Two years ago—almost to the day—I wrote about making a min-solder pot to tin toroid leads. Well, now I finally have one.
Sunday, at the museum, Jim, K8ELR, brought down all of the soldering irons he’d ever purchased to try them out in building the little QRP transceiver kit he just bought. The results of that may be the topic of another blog post, but one of the irons he had was a 25 W Weller pencil iron.
“Aha,” I thought, “this would be perfect for the mini-solder pot.” I convinced Jim to let me take the iron home with me and convert it by noting that his kit had several toroids whose leads were going to need stripping and tinning.
I did that tonight. I carefully hacked off the end of the soldering iron tip and filed it down. Then, I carefully drilled a 5/64-in. hole about 3/16-in. deep. I then widened the hole to 3/16-in. The hole in the tip wasn’t exactly centered, but I didn’t break through the sidewall of the tip.
I plugged in the iron, heated up the tip, and filled it with solder. I dipped a short piece of enameled wire, and a couple of minutes later, I had a perfectly tinned lead! It had worked like a charm. In about 15 minutes, I had eliminated one of the most odious tasks associated with kit building. This is going to be well worth the effort.