You need a water bottle to keep your soldering station sponge wet. I made a great soldering station water bottle from, you guessed it, a plastic water bottle. This is no big revelation but it is easy to do and works well. Just drill a small hole in the cap from your next bottled water. Go ahead and drink the precious water first, bottled water is expensive so don’t waste that precious fluid on your soldering sponge. Refill the bottle with tap water and you are good to go.
I originally tried using a water bottle with one of those pop up tops. The water hole is too large. Just holding the bottle while trying to point the spout toward the sponge resulted in way too much water. It’s hard to control and makes mess on the work bench.
The solution was to drill a very small hole in a plain water bottle top. The hole is small enough that you need to squeeze the bottle a bit to get the water to come out. It does not spill and has a small easy to control stream.
Here is the water bottle with the cap off.
Drill a small hole in the cap, it dose not need to be centered but it does need to be small. I used a small drill bit in a pen vise. You could probably do just as well with a small nail and a hammer. Just poke a small hole. If your not sure how small you want the hole, start with one that is much smaller then you expect would work and keep increasing the size until your happy with the result. In a pinch, you can use an Exacto knife tip to ream the hole up in size but be careful. You can see the small hole in my bottle cap here.
Here is an action shot. The bottle works well and it is good to recycle!
Have you recycled something into a useful electronics bench tool? If so, let us know with a comment or better yet, write a short article about putting it together and submit it to receive a giveaway item.
I addition to the water bottle I recycled a tower PC case cover to protect my work bench. You can see the typical beige PC metal surface in most of my pictures. The bench top is actually a piece of modular office furniture with an attractive cherry wood film lamination. The lamination is fragile to say the least. The metal PC cover backed with cardboard has worked fantastically to protect my desktop.