In this weeks recitation I joined the class for soldering. It was my first time doing soldering and through the three exercises done in class I feel like I had a better understanding of what soldering is and learned the basic techniques.
I chose soldering because out of the three classes offered it is the most unfamiliar to me. I was quite intimidated by it because my only prior knowledge was that I had to work with hot materials and tools. Having a instructor and replicating the exercises step by step cleared out a lot of safety concerns I had before.
When using the tool it is important to constantly clean it with the metal inside the holder. It has to be smooth and shiny every time before use. The metal cleans off any impurity on the tool so the applied solder can optimize its performance.
I learned that it is crucial not to use the point of the tool when soldering. It has the highest temperature but is also very malleable it self. Pressing the solder against it can cause the tool to lose its shape and damage the tool. Another tip I received was not to use too much solder. When too much soda is applied it forms big chunks of material and can interfere with the conductive properties of the material. In other cases it might connect unwanted pins together and cause more problems. To solve this problem, I was told to use a floss like material to take out the excessive solder.
By the end of class I successfully completed the three assigned exercises, knowing that it would take a lot of practice to be fully proficient at the art of soldering.