again for the help already done...
There is a lot of bad info about soldering on the internet. Some of the worst is the "advice" suggesting lower powered irons for beginners. I've seen more parts damaged and insulation badly melted by people using an underpowered iron than a higher powered one, because the underpowered iron may not have the power to melt solder on some things. I generally use an iron in the range of 25 to 40 watts. Make sure the surfaces you're soldering are clean, heat the work and add solder to it - the work must be hot enough to melt the solder, else you'll get cold solder joints.

The best solder is 63/37 - 63% tin, 37% lead. This is computer grade, eutectic melting point solder. "Eutectic" means that the alloy is of the ratio with the lowest possible melting point. It also has no "slush phase" between liquid and solid, which helps eliminate cold solder joints. It's a bit more expensive and a little harder to find, but well worth it. Get the thinnest gauge, rosin core. Amazon should have it. You can also order it in smaller amounts from what's left of Radio Shack. (They call it "High Tech" solder.)

Don't worry about the "toxicity" of leaded solder. I'm almost 70, been soldering since I was about 6 years old, never had a problem related to lead toxicity - just don't go huffing the fumes. If you're worried about it use a small fan to blow the fumes away.

Lead toxicity isn't a problem unless the lead is ingested, so don't chew on your solder and don't dispose of materials containing lead in landfill where it can leach into the groundwater. Lead free is a royal PITA to work with and NOT what you want to use when learning to solder. With all my years of experience I still avoid it like the plague when possible.

Last edited by John Eppstein; 26th May 2020 at 12:37 AM..
Old 26th May 2020
  #19
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cubic13's Avatar
Hi, John

And thanks for the added suggestions. About the toxicity, yes, I'll just have to proceed in a well-ventilated room. It's not a problem.

Beside this, I have the occasion to go shopping the necessary tools this morning, instead of ordering them via internet. So, your advice arrives in a perfect timing.

I'll report back any progress. Thanks again.
Old 26th May 2020
  #20
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Pindrive's Avatar
This is a great iron kit for a beginner. can't beat the price & it'll get you through a bunch of projects.
Soldering isn't difficult. A little practice & you'll be doing just fine. Make sure the sponge is wet & wipe the tip often. you do that & you'll give yourself a fighting chance.

https://www.amazon.com/ANBES-Solderi...0469307&sr=8-5
Old 26th May 2020
  #21
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cubic13's Avatar
@ Pindrive
Thanks, but I just got the tools needed, I think, this morning... A 25W soldering iron with the solder. What is worrying me is that the latter is a 2 mm Sn 99.3/Cu 0.7 one : it was the only one left in the store. The pandemic has obviously disorganized the supplying of a lot of shops in all kinds, here.

Hope it will do the job, nonetheless...
Old 26th May 2020
  #22
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kingofspain's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by cubic13 View Post
What is worrying me is that the latter is a 2 mm Sn 99.3/Cu 0.7 one : it was the only one left in the store.
Hope it will do the job, nonetheless...
It'll be fine. I've gone through more rolls of 99.3/0.7 than I care to count and it gave me no trouble. Think of it this way - lead free solder is easy to use, leaded a little easier - they're both easy to work with. Don't sweat it, you'll be fine.

Old 27th May 2020
  #23
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cubic13's Avatar
OK, how to say this ? When seeing YouTube videos, everything seems as straightforward as can be, the whole thing being presented in 6 or 7 minutes, explanations included. The whole process took me one hour and a half...

The first thing I did was to unsolder the two cables from the previous socket. This took me 30 seconds. Yay ! I began to think that the whole thing would took me 5 minutes. The nightmare came after.

After this, well... With the solder which dropped in every imaginable place beside where it was supposed to, the soldering iron which sometimes melt it, sometimes it didn't (until I finally understood that it's better to make contact with the solder a little in amount), the broken connection of the ground cable when attempting to make a sounding test, the need to enlarge the plastic cache, as Epiphone (thanks to them... ) equipped this instrument with cut-off jack connector on both side, etc. At the end, I finally got this :


Think I'll have to act as a solderer...-dscf1682r.jpg


Seems to do the job, and in a much better way than the previous one, the jack being firmly maintained while playing, this, without abnormal noise. But seeing the "quality" of my work, I don't expect it to last that much...

Meanwhile, chore done, but I'll surprise no one when saying "never again !"...

Thanks again to all of you who have helped me to go over the whole issue...
Attached Thumbnails
Think I'll have to act as a solderer...-dscf1682r.jpg  
Old 28th May 2020
  #24
My experience soldering over guitars, it's best to put down a barrier or tape so you don't hit the finish with hot tin/lead. Many finishes can handle it, but why take the chance?

I just did a 5E3 project this CV period, my first. I'm not as talented as the pic above, but its working and it was fun. I'd like to do it again. I don't need an amp, I have a Kemper, but amps are still quite fun to toy with all the tones (especially this model)

Want to do a Bassman or Princeton next IF I can find a 2x12 blackface kit or something. Don't want to part material with shipping being funny these days yet.
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