Note to self: Don’t try to solder anything ever again

Weller C100LG Soldering Iron

Weller C100LG Soldering Iron

Full Disclosure:  I took tech ed in high school and almost failed the soldering part.  I did fail the woodworking part because I accidentally sawed my project in half when it was 99% done.  Thankfully, the woodworking project didn’t count because the teacher put the projects in storage and forgot where he put them so he just gave us all As on those.

Anyway, I understand how to solder.  I can solder when I have to and stuff generally works when I’m done.  But I’m nowhere near good at it.  Today, I forgot that soldering irons get hot.  The first incident was when I was holding a wire with my fingers and ran the soldering iron along the wire, running a beautiful bead right onto my finger.  Thankfully, I had the presence of mind to first put the iron back into the holder before I got up to rinse the finger with cold water.

The second incident was when I moved the iron away from the work but kept it in my hand.  Without paying attention, I managed to somehow start a paper napkin on fire.  It didn’t take much effort to put it out but it did almost start the big pile of newspapers on which I was working on fire also.

So in the interests of personal safety, I would urge anyone to beat me senseless the next time I threaten to solder something.

BTW, the “project” was a heating pad controller that I’d previously repaired twice.  This time, I think it’s really dead because it doesn’t work now, even though I get continuity across the switch.  I think maybe I damaged a trace or two on the PCB.  (Yes, the iron I was using was designed for PCB’s – my uncle is a PCB testing engineer and I borrowed it from him.)

  1. #1 by Phillip on February 22, 2010 - 11:51 AM

    Ahh…the good ole days of soldering. There’s a reason that I don’t really do it anymore. Hot solder = not fun, hot solder iron = near instantaneous 3rd degree burn, and you can’t solder to plastic (long story short, I was trying to solder something to Lego wheels).

    Though, I’ve never started anything on fire with it. Props to you good sir!

    • #2 by Joshua on February 22, 2010 - 12:48 PM

      Well, this was low-temp solder. I don’t know what metals or acids it has. I do know that the iron was set to 800 degrees which was the recommended setting for this solder. I also know that the solder was intended for electronics. Mainly because that’s what its owner uses it for.

    • #3 by Joshua on February 22, 2010 - 12:49 PM

      And I only got a tiny blister out of it. No worse than burning my hand on a hot pan on the stove.

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