Introduction: Case for a Soldering Gun
The cheap plastic case that came with my soldering gun was never satisfactory. It would not stay shut and things moved around inside it. I wanted a wooden case with real hinges.
Step 1: Make a Wooden Box
The first step (after deciding on its exact dimensions) was to make a wooden box. The trick to making a wooden case like this is to make a sealed hollow cube first. I used 3/4 inch pine for the front, back, and sides. I used 1/4 inch Masonite for the top and bottom of the case. I rabbeted the pine to inset the Masonite so there would be no wear to fray its edges.
Step 2: Cut the Top Away From the Rest
Set your table saw's rip fence to slice the top of the case away from the rest of the cube. Use your thinnest blade. This insures that the top will fit the bottom of the case perfectly and this process is much easier than making the case separately in two parts that fit one another. Slice all four sides.
Step 3: Top Separated From Bottom
When you have sliced the top of the case from the rest of the cube you made, it will appear like this.
Step 4: Add Hinges
I had some very old kitchen cabinet door hinges I used on my case. I also wanted the case to stand up on its back for storage, so I added a short dowel by each hinge. The dowel is the same length as the protrusion of the hinge. The screw in the frame of the case is for added strength.
Step 5: Latch for Closure
I had a thin piece of steel I wanted to use for a latch. I rolled the end I would move with my fingers and ground away any rough edges. One screw is a pivot. The other is a catch. A slot in the steel slides under the screw head. If the screws are relatively tight, the latch moves easily and still does not open while the case is being carried.
Step 6: A Handle
I made a very simple handle from a dowel rod. I drilled a hole end to end through its center and inserted some nylon cord from a lawnmower starter rope. The cord slips through holes in the case and is retained by a knot on each end. To keep the knots from working loose or slipping, I melted a portion of each knot to fuse it into one mass. A lit match or the tip of the soldering gun works well for this. My handle is crude, but it works.
Step 7: Add a Divider
I added a piece of 3/4 inch pine as a divider so I have two sections inside the case. One is for my soldering gun and the other is for a low wattage soldering iron, which is better for small electronic parts. The divider piece is fastened in place with a wood screw from the outside of the case and some glue. The wood screw has a bevel head and is counter sunk. Notice that there is a gap between the end of the spacer and the back of the case so the tip of the soldering gun may pass behind the divider piece.
Notice the arrangement for holding two new soldering gun tips. They slide on and off of the nails. Gravity holds them in place, especially when the case is closed and standing on the backside of the case as mentioned in step 4.
Step 8: Storing the Cord and a Spool of Solder
With a wood screw from the outside of the case and some glue I fastened a piece of dowel rod to hold a spool of solder. Another piece of wood similarly attached with glue and screws fastens a stay for the cord. The thin piece on the top of it swivels to help keep the cord in place. The soldering gun's tip fits behind the divider in the previous step.
Step 9: Case Closed
This is the finished case closed and ready to carry or store.
This project has removed the frustration from storing, carrying, and using my soldering tools.