Quote Originally Posted by David Lyga View Post
Well, rosin core solder and 'tinning' are essential, as that 'thread' continually runs through this thread. For me, the endless annoyance is the large drops that will not become smaller and refuse to 'stick' to the object unless LARGE. I solder the tiny wires that come loose and once I soldered wires on the bottom of an OM-2 and it took about 60 minutes to get it right (and about 24 curse words). I use an old Radio Shack soldering iron that looks like a thick pen. NO adjustments. NO luxury.

Thank you for all the advice. This operation is harder than one would think but I will re-read your various bits of advice and see what gets repeated over and over again in order to prove the correct paths to follow. - David Lyga

If that is the case, part of the problem is your equipment. Radioshack type soldering irons have tips that do not tin well. So the heat transfer is very poor. It balls up on the tip. Also, if the solder does not "stick" to the object, then you have "wetting" problem. Also, at that point, flux, which is the resin core, has completely evaporated. So there's no wetting action. Solution to this is fairly simple actually.

First, get a good iron. It doesn't have to be adjustable but you have to get one that does NOT have a shiny tip. It needs to be dull silver color. These will wet well and tin well.

Second, if you end up in a situation where the solder does not flow to the object, then remove the existing solder by using "wick" type thing. Then use a thin rosin core solder and use just enough. It will flow nicely then.

Lastly, this has more to do with technique, than equipment. It's pretty much impossible to describe this in text other than to say you need practice and experience. (which doesn't help...)

Good luck.