Aluminum soldering fluxes: The Way It's Meant to be Soldered :D

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Barkuti
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Aluminum soldering fluxes: The Way It's Meant to be Soldered :D

Hello!

Well, after throwing in the towel in trials with Goot Super Soldering Flux (no idea what to do with the crappy stuff now ), I've been taking a look at known effective alternatives:

http://www.eevblog.com/forum/reviews/soldering-to-aluminum/

“solder aluminium tabs” @ endless-sphere.com forums

Looking at the affordable stuff, eBay seller “merchant12” seems to carry it all (and much more):

Well, since I was planning on fixing a hollow pill with an alu piece sculpted from an old heatsink, it is obvious that I'll need to pre-wet well (with solder) both pieces before joining the thing in a serious blowtorch flame.

I am thinking in trying some F61A from the OEM.

Well, hope this is of help fellows. 

 

Cheers Party

Please avoid fully quoting lenghty posts, namely with nested quotes. Trim quotes down to the essential. Helps with neatness and legibility. Thanks.

The human mind, and its programming, is at the forefront of a particular battle of The Light vs evil dark forces. Nearly every human being on this beautiful planet “Earth” has some sort of negative mind programming in its mind. And you better take care of your mind programming, or someone else will in this wicked world.

Edited by: Barkuti on 08/24/2016 - 11:24
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Wow! Let us know how it turns out! Party

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A reaction on that eevblog

Quote:
Reply #2 by T3sl4co1l on 23 Jan, 2014 02:46
Make sure not to breathe the fumes, or even get it on your skin. Those fluxes are usually fluoride based. As in ammonium bifluoride, which is “only” half hydrogen fluoride. (I don’t suppose you can find the Russian equivalent of an MSDS on that stuff…) If you want a scary time next Halloween, dig out some case reports of HF poisoning. Shocked

Tim

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Xoden
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F61A should work. Though the bonding could be noticeably weaker than with copper.
Another low-temperature solution is tin-zinc solder or tin-zinc-gallium solders. They bond far easier to aluminium than traditional solders.

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Easy on the “Serious blowtorch flame”
Aluminum will melt but the properties change before it does melt. I would use a hot plate and be patient, until you get familiar with the melting point of the F61A.
But before all that hazardous crap. I would get a pill insert machine to exact tolerances. Heat the pill & chill the insert & press fit it together, no nasty SHTuff. If you get you measuring right it will drop in and tighten up as the parts equalize in temp.

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Hi!

Thanks for the answers. This may be of interest for modders, looking to start a “solder the plate to the pill” craze. LOL! 

 

Ended up ordering F61A (Ф61А) OEM.

Then seller merchant12 sent me this inquiry hours ago:

Hello! Before sending, I want to ask you. You have read the description completely? This soldering flux only works with zinc solders ( zinc-tin, zinc-cadmium). This soldering flux does not work with conventional tin-lead solders group. Are you sure of your choice? Best Regards!

 

I've explained him that I had read a couple of positive reports (I linked him) using conventional solders and that the required joint tensile strenght was negligible, that it was about maximizing heat transfer; just in case he said that because of this. Sent him this thread's link too. 

Well, we'll see how it goes.

 

Peace & love, and cheers. Party

Please avoid fully quoting lenghty posts, namely with nested quotes. Trim quotes down to the essential. Helps with neatness and legibility. Thanks.

The human mind, and its programming, is at the forefront of a particular battle of The Light vs evil dark forces. Nearly every human being on this beautiful planet “Earth” has some sort of negative mind programming in its mind. And you better take care of your mind programming, or someone else will in this wicked world.

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Barkuti wrote:

Hi!


Thanks for the answers. This may be of interest for modders, looking to start a “solder the plate to the pill” craze. LOL


 


Ended up ordering F61A (Ф61А) OEM.


Then seller merchant12 sent me this inquiry hours ago:


Hello! Before sending, I want to ask you. You have read the description completely? This soldering flux only works with zinc solders ( zinc-tin, zinc-cadmium). This soldering flux does not work with conventional tin-lead solders group. Are you sure of your choice? Best Regards!


