Introduction: Soldering Iron Base (made With a Sardines Can)

Picture of Soldering Iron Base (made With a Sardines Can)

(If you like this project, your votes are very appreciated. Thanks!)

Hello everybody! I'm back into the action! After all the excitement of working in a bulletproof vests factory, and then moving to Azerbaijan and getting married to my beautiful girlfriend Parvin, now I'm living in Baku and trying to have a proper workshop here.

But I find this problem: Baku is a great city, but it's very complicated to find some things you need in your DIY life, especially electronics related things. I got a soldering iron, but I didn't find a good base for it. Ordering the stand on Internet is not a good idea, because shipping would be more expensive than the base itself. And I need it NOW! What can I do?

I found some ideas on Instructables (like this from Culturespy and this from jaime9999). Good and unexpensive. But I love shining things, so I used a sardines can.

Step 1: Materials, Tools and Safety

Picture of Materials, Tools and Safety

This base is easy to build and probably you will find all materials at home:

  • 1 metallic coathanger
  • 1 canned sardines
  • 1 nut
  • 1 bolt
  • 2 metallic washers
  • 1 iron piece (any with a hole good enough for the bolt. It's for extra weight)
  • 1 metallic pipe, for twisting the wire from the coathanger (its diameter must be bigger that soldering iron's metallic part, but smaller than the handle)
  • Tools: screwdriver and pliers

WARNING: In order to reduce risks of fire and/or fish-odorized Arduino projects, I strongly recommend to remove all the sardines from the canned sardines before starting this project. More info in Step 2.

Step 2: How to Remove the Sardines From the Canned Sardines

Picture of How to Remove the Sardines From the Canned Sardines

There is a time in the life of an author, when he has to apologize to his readers. It's my turn:

I'm sorry. I lied to you. I don't have any freaking idea if what I bought was sardines.

Everything here is in Azeri, Russian and Turkish. No English. Spanish is absolutely useless. And the perfect can for this project had all the info in Cyrillic. No fish drawings or any clue. So I ate that oily thing, because I'm not ok with wasting food and I needed the can. The flavor? I wasn't sure. After that, I called my wife (professional translator), I read to her what I saw in the label: "Cekymapur". She laughed for ten minutes and then she called Emergencies.

Nevermind, You just open the can, eat the content, remove the cover, and wash the can with boiling water and soap (be careful with can's sharp edges and water's high temperature. Wearing rubber gloves is a good idea.)

Step 3: Twist the Coathanger

Picture of Twist the Coathanger

Open the coathanger. Using the pliers, cut one of the deformed parts. Then twist the wire around a hard pipe. I used a metallic one from an electric fan stand.

Step 4: Shape the Spring

Picture of Shape the Spring

Remove the spring from the metallic pipe. In one of the ends, make a small loop, so you can pass the bolt through it and attach the spring to the base.

Step 5: Bring the Can

Picture of Bring the Can

Make a hole in the can. I used a screwdriver and the pliers (yes, I'm cheap: I don't have a hammer. Deal with that). Be careful of not doing it over a surface you can spoil, like your Grandma's soviet time dinner table. Learn from my mistakes.

Step 6: Assemble the Base

Picture of Assemble the Base

Pass a bolt through the loop in the spring, the hole in the can and the extra iron piece. If you want, you can add more weight. A few days after I published this instructable, I found a metallic piece in front of a garage, so I attached it to the base for extra weight. Fasten it with the nut. Don't forget the washers for a better assembly. Check the position of the soldering iron and make adjustments.

Now you have a good and cheap stand for your soldering iron. Next instructable: how to learn Russian.


sanjay117 (author)2014-10-24

Thank you very much for this post but more about the stately revisit!! I had been in Baku in 1997 ,staying at Dom Kniga and serving at Concordia general trading whose business was trading and supplying, that's why I know how much it is costly to import anything in Azerbaijaan!!!!Thanks once again I am a electronics technician and love doing anything on my own !!!!

