Pen Solder Feeder Hack

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About: I may be an electrical engineer by trade but that won't stop me from tinkering in the domain of mechanical engineers and artists:P

Hi! Today I have a special soldering quick tip for you: how to create an ultra cheap solder feeder. Once you start using it, it's much like with soldering fume extractor: you didn't know you needed one until you tried using it. And much like building a fume extractor, solder feeder is just as easy to make. All you need is a mechanical pencil and solder of matching diameter.

This hack does not only help with managing your solder wire but is also great for stabilizing your hand for times when you have to solder some tiny components like SMD chips. Without any further ado, lets get started.

Step 1: Building It

If you don't happen to have a mechanical pencil, take a walk to nearest office supply store. From then one, any will do. There are two factors to consider though: first is lead thickness for the pencil. It has to match the diameter of your solder wire. I used 0.5 mm pencil for 0.5 mm solder wire but you can pick any dimension so long as it matches your solder wire's thickness (0.7 mm and 1.0 mm are standard)

The second thing is to try and find a mechanical pencil that doesn't have "extend lead" button on the end but somewhere in the middle like what you can see on all above images. This will help you to extend solder wire more easily. If your local office supply store doesn't sell such pencils, buy one of these. If you don't want to spend any money, you can also use a regular mechanical pencil but that has some minor drawbacks.

Now that I covered the theory, let's get down to business. Take your pencil, open the lead compartment, remove cap, eraser and lead rods. Straighten your solder wire and insert it where lead rods should go. You will have to hold down "extend lead" button in order to get solder wire through point. Note that you may want to insert solder wire through a hole in pencil's cap before inserting it in pencil but that isn't crucial.

That is it. Now you have your own solder wire feeder!

Step 2: Conclusion

As I said in introduction, you don't realize you need one until you use one.

If you like it, favourite this Instructable and if you don't, give it a try. it only costs you a dollar to make one. And when you make it, come back to favourite this Ible :)

Also please vote for me for one or all of following contests:

  • Unusual Uses Challenge
  • Before and After Contest

And thank you all who voted for me in reuse contest! I got runner up prize. I am looking forward to scoring high in other contests as well!

Before and After Contest

Runner Up in the
Before and After Contest

Reuse Contest

Runner Up in the
Reuse Contest

Unusual Uses Challenge

Runner Up in the
Unusual Uses Challenge

3 People Made This Project!

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53 Discussions

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rcada

3 years ago on Introduction

I have worked in electronics since 1975 and made this Pens with solder in the 70's and 80's.

To in prove on your idea I would coil the solder to fit the inside of the barrel then feed it from the end of the coil down through the coil solder and out the end of the pen barrel. This keep the solder clean and easy to feed and handle

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ptkrf

Reply 2 years ago

I didn't even know those existed! relatively expensive though... might be worth the money if they are easily refillable.

Hope you enjoy using this hack if you get to try it out ;)

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miked2001

3 years ago on Introduction

I made several of these with .5 .7 and .9 sizes. They worked well for small solder joints but if you need to feed fast... oops, melt down. I love the idea but when I solder I feel the need, the need to feed. Still, I won't toss them, they will come in handy some day.

Also I have my solder on a homemade solder spool holder that hangs from the hutch on my desk and that works better for what I am doing.

Nice instructable, good info.

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ptkrfmiked2001

Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

Worry not, my friend! I am working on "proper" solder feeder - one that will have switch on soldering iron and feeding mechanism standing on the table. To know what I am talking about, see this link (first recommended by MoTingerGNome): http://www.judepullen.com/designmodelling/solder-b...

With that difference that my version will leave one hand free. Stay tuned!

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miked2001

3 years ago on Introduction

Scrap aluminum, scrap EMT, add two sheet metal screws and Voila ! !

Solder Holder.jpgSolder Holder 02.jpg
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teddibear1

3 years ago on Introduction

First attempt to actually making an instructible. Worked perfectly. Anyone that sends negative comments on this, just like to make negative comments. It's simple and elegant and it works. what more need be said. you got my vote.

Wow, ingenious - the simplest things make the biggest difference! Added this to me Wire It Up! collection on Instructables.

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Porda

3 years ago on Introduction

Great idea! I'm setting one up at my soldering station now.