Photo 1 — The essentials: a low-watt soldering iron, a stand, a small damp sponge, and a roll of “electronic silver solder” like this .020" 60/40 tin/lead rosin flux solder from Kester.

Learn to solder like a pro in this easy-to-follow demonstration.

Given the DIY nature of this issue, we thought it would be appropriate to address good soldering technique. If you’re willing to invest a few bucks in some modest tools and spend a little time practicing the basics, you can learn to wire up guitars, stomp kits, speaker cabinets, and even do some simple amp mods. Once you understand the fundamentals, you can save money and derive a lot of satisfaction from working on your own gear.

The tools. You’ll want a decent soldering pencil (a small type of soldering iron) rated at least 25 watts, but no more than 60 watts. (Many guitar techs like a 30-watt soldering iron for working on guitars and amps, and a 15-watt iron for working inside stompboxes and on delicate printed circuit boards.) You’ll also want a stand to hold the hot iron when not in use, a damp sponge, and some rosin core solder made for electronic work (Photo 1).

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