children & soldering

Greetings,
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
gone through this, please give me pointers. I've a simple project setup with only about 20 parts, maybe 50 connections.
Thanks
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Kyle A. York
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10 is a good age. I learned to solder at 10, and now that I also have a 10-year-old son (and teach a roomful of kids about the same age,) I would say that it's a skill they can safely acquire.

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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.
mgg
ps the best burn treatment is butesin picarate.....
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#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.
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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:
http://www.robotstore.com/download/How_to_solder_1.pdf
This one has MPEGs! http://radiojove.gsfc.nasa.gov/elab/soldering.htm
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.
Best regards, Spehro Pefhany
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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.
--
- Alan Kilian <kilian(at)bobodyne.com>

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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.
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Greetings,
Spehro Pefhany wrote:

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.
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Kyle A. York
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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.
Markus

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Well done! (For teaching her the art of soldering)
Don't, however, try to teach her how to spell!

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Well, I still do, but I do it in German - my native language :-) You are right, my english is not yet perfect - and I was in a hurry also.
Markus
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Sorry - no offence intended to our continental cousins!

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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 models.
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...
Later, -ingo
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I started at 4
Mike

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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 before eating.
- dan michaels www.oricomtech.com =======================
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: 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
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[snip]

[snip]
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.
Jeff.
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Jeff Shirley
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