Introduction: Case for a Soldering Gun

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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.

Comments

graydog111 (author)2015-08-29

Phil, I like the soldering gun box. I am not that industrious. I pick up plastic cases & brief cases at garage sales & use them to store things like AC hosed, electrical connections, tire patch supplies, etc in different cases.

Phil B (author)graydog1112015-08-30

Jack,

My son-in-law had a bunch of plastic cases for DeWalt portable power tools. I was planning to use some for some basic hand tools for home repair, but the plastic cases disappeared before I got back there. Yours is a good idea.

Phil B (author)2013-01-09

Thank you. It works pretty well. I always obsess about getting all of the twists out of the cord when I put the soldering gun away, but probably should not.

milesfromneihu (author)2013-01-08

I've made wooden boxes before, but I always made lids and boxes separately. Never thought of just making a cube, then sawing off the lid. Doh. Great idea!

Phil B (author)milesfromneihu2013-01-09

I picked that up from Fine Woodworking magazine. This process guarantees the lid will fit.

milesfromneihu (author)2013-01-08

I like that swivel cord retainer. Slick!

Robot Lover (author)2011-10-09

I love how you use the CAD software to represent some of the steps on your instructables. Great idea, though I have a soldering station. I might make this for something else though like stephenniall said. Thanks again for the idea!

Phil B (author)Robot Lover2011-10-10

Thank you. The drawings are often a way to show something that would be nearly impossible for me to photograph at this point. I wish I used programs like Google SketchUp often enough to become proficient with them.

Robot Lover (author)Phil B2011-10-10

Yeah, my dad uses Google SketchUp and other free CAD software to help him get better at it. It's a great tool to help with the build process.

stephenniall (author)2009-08-11

I used the same method but out of mdf a bandsaw for my dremel multi

Phil B (author)stephenniall2009-08-12

Thanks for the comment. I thought there might be folks reading Instructables who are just beginning to make things in their home workshops and who would not think of making a solid enclosure and then cutting the lid away to open the case.

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Bio: I miss the days when magazines like Popular Mechanics had all sorts of DIY projects for making and repairing just about everything. I am enjoying ... More »
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