Hi everyone,

I've made a couple of induction pickups like the ones in the first set of images in this discussion:


They seem to work well, but it's difficult to solder the parts together.  I'm finding that I have to hold my soldering iron onto the thick copper wire and the prongs of the transformer for a surprisingly long time before I can get solder to melt onto them.  I assume that the thick wire and the coil inside the transformer are acting as heat sinks.  Even when I do get the solder to melt, it never seems to flow as easily as it does when soldering smaller wires and pots and the like, and the resulting joints are prone to breaking.  Has anyone else had this problem?  My soldering iron is a pretty cheap one from Radio Shack, so I wonder if it's a bit underpowered.  Should I consider getting a nicer soldering iron, or is this just the nature of the beast?


Views: 221

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Maybe pre-heating the copper wire with a torch would help?

I've thought about that, although it does seem a little sketchy.  Do you think that would be a safety/fire hazard?

Higher wattage soldering iron, or mini torch?

I'm leaning towards a higher wattage iron.  From what I've read, it seems like a good investment.

The high heat soldering irons can cook what your soldering if held on too long. Some heavy duty soldering irons have 2 settings and 1 being a quick high heat setting that will heat up fast to avoid damage, but they are often big and hard to do small parts. The mini torch types are great for large wire.

Soldering takes some time to develop the "skill", the "how to's" and the "do's and don'ts".

You're definitely right about that.  I've done enough soldering to be reasonably comfortable with it, but I'm certainly not an expert.  I'll just have to keep at it.

Mark, you might find it helps to "tin" the large wire with solder before you bring it to the lugs, a good layer of solder, also tin the lugs prior as well, then you just need to heat the 2 tinned items enough for the solder to flow between them, the parent metal is only a medium to hold and share the solder with the next item

I've actually been doing that (I probably should've mentioned that initially).  It definitely helps, but it still takes a while to heat the parts enough to tin them.  I think I might just need to spring for a better-quality soldering iron.

Yes , it sounds like you’re lacking wattage, I always recommend getting a temperature controlled unit if you’re doing a lot of different soldering. They could be a lifesaver 

I used to solder wiring and PC boards for a living.,.,a good soldering Iron helps, and I like the 700 to 850 degree range temp wise.,.,.I used to use a 40 watt non-adjustable type with good results.,.,tinning is a good idea.,.,they also have liquid and paste solder flux, and its job is to help with heat transfer.,.,not sure what a small bottle of flux costs.,.,never had to buy it.,.,sounds like your getting the hang of it.,.,

Just spent last summer re-learning soldering after, like, 30 years. One of the reasons instructors and guides are constantly repeating the advice about heating the contacts is because it's so damn tempting to cheat a little and put heat directly on the solder to melt it faster at some point. And sometimes you get get away with doing this to some degree. I haven't done a pickup yet, but there are also situations where you have to worry about damaging certain components with higher heat, as well as your fingers. Also, when you're getting higher powered irons, you're also getting more, sometimes many more, safety and convenience features. So there's a surprising jump in price between the cheapest and higher-powered irons. If you're not planning on using it more than once or twice on one or two CBGs..., if you are taking up the hobby, it's totally worth it. Also don't pay too much attention to people in other forums who advised against "cheap Chinese" soldering irons. While it's certainly true a lot of bad cheap knockoffs originated in China, now reliable brands are there, too. For better or worse, all things electronic now have a presence in China.

I used to get TV/Electronics Rosin Core Solder back in the 90's that had a bit more rosin in it than what you get these days and it was super easy to solder things.

EPA rules came into play and now the % of rosin is less.


