Power drill solder spooler

[Scott] over at curiousinventor.com has posted an instructable detailing how to use an Arduino and a power drill to spool solder. The Arduino senses the speed that the drill is going via an opto interrupter and a laser and adjusts with a servo hooked to the trigger. While we don’t think many people will be dying to spool some solder, this system might be useful for all kinds of things, like winding yarn or making coils.


  1. AlanKilian says:

    That’s really nice.

    Well crafted and an excellent example of a
    working control system.

  2. Cmboyl02 says:

    Very cool!

  3. fermicirrus supperdish says:

    while the servo to turn the drill switch on is fun to watch, why not just use a relay?

  4. Alex says:

    fermicirrus supperdish:

    RTFA? He needs to be able to control the speed.

  5. bigbob says:

    The servo allows speed control rather than fully on or fully off.

    Is it just me or does this guy sound exactly like Jim from “The Office”?

  6. Ziegler says:

    @fermi… ‘simple’ speed control?

    All… why is he re-spooling solder? (He probably said why… I just missed it.)

  7. peter says:

    i would’ve used a bunch of stacked op amps… but that’s just me :) well made, good project :P

  8. zerth says:

    It seems to spool better/smoother at the higher speed. The slow spool looked a little uneven, not that it matters much for solder.

  9. keenox says:

    nice! and it actually works better at higher speed.

  10. bogdanfirst says:

    It’s nicely made, but why would you need to re-spool solder?
    You could use it to spool inductors for home made audio filters, but i find it rather imprecise…

  11. Wes says:

    Thats awesome

  12. Alexander says:

    @Ziegler: He is making some smaller spools from a much larger spool. My guess is he wants to have a bunch of 1/4lb spools from like a 10 or 20lb spool.

  13. M4CGYV3R says:

    Pardon my confusion, but doesn’t solder come on a spool?

    • Caleb Kraft says:

      @why re-spool it?
      You can see that the big spool is, in fact, big. That probably wouldn’t be very convenient to actually use. Smaller spools can be popped in a pocket/ toolbox and much easier to use. Doesn’t seem like that odd of an action to me. I don’t solder enough to need to buy in bulk though.

      also, curiousinventor.com has a store in which smaller quantities of solder are sold.

  14. Daniel says:

    Using an arduino for something like this is a bit overkill… I’m being nice now. I really would like to express myself a bit stronger… :)

  15. Ziegler says:

    Caleb… think you answered it with the last sentence.

  16. tyco says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if this was driven by a hackerspace of some kind doing a group buy of a large solder spool, and then breaking it up so it’s actually usable by the group.

  17. Mitch says:

    I’m willing to bet the guy has an electronic class or sorts, so it is cheaper for him to purchase the 10/20lb rolls, and make tiny ones for students, rather than purchasing the tiny rolls.

  18. Lucassiglo21 says:

    very nice device!, very useful

  19. Pete says:

    I buy solder that comes on spools. I buy them in all different gauges too. It works out pretty well. And when one is used up, I buy a new one.

  20. Per Jensen says:

    LASER ? Where’s the frickin’ LASER ? – Am i missing something, Hackaday ? Now you got me all happy, writing “Laser” and then it’s just a big scam :-)

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