Getting to the Nitty-Gritty

Christmas is over and I’m still trying to conquer some projects. My husband was at work on Christmas day and so I spent a few hours that day soldering with Christmas movies in the background. I had a few observations.

First, every single time I solder at this point I get a little better at it. I thought it would be so easy and clear-cut but there’s so much artistry involved in a good solder. I know that this steep learning curve will flatten out eventually and I’ll reach a comfortable place, but for now I’m enjoying seeing myself get better at this.

Second, I learned the valuable “check twice, solder once” rule. I put the wrong resistor in a spot and I tried to wick away the solder and it was a disaster. Thankfully this was a totally pointless project where half the board was dedicated to pure solder practice. I think I’ll just keep soldering things on for the practice even though I pretty much mucked up the whole thing.

Finally, I really need some better tools and supplies and I have no idea where to get them. I poked around on Mouser and Digi-Key but as a beginner I’m totally overwhelmed. I had a few people recommend a local place called Tanner Electronics but I feel like I might get in there and look like an idiot.

Speaking of acquiring tools and supplies, I’m starting to think about a workbench. When browsing online, it seems that all you guys (because I can’t find a picture of a woman’s workbench!) have basements that you work in. Well I live in Texas, we don’t have basements, the ground is too weird and they’d just flood all the time. So where do I work?? Our summers (7 months of the year at least) are too miserable to be confined to our garage. Graciously, my husband has given me the green light to do whatever I want with our 3rd bedroom/office. So I need something that will look at least a little bit nice indoors. I’m actually contemplating using Elfa shelving and then some sort of butcher block like this with some desk legs like these. Then I might use some antique apothecary jars that were passed down to my grandmother and then to me to hold some cute things like tweezers/pliers, heat shrink tubing, or whatever. I’m determined to have a very functional workbench that has a little bit of style too.

I’d love any new workbench suggestions. Feel free to comment below!

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