If you are working with through-hole components and don't have three or four extra hands to keep everything 'just right.' I've got a technique that might help.
Grab your tools!
- x-acto knife with #11 blades
- rosin core solder
- flush-cut pliers
- 2 pin female header (scraps will do!)
- 1 extra-long male header pin
Really, what is the worst soldering job you've ever seen?
Step 1: Scraps to Tools
Extract a female end from the two-position header block.
Then, remove an extra-long male header pin and straighten... solder into the female end.
Step 2: Wrap It Good!
Push the modified end with the soldered-in pin back into the header block.
Ready to make some delicious Solder-Os?
Insert the solder into the remaining female end, and begin wrapping the solder tightly around the extra-long pin.
Step 3: Solder Springy Thingy
You've made a cool solder springy thingy... which we will reduce to proper proportions for solder joints.
Step 4: X-acto-ly
With your wicked-sharp #11 blade... begin cutting the solder spring into tiny doughnuts - one or two at a time.
Slow-and-steady wins the race.
Step 5: Hulk Smash Doughnuts!
Well... maybe not smash, a gentle press of each doughnut will do fine. And, will make a tight ring that will stay firmly in place!
Store your newly made tool and Solder-Os in a baggie to keep them fresh.
Step 6: Light It Up!
When you are ready to solder-up something... place a tiny Solder-O on the joint. Apply heat to the component first, then slide the iron down into the doughnut.
Not too much... not too little... juuuuust right. And, you only needed two hands to do it!