How to Make a Soldering Iron Hotter

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You may have projects that require a hotter soldering iron than the one you currently have. The more powerful soldering irons are expensive and may cause a dent in your budget. 

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How to Use a Soldering Iron

If you are using an electrical solder, you can increase the wattage. You will need a good understanding of the different parts of a soldering iron. You should be able to complete the solder upgrade in a very short time.

So let’s dive into it. 

Determining the Right Soldering Temperature

Determining the right soldering temperature is as simple as getting the tip hot enough to melt the solder. Ideally, the solder will melt within the range of 180 to 190 degrees Celsius. You must, therefore, ensure the soldering iron you’re using can get hotter than that.

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Making Your Soldering Iron Hotter By Increasing Wattage

You will be using an electric soldering iron for this project. Overtime, we will double the temperature on a 25-watt soldering iron. Our aim is to get at least 50 watts out of it, thereby making it hotter.

You use AV electricity for your soldering iron. It is important to understand how AC electricity works. If you draw a straight line, you will have similar waves running on either side. These are the positive and negative half-cycles. 

Your soldering iron will also have a diode. The diode only allows for a one-directional movement of electricity. For purposes of understanding, think about the flow of electricity as moving from left to right only. It does not go in a cyclical motion, so you will not expect a right-to-left movement as well.

Hence, it is important to understand how AC electricity works whenever the appliance you are using has a diode. With the diode, you will lose either the negative half cycle or the positive half cycle. The half you lose will depend on the orientation of the setup.

By losing one of the half cycles, you only get access to half the power of the soldering iron. To double the wattage, we need to ensure that the two half-cycles are in play.

So how do we do this? 

  • You will need to open the soldering iron to access the connections. Some have screws, while for the cheaper options; you can just pull it apart. 
  • You now need to identify which wire has the diode on it.
  • You will need to remove the insulation covering the wires.
  • Different appliances have different placement of the diodes, so take the time to find the right wire. 
  • To get the positive and negative half-cycles, you will need to remove the diode.
  • Your other option is to bridge the wires if you do not want to remove the diode.
  • Once you finish, return the insulation and cover, and your project will be complete.

Your soldering iron will now give you double the wattage you were receiving before, making it hotter.

Option 2: Turn Your Soldering Iron Element into a Hot Air Gun

Your other option is to make a hot air gun. A hot air gun is excellent for melting solder and you can use it for different jobs. Such include re-attaching electronic components, embossing or removing specific components from the projects you are working on. 

Materials you will need

  • Soldering iron element
  • Soldering iron
  • Soldering paste
  • Drill and electric screwdriver
  • CPU fan
  • Hot glue gun
  • Battery connector
  • Rechargeable 9-volt battery 
  • Aluminum sheet
  • Copper wire
  • Plastic bottle
  • Wire connectors
  • Paper tape
  • On and off switch

Steps

  • Create a tube using aluminum foil and the glue stick. 
  • Using a rolling motion, wrap your glue stick in aluminum foil. 
  • Make sure you are generous with aluminum foil so that you complete at least ten cycles. 
  • Remove the glue stick so that you have the aluminum foil tube on its own 
  • Tape both ends down using paper tape.
  • Coil the copper wire around the aluminum foil, leaving sufficient space between each coil. The coils should not touch; otherwise, it could lead to a short circuit. 
  • Snip off any excess wire
  • Use paper tape to hold the end of the wires in place.
  • Wrap yarn around the paper tape
  • Use double-sided tape to cover the yarn
  • Cut off the top end of your plastic bottle
  • Feed-in the aluminum tube you have just created through the mouth
  • Use paper tape to cover the mouth and base of the tube where you have fed it into the bottle
  • Take your soldering iron element and wire connector, attach them into the appropriate ports, and screw them into position. 
  • Now feed the element into the tube, ensuring the connector remains in the plastic part of the bottom. 
  • Use your screwdriver to secure the connector to the plastic part of the bottle. 
  • Create a hole in the plastic bottle, next to the connector through which you will feed the plastic supply cable
  • Connect the AC Supply cable to the connector and screw it into place. 
  • It is not time to connect the CPU fan.
  • Use hot-glue to attach the CPU fan to the other end of the plastic bottle. Remember to remove the wires when you are gluing it into position.
  • Attach a piece of wood to one side of the CPU fan
  • Attach a 9-volt battery to the battery connector
  • Attach the battery to the CPU fan with hot glue. On top of it; put a wire connector using hot glue.
  • Using hot glue, attach the on and off switch to the piece of wood.
  • Assemble all the wires to the connector

The unit is now complete. Plug it into the power source, and you can do the relevant tests. 

Final Thoughts

We have shared with you how to make your soldering iron hotter in a few simple steps. You will get to save money that you may have needed to spend if you opted for an upgrade. If you do not want to interfere with your soldering iron, you can also think about making a hot air gun. The steps we have shared are easy to follow using inexpensive material. 

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