There are two variants described. The difference between them is made by the method used to attach the copper rod to the handle.
|DIY Soldering iron (variant 1)|
It is very important to use current limited or short circuit protected power supplies. The insulator between nichrome wire and copper tip may break at high temperatures and cause short circuit.
The wire must not get incandescent. If so, try with a lower voltage. A good match is when the wire is slightly visible in the darkness. In no more than a minute, the tip should be able to melt solder. Otherwise, if you touch solder to the nichrome wire and it melts, but it doesn't melt on the tip, it means you used an insulator that is too thick or has thermal insulation properties, which is not good. If the wire resistor doesn't seem to get hot enough, try with a higher voltage.
If you managed to build it, now you must attach this heater to a handle. The first variant involves placing the tip with heater inside a metal pipe after inserting some ceramic spacers (2) at the extremities. You'll have to attach the metal pipe to a washer (7) that will be fixed with some screws (9) and spacers (8) to the handle (10). The spacers are recommended to improve handle thermal insulation so it doesn't get hot during usage.
|DIY Soldering iron (variant 2)|
Here is a building detail of washer (7) from variant 1 and the metal sheet piece (6) from variant 2:
|Metal pieces detail|
|Soldering iron tip with nichrome wire heater|