with any mechanical skill at all, he should be able to learn. The
relevant question is, do you have the patience.... 8^}
Teach him how the heat flows - to put the iron on the spot and the
solder at the point of contact and let it flow.
The biggest gotcha when I learned and when I taught my little brother
was the tendency to think of the soldering pencil (iron) as a pencil and
grab the hot shaft. Its not that its so difficult to learn that it's
hot, its that they are thinking so hard about the process of soldering.
ps the best burn treatment is butesin picarate.....
#1 thing to learn.
Never grab a falling soldering iron! :)
My first soldering experience was holding parts for dad to solder.
I don't remember how old I was, but the tabletop was over my head.
Probably 6 or so.
On Fri, 19 Nov 2004 15:41:11 -0800, the renowned kyle york
Shouldn't be a problem, especially if he's done other stuff that
requires good motor skills.
Google for how-tos-- for example:
This one has MPEGs!
From a safety pov, a small fan to blow away the flux fumes (especially
if he suffers from asthma) and get him to wash his hands after
handling the solder, and no food where the soldering takes place.
"it's the network..." "The Journey is the reward"
firstname.lastname@example.org Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
Timely question. I was just soldering with my 8 year old son today.
He's just a tiny bit too young for it.
He holds the iron and I hond his hand and the solder and we do just fine.
I think with a bit more practice he'd be fine.
Do them a favour, get some nice silver-teflon wire, and clean things to
solder to, and 63/37 solder, with a good iron.
I learned on old oxidized copper, with 60/40, and a terrible iron. :-P
First learn technique, without additional problems.
Then learn to handle the problems.
Big thanks everyone. Over the weekend my son watched me build a toy for
my daughter (since I've not done a lot of soldering myself, I thought it
best to practice) & was showing a lot of interest. Next weekend we'll
work on a similar one for him. It only has 30 joints or so. It has
motors & blinkenlights so he'll get to play with it immediately.
No allergies, but I generally work in front of an open window. He
understands how hot the iron gets & about washing hands *before* & after.
My doughter started soldering at 7. She's however genreally quite
patient. I had here get practice with old home made PCB's that were
faulty and not yet equiped. I first had here solder wires into it. She
mostly did it for the fun of soldering and thereby made good progress.
I learned to solder when I was 10 or so. I ended up teaching myself.
My dad had a work bench in the basement and I used to sneak down there
and play with the oscilloscope, audio generator and soldering iron.
My soldering started with solderng non-electronic parts. I was
facsinated with using a solder iron to melt solder/lead and then
trying to poor it in little molds... then progressed in soldering
metal pieces together for models and finally re-soldering wires on
broken connectors and mending wires for battery and RC radios on my
I assume you mean soldering eletronic kits, which is probably a better
way to start. Rather than starting with a kit, you might just want to
practice technique with some random components, wires, before trying
a kit. You could get an old PCB and practice soldering on it. When
I taught my wife to solder, I just grabbed a pad per hole PCB and some
random resistors to practice on. Of course, a kid might like to build
something that actually works (LED flasher, etc...)
I think it should be possible to teach a little earlier than 10 with
supervision. You also have to remember that each kid is different. My
oldest kids (11/14) never showed an interest, yet. I still have two
younger ones 5/8 to hope for...
As Spehro mentioned, the fumes are not good for people with
respiratory problems [I think the organic fluxes are even worse than
rosin], and the lead is esp hazardous to young kids. Apparently the
mature brains of us adults aren't as susceptible! Wash the hands
- dan michaels
: Hopefully not off topic, but at what age do you suppose one could teach
: a child to solder? I'm thinking of teaching my son who's 10. If anyone's
I taught myself to solder at some point between the ages of 6 and 8, when
the tweezers came loose from my sister's Operation game. I'ld watched my
father solder, so I went down stairs, got the iron and the solder, came up
and fixed it.
I still remember my mom comming into the room, yelling to turn that thing
off before I hurt myself. No problem -- I was done. :-)
Chris Candreva -- email@example.com -- (914) 967-7816
One lesson I learned in my early teens was to make sure I turned the iron off
when I was finished.
My family was leaving for a dinner engagement, and my mother noticed that I
had left my bedroom window open. She sent my sister in to close it. I had
been soldering, and neglected to unplug the iron. My sister had no idea, and
knocked the iron onto the floor while closing the window.
We came home to a charred carpet and a house full of smoke.
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