DIY Solder Gun

One of my hobbies is stained glass. I heard somebody had said, when told about my hobby, that it’s not very masculine. He changed his mind when he was told that I had made a picture of a motorcycle with stained glass (actually that picture – it’s a window, in fact – is still unfinished).

I’ve noticed that in some cases you would need a third hand when soldering. Generally those situations are when you’re working on 3D objects and edges of plane objects. It would be nice to just hold the pieces of 3D objects in your hand and solder with the other one without having to make a styrofoam support or taping the pieces together first. And it would be great to just hold the picture you’ve made in your hand and solder the edges without building support to make the picture stay vertical and edge horizontal (solder is an easily flowing fluid and drips as little hot drops otherwise). But no, you’ve got a bar of solder in the other hand and a soldering iron in the other.

These problems in mind I made a soldering gun for stained glass. There are references of this kind of guns having been for sale but they’re out of market (I guess they couldn’t sell them enough?). There are guns for electronics but I suspect their solder wire is too thin for stained glass.

And here it is – after some planning, making it and making some refinements:

Soldering gun

There’s the iron on the top and the solder wire goes through the thing to the tip of the iron. Frontmost clamp – attached to the trigger – moves the wire forward when trigger is pressed and the rearmost clamp stops the wire from moving backwards. On the side of the gun there’s a syringe which has a piece of cloth at it’s tip. It’s used to apply soldering fluid. You fill the syringe and use the cloth at the tip to spread it on copper foil (stained glass edges are coated with a special copper foil before applying solder).

spreading soldering fluid Spreading soldering fluid.

Soldering Soldering.

By the way, I used a similar small flower, than the one I’m holding in my hand above, to make a birthday gift for my sister (it was the 40th). I put some white led lights inside and made the basis and leafs of rusty old iron sheet metal and the stem of an old greenish copper pipe. It’s a poor picture, sorry:

stained glass flower


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