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
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
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.