 


I’ve explained him that I had read a couple of positive reports (I linked him) using conventional solders and that the required joint tensile strenght was negligible, that it was about maximizing heat transfer; just in case he said that because of this. Sent him this thread’s link too. 


Well, we’ll see how it goes.


 


Peace & love, and cheers. Party


Well, that looks like you’ve got a conscientious seller, which is rare on eBay. You ought to give him any business that you can. Thumbs Up

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Latest update!

Received message from merchant12 at 17:08:

 

I understood you. And you need this soldering flux:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/282119668291
http://www.ebay.com/itm/282119668287
These will work with a conventional solder (tin-lead).

Solder flux that you bought only works with zinc solders. The name is similar, but it's a different manufacturer. In the description given - only zinc solders.
I can replace you for that you need. Let me know as soon as possible.
Best Regards!

 

Just replied this:

Hello!
0K so, as I somewhat suspected because of your inquiry, the F61A formulation I bought is different to the one which is reviewed in the eevblog.com forum…
Thanks for dispensing me such advice. Send me, then, the F61A formulation from Tehnohim (or the FTKA in case it could make joining big surfaces easier). Your advice is appreciated, no need for reimbursements in any case. Smile
Thanks a lot.

Best regards,
Salvador

 

Well, so far, a big Thumbs Up thumbs up for merchant12!!!

 

Cheers Party

Please avoid fully quoting lenghty posts, namely with nested quotes. Trim quotes down to the essential. Helps with neatness and legibility. Thanks.

The human mind, and its programming, is at the forefront of a particular battle of The Light vs evil dark forces. Nearly every human being on this beautiful planet “Earth” has some sort of negative mind programming in its mind. And you better take care of your mind programming, or someone else will in this wicked world.

ohaya
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Did he say which of those two that he linked would work best for solder drivers to pills?

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All listed things wont work as you think.
This fluxes was produced for electric purpuses (when alu and cu core wires need to be contacted and soldering is the only available method). There should be lots of videos on youtube if you enter their name in russian (Ф61А). First alu part should be pre-heated, when it achives 300C you need to scratch it fast with metall brush and tinn it with proper solder applying this flux. After this it tinned part should be able to solder as any other copper wire.
In fact Im not sure this method will work for big parts and surfaces. The only 100% workable alu solder is HS-*** rods but using them require much more heat and enormous temperatures (500C or more).
P.S. To much russian-made items on blf. How do you find them?

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ohaya wrote:
Did he say which of those two that he linked would work best for solder drivers to pills?

No further replies I've received so, until then… 

 

kiriba-ru wrote:
All listed things wont work as you think.
This fluxes was produced for electric purpuses (when alu and cu core wires need to be contacted and soldering is the only available method). There should be lots of videos on youtube if you enter their name in russian (Ф61А). First alu part should be pre-heated, when it achives 300C you need to scratch it fast with metall brush and tinn it with proper solder applying this flux. After this it tinned part should be able to solder as any other copper wire.
In fact Im not sure this method will work for big parts and surfaces. The only 100% workable alu solder is HS-*** rods but using them require much more heat and enormous temperatures (500C or more).
P.S. To much russian-made items on blf. How do you find them?

 

kiriba-ru, probably I should have said “provide better wetting ability” instead of “make joining big surfaces easier”.

In the opening post links they succesfully wet the aluminum with both fluxes without the need to scratch the surfaces. That's the main reason I am getting this stuff.

My plan is to put flux over the contact surfaces of each aluminum piece; maybe even pre-apply solder wire over it. Then use a blowtorch/hot plate to heat up the piece and, once the thing is hot, apply solder all over the desired place. This way I'll pre-wet all the surfaces which will make contact. At that point I won't be able to fit the pieces together (it's tight enough already without filling) but, as I heat one inside of the other, the solder on the piece receiving the heat directly will melt and this should provoke the melting of the in-contact solder over the other part. I'll have a good stick to push the stuff down at hand.

