The recommended temperature for this kind of work is 350 degrees Celsius. If you’re still a bit unsure about your soldering skills, you could drop the temperature down to 300 C. Seasoned soldering professionals can use higher settings.
It is very important to solder in a room with sufficient ventilation. Soldering tin contains some lead, which you don’t want to breathe in. Use a table fan blowing across the table/workbench at an angle – you want the air to circulate, without the fan blowing straight on the solder joints.
The basic idea behind soldering is not just to solder the cable and the component together with tin, but pre-tinning the soldering lug and the conductor strand first, and then connect the tinned surfaces together using heat iron. Understanding this is crucial if you want to make solid connection. The ideal practice for making the joint is to heat the components and let the tin melt on their surface and try not to touch tin with your iron tip. This can be tricky, because too much heat in the components can make cable insulations melt.
The second important factor for achieving a good solder joint is keeping cable and component perfectly still until the tin is completely cooled off. Do not blow on the hot connection to make it cooler as it will ruin your nicely made solder joint. Try also not to overheat any surface – if you have trouble with a certain solder joint, take a break of a couple of minutes and return to the joint once the surface has cooled off. Too much heat can also lead to component failure or shorts, which might lead to other problems further down the line.
Remember, the tip of a soldering iron stays very hot for some time after switching off your soldering station, so be careful when laying it back to its holder.
Custom Boards uses Neutrik-plugs for all their cable looms and guitar cables. The side connecting into the amp will be a straight plug, while the plug going to the pedalboard is fitted with an angled plug.
The board-facing end of a guitar lead will always be equipped with an angled plug, but the plug for the guitar can be either. Most Gibson guitars tend to work better with angled plugs, while guitars like the Fender Stratocaster will require straight plugs.
Carefully select which side of the loom you are going to work on first, so you don’t use the wrong plugs for the chosen side. At first we are going to solder straight plug.
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