One of the joys of the internet is that it makes all sorts of things available to you from all sorts of sources, that you possibly never even knew existed before...
When returned on Friday from a business trip to Singapore, I found a package waiting for me...
Lots of pretty coloured stamps on the outside! It was the contents of it that I was really interested in.
First up was a set of electronic tweezers. These (apologies for the rather blurred shot) are unusual in that they have plastic tips on them so that they don't short out electronic components. I was curious what they would be like.
They don't have as fine a point as I expected. However the fact that the tips are made out of plastic will make them very useful when I file grooves in the ends of them to pick up what came out of package next...
These are an assortment of small - that is a one pound coin for size comparison - glass vials containing balls of solder. I went for a "trial pack" which contains different size balls of sizes 0.75mm, 0.45mm and even 0.3mm. And there are 10,000 of each size in each vial!
When I saw these, I was amazed at the possibilities for really precision, clean soldering either using a conventional iron or more likely an RSU. These offer a really precise way to get as much or as little solder in the joint as you wish. I have no idea what they are used for in the electronics industry, yet to me they offer lots of possibilities.
And finally to the real reason why I had been browsing on Ebay:
Small pipette bottles. For the last couple of years, Tim Watson has used these during his soldering tutorial at Missenden to hold flux. They allow it to be dispensed in a much more precise way than the traditional mucky paintbrush. Even Tim says that these are getting more scarce for him to find through his chosen trade of dentistry, so I thought that I'd have a look and see what the internet could throw up.
These cost not-a-lot each, and I got four of them. Each one comes with a variety of different sized nozzles so I'll see what gives the best control. And they should be a lot less messy when the inevitable happens and they get knocked over on the workbench!
What was perhaps even more impressive was that I ordered these last Sunday before I left, and they were waiting for me on Friday when I returned home. That's a turnaround time that many dommestic businesses can struggle to meet. It just reflects the impeccable service culture that I have found all over Asia.