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Discussion Starter #1
Lead is bad right ?

I've been using 37/63 with lead.

I noticed the hardware store had 96% tin and 4% silver too.

Is that any better ? It had the same warning on it on the back. I never really thought much about until now, but I have kids so I tryy best to keep stuff away from them.
 

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You don't want to hand solder with lead free solder. It's a pain. Leaded solder works much better. Don't use leaded solder on your plumbing, but it's fine for electronics. Just don't eat it.
 

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My iron only has up to a 450 degree setting and I know unleaded solder usually needs another 50 or so degrees to melt. I find the 37/63 a lot easier to melt and use. 400 degrees is great.
Mike, 63/37 eutectic leaded solder is what you should be using. Lead free is not cut out for hand soldering work like crossovers, etc.
 

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Lead is bad right ?...
Everyone here has stated (tongue in cheek) that you shouldn't eat leaded solder.
While true, more pragmatic advice would be that you should always wash your hands with soap and water after handling leaded solder.

The danger is that a tiny amount of lead will rub off of the solder and onto your hands, which can be ingested if you handle any food before it's consumed.
While it may be a tiny amount, consumed lead is cumulative and over time you could have levels build up to the point where it starts to become hazardous.
Washing your hands totally eliminates that danger.
 

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I used to play with sheets of lead as a kid with no washing. No wonder why I'm a [email protected] now... hehe! :p [Still alive though. :D]
Blender-smoke (don't breathe this!)
 

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You don't want to snort those rising fumes. I've done my share over the years before I gave it much thought. Clean air is about the only thing you want to breath. A little fan to disperse the fumes will help, but don't let it blow directly on your work or you could have problems transferring heat. Washing your hands is also a good idea after handling the stuff. Actually its a good idea to do after handing most objects!

Its generally accepted that 600 degrees is a good starting point for soldering iron temps when using 60/40 and small tips. There's more to it than just melting the solder, you want a molecular lock between the solder and metal. I don't have much experience with lead free. I don't even like the sound of it. I can't believe your soldering iron only goes to 450, Mfusic? Invest in a Weller!
 

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I guess it's also a good idea that I stopped snorting mercury, and swimming in cooling-pools of those plutonium power plants too then!
 

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The issue with lead solder has more to do with its disposal and cumulative leaching into ground water as the components sit in landfill.



yes you should definitely be careful soldering with it and wash your hands afterwards, but the tiny amounts we use wont be an issue. And hand soldering with Rohs solder is a giant pain.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Its generally accepted that 600 degrees is a good starting point for soldering iron temps when using 60/40 and small tips. There's more to it than just melting the solder, you want a molecular lock between the solder and metal. I don't have much experience with lead free. I don't even like the sound of it. I can't believe your soldering iron only goes to 450, Mfusic? Invest in a Weller!
It's that station Parts Express puts on sale. It works, but I wouldn't mind an upgrade. If I ever find a deal... Which would you reccomend ?


As for the heat thing, 600 degrees is too hot I think for 37/63 I'm using. It melts easily at 450, which I actually turn down from just a bit.
 

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It's that station Parts Express puts on sale. It works, but I wouldn't mind an upgrade. If I ever find a deal... Which would you reccomend ?


As for the heat thing, 600 degrees is too hot I think for 37/63 I'm using. It melts easily at 450, which I actually turn down from just a bit.
I like the Weller WESD51. They go for about $139 on Amazon and you'll have it for life. Digital display shows set point and tip temp. One nice feature it has auto-off so if you forget to shut it off after so many minutes of inactivity, it turns itself off. Grab yourself one of those brillo-pad looking tip cleaners as well, they work so much better than a wet sponge. I think I have one of those PE soldering stations in a tub of parts somewhere, the grey one. The other soldering iron I use at work often is a small butane soldering iron. While not precise its pocket portable, gets nice and hot, and the tip isn't grounded so I can use it on live circuits. Low voltage or course! :eek:
 
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