Keeping soldering area clean

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by John Bostwick, Apr 12, 2017.

  1. John Bostwick

    Thread Starter New Member

    Apr 12, 2017
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    Been soldering for a while now, first time posting, as I have a question on trying to keep a work area clean.

    I do alot of through-hole pcb soldering at home and I'm constantly clipping the leads, which go flying every where. Is there a good fast way to keep the area clean as possible. I'm not even going to try to keep my 3d printing area clean, which I also get constant plastic strings all over the garage.

    Any good advice is welcome.
     
  2. djsfantasi

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 11, 2010
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    I keep on hand, a several small strips of foam/sponge (not cellulose) with about a 6mm square cross section.

    Then, before clipping any leads I pierce the foam with a lead. When cutting, the waste is trapped in the foam and easily cleaned up. No more flying leads.
     
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  3. KL7AJ

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 4, 2008
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    If you could invent a self-cleaning bench, you will be fabulously rich....or not.

    "Where no oxen are, the crib is clean, but much increase is by the strength of the ox." Proverbs 14:4. Evidently the old Bible dudes had the same problem. :)
     
  4. Robin Mitchell

    Well-Known Member

    Oct 25, 2009
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    ronv and MrSoftware like this.
  5. dl324

    Distinguished Member

    Mar 30, 2015
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    Welcome to AAC!
    When I clip leads, I put my finger over the end of the lead to prevent it from flying off. If it stays between my finger and the clipper, I put it in the waste receptacle on my bench. Any that fall on the bench are cleaned up when I'm finished clipping.

    Another method is to hold the board in/over a trash can when clipping.
     
  6. AlbertHall

    Distinguished Member

    Jun 4, 2014
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    You can collect a lot of the stray ones with a magnet. I am surprised how many of the component leads are made of something magnetic.
     
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  7. MrSoftware

    Active Member

    Oct 29, 2013
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    I usually put my finger over it, or I put them over the small trash can I keep on my bench so they shoot into the trash.
     
  8. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
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    Another vote for cut over the trash can..
    Or just use one of those things women call a broom or they also have this thing called a vacuum cleaner :)
     
  9. AlbertHall

    Distinguished Member

    Jun 4, 2014
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    When I was working in an electronic servicing workshop one of the technicians wanted to be sure that no bits of wire or solder on the bench could short the tracks on the switched mode supply he was working on and rested the board on his cigarette packet. Unfortunately the packet was metal foil covered. It did not end well for either the power supply or cigarette packet :eek:
     
  10. djsfantasi

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 11, 2010
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    Vacuum cleaner and component leads do not play well together. Ask me how I know...
     
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  11. OBW0549

    Well-Known Member

    Mar 2, 2015
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    I just restrain the leads while they're being clipped to prevent them from flying all over the place-- either by pressing them against the board with a fingertip, or by holding them between my fingers.
     
  12. KeepItSimpleStupid

    Well-Known Member

    Mar 4, 2014
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    I layed a $1000 thermometer that I was fixing (replacing the huge processor) on aluminum foil (anti-static right?) and powered it up sitting on the foil. It ended OK.

    Agree: The cutters pictured don't shoot the leads.

    Might depend on the vacuum cleaner. Shop-vacs with a debris element might fair better than a paper bag cleaner.
     
  13. A Homeschoolers Workbench

    Member

    Jul 26, 2016
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    How do you know.?
    What I do is put a magnet in a bag, then the magnet pick up the metal and when you remove the bag you have a clean magnet.:)
    A.H.W.
     
  14. djsfantasi

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 11, 2010
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    I had a shop vac, where a lead (or more penetrated the filter and ended up in the motor. Remember, they are small and sharp. Resulted in a dead vacuum, an angry wife who did not want to buy a new one and a subsequent modification to sleeping arrangements.
     
  15. Sensacell

    Senior Member

    Jun 19, 2012
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    Take a pair of standard diagonal cutters- clean well with alcohol.
    Fill the inside of the jaws with RTV silicone- allow it to cure thoroughly.
    Cut the silicone with a sharp razor blade, directly in line with the jaws.

    The silicone acts as a 'soft jaw' to hold the wire bits, preventing them from flying.
     
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  16. DickCappels

    Moderator

    Aug 21, 2008
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    I just aim the leads toward the middle of the room, which has a tile floor. Every now and then I sweep them up and toss them. This technique is not compatible with carpeted floors :)
     
  17. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
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    As Robin Mitchell points out in post #4, you can buy side cutters that have a safety clip.
    When you snip the leads, the loose end is held on to the clip which then drops (into a waste bucket) when you open the snips.
    No more projectile leads.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. KeepItSimpleStupid

    Well-Known Member

    Mar 4, 2014
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    That cutter design, even without the safety clip doesn't make the leads fly all over the place.
     
  19. Little Ghostman

    Member

    Jan 1, 2014
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    Big coffee can on its side for me, I cut the wire inside the tin and the bits fly around in the can then land on its floor :F. Nice,cheap,simple :D. I like CHEAP
     
  20. Little Ghostman

    Member

    Jan 1, 2014
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    Having said that............I dont know why as my bench is always messy, I am not sure I trust a clean work surface :D
     
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