- Safety pin – large enough to unclasp once it is soldered to the dime
- Solder – Radiator with flux
- Needle-nose Pliers (or needle-nose vice grips)
- Propane torch
- Lighter or matches
- Pan of water
- Solid work surface
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
How to Make a Dime-'n-Pin Gag Gift
Making your own gifts is fun. Making your own gag gifts is even more fun.
This Dime-'n-Pin is a pun for diamond pin, and is used to generate surprise and a chuckle. When you ask someone “Would you like a dime-n-pin?” (say it quickly as you would diamond pin) the general response is, “Sure!”. When you produce and the recipient sees the the dime you have soldered on to a safety pin their first expression is puzzlement which is followed by laughter.
This is a good way to break the ice, have some fun, or to give as a unique gift.
Set up your work area in a safe place where propane and other fumes won't contaminate the air. Your table should be sturdy and not wobble so as not to upset the lit propane starting a fire. Once you have set the propane tank on your work table ensuring that it won't easily tip, twist the nozzle open just enough so that you hear a slight hiss.
Hold the lighter (or lit match) below the nozzle but up high enough that when you light the lighter the flame or spark will ignite the gas you hear hissing from the opening of the tank.
DO NOT FULLY OPEN THE NOZZLE. You want it open only enough to keep a steady flame.
Lay a safety pin on the back of a dime. The head stamped on the dime should be in the same upright position as and perpendicular to the safety latch of the pin. Clamp the needle-nose pliers on the edge of the dime making sure you have also clamped the pin. Slightly lift the pin so there is no problem unclasping the it when it is put on or taken off.
I like to use the needle-nose vice grips which are self-clamping so I don't have to concentrate on keeping the pliers closed with enough pressure to hold the pin and dime.
Hold the face of the dime in the flame and apply the solder with the other hand on the back surface of the dime also touching the bottom leg of the pin (the part of the pin that doesn't move). When the dime heats enough to melt the solder, remove it and the dime immediately from the flame as it will continue to melt covering more area than you want.
With the pin now soldered into place, remove it from the flame and dunk into a pan of water to cool the pliers as well as the dime.
This is a how-to article only. Use the instructions at your own risk.