We tweeted a link to these on our Make_Tips channel, but I thought they were worth reposting here. Strung here are most of the pearls of wisdom needed to be successful in ye ol’ art of soldering:

I. Thou shall not remove tip from soldering iron when power is “On.” Causes heating element to rise in temperature to approximately 1300 F resulting in thermal shock and reduced heater life.

II. Thou shall maintain a damp (NOT drenched) iron sponge (preferably with de-ionized water). A drenched sponge will bring the temperature of the tip down too drastically, causing thermal shock and reduced tip life.

III. Thou shall not disconnect soldering iron from base unit when power is turned “On.” Disconnecting or reconnecting the soldering tool from the base unit with power applied may cause a short between non-compatible pins resulting in damage to the base unit or pencil.

IV. Thou shall maintain a coating of solder on working area of soldering iron tip. Protects the tip from oxidation.

V. Thou shall never drop soldering iron while heated. Dropping the soldering tool while heated may cause thermal/mechanical shock to the heater, sensor, or tip (fractured plating).

Ten Commandments of soldering

Image by soldering superstar Randy Sarafan.

All of our soldering coverage on MAKE

Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.

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