Contact Us

Use the form on the right to contact us.

You can edit the text in this area, and change where the contact form on the right submits to, by entering edit mode using the modes on the bottom right. 

Unit 10A, Block 1, Dockyard Industrial Estate, Woolwich Church Streeet
London SE18 5PQ
United Kingdom


We create circuits that are both beautiful and functional


Reflow with a hair straightener

Saar Drimer

I love using things for what they were not intended for. Often it doesn’t quite work out, but I had a good feeling about this next one. I woke up on the wrong side of the bed one morning and saw my girlfriend's hair straightener staring at me. My one track mind -- circuits! -- immediately realised the potential in this commoditised el-cheapo piece of kit, even for someone, like myself, without much hair to burn!

I spent a few hours researching hair straighteners. What I needed was:

* Floating plates are springy in order to have even pressure on the hair. Since for my use I wouldn't press the plates together, I was concerned that they wouldn't be quite parallel so would heat the board unevenly. Being able to press one end on each plate would give me more flexibility.

* Temperature control is essential with some of the cheaper hair straighteners having a fixed temperature setting (not good!). The best range I could find is 150°C -- 230°C which is within the reflow of low temperature solder paste. All good.

* A locking mechanism is useful for fixing the plates into place. Some allow locking at various positions. The one I got locks "closed", but still has a wide enough of a gap.

* A long swivelling power cord seemed like a good idea.

* A stylish carrying case.

I decided to go for the Remington S3500 Ceramic Straight 230 Hair Straightener; street value of £15. (I expected both plates to be "floating", but only the bottom one is, but it turned out not to be an issue since the plates are parallel even with a 3--4 mm gap.) Here's a video of the process and results

I'm quite pleased with the outcome:

It's certainly not a replacement for a reflow/toaster oven, but could find its use in some cases such as a localised soldering job to avoid melting other bits, etc. Also, it's mobile.

What do you think?