Soldering to Nails
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Soldering to Nails

by analoger on Tue Mar 05, 2013 5:55 pm

what types of nails I can solder to, any copper nails? I want this for old fashioned bread-boarding. Thanks.
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Re: Soldering to Nails

by adafruit_support_mike on Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:32 am

Pretty much any metal other than aluminum will do.

If money is no object, go with brass.. it offers a good combination of easy soldering, mechanical strength, and corrosion resistance, to say nothing of its steampunk cred.

Copper is slightly less useful due to its greater heat conductivity. You end up having to heat the whole nail, and can end up burning the board around the point before you have enough solder on the head to hold a component.

Plain old iron works too, though you'll probably want to use plumber's flux (which contains zinc chloride) rather than rosin. It's harder to cut through the oxide layers on everyday chunks of metal than the ones you'll find on the traces of a PCB, so you need a more aggressive flux. ZnCl will eat through PCB traces at room temperature, given enough time, but you shouldn't have to worry about that if you're doing a traditional point-to-point breadboard circuit.

Set your iron to high (or use a blowtorch instead of an iron) and show us some pics when you're done! ;-)
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Re: Soldering to Nails

by analoger on Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:13 am

Thanks a lot! This is very helpful, and I will go with the brass nails. :D
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Re: Soldering to Nails

by lyndon on Thu Mar 21, 2013 7:38 am

There used to a be breadboarding system that used screws that I remember reading about when I was about 12 or so. You would wrap the wires around a flathead screw and then screw it into an actual wooden board to clamp them in place. A "cap" of some sort was used to make sure the wire didn't work loose. The same method could be used instead of the cap if you used button head screws. It would work just as well as nails and not require soldering.

I can see it being really cool looking if you painted the board black and used brass screws.
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Re: Soldering to Nails

by analoger on Thu Mar 21, 2013 3:46 pm

Yeah I remember those old days breadboards...

http://www.amazon.ca/Making-Transistor- ... 120&sr=1-1
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Re: Soldering to Nails

by pascalc on Wed Aug 14, 2013 9:13 am

Copper is slightly less useful due to its greater heat conductivity. You end up having to heat the whole nail, and can end up burning the board around the point before you have enough solder on the head to hold a component." - that's true, but basically soldering copper is also very useful. I used to solder a copper pipe in the house (used this tutorial and the video, it was fairly useful) and nailed it from the very first try. It's perfect to fix leaking pipes
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