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Electric Guitar Wiring

PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 3:32 pm
by Bant's Bluz
In the not too distant future, I'm going to be wiring the pups, etc on a new git. I've been told that butt connectors are an option but it appears that soldering is the routine method. Any help/advice is appreciated. This is kind of embarrassing as I can weld be it mig, tig, stick, oxy-acetelene and I've welded in situations where I had to use a mirror to see the joint. Despite that, I've never done any soldering, save for silver soldering sights on pistols, which is a horse of a different color.

Re: Electric Guitar Wiring

PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 5:18 pm
by ricochet
Soldering's easy. Just make sure the wires are clean and making good mechanical contact first. The solder isn't what's supposed to carry the main current. Heat the surfaces to be soldered hot enough to melt the solder so it'll flow on. Clean up any drips. If you're soldering onto a pot body (I HATE doing that), don't heat it any more than you have to, because those resistor tracks inside them are often polymer-based.

Re: Electric Guitar Wiring

PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 9:59 pm
by leftyguitarman
If you have to solder wires to the back of the pot, get CTS pots. Alpha pots are covered in an obnoxious coating that doesn't allow solder to stick to the back unless you have an 80+ watt iron. Also, Alpha pots are metric, so if the pots are going into a USA made guitar, you'll need CTS pots for them to fit in the holes.

Re: Electric Guitar Wiring

PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 4:19 am
by ricbleu
If you find that you are having trouble getting your solder to stick to a metal surface eg the back of a pot, there's a flux available which contains zinc chloride which you brush onto the metal and it de-oxidises and etches it. Before silicone, plumbers used it all the time on all types of metal. I've got some and recently used it for that very purpose when my solder wouldn't "take" on the back of the pots I was putting into my electric lappy. For people like us, one bottle lasts about fifty lifetimes but it's one of those useful substances to have on the shelf in the workshop.

Re: Electric Guitar Wiring

PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 12:23 pm
by Bant's Bluz
Thanks for all the feed back. I talked with the guy who's going to do the final set up and mentioned the wiring issue. I can do a lot of things, but wiring isn't on that list, so I'm going to have him take care of it. Besides, he's the son of a very good friend of mine and I've checked his boni fides and I'm getting rave reviews about his work.

Re: Electric Guitar Wiring

PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 5:15 pm
by leftyguitarman
Good plan on taking it to someone who knows how to do it properly. I've wired a few guitars, but it's always been a poor job. I'd much rather pay to have it done.

...Which reminds me, I need to take my LP down to the shop today.

Re: Electric Guitar Wiring

PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2010 2:21 pm
by ricochet
Be very careful with zinc chloride flux. Don't use it routinely, and WASH it carefully off afterward. It's highly corrosive. Standard lead-tin solder for electronic use is "rosin core," using pine rosin as the flux. It's noncorosive.