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

Elizabeth elevin at MIT.EDU
Mon Jul 4 11:48:54 PDT 2011


I'm personally a fan of attaching copper wool to the place the sponge used
to be. I don't know for certain that it is least harmful, but it is the best
method I've seen around.

2011/7/4 Zach . <organic_unity at yahoo.com>

> 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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