I think my hands are too shaky for some of this soldering
Oct 29, 2008 at 5:20 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 13

aphexii

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As I build my mini3, the unsteadyness of my hands is really starting to bother me. Its not noticable very much in everyday usage, but when I'm trying to solder tiny parts, it really becomes a problem.

Any suggestions on how to solder with shaky hands? It was bothering me so much I accidentally soldered my LED on backwards when I wasn't paying attention
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Oct 29, 2008 at 6:02 AM Post #2 of 13

-=Germania=-

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Have you tried getting/making a tall wrist-rest? It will alleviate quite a bit of vibration from your arm and steady your wrist a bit.

Also, something that I like to do when I am working with really tiny parts in general is lying on my stomach while soldering (more like a upward dog yoga position). I got a laptop table at the local super market for $10 that I can move around a room specifically for doing this kind of work. (A separate small table from my workstation).

You might be able to do it on a floor with all of your soldering equipment on a slab of plywood or something.

As with anything like this YMMV!
 
Oct 29, 2008 at 6:07 AM Post #3 of 13

Uncle Erik

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Are you using any sort of vise or holder for the piece you're working on? I put everything in a Panavise if I can. If it doesn't fit, I prop the work up with books, tools, or anything handy so it will be at a convenient level. I usually rest my elbows on the work table, as well.

If you're still shaky, you might want to cut out caffeine, sugar and other stimulants.
 
Oct 29, 2008 at 7:02 AM Post #4 of 13

Heady

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I use a vise to hold the pcb. If the pcb doesn't fit in the vise, I use a "third hand" gadget to hold it. I also need to rest my wrists. Other aids to soldering include flux and a nice temperature controlled iron to quickly transfer heat.

At my age, I also need clip on magnifiers for close-up work and a strong working light.
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Oct 29, 2008 at 2:28 PM Post #5 of 13

kklee

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I second the Panavise. I have a slight tremor in my left hand that sometimes acts up and the Panavise does double duty as a PCB holder and something to rest my left hand on while soldering.
 
Oct 29, 2008 at 3:24 PM Post #7 of 13

linuxworks

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invest in a panavise. I have one that I bought many years ago and I'm sure its even more overpriced now (sigh) but its so useful to have. one hand is spring loaded and lets you insert and remove the board quickly.

the other thing that helps is a fluorescent magnifier. office stores have them (cheap versions) with the same basic swing arm and circle light.

my 'kitchen table' (LOL) approach:

2983635957_3a2d57c34b_o.jpg


I also like that when I'm soldering really small parts and I have to get close to see them, any splattering that is done is BEHIND that glass and my nose and face are at the other end of that glass
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same when cutting off resistor leads - nice having that glass between you and the flying leads.

the essentials are: soldering station, panavise and magnifier. none were really 'pro level' and were affordable for even the weekender like myself.
 
Oct 29, 2008 at 5:15 PM Post #9 of 13

ruZZ.il

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Duggeh /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Have a couple of gins. That'll ease those tremors
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hehe yeah and if you're lucky, you'll reverse reverse those LEDs before you put them in next time
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( just watch out for capacitor polarity! :p )


regarding the LED: heat up both the solder points with the solder tip at an angle, make sure they're both properly melted, and pull on the LED. If you want to clean the holes up before re-inserting, use some desoldering braid or a desoldering pump, but you could also manage without if you hold the LED in place and heat the points again.. it may be hard with the issue you've mentioned, but do-able if you understand what you need to do... if you clean it up first, it'll be pretty easy. If you dont melt the points properly, you could end up lifting the PCB traces..
 
Oct 30, 2008 at 4:13 AM Post #11 of 13

TzeYang

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are you sure you're not getting high from those fumes?


You can always tape the components down with masking tape before soldering them this avoids the parts from moving around too much.
 
Oct 30, 2008 at 9:14 AM Post #12 of 13

cerbie

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I typically get a good angle with the 3rd hand, and then prop up the bottom with old paperbacks, or whatever I have handy. That way, I can let the iron rest on the joint (relaxing my muscles a bit), once it makes contact. The Panavise stuff probably does it better
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.
 
Oct 30, 2008 at 1:04 PM Post #13 of 13

Heady

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I think the problem is usually with the surface mount components, like the SOIC opamps. For this, I usually will apply a little flux to the pads and legs of the opamp. Then I will have one hand holding a tweezer to hold down the opamp, while the other hand with the iron, picks up a little solder and touches just one of the legs.

Then stop, breathe a couple of breaths to calm the heart beat, then adjust the opamp if the alignment is slightly out. Then solder the rest of the legs the usual way.

Haven't tried the gin trick yet.
 

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