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

Zach . organic_unity at yahoo.com
Mon Jul 4 11:28:48 PDT 2011


I agree.  I myself never, ever use sponges either.  It is super confusing since they come with
soldering irons.  What I like to do is use a small x-acto knife to
gently scrape off excess solder...this has been very effective over the
years.  We could use more x-acto knives at the space
anyway...............  especially name brand, which you can get very
nice sets of for ~$10 and replacement tips (5 packs) are only $2
something.  This is at the art stores too, I'm sure it's much cheaper
online.

Obviously that idea won't be best for kids learning, but
like Jake says, you can just tap the iron.  or use anything flat n
metal really.

Zach

--- On Mon, 7/4/11, Zach . <organic_unity at yahoo.com> wrote:

From: Zach . <organic_unity at yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: [Noisebridge-discuss] new soldering irons for Crucible? - DITCH THE SPONGES
To: "Jake" <jake at spaz.org>
Date: Monday, July 4, 2011, 6:28 PM

I agree.  I myself never, ever use sponges either.  It is super confusing since they come with soldering irons.  What I like to do is use a small x-acto knife to gently scrape off excess solder...this has been very effective over the years.  We could use more x-acto knives at the space anyway...............  especially name brand, which you can get very nice sets of for ~$10 and replacement tips (5 packs) are only $2 something.  This is at the art stores too, I'm sure it's much cheaper online.

Obviously that idea won't be best for kids learning, but like Jake says, you can just tap the iron.  or use anything flat n metal really.

Zach

--- On Mon, 7/4/11, Jake <jake at spaz.org> wrote:

From: Jake <jake at spaz.org>
Subject: Re: [Noisebridge-discuss] new soldering irons for Crucible? - DITCH THE SPONGES
To: "noisebridge-discuss at lists.noisebridge.net" <noisebridge-discuss at lists.noisebridge.net>
Date: Monday, July 4, 2011, 4:21 PM

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.

-jake

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?

Lee

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