If you think [Dubious Engineering]’s moniker is just a name, have a look at the pretty terrible soldering iron hacked out of a lighter in the video below. No one is suggesting this is a good idea but in an emergency, maybe it would come in handy. We liked the use of a chopstick and the formation of a heat exchanger with the copper wire coil. It was a mild disappointment that you had to drill out the chopstick, but we think you could have figured out a different method with a little thought.
The use of duct tape, of course, lends it instant hacker credibility. We suppose this might be useful not just after the robot uprising, but if you had to make a few quick solder joints far away from power and you don’t have a battery-operated iron.
The helping hands didn’t seem very helpful for this. We have a bad habit of just holding the wires with a solder spool against the bench. We’ve also used this 3D printed jig, but you do have to be careful not to drop hot solder on the plastic or put some foil in the gap to catch drips.
If you really wanted to use this in an emergency, a candle might be more useful than a lighter. Of course, battery irons aren’t as uncommon as they once were, so maybe just get one of those. There is also a crop of irons that you can power from USB to varying degrees of success.