Product: Tool: Soldering
Thermochromatic soldering iron   (+10, -1)  [vote for, against]
Is this thing on?

Currently, a soldering iron looks the same when hot or cold. This is potentially dangerous. This could be solved with a soldering iron which glows red when hot.
-- david_scothern, Feb 22 2005

even better with an ordinary iron!
-- po, Feb 22 2005

True... but it was a soldering iron I left unattended.
-- david_scothern, Feb 22 2005

you never leave an ordinary iron smouldering on your trousers?
-- po, Feb 22 2005

Occasionally, but it hurts after a second or so and I pick it up again.
-- david_scothern, Feb 22 2005

[po] - Being a man I have never had an accident (or any other encounter) with an ordinary iron. I have however had many accidents with a soldering. Still, this gets a bun either way.
-- wagster, Feb 22 2005

Christ, how hard can it be to iron a shirt?
-- Detly, Feb 22 2005

//how hard can it be to iron a shirt// [detly] Bloody hard with a 15W soldering iron.
-- AbsintheWithoutLeave, Feb 22 2005

I find it less a question of how hard it is (I have actually ironed a shirt many years ago), than a question of why everyone is so concerned about having flat clothes. Don't get me wrong - I'm not a scuzzball, my house is clean and tidy and there's never washing up left in the sink, but this obsession with perfectly flat clothes and sheets and things just baffles me.
-- wagster, Feb 22 2005

The obsession with flatness doesn't extend to girlfriends, I've noticed.
-- bristolz, Feb 22 2005

Golden rule: never pick up a soldering iron by the pointy end.
<edit> Never pick up your girlfriend with your pointy end.
-- Ling, Feb 22 2005

I think it's a very good idea, but wonder how long the thermochromic paint would last? (I've only seen cheap things like colour-changing coffee mugs, but they stop colour-changing after a few cycles). How about a flashing LED powered from a capacitor which is kept charged while the iron (or deep-fat- fryer etc) is on, and then holds charge long enough to keep the LED flashing until the thing's cooled down? (I'm assuming you want the warning to persist even if the equipment is unplugged?)
-- Basepair, Feb 22 2005

Add a small thermistor to detect temperature and turn off the LED. But that's for the posh version.
-- Ling, Feb 22 2005

a sleeve which retracts only when you're gripping the soldering iron handle, then springs back down past the hot nib when you let go.
-- friendlyfire, Feb 22 2005

The thermistor would make most sense, but would add complexity and cost. A simple time-delayed flashing LED could be built into any device at any point (for example, into the cord-grip). But in any case I like the idea of a "this thing was used recently and is probably still hot" sensor :-)
-- Basepair, Feb 22 2005

Hmmm not thermoelectric but you are milking this one for all it is worth!

//how long the thermochromic paint would last// Titanium is thermochromatic and I figure titanium will last ages...
-- madness, Feb 22 2005

random, halfbakery