The old standby trick for cheapo wax tools is to get a cheap pen
style soldering iron, where the tip is a solid rod that screws in.
Figure out the pitch of the thread, (probably 10-32) then make up a
couple of dummy tips out of heavy copper wire. Thread the ends so
that they screw in, and then forge the other end out into a pointy
leaf shape, and you’re half way home.
The other half is to rig up a light dimmer switch to an electrical
socket, such that the dimmer controls the power to the socket. (put
it in a wall box with a plate, and get a real electrician to help
you if you are at all unsure about how to do this.) Plug the
soldering iron into the dimmed socket, and you can now control the
The drawback is that the soldering iron units are very sluggish by
the standards of real wax pens. Adjust the dial, wait 10 minutes
until you’re sure the change has carried through. That does make
them good for spruing though, as you don’t normally fuss with the
temp much. Start with it down low, and then slowly dial it up until
it’s hot enough to melt your sprue wax. A handy reference is to find
an old incandescent nightlight, and plug that into the spare socket.
The relative glow will give you some sense of how much power’s
coming through the dimmer. Once you get it dialed in the first time,