Are you a soldering beginner looking to master this fundamental skill in the world of electronics? This article highlights the basic soldering parts that you should be familiar with.
- Tips – there’s no soldering iron without a tip. This crucial part is the accessory that heats up and allows the solder to move around the components being merged. Basically, solder has to stick to the tip when it’s being applied, but most people tend to think that the tip transfers the solder. What the tip does is transfer heat to the surface being soldering. Once the surface temperature reaches that of the solder, it melts accordingly. Most soldering iron kits are flexible enough to allow you to change the soldering tip so that you can fine-tune your soldering based on your specific needs.
- Wand – this is the part of the soldering iron that actually holds the tip (above). The wand is also the part that is handled/held by the user. These parts are typically made up from insulating materials such as rubber so that heat cannot be transferred from the tip to the wand’s outer parts. Wands house the metal contacts and wires that make a solder complete. When shopping for a soldering iron, you’ll want to work with one that has a high-quality wand.
- Base – this is a control box that usually allows you to adjust the temperature of your soldering iron. The base has a connector where the wand can be attached so that it derives heat from the electronics inside it. Traditional bases in the market are still analog, which means that you use a dial to control temperature. However, more modern base controls are digital, meaning that they have a button for temperature setting, as well as a display that gives you the currently-set temperature. Commonly, some newer bases have extra features that are meant to make your soldering work much easier.
- Stand – this is a cradle where you can rest/house your soldering iron any time when it’s not being used. This part might seem trivial at first, but you don’t want to expose yourself and others to the risk of unattended soldering iron lying barely on a workbench or desk. This part may be designed as a simplistic metallic stand, or as a complex part that provides an auto-shut feature.
Brass Sponge – your solder typically oxidizes, which makes it turn black and solder-resistant. This is more so common with lead-free solders, where multiple impurities build up at the iron tip, leading to oxidization. The sponge comes in handy in that it allows you to give your tip a thorough cleaning through a simple wipe-off operation. Wet sponges were used in the past. But doing this can dramatically scale down the lifespan of our soldering tip.read more