Rick Shory

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Soldering two wires together

The seemingly trivial job of soldering two wires together end-to-end can be one of the most maddening acts in electronic assembly. You need one hand to direct the soldering iron, one hand to feed the solder, and two or three more hands to hold the wire ends together and keep them from moving till the solder solidifies.

Here’s a trick to make it easy.  You can construct a simple “jig” from a scrap of corrugated cardboard. (Click pictures below for detail view.)

  1. Slit the cardboard along one of it’s corrugations.
  2. Cut a small window in the middle of the slit.
  3. Bend the cardboard to open the slit.
  4. Lay the wires in the slit so the ends that are to be joined are touching each other in the window.

Small piece of corrugated cardboard, slitted along one corrugation, wires in the slit, a small window cut where they meet.

With the cardboard flattened back out, the edges of the slit hold the wires in place. Your hands are free to do the soldering.

Wires are kept in place, touching each other, while you make the solder joint.

When done, bend the cardboard along the slit to release the now-joined wires.

Bend the cardboard to open the slit and release the wires.

You can adapt this idea for other awkward soldering jobs.