The solder pre-wetted alu pill should stick well to a clean and pre-soaked in alcohol/colophony underside of a copper baseplate.

Well, hope it works as I expect. 

By the way, in the soldering-to-aluminum eevblog.com referenced thread someone comments this stuff is from… Bulgaria?

 

Cheers Party

Please avoid fully quoting lenghty posts, namely with nested quotes. Trim quotes down to the essential. Helps with neatness and legibility. Thanks.

The human mind, and its programming, is at the forefront of a particular battle of The Light vs evil dark forces. Nearly every human being on this beautiful planet “Earth” has some sort of negative mind programming in its mind. And you better take care of your mind programming, or someone else will in this wicked world.

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Hello!

Just stumbled on this link I left on my bookmark list the other day: FLUX @ Radiofun.ru

Penultimate paragraph's translated quote:

The easiest way to use special fluxing F61A - flux for soldering aluminum. Highly active flux based fluoroborates, for tinning and soldering parts and surfaces of aluminum and its alloys. Pike made of tin-lead solders Group with a tin content of more than 60% (and the best solder pure tin) at a temperature of 250-350 degrees.

Interesting…

I have a roll of cheap SnCu (I think) solder, no idea about the composition, probably Sn99'3/Cu0'7. The tin pest stuff creeps me a bit, though.

 

Cheers Party

Please avoid fully quoting lenghty posts, namely with nested quotes. Trim quotes down to the essential. Helps with neatness and legibility. Thanks.

The human mind, and its programming, is at the forefront of a particular battle of The Light vs evil dark forces. Nearly every human being on this beautiful planet “Earth” has some sort of negative mind programming in its mind. And you better take care of your mind programming, or someone else will in this wicked world.

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Are you not concerned about that eevblog reaction?
I’m no chemist but it sounds like really dangerous stuff…

The Miller wrote:
A reaction on that eevblog
Quote:
Reply #2 by T3sl4co1l on 23 Jan, 2014 02:46
Make sure not to breathe the fumes, or even get it on your skin. Those fluxes are usually fluoride based. As in ammonium bifluoride, which is “only” half hydrogen fluoride. (I don’t suppose you can find the Russian equivalent of an MSDS on that stuff…) If you want a scary time next Halloween, dig out some case reports of HF poisoning. Shocked

Tim

Sure you want to use that?

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I once had a flashlight with an aluminum pill that I was able to get solder to stick to it by first putting a bit of motor oil on the pill and then heating the oil with a soldering iron (while moving the tip) until it started to smoke and dry up. The solder stuck well enough to the pill and driver that I couldn’t move the driver while pulling on the spring by hand.

I gave the light away several years ago but as far as I know it’s still working.

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The Miller wrote:
Are you not concerned about that eevblog reaction?
I'm no chemist but it sounds like really dangerous stuff...

 

No worries The Miller, before I ended my elementary education my brother had already taught me how to etch basic one layer PCBs using a combination of muriatic acid plus 33% (yes, 33%) hydrogen peroxide… Facepalm We were drewing the layouts by hand with an Edding 3000 permanent marker; the thing worked quite nicely, LOL!

I have a few breathing masks somewhere, you can rest easy my dear. 

 

Cheers Party

Please avoid fully quoting lenghty posts, namely with nested quotes. Trim quotes down to the essential. Helps with neatness and legibility. Thanks.

The human mind, and its programming, is at the forefront of a particular battle of The Light vs evil dark forces. Nearly every human being on this beautiful planet “Earth” has some sort of negative mind programming in its mind. And you better take care of your mind programming, or someone else will in this wicked world.

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Well just keep on posting OK?
Wink

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Take a look at this pic, SIGShooter:

I'll have to trim off the inner heatsink an additional ≈7mm, or else the driver won't fit.

