The Workbench

Just what IS a man’s lifetime flux capacitance?

26

I, too, have a little can of solder flux I've had since...I have no idea, but the price tag is $0.45. It's Nokorode, not Burnley, but it serves the same purpose, and receives the same reverence as Proteus' can. A couple of years ago I was working in (Arlington) Virginia for a few months, and after work I'd drive around looking for guitar stores to peruse. As I was on my way to one GC or another, I spotted an extant Radio Shack store with a big "Going Out of Business" sign on the front. This had to be one of the last ones left, and was not quite ready to disappear. So I stopped in after the expectedly unremarkable GC visit, and everything was at least 50% off. I bought many spools of solder, hookup wire, perf board, and enough heat-shrink tubing to last a lifetime. So I'm good on solder for as long as I'll be around, at least.

In this time of involuntary idleness, which I'm trying (successfully so far) to turn into retirement, I've been cleaning out "stuff" so my daughters don't have to deal with it when I'm gone (I promised). When it came to clearing out the garage, the music room, and the van, I discovered I have even more tools than I thought, screwdrivers in particular. On top of that, when the office I worked in closed, they gifted me (among other things) the company tool bag, with lots of...screwdrivers in it.

Screwdrivers

More Screwdrivers

Yet More Screwdrivers

But on the subject of old tools, for my 5th birthday, my mom and dad (mostly likely just my dad, I don't think my mom would have gone along with the idea of giving a kid like me a set of functioning hand tools) gave me a Handy Andy Toolkit. The little metal toolbox contained several screwdrivers, a hammer, some pliers, and a Crescent wrench, all a kid would need to render most any household appliance or device inoperable. One of my earliest memories is that of proudly carrying my toolbox around the neighborhood looking for something to fix. Only one of the screwdrivers and the hammer remain, and are still in service as needed.

Handy Andy

27

I've been through a few spools in the last few years. But then I am always soldering something. Love your stories Giffen! It reminds me of when my son was all of 2 or 3 and I was fixing a deck outside our back door. It was my first so I had used nails, and of course the nails will raise their ugly heads from time to time as the timber expands and contracts. So I was hammering the raised heads back down. My son, on seeing this, raced to get his plastic Bob the Builder hammer he had got with a Bob the Builder magazine. As he tried to bang the nails down his little plastic hammer had no effect, so he stopped, looked confusedly at the nails and said loudly "Not working!"

So that has become a catchcry in our house. Even though he is now 22.

28

I got one of those Handy Andy toolkits as a kid. Still have a screwdriver after 60+ years. Made a oatmeal box and cat's whisker crystal radio in Boy Scouts. Dad fixed TVs and radios in the '50s as a part time gig. So, next was one of the coolest build it kits--- a 60 in one electronics kit when I was 10. Lots of bits and pieces---resistors, condensors (capacitors now), a steel chassis, tubes and sockets, tie strips, a solder iron and solder. You could make a 5 tube super heterodyne radio, an AM transmitter, and other things. Been soldering ever since.

And, I too have a screwdriver collection.

29

Me thinks I prefer “flux capacitance” over “shelf life”.

– Powdog

Well, if one were to be soldering regularly, and inhaling more than one should of Tin, Lead, and Rosin...I'd prefer a "fresh" can versus black, burned, oxidized goop!

Been a long time since I've used Flux...my first job out of College was automating a Circuit Board Assembly area.

I think I have breathed in enough Flux for a lifetime, we used it by the bucket full.

Wave soldering 1000's of pieces daily has its hazards.

I'm an intermittent 60/40 Rosin Core guy these days...

31

1.21 gigafarads is the correct answer!

32

Proteus, you will be happy to know if it turns out you have underestimated either your soldering proclivities or your distance in this time portal - you can still obtain another lifetime supply of Burnley Flux through reputable purveyors at eBay. It appears it is now produced in Ontario, Canada by G.F. Thompson Ltd. which was recently acquired by the Oatey Co. based in Cleveland, Ohio. Seems the product is in good hands for the foreseeable future. So flux away my good man!

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Bu...

33

But on the subject of old tools, for my 5th birthday, my mom and dad (mostly likely just my dad, I don't think my mom would have gone along with the idea of giving a kid like me a set of functioning hand tools) gave me a Handy Andy Toolkit. The little metal toolbox contained several screwdrivers, a hammer, some pliers, and a Crescent wrench, all a kid would need to render most any household appliance or device inoperable giffenf

I got a functional kids toolkit for my 5th birthday as well. Mine actually had a real kids sized saw, with which I immediately attempted to saw the leg off coffee table. I also, very proudly, etched my initials into the top of the same coffee table. Needless to say, mom had some harsh feelings (and words) about dad's idea of an appropriate birthday gift for a 5 year old. As for me, I had to endure listening to the story of the damaged coffee table, told endlessly, at every family gathering for eternity!


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