Instructables
Solder on a spool can be less than optimal for holding during soldering marathons.  Additionally, if your solder contains lead you should minimize direct contact whenever possible.  Let us then build a solder dispenser that can be held comfortably and doesn't need refilling every two minutes.

The Basic Idea
Readers may reconize this basic idea from solder dispensors that come with some electronics technician kits. This was my primary inspiration when I made my own many years ago.

The idea is to find a plastic tube that can be comfortably held like a pen and has either a tapered end or a lid that you can make a hole in. In this instructable I have used both a pen and also a tube that once held eraser refills for a mechanical pencil.

Building The Solder Coil
We make the solder coil by winding it around any appropiate sized diameter cylinder such as screw drivers, pencils, etc.  Size will be determined by the tube the coil will be placed in.

Now, once the solder has been wrapped many times you can slide it off your wrapping tool.  But we're not done yet as here is the real trick.  With a upwrapped length of solder fom either end, make a loop and feed the solder through the centre of the solder coil.  See photo 5 for clairity.  By doing this your solder will feed from the back of the coil and not become entangled at the opening.

That is it.  A simple idea that I have found useful in my soldering over the years. 

Where Credit Is Due
Here I would like to give credit for the idea behind using a disposable pen shell for despensing solder.  While thinking of the varied packaging I could use for this project I remembered an instructable by member RavenKing involving the reuse of disposable pens.  Be sure to check it out. http://www.instructables.com/id/Mighty-pen-sewing-kit-bead-keeper/
mvanderdeen2 years ago
Not trying to take away from this but couldnt you just slightly enlarge the hole in a mechanical pencil for this??
I was sure I'd seen that here in the past, but this was the closest I could find:
http://www.instructables.com/id/Clicking-Solder-Dispenser-Pen/
Ian01 Ian011 year ago
loftycrane2 years ago
Thanks for the handy tip!
halamka2 years ago
join the Commodore Computer club and maybe become a billionaire
pat2192 years ago
Great idea have not seen it before when I next find my Soldering gear I will give it a go just need to find a tube for it the solder

Many Thanks
MadCobbler2 years ago
This is a great idea, but I just refill the aluminum tube dispenser I bought filled with solder: and it holds more solder.
Phoghat2 years ago
Thanks for the tip. Sometimes simple solutions, that nobody has thought of as yet, are just amazing.
wa7jos2 years ago
I don't know about the paranoia regarding handling lead solder.
I've been soldering for over 50 years, and there's nothing wrong with me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me ....
Great idea.
Bilby2 years ago
This is brilliant! I've always just cut a length of solder and used that, but even then it's akward and with smaller-diameter solder it's a pain.

I wonder what might have a tip small enough to help control .032 ... maybe a small syringe with the needle removed...
wmaertens2 years ago
Wellllll, CONGRATULATIONS !
If your Young or getting Less Younger with a less Unstable hand , then THIS INVENTION is worth millions. I have tryed this out and OH YES .... I can solder again even IC's with Multiple pins Without creating a mess ! THANKS AGAIN for this Wonderful Idea ! Warm Regards, Werner
Jason Bedard (author)  wmaertens2 years ago
Thanks for your kind words. Not sure it's quite a world changing idea, nor is it purely original, but I agree that it is useful.
DoctorDv2 years ago
Awesome! I just might have to build this for my new soldering station!

-Doctordv
Jason Bedard (author) 2 years ago
Just found an instructable from 2010 posted by Dog Digger

Usually I first search my ideas on instructables to see if anyone else has posted anything close.  This time I didn't do that, but mine is a little different.

Dog Digger's idea was similar by using a solder coil and specifically a BIC pen, but using bottom feed rather than top feed.  Either way works it seems.

nice pics, clear explanation. good work!