How to Make a Homemade Soldering Iron
A soldering iron is an indispensable tool when doing a school or hobby project. Make one from a few items found around the house. The soldering iron will not look as professional as a commercial model, but it will work as well as any bought from an electronics store or hobby shop.
Ask for help if you are underage since a soldering iron generates heat that can burn your skin.
Things You Will Need
- Lead pencil
- Utility knife
- Electrical tape
- Copper wire
- 2 “AA” batteries
Wear protective goggles to protect your eyes when using the homemade soldering iron. Also wear work gloves.
Do not let the tip of your homemade soldering iron touch the surface of a table or anything that could be burned until after it has cooled off.
Place a sheet of newspaper on a table. Place the pencil horizontally on the newspaper. Cut a slit along the length of the pencil with the blade of the utility knife.
Pull the lead out of the pencil with your fingers. Dispose of the lead in the trash.
Cut off the point and eraser ends of the pencil with the blade of the utility knife. Dispose of the cut-off ends in the trash.
Place the two “A”” batteries on the newspaper side by side with the positive (+) contacts facing away from you. Tape the batteries together with electrical tape across the center.
Cut two 14-inch lengths of copper wire with the scissors. Twist two ends of the two copper wires together. Place the two copper wires into the slit inside the pencil with the twisted end exiting from the right side of the pencil.
Stretch one of the two copper wires from the left side of the pencil across the two negative (-) contacts of the two “AA” batteries. Secure the copper wire to the contacts with electrical tape. Repeat this procedure with the other copper wire and the positive (+) contacts on the two “AA” batteries.
Tape the two “AA” batteries to the left side of the pencil with electrical tape.
Pick up the pencil that has now become a soldering iron. Place the twisted ends of the two copper wires against a piece of solder to see the solder melt.
Pull the electrical tape off the positive (+) contacts of the two “AA” batteries. Remove the copper wire from the contacts. Your homemade soldering iron will cool off.
Marshal M. Rosenthal is a technology maven with more than 15 years of editorial experience. A graduate of Brooks Institute of Photography with a Bachelor of Arts in photographic arts, his editorial work has appeared both domestically as well as internationally in publications such as "Home Theater," "Electronic House," "eGear," "Computer and Video Games" and "Digitrends."