Recycling Your Old Dimmer Switch As a Variable Temperature Control for Your Soldering Iron

Introduction: Recycling Your Old Dimmer Switch As a Variable Temperature Control for Your Soldering Iron

About: A graduate of BS.Information and Communications technology. Studied chemistry for 3 years and Community development for 2 years. A graduate of TESDA Commercial Cooking (NC2 certified) and A certified Seafarer…

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
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 2: Preparing the Dimmer Switch

strip both ends of the old dimmer switch and set aside

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

Step 5: Assembling the Wiring Inside the PVC Switch Box

insert the flat wire on the hole provided on the PVC switch box
attach the first wire with the other end wire of the dimmer switch
tighten the joined wired with a long nose plier neatly
solder the joined wire to make it stronger, but if you don't know how to solder just make sure the joined wire are tight and insulate it with electrical tape
Just follow the diagram below just replace the lamp with the outlet
but first before you solder the wires don't forget to make a knot on both pieces of flat wire to prevent the assembled wire from pulling apart.
then continue to follow the diagram and join the wire properly
refer to the picture below to check if you wired it correctly
solder all the joined wire and insulate it with electrical wire, don't forget this one to avoid shorting.
refer to picture below

Step 6: Attaching the Dimmer Switch to the PVC Switch Box

Flip open the top cover of the gang plate
place the lower portion of the gang plate onto the PVC switch box
place the dimmer into the gang plate lower portion
tighten screw on both ends
place the top cover on and press until you hear a snap and its done, make sure it fits snugly
Now your finish and its now ready for testing!

Step 7: Testing the Finish Work

Plug your work on a power source, here in our place we have a rating of 220V, it depends where you are so, adapt your work to the power source you are in.
Just turn the knob to adjust the temperature you want for your soldering iron, the max wattage is 500Watts, it depends on your dimmer switch. that's all and enjoy soldering.
Looks neat don't you think:) Hope you like it guys and please give me comments and suggestions. thanks.

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    11 years ago on Step 1

    usually where can we get dimmer switch,and gang plate.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    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


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    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


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    can you help with final year project designs schematics for electronics students thanks.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Hey there, been out for awhile, busy on my business, what kind of project you have in mind?


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    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.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    if i change soldering iron with hair dryer will it work, is it dangerous.and do you think hair dryer can produce more heat.


    11 years ago on Step 7

    i got a suggestion. do you know those wireless light dimming systems? try to do this with thos that would be awesome