M.C. Langer (author)sanjay1172014-10-25

Thanks to you, Sanjay! Well, you are right: trying to import something to Baku is very complicated. And if you try to make an electronic project, it's worse. I invite you to check my robo-dog project, made with trash found in Baku:

manuka (author)2014-09-17

I've made similar iron stands for schools use before, but ALERT that the base MUST be solidly weighted to prevent the soldering iron toppling over! Plaster may just do (especially if stones are embedded in it) & kids predictably love mixing & spreading it, but a cheaper (& heavier) base weight is usually concrete or mortar mix.

It's worth making an indentation or support to hold a damp sponge etc for s/iron cleaning too.

sunshiine (author)2014-09-14

Welcome back! I had to take a double take to make sure this instructable was recent. Congratulations on your marriage. I am so happy to see your back here. I wish you the best in all the contest of course. Have a beautiful day!


M.C. Langer (author)sunshiine2014-09-14

Hi Sunshiine! Glad to see you again!!! And thanks. Have a beautiful day, too!!! :-)

nick222 (author)2014-09-10

Excellent idea, I would probably fill the bottom out with plaster or something else to make it heavier and more stable.

I saw the fish was mackerel, I've never tasted it, hope it was at least passable :-)

M.C. Langer (author)nick2222014-09-10

Thanks Nick! And well... not my favorite fish :-)

Aeshir (author)2014-09-07

just whipped up one in about 20 minutes, couldn't find a coatingless hanger so i hope this one will do. i used a couple cantilever brake arms from my pile of bike parts as a weight, they work excellently. i advise everyone to play with the angle and length of the coil (make it as short as possible without touching the bolt or can) with the iron in it so it doesn't fall over. just pinch it at some point with pliers to shrink it.

M.C. Langer (author)Aeshir2014-09-07

Amazing job, Aeshir! :-)

HowToBen (author)2014-09-07

Are you russian?

Вы русский?

M.C. Langer (author)HowToBen2014-09-07

Nop. I'm Colombian. From Colombia.

¿Hablas español?

HowToBen (author)2014-09-07

Are you russian?

Вы русский?

manuelmasc made it! (author)2014-09-05

thanks M.C. Langer ;) I really needed it.

p.s. I voted your ible

M.C. Langer (author)manuelmasc2014-09-05

That's beautiful, Manuel!!!! Amazing job! And thanks for your vote! :-)

lmjagiello (author)2014-09-05

This is a very clever and timely project. I needed to find 10 soldering stations for my kids and this is so much cheaper! The best part- they will make them theirselves. Great Job!!!!!!

M.C. Langer (author)lmjagiello2014-09-05

Thanks, Iamjagiello!!!! :-)

snoopindaweb (author)2014-09-05

I thought those were some grim lOOking fish. ~:-}

M.C. Langer (author)snoopindaweb2014-09-05

Oooooh yes! :-)

snoopindaweb (author)2014-09-05

Thank You = Faved, & Voted. ~:-}

M.C. Langer (author)snoopindaweb2014-09-05

Thank you so much, Snoopindaweb! :-)

balakrishna0364 (author)2014-09-05

very good idea to make it from a scratch

Thanks balakrishna0364! :-)

schaude (author)2014-09-04

very nice and simple idea, i love it! i guess the fish you ate was mackerel (scomber scombrus), that comes often served in oil. better than having eaten a tin of hákarl...

i'll built it and look for some heavy screwable things (with a hole in it) to make the base more heavy for security reasons.

thanks a lot!

M.C. Langer (author)schaude2014-09-04

By the way, what is hákarl?

schaude (author)M.C. Langer2014-09-05

hákarl is a fish speciality from greenland or iceland. they dig sharks into the ground, put it in sand and leave it there for several months. normally fresh shark meat is poisonous because it contents lots of uric acid and other chemicals. when being in the sand a long fermentation process starts that produces lots of ammonia coming out of the meat. afterwards it has to hang for several weeks for drying and to make the ammonia get out of it. after all it has a strong smell of rotten fish. the taste is much better - i tried it once and it was - not even yummy, but eatable and not that bad as i expected it to be! with some bread or anything els, maybe put into a soup you can get comfortable with it if you close your nose before taking it out of the can!

