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Over in the MAKE Forums, Chad Oliver has a question about the safety of using a kitchen oven for both reflow soldering and cooking. Anyone know what to do? Let him know over in the forums!

I need to be able to do reflow soldering, but a toaster oven or skillet isn’t really suitable – I travel a lot, and space is tight.

The proposed solution: put a block of aluminium (roughly half an inch thick) on one of the elements on a kitchen stove, and protect all the other elements from lead splashes etc using tinfoil. Attach a thermocouple to the aluminium block to measure temperature, and use an arduino to implement a PID algorithm and signal when to turn the stove on or off. I’d stand by the stove, watch the arduino, and control the stove as directed.

The Question: is this idea safe, specifically in regards to lead poisoning?

Please note that I’m not placing the pcb directly onto the stove, and the stovetop should be fully covered by tinfoil. But I don’t know anything about the effects of fumes or other things that could go wrong.

Photo by Flickr user rileyporter.


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