Originally Posted by macfjej
...and what does mike mean by twisting your leads? from what i hearing, no one does it.
Twisting the wires prior to solder is preferred. This ensures you get max. "mechanical" contact between the individual strands of wires and keeps stray wires from poking out.
I don't like cutting insulation with a knife, as shown in the video - too risky to cut into individual strands of wire! I prefer to use a wire stripper; make the cut through the insulation and pull the tag of insulation part way off - NOT ALL THE WAY!
Now grab the tag and twist it hard while you pull it off the wires! This will twist the wires neatly and tightly.
Also, when doing Dean's, here are more tips;
Use a jig. An X-acto Extra Hand
is perfect to hold the wire in one clamp, the Dean's in the other clamp. Leaves your two hands free to hold solder and soldering iron.
I made my own jig using simple wooden clothes pins.
Another tip: I like to twist the wire ends, then flatten them a bit before tinning. Yields more surface area for the solder joint, and also makes for a low profile joint.
Finally, buy some better shrink wrap and cut each piece longer! The crappy ones you get with the Dean's always split, or get pulled off the joint when unplugging the connectors.
As for not needing the soldering iron: Consider it a tool like any other; consider it before you purchase, buy for quality, and treat it as if you will be keeping it forever. I have tools I received as presents when I was in my teens; over 30 years later, I still use some of them! I cherish each one don't abuse them, and am thankful I kept them in good condition every time I need them.