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Vintage Test Gear and Workshop Equipment For discussions about vintage test gear and workshop equipment such as coil winders.

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Old 8th Mar 2018, 11:52 pm   #21
dglcomp
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Default Re: Availability of Leaded Solder?

Toolstation also still sell it, 1mm diameter https://www.toolstation.com/shop/p81552?table=no
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Old 9th Mar 2018, 12:16 am   #22
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Default Re: Availability of Leaded Solder?

From what I have read over the years, there doesn't seem to be a real problem with lead pipes in hard water areas where the water comes from boreholes in chalk or limestone (as in my part of Essex) . It can be a problem where you have soft water (eg from sandstone), as this can be quite plumbo-solvent.
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Old 9th Mar 2018, 7:56 am   #23
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Default Re: Availability of Leaded Solder?

Correct. Spent many productive months replumbing houses with new copper pipe and fittings, with lead free solder, we weighed in tons of lead. Most of the old lead pipe had 2 or 3 mm of lime scale inside, the water never contacted the lead for many a year. It all weighed in rather well, some pipes were still full of water too.
Water board tests on completion had to show zero heavy metals disolved.

I bought two 500gm rolls of genuine Multicore Ecosol 60/40 tin/lead the other day, for 39 + 4.50 postage, should see me out.
I did find some cheaper Sealey 40/60 solder on offer but it is 40/60 tin/lead not the real deal it appears to be.
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Old 9th Mar 2018, 12:52 pm   #24
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Default Re: Availability of Leaded Solder?

The real concern with lead in the environment is its subtle effect on cognitive skills rather than actually dying from poisoning, which is rather rare. The recommended ‘safe level’ of lead in body had fallen steadily as more statistical data has been become available (in the past it was often supressed by the car lobby because it didn’t suit their products to run on unleaded fuel). I think the safe level, where there is no cognitive effect, is now considered to be ZERO.
Its possible to detect lead and other heavy metals at extremely low levels so if someone told me the level in a tap water sample was zero I would be a bit dubious of their technique! (I have used reverse-stripping pulse polarography in the dim distant past, IIRC for measuring lead in tap water).
I think the effect of a few hobbyists like us using Pb/Sn solder is going to have a tiny effect as 1 dumped car battery probably contains more lead that all of us put together use! But I will still be washing my hands after handling …
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Old 9th Mar 2018, 1:47 pm   #25
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Default Re: Availability of Leaded Solder?

I don't know if it relates to the same story, but I do remember reading of a case in India where there was severe lead poisoning because one of the locals had, with the best intentions, used the plates from old car batteries to pave the streets in his village to make them more passable in the rainy season. This would have been especially polluting, given that much of the lead in accumulator plates is finely divided and would therefore get into the local water table much more quickly than from solid lead sheet or pipe.

I have seen a tin of lead airgun pellets that includes the warning "This product contains lead, a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects (or other reproductive harm). " While many harmful effects have been attributed to Lead, I can't say I have come across any other references to it causing cancer.

Something that is potentially dangerous due to its hidden nature is the lead pigments that used to be (and possibly still are) used in the insulation of some electric cables on account of their flexibility. Some 15 years ago when I was a first aider, a note appeared in a Red Cross newsletter of a case of severe lead poisoning in Australia. The unfortunate man was an electrician who was trying to give up smoking and found that his craving could be reduced by chewing stripped-off lengths of installation cable insulation (Lead pigments are sweet to the taste). He chewed so much he made himself seriously ill.
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Old 9th Mar 2018, 2:04 pm   #26
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Default Re: Availability of Leaded Solder?

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I have seen a tin of lead airgun pellets that includes the warning "This product contains lead, a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects (or other reproductive harm). " While many harmful effects have been attributed to Lead, I can't say I have come across any other references to it causing cancer.
Lead shot is particularly nasty: many waterfowl deliberately ingest gravel and pieces of grit which they retain in their crops to help grind-up the seeds, grains etc. they eat. The effect of them eating lead-shot which then grinds-up in their gizzards can easily be imagined. Swans are particularly susceptible. The use of lead shot when wildfowling on rivers, estuaries and the foreshore has been banned in the UK since the early-2000s.

Moral: keep that roll of Savbit away from any swans/ducks/geese/chickens you may have!
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Old 9th Mar 2018, 2:23 pm   #27
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Default Re: Availability of Leaded Solder?

CPC's Duratool brand seems the cheapest for the moment, I only buy it on special offer. I had some of that Sealey stuff (came from Rapid) and it was hopeless, so it's been put on the shelf for emergencies.
The gauge of the solder also affects the price, I use 22swg /0.7mm but if you can get away with thicker then it's cheaper.
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Old 9th Mar 2018, 2:33 pm   #28
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Default Re: Availability of Leaded Solder?

If you live in the East Midlands near one of Boyes 16 branches they are worth a visit. They are selling 100gm reels of 1mm 60/40 tin/lead solder at 6 a shot.
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Old 9th Mar 2018, 2:58 pm   #29
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Default Re: Availability of Leaded Solder?

