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Old solder vs New solder.

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gary350

Well-Known Member
I bought about 30 or 40 rolls of solder about 1970. Prices are always going up I figured some day a roll of solder will be 10 times more expensive if I buy several it will save me money over the next 50 years. I don't remember what a roll of solder costs in 1970 but I do remember minimum wage was 90¢ & ok pay then was $3.50 per hour. I checked the price of solder last week only thing I can find is lead free plumbing solder 1 lb roll $10 per plus $1 sales tax. I still have 1 roll of antique solder left I might need to buy some one day. Is electronic solder lead free now? How much does it cost? Who sells it?
 

dknguyen

Well-Known Member
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leaded solder is still sold everywhere...in electronics stores at least. $60-80CAD for a 1lbs spool
 

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
Is electronic solder lead free now? How much does it cost? Who sells it?
It's still available leaded, as well as unleaded, and still expensive - you can buy it at any electronics store.

However, unleaded is pretty crap, hence it's not used for critical applications - we certainly don't use it.
 

Pommie

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Most Helpful Member
My current roll of "thick" solder is about 20 years old and still works as it did when new.

Mike
 

JonSea

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Kester says flux can dissipate with age. I agree with Mike that I've never had a problem like that.

I do have an ancient roll of some super fine gauge Kester purchased at Boeing Surplus years ago. The only problem is it's so fine, it takes 2" of ot to solder a DIP pin!
 

NsrMagazin

Member
You ask good questions.

1. Everything newer is worst and it costs more.
2. The effectivity will decrease, you should check the expiration date. (Like mentioned before)
3. Its sold everywhere, at every electronics components store, its cheap, but you can get it from China at a lower price.

Here are the 2 things I suggest:
1. Soldering metal.

2. Soldering paste.

There are different types of soldering components (paste, flux and etc.).
 

JonSea

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
When buying solder, stick with a name brand (i.e., Kester). I have some solder I purchased from Banggood that is utter crap. A short section will work ok but the next inch won't even melt at normal soldering temperatures.

Personally, I like 63/37* with a rosin core. Other types of flux, like "water clean" are highly active and will attack the copper traces over time unless every bit is removed after soldering. I have found the smoke from non-rosin fluxes to be highly irritating to my eyes and throat.

* Percentage of tin and lead. 63/37 is the eutectic point of a tin/lead alloy. This means it transitions from liquid to solid instantly with no plastic phase, reducing the chance for cold solder joints.
 

BusyBee

New Member
There was some talk about EU regulations being brought in a while back to limit sales of leaded solder here in the UK (and EU?) to companies, not individuals (maybe in a similar way to which the sale of artists lead pigment paint cannot now be readily obtained, and not in tubes). At the time I bought a couple of reels, one from RS components and one from Rapid electronics, but as far as I know the scare went away. I have some unleaded high silver solder which I occasionally use, but am wary as it does not mix well with the leaded. I think many failures with lead free soldered circuitry have put things in an in-solvable position.

Tracy
 

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
Personally, I like 63/37* with a rosin core. Other types of flux, like "water clean" are highly active and will attack the copper traces over time unless every bit is removed after soldering. I have found the smoke from non-rosin fluxes to be highly irritating to my eyes and throat.
A LONG time ago I built a Heathkit, it was an FM stereo tuner and the guy who bought it decided he couldn't do it, so payed me to (I'd have done it for free! :D). Anyway, the point is the American solder in the kit smelled totally different to European solder, obviously a completely different type of flux - I have smelt the same flux very occasionally since, but I can't remember where it came from.
 

chemelec

Well-Known Member
I Tried using some Lead Free Solder in a Copper soldering Pot.
It Actually Dissolved some of the copper into it, Raising the Melting temperature.
Had to use a Steel Pot.
 

granddad

Well-Known Member
I have not tried lead free. but many suppliers here in UK ( for personal use ! ) this from ESR electronic componentssolder.jpg
 

chemelec

Well-Known Member
As far I am Aware, The only Country that Won't Allow Lead Solder into their country is "Germany".
 
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