Clicking Solder Dispenser Pen

Introduction: Clicking Solder Dispenser Pen

About: I am an electrical engineer. I graduated from U of Waterloo. I used to work for Adafruit Industries as an EE. Now I work for Sony PlayStation as a EE.

Turn an ordinary clicking pen into a solder dispenser, a bit of solder comes out with every click. This takes advantage of the pen's mechanism which actually spins. You can still use the pen as a pen.

Inspired by the simpler (and in a way, better) pen dispenser in the Guide to Field Soldering instructable.

Step 1: Parts and Tools

-a clicking pen
-a tooth pick
-small length of wood, 4mm x 4mm x 1" long is sufficient
-hot glue gun
-drill with a 3/8" bit

Step 2: Preparing the Mechanism

Take the pen apart, place as much of the tooth pick into the ink cartridge, and the other end into the plastic piece that is supposed to be pushing against the ink cartridge. Hot glue the ink cartridge to the plastic piece with the tooth pick helping you make a straight joint.

Step 3: Drill Hole in Pen Tube

Using a drill and a 3/8" bit, drill a hole 1/2" to 1" away from the end (the end that is the tip of the pen, minus the metal cone). This will let the solder through.

Step 4: Load Solder

Tape the end of the solder close to the end of the ink cartridge, just below the plastic piece you glued the cartridge to. Then wind the solder around the cartridge in the counter-clockwise direction (looking with the pen tip facing you) until you are about 3/4" away from where the spring rests, then cut the solder.

(please note, I do not have any solder at the moment so I am using a reasonably similar wire to demonstrate)

Step 5: Stop the Clip From Spinning

Hot glue the length of wood on the pen tube in a way that it will stop the clip from spinning as you click.

Step 6: Assemble

Put the pen back together as you would have normally (make sure nothing is rubbing anything), but make sure the end of the solder can poke slightly through the hole you drilled. Take a bit of solder out of the hole.

You are done, and now if you click the pen, the ink cartridge should spin and it should feed about 5mm (correction, 2mm) of solder.

You can add another short pen tube with another metal tip to guide the solder.



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    26 Discussions


    11 years ago

    alternatively, it might be worth trying something similar with the mechanical pencils in which you twist near the tip to advance the led. inside, there's a coil of wire and the led is pushed through sort of an archimede's screw principle. the led might be replaced with solder. if it worked, it'd be much simpler.

    2 replies

    And it would hold much less solder if the solder was straight instead of coiled.* Also, that mechanism's called a leadscrew (pronounced as in 'leadership', not as in 'pencil lead').

    *Thinking about this again, I thought of a way a leadscrew pencil might be good for this:
    1. Detach the knob from the leadscrew and attach it to a rod that runs down the center of the pencil (where the lead was).
    2. Coil the solder around the rod.
    3. Connect the solder to the rod so that it can slide along, but not turn around the rod. (A slot in the rod might work.)
    4. Turn the knob.
    It might be a bit less convenient to turn the knob than to press the button on top of a clicky pen/mechanical pencil.

    I've seen those. They use really long pieces of lead, so solder long enough might bend instead of coming out the tip.

    every click will give you about 2mm solder. nice idea, but it needs to be improved.

    8 replies

    yea it doesn't retract sometimes, loading is a pain, the wood is ugly, and i was trying to go for a "mechanical solder pencil" thing before this. and yes i know it is extremely unpractical, in fact i will never use it does anybody have a good concept for a home made "mig soldering iron"?

    how about get a cheap $8 cassette player, and a tape, take out the magnetic strip, put a rubber washer around the rim of the spool and an idling roller with another smaller rubber washer of the same thickness as the washer on the spool, placed so that the spool will drive the free roller, coil your solder around the un-modified spool, then drill a hole through the tape directed to the point where the rollers meet, and put a piece of tube into the hole so that it nearly touches the rollers on the output side, thread the solder through this tube onto a flexy tube of plastic or rubber which is linked up to a block of refractory material with a hole drilled through it at like a 45 degree angle to the tip of the soldering iron, and another hole for the soldering iron itself to go through., and onto this refractory material of your choice (dont use metal, it will act as an unnecessary heatsink and slow the heating process up) put on a handle with the "play" electrical contact linked up to it as the trigger. then you'd just turn on your soldering iron and then hold the contact down when you need more solder on the tip of your iron.

    i know this is an oldish instructable so you've probably found your own solutions but i just found it and thought i'd share.

    Oldish is an understatement, this was 4 years ago when I was still in high school

    This Instructable is embarrassing compared to my recent projects

    Anyways, your comment itself deserves to be its own Instructable!

    Yeah i figured you'd be right up there by now, i was wondering what sort of original(ish) hack i could do as an instructable, and that question gave me the inspiration i needed. I think i just needed defined parameters to problem-solve in, which i thank you for. I've started some cad drawings for the hand-piece bit which i'll mill on my CNC'ed hq-400 chinese import. It might go on the back-burner for a bit, my temp job ended a fortnight ago and i've got to find another one, kinda stressful as i dont have any qualifications (self-taught dropout). Tonight i will probably be casting some Al ingots for milling out of some 20 ft long 50mm core diameter cable with split sheathing i found dumped near the wharf a couple months ago.

    i'll post it up at some point though.

    Here, man, you see, I'm not from US or anything, so I do not know how do you call these, but it's fairly simple to use it, you just have to load if with solder, and in each click you'll have a bit of solder, as long the solder are the right size. I just lost mine so I can't give you a photo of that in the battlefield, but as long I buy one I'll send a pic for you to see...

    you could have a small motor turn two small wheels so that the solder will be pushed through it.

    Yes but everything involving soldering is ugly until you see your contraption work ; ) Suddenly the wood doesn't seem so bad

    What do you mean? You would travel by it? You would do things by it? Or perhaps you men you would "buy" a lot of it.

    Great idea dude I tested it and it work like a charm!

    Kepp the good work coming!