M.C. Langer (author)schaude2014-09-05

Yes, it looks like I was very lucky to not find that fish, or it would be my most stinky instructable ever! Thanks for the information, Schaude!

M.C. Langer (author)schaude2014-09-04

Thanks to you, Schaude!

Rolf G (author)2014-09-04

Nicely done and seems you're a resourceful man. But it looks like you missed some weights. The balance might not be strong on both sides.

You gave me an idea with your work!

M.C. Langer (author)Rolf G2014-09-04

Thanks Rolf G! Well, it works well for me and for the kind of soldering iron I use. But you can add as much weight as you want. I will love to see your idea! :-)

lacewonda (author)2014-09-04

Thanks MC you made me laugh and learn. Great idea and I wonder if the base could be made weightier.

M.C. Langer (author)lacewonda2014-09-04

Thanks lacewonda! And yes, the base can be as heavy as you want. Just add more weight in the base :-)

superdave5481 (author)lacewonda2014-09-04

Yes, you could pour a liquid plastic into it or perhaps an acrylic or maybe molten lead.

djsfantasi (author)2014-09-03

I had to ask my nephew's wife, who is Russian, what скумбрия is, you got my curiosity up!

M.C. Langer (author)djsfantasi2014-09-03

Thanks! And don't forget to tell me. My wife still breaks in laughters everytime I ask it to her :-)

djsfantasi (author)M.C. Langer2014-09-04

My source wasn't specific; she just said it was "some type of fish". But once she provided me with the correct spelling in Cyrillic, Google Translate translates it to "mackerel".

M.C. Langer (author)djsfantasi2014-09-04

So, mackerel? Well, my first time!!!!

I didn't like it... :-)

howzat (author)2014-09-04

Great project. I've been wanting a soldering stand for a while. On seeing your project I immediately saw a resemblance between the spring that you formed from a coat hanger, and a spring that I just removed from a damaged lawn sprinkler. That spring is 1 1/4" (31.75mm) wide * 4 1/2" (114.3mm) long. The handle of my soldering iron is larger so this is a good fit. Will now wait for a suitable tin to come along.

M.C. Langer (author)howzat2014-09-04

Thanks, howzat! :-)

michaelnelson (author)2014-09-04

Great idea! Looks like a good use for an Altoids tin. :) I'll load it down with pennies for some weight.

That's a fantastic idea, Michael! Don't forget to publish the instructable and check in the "I made it!" option! :-)

nossvagyok (author)2014-09-04

nice & smart! :)

M.C. Langer (author)nossvagyok2014-09-04

Thanks, nossvagyok! :-)

power000 (author)2014-09-04

mmm really nice and easy !

M.C. Langer (author)power0002014-09-04

Thanks power000! :-)

Bodmer (author)2014-09-04

Think yourself lucky for not buying a tin of Surströmming.

M.C. Langer (author)Bodmer2014-09-04

Yes, that was what I think after I found it in Wikipedia. Thanks Bodmer!

Alienjones (author)2014-09-04

I've got a similar devise I bought at the local electronic parts store. The most serious problem a holder like this has is the instability caused by the soldering iron weighing more than the stand. I filled the base of mine with mortar I got a handful of from a nearby builder. Keeping it in the base is the next issue! Great example of use of resources that would otherwise just be landfill. I like it!

M.C. Langer (author)Alienjones2014-09-04

Thanks, Alienjones! Well, the thing is my soldering iron is a cheap and light one, so this base is ok. Probably I will add some extra weight. This design is open to add more weight if you need.

BLR_RAVI (author)2014-09-03

very nice..i feel if you fill the can with some heavy woll be more stable

M.C. Langer (author)BLR_RAVI2014-09-03

Thanks BLR_RAVI! And yes, that's the reason of the extra iron piece. If you find a heavier one, fantastic!

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm Mario Caicedo Langer, from Colombia, former Navy officer and BSc in Naval Sciences. Right now I'm Technical Director and Technology Lead Teacher ... More »
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