Anyway, this is going to be, at the very least, 150+mm² of contact surface, and no oil will stay over the aluminum while I vigorously file the alumina off all those surfaces, to start with. Ф61А, come home… 

 

Cheers Party

Please avoid fully quoting lenghty posts, namely with nested quotes. Trim quotes down to the essential. Helps with neatness and legibility. Thanks.

The human mind, and its programming, is at the forefront of a particular battle of The Light vs evil dark forces. Nearly every human being on this beautiful planet “Earth” has some sort of negative mind programming in its mind. And you better take care of your mind programming, or someone else will in this wicked world.

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Wow, this is getting more interesting by the moment! Party

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The Biblical Magi committee arrived home today:

Drumroll! 

 

Cheers Party

Please avoid fully quoting lenghty posts, namely with nested quotes. Trim quotes down to the essential. Helps with neatness and legibility. Thanks.

The human mind, and its programming, is at the forefront of a particular battle of The Light vs evil dark forces. Nearly every human being on this beautiful planet “Earth” has some sort of negative mind programming in its mind. And you better take care of your mind programming, or someone else will in this wicked world.

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This stuff for al-al, al-cu, al-brass soldering. Solder paste. Same company I get Fuze Clean FS from. Not cheap but if you insist on soldering it might be the right stuff.

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As is this stuff

I have some but haven’t had a chance to try it out

-Clark

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Barkuti wrote:

The Biblical Magi committee arrived home today:



Drumroll! 


 


Cheers Party


Da-da Da-da Da-da Da-da Da-da…

Barkuti, if you survive this… tell us how it goes!

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You were reading my thoughts David. Silly

 

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Old-Lumens. Highly admired and cherished member of Budget Light Forum. 11.5.2011 - 20.12.16. RIP.

 

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Well fellows, been doing some tests with the fluxes. I've been able to wet aluminium foil with it, that was the easy part. However, my trials over my aluminium test heatsink and over an old 16mm 7090 MCPCB have mostly been unsuccesful. The main problem is that once you make the solder stick on the alu surface (usually just a little bit), you better stop messing with the stuff because the slightest movement uncovers the surface and it insta-oxidizes. I've also tried applying solder with my iron's hot tip over the carefully pre-heated surfaces, without much success because I've had a hard time monitoring the stuff's temp (too much and the flux degrades), and of course because it's been a real mess avoiding the un-sticking of solder from the surfaces. Facepalm

For my initial test I thought the flux would allow me to wet the heatsink by pre-applying a slight layer of the things; it failed, so I applied a lot more for a second test, which ended up with both FTKA and F61A mixed, in fumes & flames (a blowtorch was the heat source):

Up: FTKA; down: F61A. Solder used: mixture of Sn99'3/Cu0'7 (61%) and Sn63/Pb37 (39%).

I am seriously considering the preparation of a special soldering flux with these oily compounds. I just need to figure out how to make some finely grained solder powder. Maybe I could try on my electric coffee grinder… 

 

Cheers Party

Please avoid fully quoting lenghty posts, namely with nested quotes. Trim quotes down to the essential. Helps with neatness and legibility. Thanks.

The human mind, and its programming, is at the forefront of a particular battle of The Light vs evil dark forces. Nearly every human being on this beautiful planet “Earth” has some sort of negative mind programming in its mind. And you better take care of your mind programming, or someone else will in this wicked world.

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Try heating from underneath instead of direct flame, some fluxes are flammable and require indirect heat. Also. Wet sand the area using the flux as lubricant. This will clean the metal while preventing O2 contamination.

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SIGShooter wrote:
I once had a flashlight with an aluminum pill that I was able to get solder to stick to it by first putting a bit of motor oil on the pill and then heating the oil with a soldering iron (while moving the tip) until it started to smoke and dry up. The solder stuck well enough to the pill and driver that I couldn’t move the driver while pulling on the spring by hand.

This is actually one of the tricks you can use to solder aluminium.

