How to Solder: The Basics

What you first need to know!

What is soldering?

Soldering is process of joining two metals together with soldering iron by the use of a solder to form a dependable electrical joint.

The most basic tool you need is a soldering iron.

Why solder?

Soldering is used in plumbing, electronics, and metalwork from flashing to jewelry.

Soldering provides reasonably permanent but reversible connections between copper pipes in plumbing systems as well as joints in sheet metal objects such as food cans, roof flashing, rain gutters and automobile radiators.

Jewelry components, machine tools and some refrigeration and plumbing components are often assembled and repaired by the higher temperature silver soldering process. Small mechanical parts are often soldered or brazed as well. Soldering is also used to join lead came and copper foil in stained glass work. It can also be used as a semi-permanent patch for a leak in a container or cooking vessel.

Electronic soldering connects electric wiring and electric components to printed circuit boards.

Recommended safety precautions

The Steps

  1. Place the soldering iron in its stand and plug it in.
  2. Wait for the soldering iron to heat up.
  3. Melt a little solder on the tip of the iron.
  4. The tip of the soldering iron should be a shiny silver color.
  5. Cut off 3/4 of an inch of insulation off of the ends of the wire you wish to solder.
  6. Tie the two ends together by bring them close and twisting the connection.

The Steps (continued)

  1. Tie the two ends together by bring them close and twisting the connection.
  2. Secure wire with clamp or some other apparatus.
  3. Using the tip of the iron, touch the connection. (Don't overdo it!)
  4. Wait for connection is cool for a few seconds.
  5. Repeat until the connection is secure.
  6. You've soldered. Congratulations!


"Soldering Safety." - Department of Engineering Health & Safety. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Jan. 2015.

"Safe Soldering Checklist." - For Dummies. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Jan. 2015.

"Electronics Primer: How to Solder Electronic Components." Electronics Primer: How to Solder Electronic Components. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Jan. 2015.