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Originally Posted by Boater Sam View Post
I did find some cheaper Sealey 40/60 solder on offer but it is 40/60 tin/lead not the real deal it appears to be.
40/60 isn`t great to use but it solders better than lead free and the joints have the dull look of leadfree...
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Old 9th Mar 2018, 4:20 pm   #30
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Default Re: Availability of Leaded Solder?

40/60 is plumbers solder, designed to have a long pasty phase for wiped joints. Also lead is a lot cheaper than tin.
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Old 9th Mar 2018, 4:27 pm   #31
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Default Re: Availability of Leaded Solder?

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Originally Posted by McMurdo View Post
CPC's Duratool brand seems the cheapest for the moment, I only buy it on special offer. I had some of that Sealey stuff (came from Rapid) and it was hopeless, so it's been put on the shelf for emergencies.
The gauge of the solder also affects the price, I use 22swg /0.7mm but if you can get away with thicker then it's cheaper.

I've got some like that. It was a roll of "Frys Metals" stuff from "everyone’s favourite auction site". works brilliantly but always imitates a coughing fit (in me at any rate !) if the flux fumes are breathed in - which can't be good news - it usually takes a lot to get me coughing, even with colds !
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Old 9th Mar 2018, 5:16 pm   #32
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Default Re: Availability of Leaded Solder?

Can't beat Loctite multicore 0.7mm 60/40.

40 for a 500g a roll on RS ... or search around for "expo 77598" on eBay it's 7 a roll for 110g
I have two rolls but am considering buying 5 for stock.
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Old 9th Mar 2018, 5:33 pm   #33
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Default Re: Availability of Leaded Solder?

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CPC's Duratool brand seems the cheapest for the moment, I only buy it on special offer.
I bought a 2.5kg roll of Duratool brand 1mm 60/40 at a price that was so low it seemed a "please someone take it away...." sort of deal, and prepared to swallow a (leaded) lemon- but it works very well. The flux has a peculiar smell, more like burning polythene than traditional rosin, but it wets and flows very readily and leaves smooth, rounded shiny joints.
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Old 9th Mar 2018, 6:19 pm   #34
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Default Re: Availability of Leaded Solder?

I worry about some brands of solder. My father bought cheap solder back in the 1970s and it did some serious damage to the boards in the stuff he built. Has been a nightmare cleaning it up. When he switched to rosin cored multicore after nicking a roll from work, the stuff has been fine.
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Old 11th Mar 2018, 11:10 pm   #35
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Default Re: Availability of Leaded Solder?

I have more than enough 18 gauge 'electronic' Multicore solder to last me out, but I do get through much larger quantities of flux-cored 10 gauge 3.2mm dia 60/40 solder which I use for tinplate work, so thanks for the warning! I've just ordered another reel.
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Old 16th Mar 2018, 7:43 pm   #36
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Default Re: Availability of Leaded Solder?

I just discovered that my old reels of Rosin cored 18SWG (badged as SAV1 alloy) are 50% Sn, 48.5% Pb and 1.5% Cu. It has never seemed to be quite as flowable/user friendly as 60/40.

I think that in the short term what we might expect is a change in legislation to allow only boxed reels, with a big hazard label on the box. Something along the lines of the standardised letter 'a' logo that we used to see on boxes of brake pads.
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Old 16th Mar 2018, 8:36 pm   #37
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Default Re: Availability of Leaded Solder?

I have just stocked up on quality solder - I was running out anyway. I suspect with the internet that lead based solder will likely be relatively easy to obtain for the foreseeable future, but the quality brands may possibly be harder to get hold of if legislation bites. From past experience, I think that the lead free, but high silver content solder I have is at least as good as the cheap lead based (for electronic work) solder I once bought, but nowhere near quality lead based solder.
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Old 16th Mar 2018, 8:57 pm   #38
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Default Re: Availability of Leaded Solder?

Wharton's solder is pretty good, it's what I use for SMD work and is available in very fine gauges indeed. Rapid sell that in numerous grades though it isn't cheap.
I also had some Cookson (successor to Fry's) 60/40, no idea where it came from, I think it might have been Farnell's Multicomp brand, again no complaints.

Years back we had a rep from 'Cel' and my boss at the time bought a carton off him. Worked very well but smelled rather acrid.

Ersin Savbit smells the nicest, sort of musky!
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Old 16th Mar 2018, 9:02 pm   #39
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Default Re: Availability of Leaded Solder?

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Philpott View Post
I just discovered that my old reels of Rosin cored 18SWG (badged as SAV1 alloy) are 50% Sn, 48.5% Pb and 1.5% Cu. It has never seemed to be quite as flowable/user friendly as 60/40.
Multicore make some stuff called Savbit that's meant to prolong the life of soldering iron bits. According to Farnell's that's 50% tin, 49% lead and 1% copper.
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Old 16th Mar 2018, 10:19 pm   #40
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Default Re: Availability of Leaded Solder?

Thanks for that; I have a 500g reel of Malaysian-manufactured, RS-branded, Multicore Savbit1 whose label states that it is Tin/Lead/Copper, but does not state the proportions.
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