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In the Make: Online Toolbox, we try to focus on tools that fly under the radar of more conventional tool coverage: in-depth tool-making projects, strange or specialty tools unique to a trade or craft that can be useful elsewhere, tools and techniques you may not know about, but once you do, and incorporate them into your workflow, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without them. And, in the spirit of the times, we pay close attention to tools that you can get on the cheap, make yourself, refurbish, etc.


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We’ve covered the basics of getting started in soldering, basic soldering tools, and other aspects of beginning soldering a lot here on Make: Online. We’ve also covered some of the ways that makers improve their soldering experience by making their own helping hands, fume extractors, iron-controllers, and other tools and benchtop hacks. Here are some of our faves from over the years.

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Funky-fresh homemade soldering stand

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How-To: Variable temperature soldering iron controller

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Hacker’s soldering station

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Mint tin fume extractor

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DIY Solder fume extractor


Here’s the “solder cup” set-up I use for capturing all of the desolder I suck up with my desoldering tool.

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Extra Hands For Soldering

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Round up of some other Third Hand tools.

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USB powered soldering iron helps you do projects on the road

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“Insanely hot” DIY hot air soldering iron

More:Soldering Tutorial – Make Video Podcast

Maker to Maker – Soldering on Make: television

In the Maker Shed:
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Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture, including the first book about the web (Mosaic Quick Tour) and the Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Building Robots. He is currently working on a best-of collection of his writing, called Borg Like Me.


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