1. clean the area as well as possible
2. make some kind of ledge around the area you need to solder so you can cover the metal there with oil. If you can, put this aluminium thingy on a hotplate to keep it hot.
3. pick a big high-power soldering iron and sharpen and flatten the tip. Wet it with solder.
4. scrape the aluminium surface with the soldering iron until it gets tinned. Make sure it’s covered with oil all time to protect from oxidation. Add fresh solder to the soldering iron as needed.
This should tin the aluminium surface and then you can solder to it.

Pure tin or tin-zinc solders work better than normal tin-lead. Tin-indium, Tin-zinc-gallium or tin-zinc-cadmium solders are even better, though they should be pretty hard to find in hobby-scaly quantities.

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Rufusbduck wrote:
Try heating from underneath instead of direct flame, some fluxes are flammable and require indirect heat. Also. Wet sand the area using the flux as lubricant. This will clean the metal while preventing O2 contamination.

Well, no direct flame was being used, I applied heat from a side but, alas, upon reaching a high temp some flux slipped down I guess.

Wet sanding may prove beneficial, I may try for testing, yet I really think I need to make that special flux if I intend to have a chance of more or less fusing my pill parts. 

 

Cheers Party

Please avoid fully quoting lenghty posts, namely with nested quotes. Trim quotes down to the essential. Helps with neatness and legibility. Thanks.

The human mind, and its programming, is at the forefront of a particular battle of The Light vs evil dark forces. Nearly every human being on this beautiful planet “Earth” has some sort of negative mind programming in its mind. And you better take care of your mind programming, or someone else will in this wicked world.

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Youse guys are WWAAAAYYY over my head here, but if the big problem is oxidation, can you try using a shielding gas?

CO2 is often used in welding as a shielding gas. Dry ice is a handy, fairly easily available source of CO2. The density of CO2 gas, according to Google, is 1.67, which means it should sink in air, or put another way, air floats on top of CO2. So now all you need is to place the piece inside a bucket, with dry ice at the bottom. The dry ice will off gas CO2, displacing the air, after several minutes, the bucket will essentially be full of CO2 gas, with more constantly being emitted and spilling over the top of the bucket. If the work piece is below the top rim of the bucket, it is in an “oxygen free” (well, at least very reduced) environment.

I think you would need some other heat source than your blowtorch, the lack of oxygen is likely to affect that, and the jet effect will probably cause currents in the gases. You will want to move your hands as little as possible inside the bucket to keep from causing currents.

Lazy-R-us

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Well, for the homemade solder paste, why not use regular solder paste? Maybe put a little into a cup or bowl and add alcohol to dissolve the regular flux that is present. Swirl it, mix it, then let it settle. Pour off the alcohol/flux and add alcohol again. Do it enough times until you’re sure it’s clean of the original flux. Then, let the alcohol evaporate out so that you have dry metal powder. Add your other flux a little at a time until the flux paste is as wet and flowing as you like it.

I think the best thing though, is going to be wet sanding with the flux, as others have said. Wink

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- The YKK Philosophy

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I like soldering emitters onto the substrate too, but after some tests i did last night I found that using a high quality thermal paste is only marginally worse than direct solder. I’ll post up my very unscientific results at some point.

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mattjk, I just have some old regular thermal paste, with no plans to get some of that preppy stuff which already is more expensive than certain Silly designer drugs (and certainly won't make you as happy ). Also, thermal paste is devoid of fastening properties, something which may be of value for certain hollow pills, for example.

DavidEF, no regular solder paste here. I'm going to attach a grinding bit to my high-speed multitool, and see what happens to those solder wires. Wink

Lazy-R-us, not really a bad idea but I think it needs some refinements: a badass soldering iron and some sort of anaerobic chamber. Smile

 

I'll be back fellows Party

Please avoid fully quoting lenghty posts, namely with nested quotes. Trim quotes down to the essential. Helps with neatness and legibility. Thanks.

The human mind, and its programming, is at the forefront of a particular battle of The Light vs evil dark forces. Nearly every human being on this beautiful planet “Earth” has some sort of negative mind programming in its mind. And you better take care of your mind programming, or someone else will in this wicked world.

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