Loc: Florida, USA
Some of us can not afford to buy a over priced variable temperature solder station let alone the accessories for it. Here are a few tips.
Helping Hands solder stand This is very simple and you might not even have to spend a dime on this one. Small piece of 2x4 cut into 5 or 6 inches in length. Drill a hole in the dead center of the block. Take a bolt and nut and bolt it into the hole leaving a couple of inches. Be sure to crank down on the bolt so the head becomes flush with the wood. Take a metal cloths hanger and straighten it out. Take it to the block of wood and wrap it around the bolt once or twice. Use a wing nut to secure it down. Decide how long you want the arms to be and cut the end to the size you want. Attach alligator clips.
Exhaust fan Last thing you want in your lungs is solder vapors. After all it's lead. Use a small computer fan. If you want you can add this to the helping hands stand as well.
Variable temperature controlled soldering iron This will turn your cheap 5 dollar solder iron into a VTC solder iron. It's very simple and you can pick up the parts from home depot or lowes.
Parts Wall outlet plug Dimmer wall switch double wall socket box double wall socket cover Volt meter (Optional) Thermometer (Optional but have one handy) three prong Heavy duty'ish extension cord one foot of electrical cable that withstands 112volts A/C current
Cut the female end off the extension cord. Wire the cable to the dimmer switch. From the dimmer switch you wire it to the wall outlet plug. Install it into the socket box and attach the cover. Remember Hot is positive and Cold is negitive. On the socket and dimmer switch the brass is Hot. Green is always ground.
The volt meter will help you on selecting the heat range you want and the thermometer will work even better.
I'll submit pictures of my DIY solder station soon.
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