Instructables

Recycling your old dimmer switch as a variable temperature control for your soldering iron

I have seen a lot of professional variable temperature control for soldering iron, but too expensive. So I make one out of an old dimmer switch, outlet, gang plate and plug which already been junk and some old PVC switch box that came with it and some leftover wire from the rewiring work of our house...voila a simple and effective variable temperature controller for your soldering iron and it doubles as a dimmer for your lampshade if you want.

Step 1: Materials needed:

recycled dimmer switch preferrably 500Watts max the better
old gang plate
junk 3 gang universal outlet or any available
recycled PVC switch box
cutter
universal screw driver with bits or plain old screw driver will do the trick
long nose pliers
soldering iron(optional)
1 meter flat electrical wire
old plug from junk appliances I found on the trash bin

Step 3: Assembling the outlet and plug

Cut the 1 meter wire at the center and strip both ends.
attach the first end to the plug and the other end to the 3 gang outlet.
remove top screws of the outlet
lift the cover and set cover aside
attach both ends of the flat wire you cut on the screws provided
tighten screw on both corner
replace cover
tighten screw on top
and set aside

Step 4: Assembling the dimmer switch to the gang plate

First flip open the top cover of the gang plate with a flat screw driver
set aside the cover
place top cover onto the dimmer switch
attach dimmer switch on the lower portion of the gang plate
and press the dimmer switch in until you hear a snap
check if the dimmer switch is lock snugly into the gang plate
 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up
hore5 years ago
usually where can we get dimmer switch,and gang plate.
dhackaray hore3 years ago
at a hardware store
ara5 years ago
Great! Just few minutes ago I was thinking how to use a soldering iron for other projects than electronics (to cut plastics, burn wood, etc.). Your ideea come at the best moment. Many thanks and apologise for my poor english. Ara from Romania
rush_elixir (author)  ara4 years ago
if you want some help on other projects, just message me here! don't worry your english is good, no need to apologize. Glad I could spark your creativity
can you help with final year project designs schematics for electronics students thanks.
rush_elixir (author)  taye4 years ago
Hey there, been out for awhile, busy on my business, what kind of project you have in mind?
would you be able to instead of using 1 meter flat wire  a plug and 3 gang, just use a 3 gang extension cord? if not could you explain a little bit better how the plug is connected? are both sides of the flat connected to it? thanks.
hore4 years ago
if i change soldering iron with hair dryer will it work, is it dangerous.and do you think hair dryer can produce more heat.
Wazzuplol5 years ago
i got a suggestion. do you know those wireless light dimming systems? try to do this with thos that would be awesome