How to join and solder wires for the most reliable connectionsOn October 24, 2017 Intermediate No Comments Tags: HowTo, Soldering
How have I missed this?
This is a basic but vital skill to master for model railway construction (poor joints won’t conduct electricity correctly leading to poorly running locos) but while I’ve covered general soldering and recommendations on the best soldering iron and solder in this article I realised I’ve never written a post on wires and how to solder them.
My apologies for the lapse.
Here then is a quick video demonstrating the technique I use to join multi-core wire.
Single strand wire joins
If you’re soldering single core wire and want a very strong join watch this video on how to solder to NASA standards. I’ve not seen this technique before but I’ll be sure to use it next time I’m working with single core wire.
Where to hold the iron on the wire
One extra point, there’s some debate about whether it’s better to hold the soldering iron on the opposite side of the wire as the solder or melt the solder onto the wire with the tip of the iron.
Personally, I hold the iron to the underside of the wire and touch the solder to the top side.
Once the wire is hot enough the solder then flows onto, through and around the wires. In my mind, this ensures the wire is near the same temperature as the solder and so a better bond is formed.
Holding the iron on the same side of as the solder may result in the solder just melting around the wire and not actually passing through it so the joint isn’t as good.
It may take longer but I find holding the iron on the opposite side of the wire produces a better joint.
Finally, a reliable soldering iron and solder with of the correct mix is vital to good soldering and I covered the best of each for use around model railways here.
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"Awesome stuff. I will be using your site a lot, for tips and ideas." @MuddingtonIII