Feb 22 2017

From father to son

Today, I have taught Harry how to solder.

They are studying electronics at school and each pupil has been given a small circuit board and some components to solder on to it.

Unfortunately though, they have a limited number of soldering irons and by the time Harry’s turn came round, they had run out of time. Harry told his teacher that I do that sort of stuff and asked if he could take the board home to do it, and his teacher agreed.

And so, this afternoon, after school, he sat down at my bench and I showed him how to solder. Some people never get the hang of it and I have seen some atrocious soldering jobs over the years. But, I have to admit, Harry made a pretty good job, for his first attempt. Probably, I’d wager, better than my own first go at it when I was roughly his age.

My dad showed me how to solder. However, the kind of soldering dad did, was with big heavy wires onto big heavy switches and the like. As such, he had a big heavy iron. We could have used it as a cricket bat, I reckon.

But, working with electronics requires more intricate tools and a steady hand… and timing – leave that iron on too long and delicate components can get damaged.

Soldering is a skill and – after doing it for forty years – I like to think I’m quite good at it.

The little circuit we built today was very basic, but I really enjoyed building it with him.

As homework goes, it was probably one of the better ones for me to help him with.


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  1. Juliette

    Imparting your skilz, eh Masher….Very good stuff ironman.

    1. Masher

      Well, I try.
      But he ain’t as good as me.

  2. Brennig

    I did some soldering in my early teens, when I was in to building radios and stuff. Never touched it since though.

    1. Masher

      Ahh, you should try it again, Bren.
      Soldering technology has come on leaps and bounds over the past twenty years. **

      ** It hasn’t. Not at all.

  3. Toffeeapple

    It is heartening to know that practical skills are being learned.

    1. Masher

      Yes, but are they skills that will be of use to him in the future, I wonder.

      1. Toffeeapple

        Well, someone has to stick all those metally things together!

        1. Masher

          Slow down TA, you’re getting too teknikal!

  4. Dave

    I have never done soldering. It involves hot things and molten metal. Two of at least a hundred things I should be kept away from.

    Glad Harry is following in his old man’s footsteps. I’m sure you will have hundreds of happy hours ahead finding all your personal possessions have been soldered together for a jape os some such.

    1. Masher

      Picking up the wrong end of a soldering iron is something you’ll only ever do once, Dave.

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