Hi! Today I have a special soldering quick tip for you: how to create an ultra cheap solder feeder. Once you start using it, it's much like with soldering fume extractor: you didn't know you needed one until you tried using it. And much like building a fume extractor, solder feeder is just as easy to make. All you need is a mechanical pencil and solder of matching diameter.
This hack does not only help with managing your solder wire but is also great for stabilizing your hand for times when you have to solder some tiny components like SMD chips. Without any further ado, lets get started.
Step 1: Building It
If you don't happen to have a mechanical pencil, take a walk to nearest office supply store. From then one, any will do. There are two factors to consider though: first is lead thickness for the pencil. It has to match the diameter of your solder wire. I used 0.5 mm pencil for 0.5 mm solder wire but you can pick any dimension so long as it matches your solder wire's thickness (0.7 mm and 1.0 mm are standard)
The second thing is to try and find a mechanical pencil that doesn't have "extend lead" button on the end but somewhere in the middle like what you can see on all above images. This will help you to extend solder wire more easily. If your local office supply store doesn't sell such pencils, buy one of these. If you don't want to spend any money, you can also use a regular mechanical pencil but that has some minor drawbacks.
Now that I covered the theory, let's get down to business. Take your pencil, open the lead compartment, remove cap, eraser and lead rods. Straighten your solder wire and insert it where lead rods should go. You will have to hold down "extend lead" button in order to get solder wire through point. Note that you may want to insert solder wire through a hole in pencil's cap before inserting it in pencil but that isn't crucial.
That is it. Now you have your own solder wire feeder!
Step 2: Conclusion
As I said in introduction, you don't realize you need one until you use one.
If you like it, favourite this Instructable and if you don't, give it a try. it only costs you a dollar to make one. And when you make it, come back to favourite this Ible :)
Also please vote for me for one or all of following contests:
- Unusual Uses Challenge
- Before and After Contest
And thank you all who voted for me in reuse contest! I got runner up prize. I am looking forward to scoring high in other contests as well!