How To Make A Soldering Iron

how to make a soldering iron

If you broke your soldering iron and you need a fast solution, this article will help how to make a soldering iron using household materials. A soldering iron is mainly used in soldering i.e. supplying heat to melt solder so that it flows into a join between two workpieces. You should learn the different types of soldering iron and how it works before attempting to make one.

Types of Soldering Iron

There are three different types of soldering irons and they are used for different purposes depending on the type of the project. Here are the 3 different types of soldering irons:

  • Common soldering iron: this soldering iron consists of a copper bit that’s riveted to steel which is then fitted into a wooden/plastic handle for insulation. Before soldering starts, the bit is heated slightly and then filed to remove the layer of oxide. The soldering iron is then dipped in flux and then solder is applied on the tip.
  • Electric soldering iron: this soldering iron is ideal in repetitive works where other forms of heating are not available/desired. These soldering guns are available with different sizes and replaceable bits that have variable shapes and sizes.
  • Alumino thermic soldering iron: this is a special type of soldering iron that’s used during emergencies especially when other sources of heat are not available.

How to Make a Soldering Iron

Materials or equipment needed

  • Electrical wires
  • A bendable piece of metal
  • Heat resistant adhesive tape
  • Adhesive tape
  • Pencil
  • Pen
  • Power supply unit (PSU)
  • Utility knife
  • Pair of scissors
  • Welding goggles
  • A file or sandpaper
  • A soldering flux


Here are the safety and Tips you are required to follow:

  • Use the soldering iron carefully because it can heat to around 400°C and burn you or start a fire.
  • Always unplug the iron when not in use
  • Whenever the soldering iron is on the power line, you shouldn’t touch its tip because it can burn or cause an electric shock
  • Whenever the soldering iron is not in use, return it to its stand for safety
  • Don’t put your soldering iron on your bench to avoid damages
  • Always work in a well-ventilated area
  • Avoid breathing in the air when working with a soldering iron to avoid possible side effects
  • Wash your hands after using soldering iron because it contains poisonous lead.

Instruction Steps

  • Use your kitchen knife to sharpen the pencil. You are supposed to be careful because the graphite (from the pencil) should not be broken into pieces. Therefore, sharpen your pencil as you are planning to use it in the future wit utmost care.
  • Now that we have the graphite, the next part should be looking for a way to hold it. You can use thick wire or plate. The only properties you should look for is bendability and having an end that can be wrapped in an electrical wire.
  • To hold the tip, you can use a pen because it can act as an insulator. However, it is important to understand that some plastics could emit poisonous gases when burnt.
  • For the pen to hold the tip, remove the internal parts e.g. the cartilage and the spring and then remove the cap. Depending on the type of pen you are using, you may have to disassemble, cut or break it to fit the purpose.
  • You need to consider both the graphite and the type of pen to determine how well you can fit the two. If need be, you can use the file to cut the pen in any shape you desire. When done, make an electrical wire pass through the pen and then wrap a piece of metal to make sure the two won’t disconnect.
  • Finally, you just need to insert the piece of metal into the pen to get a tip holder. In case you have a heat resistant tape, it is advisable to wrap the tip with the tape. However, if you don’t have any heat resistant tape, the tip can still work, so don’t worry.
  • The only thing remaining is to wire the tip to the PSU. You just need to know all the wires (where most PSUs explain the colored wires). Secondly, you need to know the GND because you need to connect one of the wires.
  • In a nutshell, connect the wire attached to the pen to one of the rails you have chosen and then connect the other wire to the ground. To keep them firmly connected, use a normal tape to wrap them together.
  • After doing all this, you are all set. To heat the tip, you just need to touch the graphite with the free wire connected to the GND.

You can visit the another article that is about the soldering jewelry.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments

Leave a Reply: