Indium Blog

Melting Point - Tip of the Iceburg for Hand Soldering

This is a blog post about a great post that may never be...

Unless a solder iron vendor wants to step up and declare that they offer technical support.

The idea was simple enough, contact a soldering iron vendor and see what temperatures they recommend for certain non-standard (Sn/Pb or Pb free) solder alloys.  To promote the knowledge that these technicians have, and to show that you need to have a much higher tip temperature than you would for a furnace peak reflow temperature.  Hand soldering seems like an area that would be interesting to share with our readers.  We could talk about rework solder defects, new products, and tricks for those of us that want to be better at hand soldering.

The plan was to just get in touch with the top companies that make soldering irons (ahem, no names need to be mentioned...) and at least ask them if they were interested in participating.  I quickly learned - you can't just contact them!  The only way I found to ask for help from one of the big name in hand soldering is to plead for help on their inquiry system.  This system is nameless, faceless, and traceless - forget about an email to help you know who you are talking to.  I think I was speaking to a black hole, because I still have no response after around 2-3 months. 

Of course, I wanted to be ready incase they didn't want to help, so I tried to go down the list and ask a few other hand soldering equipment vendors for collaboration.  I learned that not responding must be a trait for these companies, and that the iceburg in the title of this post isn't the only cold thing about the story.   

If you are a soldering iron vendor, representative, or user who does get the help you need, please prove me wrong.  Comment, email me, or help me write the great post that may otherwise never be!

Authored by previous Indium Application Manager Jim Hisert