Butt welding ends of 1/16" stainless wire

Another description that can be useful for soft solders which contain silver, is silver-bearing soft solder. Soft solders (with or without silver
content) easily melt without a flame, with a soldering iron or soldering gun.. in the range of about 430-650 F temperatures.
Silver-bearing solders are now becoming popular for use in copper plumbing connections (with propane or MAPP gas torches. The newer lead-free plumbing solders are generally silver-bearing (soft) solders with maybe 6% silver content.
Actual silver solders are high temperature application, and hard compared to low temp soft solders. Hard silver solders aren't going to melt/flow with soldering iron temperatures, and are typically stiff like steel wire.
Soft wire solders, even silver-bearing alloys, can easily be wrapped around a finger without discomfort.. trying the same test with hard silver solder will be painful unless the silver solder is very thin.
Hard silver solders are applied by brazing, technically speaking. Applications involving soft solders are soldering, whether or not the heating source is a soldering iron or torch.
As Dan pointed out, neither of these processes will require melting/puddling of the base metals. Both soldering and brazing products (wire, rods) will fail at those temperatures.
One example of metal joining/repair that may improperly be referred to as soldering or brazing, would be those "miracle" aluminum repair rods. These actually require welding, since the rod material is required to mix with the base metal when joining aluminum parts. The welding temperature is fairly low, about 750+ F, simply because aluminum alloys have low melting points. This process wouldn't technically be defined as brazing or soldering, because the filler material/rod is actually mixing with the aluminum alloy base metal.
This aluminum repair rod example gets a little cloudy, because the aluminum repair rods can also be used with other non-ferrous metals.. brass, copper, for example. When these other metals are joined with aluminum repair rods, the process is more closely related to brazing.. but could be considered soldering.
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    Another place where silver-bearing solders used to be used was in Tektronix oscilloscopes. They had notched strips of ceramic used as terminal strips. Each notch was plated with a noticeable thickness of silver -- and connecting to it using normal lead/tin solder would dissolve the silver over time. Usually, you could make one or two connections to it -- but if you had a part which was needing frequent replacement for whatever reason, you would soon enough wind up with a bunch of wires in a blob of solder hanging free -- no bond to the ceramic terminal strip for that connection at least.
    The Tektronix 'scopes which used these (mostly tube days, and no printed circuit cards) typically would have a small roll of the proper silver-bearing solder snapped in the storage compartment with the manual, usually on the top of the 'scope.
    Later -- about the time that Tektronix went to complete printed circuit boards and mostly solid state circuitry, ALCO got the license to make the terminal strips. I used quite a few in projects at work back then. They were particularly nice for circuits involving high impedances (tubes and FETs) because, unlike the typical phenolic strip with a bunch of terminals staked in place, the glazed ceramic did not grow fungus and provide high-impedance paths for current leakage.
    And -- the phenolic tended to get cooked to death as people sucked off the solder to gain access to wires wrapped around the eyelets. No problem with the first components, but after several repairs, they were a serious disaster.
    Enjoy,         DoN.
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"DoN. Nichols" wrote:

I used my ENDECO desoldering iron, and sometimes another iron on the other side of a terminal to quickly melt & remove old solder. That way the terminal was hotter, but for a very short time. Over all, it took a lot less heat to clean the terminal.
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And, you could wash them. The Tek scope maintenance manuals of the day had a section on how to wash the scope in a bathtub. You took the covers off, put the saambly in a tub or big deep sink, and washed it with Alconox dishwasher detergent in hot water, rinsed with hot water then distilled water (to remove water hardness), and let it dry. This removed al the dust and dirt and conductive films from the ceramic terminal strips.
Joe Gwinn
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Joseph Gwinn wrote:

Some time ago, some guy told me that if you send a 'scope to Tektronix for warranty repair, the first thing Tek does is put the 'scope in a room lined with ceramic tile, and turn the equivalent of a fire hose on it.
This is second-hand Urban Legend grade material, but it's a fairly well-known fact that water doesn't hurt electronics that aren't powered up, as long as you let it dry before you _do_ power it up. :-)
Cheers! Rich
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I do know for a fact that Tek recommended washing the scopes - I read the instructions myself, back in the day, so that part is not urban legend.
I don't know about the fire hose part, but I bet that Tek did wash the scope first, if only to eliminate dirt-induced weird problems. They probably used a hot-water sprayer such as one would find in a commercial kitchen.
Joe Gwinn
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After Freon was banned we switched to washing the flux off new circuit boards with isopropyl alcohol or soap and water. Only a few devices with internal contacts like switches and relays couldn't be immersed and had to be soldered on afterwards and hand-cleaned. http://www.circuitnet.com/articles/article_52053.shtml
jsw
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On Sun, 16 Jan 2011 08:46:34 -0800 (PST), Jim Wilkins

