Soldering I - Soldering Guide Safety Precautions Never...

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Soldering Guide Safety Precautions Never touch the element or tip of the soldering iron. They are very hot (about 400°C) and will give you a nasty burn. Take great care to avoid touching the mains flex with the tip of the iron. The iron should have a heatproof flex for extra protection. Ordinary plastic flex melts immediately if touched by a hot iron and there is a risk of burns and electric shock. Always return the soldering iron to its stand when not in use. Never put it down on your workbench, even for a moment! Allow joints a minute or so to cool down before you touch them. Work in a well-ventilated area. The smoke formed as you melt solder is mostly from the flux and quite irritating. Avoid breathing it by keeping you head to the side of, not above, your work. Wash your hands after using solder. Solder contains lead. Treatment for minor burns Most burns from soldering are likely to be minor and treatment is simple: Immediately cool the affected area under gently running cold water. Keep the burn in the cold water for at least 5 minutes (15 minutes is recommended). If ice is readily available this can be helpful too, but do not delay the initial cooling with cold water. Do not apply any creams or ointments. The burn will heal better without them. A dry dressing, such as a clean handkerchief, may be applied if you wish to protect the area from dirt. Seek medical attention if the burn covers an area bigger than your hand. Preparing the soldering iron Place the soldering iron in its stand and plug in. The iron will take a few minutes to reach its operating temperature of about 400°C. Dampen the sponge in the stand. The best way to do this is to lift it out the stand and hold it under a cold tap for a moment, then squeeze to remove excess water. It should be damp, not dripping wet. Wait a few minutes for the soldering iron to warm up. You can check if it is ready by trying to melt a little solder on the tip. Wipe the tip of the iron on the damp sponge.
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