Recommended Solder?

Greetings,
Although this may seem a noobish question, I had to ask for some advice. I read that lead solder is really bad for you...so I was
looking for some lead-free solder. I bought some silver-bearing solder, but right after that I read that silver-bearing solder flows really poorly. Since I'm going to be doing some heavy duty soldering, could you recommend a type of solder to me? Is Rosin-core solder good? Or do you know of anything better?
Thanks, George C. Linderman
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<snip> . Since I'm going to be doing some heavy duty soldering, could

Well, George, my experience is that the lead-free alloys are pretty poor stuff to work with. The concept was originally that lead-free solder should (and rightly so) be used on any and all plumbing systems. Somehow this concept got extended to plain old bench soldering. In part there was wisdom to it, in that all electronic devices end up in the landfill one day, but when you run a wave soldering or mass production facility, you can generate and control the soldering conditions far more readily than for bench work. I have tried many of the lead-free alloys and as well intended as the concept is, they suck. It is difficult to get some component leads and solder pads to temperature for those alloys to flow readily without risking damage to the parts. It can be done, surely, but for the novice who often has questionable soldering skills and almost never has had any training, it can double the difficulty of producing a good solid joint. It used to be that soldering was something you could figure out easily in a weekend of tinkering, and then through the observation of professional work you could refine your technique. It would appear that those days are nearly gone. I would recommend a standard 63/37 SnPb solder with a rosin core. Once you have gotten familiar with how the material works and how to create a clean joint in a reliable manner, then you might want to try your hand at the newer materials. Just keep in mind that most are about twice as expensive as standard electronic solder and you can wreck a lot of parts without some real patience and practice.
Cheers!
Sir Charles W. Shults III, K.B.B. Xenotech Research 321-206-1840
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On Nov 15, 10:28 am, "Sir Charles W. Shults III"
Ah, thank you for the advice and help. Would you think this: http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId 62711&cp 32058.2032236.2032313&allCountG&fbn=Type%2FSolder&f=PAD%2FProduct+Type%2FSolder&fbc=1&parentPagemily solder is adequate? Also, is there a difference between flux and solder? And if so, what does flux do?
The link above isn't exactly the mixture you said, but it's pretty close. If that's not good, please link me to what you'd recommend on radioshack.
Thanks, George C. Linderman .
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http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId 62711&cp 32058.2032236.2032313&allCountG&fbn=Type%2FSolder&f=PAD%2FProduct+Type%2FSolder&fbc=1&parentPagemily

That solder is perfectly adequate. For the hobbyist, the difference between 63/37 and 60/30 is too tiny to notice. Flux is the material that acts something like a "primer". It chemically prepares the metal surface to ensure good adhesion or wetting action. When the flux is heated, it literally etches the metal surface you are trying to solder and promotes the bond. It can mean the difference between a great solder joint and no joint at all. Standard pine rosin is a good and well known flux and has been used for many decades. Some newer materials are synthetic resin fluxes, but rosin is probably one of the least harsh to your lungs if inhaled. Our ancestors have breathed it around the campfire for millenia.
Cheers!
Sir Charles W. Shults III, K.B.B. Xenotech Research 321-206-1840
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

For the average hobbyist the exposure is usually pretty low. Lead is being phased out in commercial production because of the sheer volume of it all, and the fact that most electronics end up in the landfill. Billions of tons of trash every year will have thousands of tons of lead in it. I doubt you personally will ever use that much!
The usual caveats apply and you should be okay: avoid the smoke from the solder (it's the rosin; the lead is too heavy to be in the smoke), wash your hands after you solder, store the solder away from children, animals, food prep surfaces, don't likc the end of your soldering pencil with your tongue, etc.
I've been working with leaded solder all my life and there is nohting worng wtih me!
(Seriously, if you are introducing kids to electronics, you might look for a small reel of lead-free solder. Though their lead ingestion will will be quite low even with a leaded solder, children are the most susceptible to lead poisoning.)
-- Gordon
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