For the occasional hobby board, I use Sanford Expo whiteboard cleaner in a pump spray bottle as found at Office Max. A couple of squirts of that, scrub with a toothbrush, blow dry with compressed air and the board is pristinely fluxless.
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Looks good, isopropyl alcohol and butyl cellosolve: http://whatsinproducts.com/information.php?brandNo=19-036-004&PHPSESSID=5259 I had semiconductor grade IpOH available so I used it. http://www.cleanroomworld.com/detail/isopropyl-alcohol-ipa-5202.cfm
The solid residue from RMA flux that alcohol leaves, scrubs off with soap and water
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Don Foreman wrote:

I put a coat of car wax on new white boards to make them easy to clean.
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Michael A. Terrell wrote:

Hmm. Sounds pretty clever! When I was in the USAF, they had plexiglas dispatch boards that were edge-lit, and they used "grease pencils" to mark them; with an edge-lit board, the grease pencil shows up really well in a darkened room.
We would wipe off the grease pencil (to update the dispatch board) with a dry cloth and cigarette ashes. =:-O
Wouldn't recommend that for whiteboard, however. :-)
Cheers! Rich
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There have been cored-solders with fluxes for circuit board assembly which wash off completely with flowing hot water, for quite some time.. we used one type at an instrument manufacturing facility in the late 80s. Yep, they were hand-soldering thru-hole, medium density boards up to about 12" square.
A stiff natural bristle brush hastened the task to be fairly effortless.. but the water needed to be hot, not just almost.
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The boards I had to fix usually weren't in pristine condition and I needed a stronger flux than water-wash or no-clean. These fine-pitch packages aren't easy to remove and replace without causing some harm: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quad_Flat_Package
http://www.issi.com/pdf/PQ.pdf The pins are 0.020" on center, thus <= 0.010" wide and rather difficult to hand solder without shorting them together.
For prototypes I had to repair damage that would have scrapped a production board.
jsw
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Jim Wilkins wrote:

Jim, the MC68340 was on .015" centers, with 288 pins. I hand soldered a lot of them on the test line, and changed a few by hand rather than wait for rework to use their hot air station. Solder bridges are no big problem if you run a thin bead of RMA flux down the row, then put a drop of fresh solder on the tip of the iron. Hold the board at a 45 degree angle, then run the drop of solder down the row of pins. It will remove the bridges, even behind the pins and lift any oxidized solder. This leaves a row of cleaner solder joints than a reflow oven. Q would complain that they couldn't find my work, till I taught them how to see it. The reflow solder is 80/20. The Multicore .015" rework solder is 63/37 and had a lighter color that can be seen by looking at them at an angle under an inspection light. The 63/37 also had a smoother surface.
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On Mon, 17 Jan 2011 15:07:07 -0500, "Michael A. Terrell"

Is the board tilted so "down" goes crossways over pins, or in the direction that the pins point?

That's impressive. I'd love to see a video of that.
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wrote:

A variation that leaves the board flat on the static mat is placing solder wick over the pins and running an iron down it. These are methods that are easier to show than describe, as they require learning to recognize and correct mistakes, like practicing welding.
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Jim Wilkins wrote:

Jim, I started with that method, but ran into lose solder balls under ICs and heavy bridges at the back side of the pins that took too much heat to remove. I also had to scrap boards that someone else got the braid under pins and pulled the trace from the board. We had a zero tolerance for bad traces. A tiny puddle of liquid solder flows easily from one pair of pins onto the next, and takes a lot less time to do than with solder wick.
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Don Foreman wrote:

You want the pins in a vertican row so the solder moves down from joint to joint.

If I can find a way to make one, I will. I don't have access to most of the tools anymore.
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Don Foreman wrote:

About 45 degrees; a little of both, plus about 45 degrees to Z. Think, corner of board on bench, tilted back so you're looking straight at it from your stool.
Cheers! Rich
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On Tue, 18 Jan 2011 19:36:59 -0800, Rich Grise

I think good electronic techs and modelmakers are greatly under-rated and unappreciated contributors. They sure were at the corporation where I worked as an engineer, manager and research puke for many years.
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