Since last March 2020, I have been live-streaming three days a week. My streams are all electronics related but include retro computer repairs, soldering kits, Arduino coding, explaining measurements, and other electronics stuff. Several of the recent Workbench Wednesdays episodes have been a result of a live stream. Another outcome from these streams is that my soldering skill has increased significantly. Not just because I am practicing more, but because constantly being watched and critiqued creates motivational awareness!


The other day, someone commented that I am a "solder wick magician." Of the things I get called online, I consider that one a compliment. Though, unlike the other names, it may not be entirely deserved. At least, I don't think so. However, as the animated GIF above shows, I occasionally get an excellent wicking action when using desoldering braid.


There are only a few tips and tricks that I (think I) actually know. So, I thought I'd ask the community about yours. Getting started, here is something obvious to me now, but people usually get the ah-ha look on their faces when I show them. Unless the wick is brand new, I'll dab it with a flux pen before using it. I find flux on the joint I'm trying to remove, plus the extra flux that wicks into the braid, is very effective. (And a great way to use up old braid.)


What are some tips or tricks you have when using desoldering braid (or wick)?