DIY Soldering Station

Posted by: TCPMeta

DIY Soldering Station - 09/23/09 02:37 AM

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.

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.
Posted by:

Re: DIY Soldering Station - 09/23/09 04:10 AM

sounds great. can't wait to see the photos.
Posted by: TonimusMaximus

Re: DIY Soldering Station - 09/30/09 11:51 AM

Love the helping hands idea. I'm going to make one out of 2x6. For the VTC soldering iron, I would use this instead:

(You cut your cable in half and it just snaps on to any standard dual conductor 120v cable. Little pins pierce the insulation and you snap the cover on)

You could mark on the plastic with a sharpie for the location for each temp you use. I put one on a table lamp. Couldn't be easier.
Posted by: TCPMeta

Re: DIY Soldering Station - 09/30/09 12:26 PM

Theres so many ways on making the temp control.

I like the option for having a dimmer and a plug because you can use this setup for more then just a solder iron. You can add a desk light and even use it to control the speed of a AC powered fan.

My digital camera is being a PITA and will not let me upload the pictures.
Posted by: TonimusMaximus

Re: DIY Soldering Station - 09/30/09 03:19 PM

Same thing, but with it's own plugs.

Anyways, get the camera figured out and some pictures up. Geez. laugh