Junkbots, Bugbots, and Bots on Wheels http://books.google.com/books?id=vY2hd3bCQw8C&pg=PA272&dq=junkbot&sig=ACfU3U3CWHGjVXeqL44_EjSSf9vcu27NSQ ))) this is just a preview from google books.. His tips and techniques for soldering is also really helpful.
Here's a quick intro to BEAM bots.
I thought it was pronounced bean bots? Like bots the size of beans. Guess I was wrong.
Anyway, I've peeked through this book at Borders, and it looks pretty good.
Or if you've got old boards from electronics you don't want anymore, just practice with those. You'll very quickly get the hang of soldering and de-soldering. That's what I've been doing. Also, I've been tinning the hell out of cat5 wires to make jumpers for my breadboard, which has helped a lot.