[AMRadio] Old Solder

Donald Chester k4kyv at charter.net
Tue Mar 31 18:58:15 EDT 2015

I have several partial 5 lb rolls of various sizes of old rosin core solder
I have had on hand, some for decades.  The old stuff doesn't seem to work as
well as a fresh roll I picked up recently at an estate sale.  When I use the
old solder, it seems to be getting harder and harder to get the wire and
terminal to take the solder.  This is something that has occurred gradually,
and I hadn't really noticed it until I tried the fresh roll and experienced
the difference. I  had always assumed solder not taking would be caused by
oxidation of the metal, since some of my terminal lugs and hookup  wire, and
equipment I work on, may be older than the solder, but I discovered that
fresh solder takes much better.  I vaguely recall someone telling me that
the rosin flux in the core deteriorates with age, something I took with a
grain of salt, but maybe they  were correct.

With new rolls of solder getting increasingly expensive and the possibility
that ordinary 60/40 lead/tin  solder may eventually be unobtanium, I
wouldn't throw out my old rolls.  Perhaps liquid flux like what is used with
circuit boards would help, by dipping the end of the solder rod into the
flux before applying it to the connection.  Just wondering, has anyone ever
experienced this problem before?

I had always assumed that solder was solder, and that a roll would outlast
me if I didn't use it all up first.

Don k4kyv

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