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

Lee Sonko lee at lee.org
Thu Jul 7 17:42:00 PDT 2011


Elizabeth, I assume you mean brass wool instead of copper wool, yes?

At the Crucible, the brass wool tip cleaner holders (
http://www.elexp.com/sdr_3460.htm)  keep disappearing. :-(  I'll try
attaching them to the soldering irons themselves with metal twist tie.



Thanks to everyone who's chimed in on this discussion! I'll tell you how it
works out. We've got 6 sessions of Youth classes coming up over the summer!


And then <plugging the Cru> starting July 25th there's 3 groovy classes
starting (that will all use these irons!)
 Intro to Mechanical Sculpture, Arduino, Electromechanics for Everything.
Ooo, and the weekend of July 23rd & 24th, I'm teaching a Propane Flame
Effects Intensive class!!
More about the classes
http://store.thecrucible.org/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=415_442
</plugging the Cru>





On Mon, Jul 4, 2011 at 11:48 AM, Elizabeth <elevin at mit.edu> wrote:

> 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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