What Do I Need To Start Soldering?
To get a complete list of soldering tools, click here.
If you didn't click, let us give you a quick summary of what tools you should get:
1. Soldering Iron
Without a soldering iron you won't be able to do anything. Get a soldering iron.
Soldering irons are cheap and they're durable. An example of that is this kit on Amazon. You can get it for less than $40, and for everything you get, that's a steal.
2. Solder Sucker
A solder sucker is basically an eraser for soldering. The only difference between this and and eraser is you need to heat the solder up first so it turns into liquid before sucking it in with this.
3. Solder Wick
The solder wick is for those areas where there are small amounts of solder you want to take out.
4. Wire Cutter
The wire cutter helps you cut the exact amount of wire you need.
These 4 tools aren't the only ones you could use, but these 4 are ones we decided would be the fundamental tools needed to start soldering copper wire.
Before you learn how to solder copper wire, let's talk about safety.
Preparing To Solder
Before starting, there are a few pre-cautions you need to take care of.
The first one is checking the wattage output of your soldering iron.
If your soldering iron is too hot, you run the risk of burning something other than solder. This means your electrical circuit could be damaged if you leave your soldering iron on it.
After you figure out your soldering iron's wattage output, you need to figure out how you're going to protect yourself.
Keep an open mind about your setup. You don't want unbalanced surfaces. Unbalanced surfaces could cause your soldering iron to fall on your feet.
Another factor to pay attention to is your hands. There will be times where you'll burn yourself. That's just the nature of playing with heat. Make sure you have gloves to protect yourself.
It's also important to have the right kind of clothing. Clothing which restricts movement isn't good. You need to be comfortable to concentrate. There are small areas which you might need to solder and it's going to require flexible movement to focus on them.
The last part you need to worry about is eye protection. Get some eye protection goggles for your eyes.
How To Solder Copper Wire
This could have gone in the section above, but it's good to know how much copper wire you're going to solder.
Too much, and not only are you wasting money, you increase the chances of bad sound quality for your outdoor speakers.
The first step to soldering is letting the soldering iron heat up. Once it's heated up, use a wet sponge to clean it up.
This ensures you're not getting anything else dirty.
In addition to cleaning your iron, take your solder and place it on the heated tip of the soldering iron. This process is called "tinning."
This process prevents oxidation and makes it easier to transfer heat to the wire you're soldering.
Soldering irons can heat up to 450 degrees celsius which is 842 degrees fahrenheit. Make sure you place the iron somewhere safe when you're done using it.
The key to solder copper wire is to place the tip gently on the copper wire. All it takes is a couple seconds before the wire warms up assuming you heated your soldering iron.
Remember to hold the soldering iron like a pen. Whichever way feels the most comfortable holding a pen is the ideal way you should hold the soldering iron.
Make sure the copper wire is held in place. This makes it easy to hold both the solder and soldering iron simultaneously.
You should hold the soldering iron still while the solder moves back and forth until the intended area is covered.
The heat of the soldering iron allows the solder to move freely along the wire.
After it's all said and done, you want your copper wire to look like a silver wire. You don't want silver bumps along the wire because that signals a bad soldering job.
Of course, all of this doesn't matter if you're trying to have a wireless speaker set. And if you're trying to have a wireless speaker set, we also have a post on how to convert it.