The Essential Pages

New to Cigar Box Nation? How to Play Cigar Box GuitarsFree Plans & How to Build Cigar Box GuitarsCigar Box Guitar Building BasicsCigar Box Guitar Parts Store

Site Sponsor

Recommended Links & Resources


Frets and fretboard

Started by Will "KOOL DOG HOOCH" Bonner in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Jerry Jordan 1 hour ago. 9 Replies

Perma grit sandpaper

Started by Will "KOOL DOG HOOCH" Bonner in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Will "KOOL DOG HOOCH" Bonner 19 hours ago. 4 Replies

Fret Sides Dressing

Started by Brent Kasl in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Titch the Clown on Friday. 8 Replies

Slide off decals

Started by Will "KOOL DOG HOOCH" Bonner in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Will "KOOL DOG HOOCH" Bonner on Friday. 10 Replies

30.5" scale lay-out help needed please!

Started by Will "KOOL DOG HOOCH" Bonner in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Will "KOOL DOG HOOCH" Bonner on Thursday. 20 Replies

Break angle for bridge

Started by Fantacone Box Works in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Will "KOOL DOG HOOCH" Bonner on Thursday. 28 Replies

Navigating this forum

Started by Fantacone Box Works in Performances, How to Play, Lessons, Concerts. Last reply by Fantacone Box Works Jul 14. 5 Replies

Blog Posts

Getting ready for next build

Posted by Sean Murphy on July 17, 2019 at 12:54pm 1 Comment

What wood is this?

Posted by Sean Murphy on July 16, 2019 at 10:48am 7 Comments


Posted by Danny Gordon on July 13, 2019 at 7:30pm 3 Comments

Latest Activity

Nancy kat liked Richard Sundberg's video
24 minutes ago
Nancy kat commented on Richard Sundberg's video

Summertime......Floating Away

"Lovely Richard....The music just flows so nice I can almost see the trees changing with each…"
24 minutes ago
Nancy kat liked Uncle John's video
35 minutes ago
Nancy kat commented on Uncle John's video

She's Gone Gone Gone (Do-over)

"Love it U~John... harp magick!!! Meowwwwww^..^"
35 minutes ago
T-Gripped liked G.S. Monroe's photo
39 minutes ago
Nancy kat liked BUGGY (C)'s video
39 minutes ago
Nancy kat commented on BUGGY (C)'s video

Freeborn Man

"Yes to the Bugman!!!!!! Keep them coming Buggy this was COOOOOOL.......Meowwwww^..^"
39 minutes ago
T-Gripped liked G.S. Monroe's photo
40 minutes ago
Nancy kat liked Poorness Studios's video
41 minutes ago
Nancy kat commented on Poorness Studios's video

CBG #7 - build and demo

"HolyMeows that sounds cool poorness nice build! Oh I likey the stars to! Meow^..^"
41 minutes ago
Nancy kat liked Andries D. EKER's video
45 minutes ago
Nancy kat commented on Andries D. EKER's video

AppleKnockers FlopHouse 1 a Tribute A. D. Eker 2019

"Deeeeeeelious! Class act once again Andries......Meeeeow^..^"
45 minutes ago



© 2019   Created by Ben "C. B. Gitty" Baker.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

\uastyle>\ud/** Scrollup **/\ud.scrollup {\ud background: url("https://storage.ning.com/topology/rest/1.0/file/get/963882636?profile=original") no-repeat scroll 0 0 transparent;\ud bottom: 25px;\ud display: inline !important;\ud height: 40px;\ud opacity: 0.3 !important;\ud position: fixed;\ud right: 30px;\ud text-indent: -9999px;\ud width: 40px;\ud z-index: 999;\ud}\ud.scrollup:hover {\ud opacity:0.99!important;\ud}\ud \uascript type="text/javascript">\ud x$(document).ready(function(){\ud x$(window).scroll(function(){\ud if (x$(this).scrollTop() > 100) {\ud x$('.scrollup').fadeIn();\ud } else {\ud x$('.scrollup').fadeOut();\ud }\ud });\ud x$('.scrollup').click(function(){\ud x$("html, body").animate({ scrollTop: 0 }, 600);\ud return false;\ud });\ud });\ud \ua!-- End Scroll Up -->