Ever since I got my soldering Iron I've been using a old rusty pan to do my work in. I rather do soldering inside because its nice and cool. I live in the desert so its crazy to solder during the summer.
After much veiwing of instructables I wanted to make a hybrid. I would mount a spindle for wire, soldering Iron rest and a helping hands onto a 10' x 16' x 1/4' copper plate.
The soldering station would still have room to tinker on though, plus it also would have little feet to keep the heat off you desk.
See the Soldering Group for more Ideas
I also used Build a Pair of Helping hands
Step 1: The Surface
Since you are making this by scratch you may use any metalic surface. I used copper because it was what I had. Your could use aluminum, Iron or steel but the latter two would be more money.
Its best to have a larger surface then you think you would need because the soldering station is very easy to upgrade.
I used at 10"x16"x1/4" copper plate.
When my dad gave me the piece it was super sharp and the edges were covered in burs. I used a sander to round and remove the burs. The corners were very pokey too so I got a file and rounded them off.
Step 2: Feet
In order for this to be a soldering PLATFORM I would need to raise it off the ground.
So I found some composite Board (wood) laying around.
So I cut 1"x1"x1/2" squares out of the board to make feet.
I then marked the feet in the center and marked the copper surface 1" off the corners using a carpenters square.
The copper was surprisingly difficult to drill through due to the dull bits. My dad told me to cross cut the holes, meaning use a bigger bit to drill out a portion of the hole. Thats to keep the screws flush with the copper.
The screws were just normal 1/2" wood screws.
Step 3: Wire Spindle
This is the easiest part.
Get the largest screw you can find, mine was 2 1/2" So I drilled a hole about 3 inches in from the corner.
The pushed in the screw so it would face up then tigtened it with the lug nut.
Step 4: Helping Hands
I would use the idea from this Instructable to make some simple fully adjustable helping hands.
I use the jig saw to cut out a 3"x3" square from the same piece of composite board.
I clamped the board near the corner and drilled through the wood an a little bit thorough the copper. After drilling two holes I unclamped it and finished drilling. I found some machine screws about a inch long and slipped them in and securing it with a nut.
I got some large gauge copper wire from its insulator, it was for outdoors and cut 2 pieces about 8 inches in length.
I stripped about 1/2" from each wire and put a alligator clip on each one.
After that I used these little attachment thing it came with and screwed it into the wooden block just installed.
Now you have some Helping Hands.
Step 5: Soldering Iron Rest
The one that came with my Iron was fine so I lit up my torch and got ot some solder.
Unfortunately I couldn't get the plate hot enough to solder to, so I had to reheat the rest and use a piece of wire to remove the excess. Then I got a wire toothbrush to get it nice and shiny again.
After looking for the JB Weld for 20 mins I finally found it to mix it I just cut out another piece of the board and used a old scraper to mix it up and apply to the bottom of the rest.
I would take about 4-6 hours to set and wait over night till I touch it.
Step 6: Project Complete
Once everything drys it should be ready!
This whole project cost me nothing, except the alligator clips which were 2 dollars
I really Like mine because I can add anything I want to it but it still has room to tinker on.
Hope you enjoyed it
P.S. My wooden leggs were a little uneven so I put a piece of cardboard under one
P.P.S you could also put current through the alligator clips to help test stuff.