I'm realizing the new skills I set for myself to learn in December all have one thing in common-- something to do with melting metal of some sort. MIG and TIG welding, plus soldering. I recently posted about the differences between MIG and TIG, today was my first attempt at through hole circuit board soldering.
I got the minty boost charger kit from Adafruit. It's supposed to charge an iPhone almost completely. Plus it's got a good bit of cool factor. I got set-up with all of the requisite parts and was off to the races. Following the detailed instructions provided on-line, I was quickly making decent Hershey Kiss solders on the back of the board.
Then it happened. A loose piece of molten solder rolled and settled into a connection hole needed for another component. It was perfectly soldered in. This began the a several hour process of trying to unsuccessfully remove the solder. I never got it out. Eventually I simply had to set it aside and focus on something else.
I guess the main thing I've been learning the past few weeks is patience. Don't know how the shop works, come back later. Can't get the solder out of the hole? Do some more cleaning research and try again. Can't get the exact miter angles on the hyper-paraboloid frame? Keep trimming and try and understand the geometry better.
That's the thing about making stuff. You can't yell at it to get its act together, motivational charm works-out about as well. Skilled craftsmanship comes with practice, no matter how much I want to skip over this part and get to more interesting projects, you can't fake the basics. Slice me another piece of humble apprentice pie, and I'll get back at it.