Have you encountered this situation while in the middle of a build? Solder in one hand. Iron in the other hand. Wearing a magnifier headset and focused on the next solder connection. You give the solder a tug and no slack is available! You dock the iron and lift your headset to find the inertia of the heavy spool caused the solder to jump the rim and wrap around the axle (Figure A).
Fishing reels solve the backlash problem using a braking system with a tensioning screw and friction discs.
Using the same solution on a prebuilt solder spool is not practical or cost effective. Instead, a simple method to apply a little friction is all that is needed. This build uses a foam brush for the friction and a rubber band for the tension (Figure B).
- $2 - $5
- Add $15 for Solder Spool Stand
- Most DIY stores have a hobby wood section with small wood sizes usually including pine, poplar, and oak. Any of these will work. Cut six inches from a 1 ½” wide by ¼” thick strip of wood.
- Drill holes in the wood base according to Figure C.
- Use a coping saw to cut from the side of the wood to the four side holes (red dashes in Figure D).
- Use a coping saw to round the corners of the wood base (red dashes in Figure D).
- The final wood base will look like Figure E and F.
- Drill a 1/8” hole in the brush handle perpendicular to the flat side of the brush, 5/16” from the end of the brush (Figure G).
- Connect the brush to the wood base using the cable tie. Trim the end with diagonal cutting pliers (Figure H).
- Mount the wood base to the empty solder spool stand using the M6 screw and washer. The washer provides more friction for the wood base to hold and prevents the screw from protruding beyond the solder spool stand base (Figure I).
- Add the solder spool to the stand (Figure B).
- Lay the brush against the top of the spool. A 2” foam brush fits perfectly in the solder spool (Figure B).
- Wrap the rubber band from one wood tab, over the brush, and onto the opposite wood tab. Not much tension is needed. If the band is too loose, add loops around the wood tab (Figure B).