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Setting up a soldering station on a balcony


Dear Orchidians,

I have finely starting setting up my new studio in Dhaka in an extra
bedroom with its own balcony. I want to set up a soldering station
that stays outside and can be easily covered when not in use.

  1. There is lots of space and as its on the 3rd floor its not too
    problematic about theft but I don’t intend to leave anything
    valuable outside.

  2. Rainy season is almost over but it sometimes rains when not rainy

  3. Will be using only in the day time as using it at night would
    draw too much attention to what I am doing, and then the theft
    problems would come about and draw the bad mosquitoes with their
    killer diseases.

  4. The wall of the balcony is solid so not too windy, usually.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Sharron in her new home, Dhaka, Bangladesh


first, i don’t recommend setting it up outside for a few reasons.
one- moisture will ruin your tools quickly if you don’t keep them
protected with cosmoline or some other cerate/oil that must be
removed before each use and reapplied afterwards, particularly if you
are thinking of leaving things exposed to the humid night air…
second, why limit your creativity to only during the day due to
possible theft…besides the fact that you need low light to see
indicators of metal temperatures when soldering, annealing,
etc…near the balcony where there is plenty of ventilation may be a
better idea. and neighbors WILL know what you are doing eventually
anyway…so purchase a small safe, bnolt it down in a hidden spot in
your apartment and put anything of value in it…you could also put
up some fiberglass or superfine mosquito netting over the balcony
doorway to keep mosquitoes out.(.eat karela…it’s available in the
market places , and is known as bitter-melon…you cook it like any
vegetable and it protects you from mosquito bites to a large degree
by making your body chemistry unappealing to the females that go
hunting for victims then relay the location to the males that collect
your blood.If a male does bite you the blood is bitter and the colony
of mosquitoes that that one descended from will leave you alone as
long as you keep the level of karela up in your blood, out of season
it is available dried, but tastes really bad unless you add it to a
veg. stew or soup that overpowers the quinine taste).

I lived in India and know of what i speak…the first time you carry a
tank of oxygen, acetylene or mapp up to your floor everyone in your
path will ask what is it for…and once you begin to produce…what
will you do with your pieces? if selling them is the answer have you
thought of the implications regarding theft then.?.while india is a
large and beautiful place, the cities are rife with thieves of every
description and every motivation…and just the perception that you
have money enough to buy precious metals and are single ( if that is
the case) sets up a whole framework of negativity in the minds of
those predisposed to stealing from a westerner(.if that’s the
case)…on the other hand jaipur is a stone buyers paradise, goa is a
great place to buy metals, rajasthan is a great place to apprentice
with master gold and silversmiths, and almost everywhere there are
temple artisans that make jewelery specifically for deities according
to formulas that are more than 5000 years old and dictate the kind of
stone and metal and setting for x deity, so there is much to learn
from remnents of the ancient Indus and ganharva civilizations
regarding metalsmithing, stones and stonesetting, as well as regional
techniques like bidri work ( which must be done out doors due to the
lead and mercury in the formulas and processes)…so I’d love to hear
more about your experiences and if you have any questions please feel
free to email me off Orchid and i’ll do my best to assist you in
anything you need…