We aren’t shy of dangerous projects, but, then again, a large cooking pan full of lead solder might be a bit much, even for us. It goes without saying that you should be extremely careful and you won’t want to use any of the cookware again for any other purpose. You can see the build in the video below.
On the one hand, it isn’t hard to make a solder pot. All you need is a container that won’t melt and a heat source. But it seems like molten metal should be in something a little harder to tip over. The real story here is the technique for using the solder pot as the build is dead simple: a cheap hot plate and an iron skillet are all it takes.
Why do you want a solder pot? They are useful. As [Coalpeck] shows, you can use them to dip solder a through hole PCB easily enough. They are great, too, if you want to tin a lot of wires. They also can do a great job of removing parts from a board or a connector. Check out the old, but good video of a commercial unit removing a PCB connector after the main video.
We thought the temperature measurement technique of letting newspaper turn brown was interesting. Granted, a commercial solder pot big enough to be useful isn’t cheap. You can, though, get smaller pots (50-80 mm) for under $50. These will usually have a tray to catch spills and will be harder to tip over by accident. Not that you won’t want to be careful, though. If you do attempt this, we suggest you use a pan with no handle and set it in an outer pan to catch any overflow. But if you spill a few pounds of molten solder on your workbench, don’t say we didn’t warn you.
We’ve covered several homebrew solder pots over the years but, mysteriously, all the original websites are gone. We hope they are OK. We did look at a host of desoldering techniques that include the solder pot. Or ditch the pot of hot lead and try one of [Bil Herd]’s methods.