Friday, August 2, 2013

How to Make an Economical Rotating Soldering Surface

As you may be aware, traditional soldering pans are wonderful but quite pricey ($50-60.00 for a large pan). I own one and can't imagine working without it but as an instructor at a facility with limited resources (not the MAC!), we have them in short supply. So I decided to make some that would do the job just as well. You'll need a small lazy Susan (hardware included) which you can purchase at a well equipped Ace for around $5-6.00. You'll also need a hard 12 inch Solderite board which costs about $24.00. You could get away with a 6 inch board if that's all you have. It will work just as well and costs less than $10.00 (prices taken from the Rio Grande website).

Lazy Susan and 12 inch Solderite board

Take a ruler and pencil and mark lines from corner to corner.

Solderite board with corner marks

Here's the trick to centering your Lazy Susan under the board: line the screw holes up along the pencil lines so that each line bisects the holes. When all the lines bisect the holes, the Lazy Susan will be centered. No other measuring required!

Lazy Susan centered along lines

Once you have the Lazy Susan positioned, insert the screws (they should be fairly short- you only have 1/2 inch thickness on the board) and secure the Lazy Susan to the underside of the Solderite board. You can pre-drill if you like but I just started squirming them in until they caught since the board material is fairly soft.

Lazy Susan secured!

Put a second board on top of the first one to keep it clean so you don't have to replace it as often. This is optional. Alternately, work on top of the board with a kiln brick.

Second board on top

Although a second board is on top of the Lazy Susan, you could opt just for the kiln brick.

That's it! My students have been using them for a semester now and they are very happy.


  1. That looks great, thanks for sharing!

  2. Good idea, another idea if you are looking for a pummus, pan find an old metal hubcap that has a slight raised center even a metal pie pan works great