Some tips from the desk,tip 1) the scroungy red mats are photo mat boards and are the very best thing I have found to work on for soldering, I have been using these same ones for two years with no risk of burning my desk top, tip 2) baby wipes are handy to clean your hands after touching the flux, it burns me, tip 3) spend the money on a heavy soldering iron stand, I bought this one at a garage sale for 50 cents, tip 4) the little desk vise has been my third hand and has saved me from some frustration and many burns, I also use alligator clips to hold things.
What a week for my computer first it got a virus and the day after it came home from the repair shop the back light on the screen went out and would cost nearly $300 to fix. I bought a cheep monitor for $80 and am back in business.
This last week I was really enjoying making these three gents. As you can see each one has his own personality, name and story.
I just love their knobby knees, this one looks as if he his about to hike up a mountain in the Alps.