Making a Really Easy Solder Dispenser

Introduction: Making a Really Easy Solder Dispenser

This guide discribes how to make a very fine solder dispenser from a mechnical pencil dispenser.

I read frank26080115's clicking solder dispenser pen guide and I was surprised he didn't provide instructions on how to make a solder dispenser from just a mechnical clicky pencil. I give props to his design but I prefer to keep it simple.

Its really easy so there is only 1 real step. Find the right solder size to match your mechanical pencil.

Also if anyone posted this let me know I didn't see it.

Step 1: Selecting Your Solder and Pencil


$2.00 0.5mm Pencil
$3.99 0.022 dia Solder from Radio shack (64-013)

Its pretty simple so it only has one step. Basically all you need to do is take the solder cut it into 3 inch strips and load it into the mechnical pencil. It works very reliably and works just like a mechnical pencil. Selecting the right sized solder is the only part that takes work.

When I looked at my handy supply of solder and found I had some 0.022 dia Silver bearing soldering from radio shack. The fact that its silver bearing isn't important, nor is the fact I was ripped off from radio shack. What is important is the lead size was 0.022 and that is close enough for the 0.5mm (0.0197inch) mechnical pencil. It was a 0.0013 inch bigger but it was okay since the solder is soft. If it was smaller it wouldn't have worked and the solder would have slipped.

Here are a few pointers

0.5mm is 0.0197 inch
0.7mm is 0.0276 inch

You can buy mechanical pencils of all sizes from different art stores, some more ergonomic than others.

If you have trouble figuring out what the conversion from mm to inches is you can use go to and use the google calculator. To use it just type in the search engine,

(your lead size)mm to inches

and hit enter

Example 0.5mm to inches results in 0.0196850394 inch

Metal tips are good, just remember to dispense enough before you solder so you don't solder the pencil shut.

Step 2: Conclusion

Just be warned,
I normally just use my solder off the spool and its never failed me. This is just a more cutesy way to store some. This instructable you use at your own risk. Also If you solder your lead pencil shut its not my fault. :-)

Thats it, be careful and have fun!



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    26 Discussions

    I have posted this elsewhere, but phosphoric acid is a good cheap flux. You can buy it as central-heating additive (you put it in the water)

    1 reply

    You can often also find Phosphoric Acid among the "rust converter" solutions in many auto-part and hardware stores, (as well as "Industrial" supply houses, where they would sell it in larger containers..).
    Phosphoric acid is also commonly used for cleaning iron or steel of rust before welding and blacksmithing work, and prior to painting, galvanising or chroming ~ so it is regularly available in large quantities from those relevant suppliers..
    Just read the concentration on the label ~ as some in smaller containers intended for home use may be watered down.

    I would much rather feed off the spool and wash my hands very well at the end of my project. I use solid core solder at the 63%/37% level. I feed off of 1 lb spools and it works just fine for me.
    Of course, I am soldering stained glass joints.

    Yea I made one of these when I was at work here and what I did is I coiled up enough solder so it would fit inside the pen. I also had a pen to that had a metal tip at the end of it to prevent melting of my tip. The pencil that I used had that side clicker on it. Little easier. But that’s all personal preference.
    it does work out very well. i love it. i use it for quick stuff.

    Excellent Instructable! This definately makes soldering alot easier.

    Solder is a silver-colored substance that contains lead and other materials to make it melt and cool very quickly. It is conductive to electricity and is used in all electronics. Wikipedia say's this: Soldering filler materials are available in many different alloys for differing applications. In electronics assembly, the eutectic alloy of 63% tin and 37% lead (or 60/40, which is almost identical in performance to the eutectic) has been the alloy of choice. Other alloys are used for plumbing, mechanical assembly, and other applications. A eutectic formulation has several advantages for soldering; chief among these is the coincidence of the liquidus and solidus temperatures, i.e. the absence of a plastic phase. This allows for quicker wetting out as the solder heats up, and quicker setup as the solder cools. A non-eutectic formulation must remain still as the temperature drops through the liquidus and solidus temperatures. Any differential movement during the plastic phase may result in cracks, giving an unreliable joint. Additionally, a eutectic formulation has the lowest possible melting point, which minimizes heat stress on electronic components during soldering. Lead-free solders are suggested anywhere children may come into contact (since children are likely to place things into their mouths), or for outdoor use where rain and other precipitation may wash the lead into the groundwater. Common solder alloys are mixtures of tin and lead, respectively: 63/37: melts at 183 °C (361.4 °F) (eutectic: the only mixture that melts at a point, instead of over a range) 60/40: melts between 183–190 °C (361–374 °F) 50/50: melts between 185–215 °C (365–419 °F) Lead-free solder alloys melt around 250 °C (482 °F), depending on their composition. For environmental reasons, 'no-lead' solders are becoming more widely used. Unfortunately most 'no-lead' solders are not eutectic formulations, making it more difficult to create reliable joints with them. See complete discussion below; see also RoHS. Other common solders include low-temperature formulations (often containing bismuth), which are often used to join previously-soldered assemblies without un-soldering earlier connections, and high-temperature formulations (usually containing silver) which are used for high-temperature operation or for first assembly of items which must not become unsoldered during subsequent operations. Specialty alloys are available with properties such as higher strength, better electrical conductivity and higher corrosion resistance.

    wouldnt the heat from the iron travel up the solder and melt the plastic on the pencil? whenever i've been soldering for awhile, i can feel the solder get pretty hot in my hands...probably hot enough to melt plastic...

    2 replies

    The solder should melt instantly before conducting much heat. In my professional experience I have never had solder get hot at the spool. Tell you the truth, I did this for the badge and it is only novel. I would never use a solder dispenser in any of my professional applications.

    Yea.... solder can get pretty freakin hot pretty freakin quick. If your using a generic 35 watt soldering iron, it takes a while "especially if you use your iron often" for it to heat the solder all while transferring heat up the solder some times 3 to 4 inches. That may not be hot enough to melt the solder but trust me, its hot enough to cause a burn on your fingers. Soft, thin plastic my not be your best bet. But I really give props for the idea, very creative and "why you get mad cool points" CHEAP lol.

    I would guess a paper clip is usually made of steel. It won't melt at a low enough temperature to use as a solder.

    AWESOME! I might go do this right now. Just gotta get some solder without my dad seeing me taking his.... ;-) +1 rating. (added to favorites)

    if you put a hole in the side and fed your spool through it you wouldnt only get 3 inches

    could i use .32 in a .7mm or a .9mm pencil?????????????????????????????

    1 reply

    Tough call, thats about .8mm. It would probably be too big for a .7 mm pencil so i guess with .9mm you may have a chance. No promises though

    Cool! but i reccomend spyraling the solder in a coil to fit a-lot more in! (i got to get me more solder, i got that bad LEAD schiznite)

    Woah I just had this exact idea today. Cr33py.

    I had a hunch that might work. Wonderful job! Can you mount a small spool onto the pencil itself so you have one continuous length of solder? You can use one of those pencils with the button on the side.