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April 2011 Randy's Electrical Corner

Posted in How To: Electrical on April 1, 2011
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I take a lot of things for granted. Well, I guess we all do. The things we do all the time we don't even think of anymore and we tend to just assume that others don't think of it either. It is kind of like going to the bathroom in the morning-you can make it there without your eyes even being open and yet you do it day in and day out without a problem.

Well, maybe that was a bad example. Let's talk instead about hammers. Remember the first one you got years ago? If you are like me, your dad got you a little claw hammer so you could help around the house with little odd jobs. For me, the next step up was a regular claw hammer when I got a little bigger. Then we were adding on to the house and I got a framing hammer-a little longer than a regular hammer and a little heavier. After that I scored a ball-peen hammer, and not too much later, a 3-pound maul. So what is the point? Well, the point is that we all know what hammer is needed for each job and we don't even think about it when we reach into the sack of hammers.

I run into a lot of guys who like using soldering guns. Well, maybe they don't like using them, but they do just because they never used anything better. I have a few issues with soldering guns. The heat isn't constant-they are like a bottle rocket and heat up real fast and any little wind can mess the heat up. The thin elements that carry the heat to the tip can bend and break easily and they rely on two contacts on the small-diameter wire to keep working. All in all, not very reliable and I just don't use them anymore.

I have showed you guys how to solder, but I just noticed that I never showed you guys what I use for actually doing the job and thought it was about time I did that. Just as with the sack of hammers, there are different soldering things for different jobs. And, like that hammer with the aluminum handle, there are some things that you just don't like using to get the job done, but come in handy in a pinch.

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