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Setting up Indoor Soldering Iron Station Answered

I'm interested in having a place to work on electronics projects inside, and was thinking about building a workstation in my room. I would be soldering, and doing all other electronic-related activities at this workstation.

I was wondering what I would need to do to make this happen in a safe, productive manner. Any suggestions?


Are you talking about a workbench to do some electronics?

Easiest thing to do if you have the room, if you don't have some sort of designated desk or worktable, get one of those foldable plastic party banquet picnic tables. It should be big and sturdy enough. Find a piece of masonite, old wood panelling or thin plywood as a sacrificial work surface. Dings, burns and solder drops won't matter. Have a hardwood, concrete, linoleum or bare floor. Dropping a tiny screw will be hard to find in carpet. Then again, it will bounce somewhere so you can't find it anyway. Keep flammable stuff away, curtains, the bed. Have a source of ventilation - solder fumes can be bad or you toast some wire insulation - windows or open door. Know what to do in case of an emergency. Have a panic alarm switch for red alert. Have a bright desk or overhead lamp. Those magnifying lamps are pretty good when you work with small parts. I find the magnifying glass on a third hand rig too close and small. Build yourself a third hand jig. Get some good quality small tools for electronics work - wire strippers, assorted pliers, tweezers, hemostats, spring clamps. Have a power/surge strip screwed down on the desk. I know you pull the plug out with the cord. Get some wall wart extension cordlets to get some room on the power strip. Make sure you don't snag or trip over the soldering iron cord. Build a heavy duty soldering iron rest with sponge so you don't tip that over. Put up a few coathooks somewhere, hang your cables or wire. Have a few small parts organizer drawer cabinet things to corral small parts. Mount stereo speakers on the wall, have your PC nearby, have your phone nearby... Mount a few old fashioned TV arm mounts on the wall so you have moveable trays, just like the dentist to keep things handy. Get a nice comfy rolling task chair. Get a nice clock and calendar to remind you of all the time you will be spending in there. Put a printer in there to print out handy stuff from the internet. Put a bookshelf in for reference books. Make a whiteboard to brainstorm ideas or list steps to do. Put up a sign to let others know not to touch anything.

But then again, a TV snack tray table works. What do I know...

Go to the hardware store and buy a cheap 18"x18" ceramic tile ($3) and use that as a burn proof work surface. Has the advantage that solder drips brush right off when they cool.

If you aren't particular, just ask, nicely, for a free broken one.