Favorite Tools

For someone who works with their hands tools are important. We all have our favorite tools, that one we always use as we have for so many years. There may be a dozen screwdrivers in the rack, but that one is used almost every time.

A veteran Weller WES50 soldering station
A veteran Weller WES50 soldering station

Thus is with great sadness that I announce the death of my longtime soldering station.

A good soldering iron is a basic tool for an electronics engineer. A multimeter, a soldering iron, and a set of basic hand tools are absolutely necessary for any electronics workbench. To this end I had bought a very good iron, one that has served me well for several decades.

I wonder just how many soldered connections I made with this old soldering iron… Thousands upon thousands certianly, so many circuit boards, connectors, and wires.

There are no available spare parts for this long obsolete soldering station. There are many conversations on bulletin boards and chat rooms lamenting this as others have had their beloved soldering irons fail. The WES50 was long ago replaced by the WES51, and the parts are not interchangable.

With sadness I remove the old soldering station from the bench. I replace it with a new Weller WE1010NA station. I wonder just what work awaits the new soldering iron, how many solder joints will it see in the coming decades. I hope that this new iron will outlast me.

A Tool Rack

Building some small telescopes there are tools scattered across the workbench. Hex drivers are the most common tools on the bench to deal with the cap head socket screws I use for everything in my designs.

A rack for Bondhaus hex drivers
A rack for Bondhaus hex drivers

The hex drivers are supplied with a vinyl pouch. While a pouch may be a good solution for storing the tools, it is not a good solution for using the tools. I have to take out all of the drivers to find the one I want, invariably a small size buried under the bigger tools. The result is a scatter of tools across the bench and constantly trying to remember where I set down the one I need.

Sure, you can buy a nice little stand or rack, but they seem to be either cheaply made or expensive.

With a 3D printer available you see where this is going.

If you like what you see you can download the design at my place on Cults3D.

The design works very nicely, organizing the drivers where I can find them quickly and conveniently. Now to make a couple more racks for the small Wiha drivers I use for fine work and another for a set of larger screw drivers.

Tools Gallery