This is my first question, and I hope someone can give me some insight.
I am looking to melt a LOT of tiny holes in plastic for a long-term project I'm starting, and the straight-pin-heated-over-a-candle method is really time-consuming. I don't know if a soldering iron would make holes too big- I just need them big enough to fit an upholstery needle through. I also don't know if the melted plastic would goop up the iron tip like it does with the straight pins. I was debating trying to rig a straight-pin to a soldering iron, but I can't quite get an idea of how to secure it well. I don't have much of a workshop in my little apartment. A friend of mine whose mother is a nurse, recommended I try a battery-operated disposable cautery pen, so I've been looking online at them. http://www.rainbowrope.com/needles.html
That site is a little wild- the product I was interested in is the "Branding Pen" about 3/4 of the way down the page. They seem to mostly be used for branding these days... I don't know if the holes I would produce would be large enough with these, and I don't know if the melted plastic would crust onto it. I think it's possible that either one would be easily cleanable since they stay hotter so the plastic would stay melted, but I don't know what I would wipe it off on that won't readily burn with that sort of heat.
I know someone else must have had this idea before. At least I hope they have! Does anyone have any experience with either of these ideas?