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Thread: Old 1/16” lead solder: preserve it, toss it?

  1. #1
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    Old 1/16” lead solder: preserve it, toss it?

    I have a half spool of 60/40 solder that predates the lead ban. I don’t use very much which is obvious since I bought the spool in the ‘70s.

    What should I do with it?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Feeley View Post
    I have a half spool of 60/40 solder that predates the lead ban. I don’t use very much which is obvious since I bought the spool in the ‘70s.

    What should I do with it?
    I keep all solder, especially rosin-core for electronics. It doesn't take up much space. I have a variety of sizes and a 3-lifetime supply. But if I rarely soldered things I'd probably give it away. Of course, as soon as you get rid if it you'll probably need it and have to go buy some.

    JKJ

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    I rarely do much soldering myself but just used some 60/40 yesterday that I've had at least 25 years. worked fine. Always good to have stuff to fix things with.

  4. #4
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    Before you toss it Google solder and see how much it costs.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  5. #5
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    Use it. Present day 60/40 is a disappointment.

  6. #6
    Obviously it will work in electronic applications. But when you go to dispose of the product you used it on, it will no longer be lead free and may require special handling (if you disclose the lead).

    Mike
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Myk Rian View Post
    Use it. Present day 60/40 is a disappointment.
    Even the old 60/40 solder was a disappointment for many of us doing production work. My preference is eutectic solder or a 63/37 alloy.

    63/37 solder is made of 63% tin and 37% lead. It has a melting point of 183°C, slightly lower than the more common 60/40 blend. The primary advantage of this solder is not the lower melting point, but its eutectic property. Non-eutectic solders, like the 60/40 solder, have a semi-solid state between solid and liquid. If a joint is moved during this stage, it can result in what is called a cold solder joint. Eutectic solders, like the 63/37, do not have this semi-solid state and are thus considered easier to work with as it produces fewer bad joints. However, these solders typically cost more than their non-eutectic counterparts.
    From > https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Practi...nics/Soldering

    There is probably 3 or 4 pounds of it in my shop.

    Candy has a pound or two of a much heavier gauge for stained glass work.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

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    Keep it you can use it on anything that isnt drinking water. Compressed air lines in the garage/heating hot water/drainage/etc.

    The lead ban isnt much of a problem now but when it first hit we were getting killed on material costs. My company does a lot of Heating water/Chilled water. And at the transition point we bid jobs using pricing at the time then it switched by the time we started jobs to lead free prices jumped.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by George Yetka View Post
    Keep it you can use it on anything that isnt drinking water. Compressed air lines in the garage/heating hot water/drainage/etc.
    If it's rosin core solder made for electronics will it be useful for plumbing? I've never anything but acid-based flux for that.

    As for success in soldering electronics with the old 60/40 tin/lead much depends on good technique but having good temperature regulated soldering stations helps tremendously. When building computers in the 70's I got a lot of experience. One 8K static memory board for a SWTPC computer (component cost: $250) had 1434 solder connections. Never had a soldering failure building dozens of boards, power supplies, monitors, cables, etc. I use good Weller soldering equipment, made for industry.

    These days I mostly solder to repair electronics and cables/connectors around the house and farm. I still use only the old 60/40 solder in sizes from 0.40 mm to 2.5mm.

    JKJ

  10. #10
    Lead solder is not banned, nor expensive...?

    While most new products are moving towards lead-free, leaded solder is still very readily available and commonly used.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by John K Jordan View Post
    If it's rosin core solder made for electronics will it be useful for plumbing? I've never anything but acid-based flux for that.

    As for success in soldering electronics with the old 60/40 tin/lead much depends on good technique but having good temperature regulated soldering stations helps tremendously. When building computers in the 70's I got a lot of experience. One 8K static memory board for a SWTPC computer (component cost: $250) had 1434 solder connections. Never had a soldering failure building dozens of boards, power supplies, monitors, cables, etc. I use good Weller soldering equipment, made for industry.

    These days I mostly solder to repair electronics and cables/connectors around the house and farm. I still use only the old 60/40 solder in sizes from 0.40 mm to 2.5mm.

    JKJ
    John I couldnt tell you, I only use the acid based stuff as well. The newer water based fluxes stink. You have to be more precise with the heat because the water based flux cooks out and the solder wont draw. With the utility flux a light coating and it takes a while to cook out.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by George Yetka View Post
    John I couldnt tell you, I only use the acid based stuff as well. The newer water based fluxes stink. You have to be more precise with the heat because the water based flux cooks out and the solder wont draw. With the utility flux a light coating and it takes a while to cook out.
    For copper pipes I like the grey solder "paste" flux loaded powdered solder.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Friedrichs View Post
    Lead solder is not banned, nor expensive...?

    While most new products are moving towards lead-free, leaded solder is still very readily available and commonly used.
    I prefer to use pb based if it's something that moves.. Like automobiles.
    ~mike

    scope creep

  14. #14
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    I used some to solder some tin flashing around a skylight.
    Bill D

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    The use of it on potable water plumbing is what is banned.
    Hobbyist

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