[Noisebridge-discuss] new soldering irons for Crucible? - DITCH THE SPONGES

Jake jake at spaz.org
Mon Jul 4 09:21:51 PDT 2011

The reason your soldering irons, and those at noisebridge, keep wearing 
out, is because we keep teaching people to use a wet sponge to treat their 
iron-coated tip.  This is a lot of fun for people and especially kids, 
because it makes a cool sound and steam, but it is very bad for the iron.

I never, ever use a wet sponge.  Sometimes I tap the iron on the holder to 
shake off excess solder, and sometimes if there is junk floating in the 
solder on the tip of the iron, i wipe it off on an edge on the holder.
Remember, stuff "sticking" to the iron is only floating in the liquid 
solder, so it's no more stuck than a poppy-seed to a wet coffee-mug.

My advice:  hide the sponges forever.


Lee Sonko lee at lee.org wrote:

The Kinetics & Electronics department at the Crucible has several $12 
Stahl soldering irons 
<http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=374-100>, some 
still new in the box, but they sure wear out quick. Kids take their toll 
on an iron pretty quick. Do you think we'd get 4 times the value out of 
the new $40 Hakko 936 knockoff from 
Sparkfun<http://www.sparkfun.com/products/9672>? Better temperature 
control might keep the tips and units alive longer. Might you have any 
other suggested irons?


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