You know how it goes. You're looking for a decent soldering station but nothing quite fits the bill. I considered the Hakko FX-888D but it's a nightmare to operate (read the manual --it's ludicrously unintuitive!). There's the Antex 690D but, like, how much?! And again, why up/down buttons when a temperature knob is far more intuitive? So I looked around for home-brew solutions and found this. Built for an Antex TC50 24V iron, but with superior responsiveness, digital temp display but analog temp dial. Perfect! This kit was developed by an engineer who runs a prototyping company. You get a blank PCB, a programmed PIC and detailed build instructions and parts list, as first published in an article for Maplin Electronics issue 116 Aug 1997 (page 16 - 21). All for a mere £23,50 inc. postage. Of course you have to provide all the remaining components, the display, the switch and socket, the wire, and your own case. So what's a modder to do? Steampunk it, that's what! First: le aluminium and brass: Milled and drilled the base, including the bottom ventilation slot: Next, the first arrangement of the components: the completed PCB and the toroid transformer (another reason I like this kit), for which I made a brass L-bracket to mount it vertically to make for a compact station: Next the pillars to which the 3mm aluminium case panels will be mounted with M4 countersunk brass screws: Note the ventilation holes in the back panel. This is where a mill is really handy! The holes were drilled with a very short 3mm centre drill to avoid flexing of the drill bit and deviations in the pattern: And here the case with side and front panels mounted, with brushed M4 brass screws. These were brushed on the lathe, and the cheese head screws were given a sharper machined finish also. Note also the 45 degree angle on top of the front panel... (also the turned and knurled brass temperature dial and its collar on the right, and the brass LED holder just behind it) Next is the top/front panel, which is cut from 1.5mm brass. Again the mill allows for millimeter precise and straight milling of the LCD display window... This panel was then scored and folded at a 45 degree angle on a bending brake. Here you also see the display frame (cut from 0.8mm brass plate with a jeweller's piercing saw), the temperature dial and LED holder. And here the first test fit with the DIN socket for the iron. You also see the on/off switch and its rubber dust cover.