Introduction: Possibilities of Soldering for Prototyping

In this instructable we are going to teach you some soldering skills while making a ferris wheel.

Before you start with the construction we have some general info and tips about soldering.

There are multiple kinds of soldering:

- hard soldering (silver soldering)

- induction soldering

- soft soldering (used in this project)

- re-flow soldering

The types of soldering irons are:

- electric soldering iron (most common)

- soldering station

- soldering pistol

- soldering iron on gas

The types of connections are in bold throughout the instructable

For a good result it is important that you heat all the parts that you want to connect before you apply the tin.

Because heat is going up, you have to hold the soldering iron under the parts.

Step 1: What Do You Need

-soldering iron



-stripping tool

-thin copper wire

-thick copper wire

-wooden board

-printed out drawing of a ferris wheel


-metal plate

-copper tube

This can also come in handy:

-small vise, soldering fingers or a soldering helping hand

-soldering pump

Step 2: Before We Continue

We tested a few material on the possibility to solder. We found out that it is almost imposible to solder aluminium and thick (diametre 4mm) steel shaft. On the other hand, it is possible to solder little steel plates.

This is because materials that are to thick or conduct heat very well are hard to get to the right temperature to make your tin melt.

Step 3: Making the Base

Our ferris wheel starts with a sturdy base. For this we use a tube to wire connection

Cut two pieces of the copper tube and drill four holes in them where the wire will be connected.

Bend the thick copper wire and make sure you have the right measurements using the paper template. Use the thumbtacks to secure it to the wooden board so it can't move.

Put the wire through the holes in the tube and solder them together.

You will need to heat the tube more because its bigger and needs more heat to melt the tin.

Open the legs so the base parts are extra sturdy

Step 4: Before We Continue

If you have some trouble with straightening a copper wire or there are some imperfections you can use two pliers to hold the wire and give it some short and hard pulls. The biggest imperfections will be gone.

If this doens't work you can use a screwdriver to straighten the wire even more, the imperfections will be gone but the wire will flex a little bit.

You can also to these techniques by holding the wire with your foot or by putting it in a vise.

Step 5: Making the Wheel

For the wheel we are using some different types of connections.

We are going to use the template again to secure the thin copper wire to the wooden board.

First we make the big circle using an end to end wire connection. We need two circles.

Now connect the two circles to each other with five pieces of wire using an end to middle connection making a T-shape.

Then we make the center structure by doing the end to end connection but with five wires and then adding a standing wire to secure the wheel to the two base parts. Make sure this part is long enough as we had to add another piece using a overlapping connection. The five wires can be placed with on the template to make sure they are in the right place.

At the end you will have ten double end to middle connections in the whole wheel.

Place the two side wires of the wheel into a base part on each side and give it a spin.

Step 6: Adding the Chairs

Now we are going to add the chairs.

First cut ten pieces of metal. you can check the measurements using the template.

Grab a piece of foam and place the metal pieces inside of it so you don't need to hold them while soldering.

Solder the two corners of the metal pieces together using a plate to plate connection.

Pull the chair out of the foam and solder the other side and the middle together.

Do this five times until you have all the chairs.

Cut some thin copper wire to the desired length.

Solder this onto the bottom of the chair using a wire to plate connection. Make sure the wire is centered.

Bent the wire upwards and make two loops in the ends of the wire.

Do this five times for all the chairs.

Hang them on the wheel and you are ready...

Step 7: Adding Leds

...or not, if you want to keep going and give the ferris wheel something extra you can add some light.

Cut a gap in the wires on the side of the wheel and solder a led in the gap by twisting the leg of the led around the copper. Make sure you mind the polarity of the led so they all work properly. Also cut the gaps one by one so the middle stays in place.

If you have connected all the led's give them a last test to make sure everything is ok.

The last step is to solder the wires of the battery onto the copper tubes of the base parts and hang the wheel inbetween them.

Now you are really ready!