Three Pitfalls to Avoid When You’re Using Lead Solder in an Electrical Wiring Application

Of all the materials you can use when you're trying to build an electronic circuit board or box to power and direct some type of machine, lead is one of the cheapest and most versatile. Its main downsides are the fact that it is bulky and not as good a conductor as some other metals. If you're determined to use lead solder in an electrical wiring application, check out these three pitfalls to avoid.

Putting Too Many Wires on a Single Solder Point

In order to work properly, the solder needs as much empty space around it as you can manage. It'll be difficult enough trying to connect one or two wires to the floor of the circuit board with the solder; trying to connect more than that in one single area is nearly impossible.

If you have to, get a bigger circuit board or add an extra board to the side of your current one to ensure that all the wires and solder points you'll be using have enough breathing space between them. This will prevent terrible tangles in the wire and significantly increase the expected service life of your circuit board.

Using the Solder to Secure Bends in the Wire

You should only use the solder when it's absolutely necessary to secure the end of a wire on a certain part of your circuit board. Using it to affix the middle of a long wire in one place to prevent it from moving around is a bad idea.

This is because a wire that passes through more solder points than necessary won't be able to last as long without developing serious power transfer issues. If you're having trouble with wires that fly all over the place when you move the circuit board, consider using a bit of ordinary glue to fix them in place instead.

Not Putting Protective Rubber Around the Wire's Junctions Before You Apply Solder

If you can't cover the full lengths of your wires with rubber jackets, you should at least cover the parts surrounding each solder point. This will decrease the likelihood of a stray spark in a wire making it onto the solder point and causing damage.

This is especially important if the solder point is going to form a junction between two wires. Sparks flying off one of the wires could damage both the solder itself and the structure of the other wire.