How to make a soldering iron

Written by michael cantrell
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How to make a soldering iron
Soldering a circuit board.

Soldering guns have many uses and are very effective tools for completing a wide variety of tasks. Many individuals use soldering guns to help put together electronic items by melding the components to the motherboards. Other jobs may require pieces of wire to be soldered to a specific object. The key to using this tool is having the right type of soldering gun to fit the work you are doing. If you are putting together an electronic item, it can be cumbersome to have a huge soldering gun, so you may need to build a small one yourself.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • De-soldering iron
  • Fish tank pump
  • Zip ties
  • De-soldering braid
  • 2.4 m (8 feet) of fish tank tube
  • Vice
  • Drill

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  1. 1

    Modify the tip of the de-soldering iron. Place the iron tip into your vice, and tighten the vice in order to pinch the tip, which will help direct the airflow.

  2. 2

    Cut off a piece of de-soldering braid. Roll it up, and stuff it into the iron tip. The piece of de-soldering braid you use is to be just a small length, you do not want to stop the airflow from coming into the iron, but just help to heat the iron better.

  3. 3

    Drill a hole into the suction bulb of the de-soldering iron. Make sure the hole that you drill into the suction bulb is round. Use a 4 mm (5/32) drill bit to achieve the right shape.

  4. 4

    Cut the vinyl fish tank tube at a 45-degree angle. Lightly moisten the end of the tubing, and insert it into the hole you drilled in the suction bulb.

  5. 5

    Attach the other end of the vinyl fish tank tubing to the outlet on the fish tank air pump. Take a zip tie and tie the air hose to the soldering iron to make sure it stays secure.

  6. 6

    Plug in your soldering iron and allow it to heat up. This may differ with each different iron you build, so be patient, and check often to make sure the iron is heating properly. Test the iron carefully to make sure it is in proper working condition.

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