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Desoldering tool
by damirvk on June 25, 2009 Table of Contents Desoldering tool . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Intro: Desoldering tool . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Step 1: Can selection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Step 2: Can preparation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Step 3: Construction of heater . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Step 4: Heater isolation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Step 5: Can attachment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Step 6: Heater installation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Step 7: Heater mounting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Step 8: Legs mounting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Step 9: First run . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Step 10: Tool in use . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Step 11: ................................................................................................................. 1 2 2 3 3 4 4 4 5 5 6 6 7 7 7

Related Instructables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Comments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

http://www.instructables.com/id/Desoldering-tool/

Intro: Desoldering tool


It is a tool for desoldering (multi leg) electronic components with 3 or more pins. Theory behind this project is fairly simple. Dissolved solder in heated container heats all contacts of electronic component placed together with PCB on this tool. All you have to do is remove component from PCB with pliers or with tweezers. So with this device you can easily desolder 25 pin LPT conector from 2 sided PCB. Original article on my site here

Step 1: Can selection


First find some tin can, like this one from the picture.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Desoldering-tool/

Step 2: Can preparation


Then cut the bottom of the can. Later it will be used as container for melted solder. 1-2cm is sufficient height for container.

Step 3: Construction of heater


For heater you need heater wire (NiCr). Usualy caled "cekas" od "nichrome". If you don't have any, take some from old heater in blow dryer or heating unit, and wind off 1m of wire. Measure resistance because you will need this information later in construction. Before calculation you must have 2 more parameters . Power and voltage of heater. Power of my heater is 100W, recommendation is not to go below that because it takes too long to melt down solder after power up. Voltage must be adapted to power source that you will use. I have laboratory power source with regulation from 0-35V and I have chosen 30V for voltage of my heater. Calculation: U=30 V P=100 W rt=28,6 Ohm/m (resistance per one meter) Rt= ? (resistance of heater) Rt = U2 / P = 30 2 / 100 = 900 / 100 = 9 Ohma Length of heater wire L = Rt / rt = 9 / 28,6 = 0,3m If you don't want to calculate parameters and you have a power supply with voltage regulation, just take piece of wire, connect it to power supply and rise voltage until wire (heater) gets to red glow. This method can be used for checking the calculated parameters. On the picture is my heater. Coiled on 3mm drill borer and extended to desired length.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Desoldering-tool/

Step 4: Heater isolation


Finished heater must be somehow isolated from metal housing. I have used ceramic insulators removed from old baking oven heater. If you don't have insulators buy them in repair shop for kitchen appliances.

Step 5: Can attachment


Can from beginning of text somehow must be attached to housing, for that purpose main is drilled through middle and PCB spacer is attached to can with screw. Plain screw with few nuts can be used.

Step 6: Heater installation


Heater installed in can slot.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Desoldering-tool/

Step 7: Heater mounting


Heater is pressed to can with grill from PC fan.

Step 8: Legs mounting


Screws with nuts are used for "legs" of device, and ceramic connection block is mounted to hold outlets of heater.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Desoldering-tool/

Step 9: First run


Desoldering tool connected to power supply, and peaces of solder are melting in can.

Step 10: Tool in use


On next pictures desoldering proces is shown step by step.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Desoldering-tool/

Step 11:
Short video samples of device in use: Video 1 640x480, 18.7MB Video 2 320x240, 18MB Video 3 320x240, 19MB

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Comments
50 comments Add Comment view all 59 comments

jgosselin says:

Nov 13, 2011. 1:28 AM REPLY from the pictures it looks as though you've filled the entire can with solder? and is the pc board you use in the example touching that melted solder directly? sorry if i seem noobish but i'm just getting into the parts scavenging phase of reuse and if parts just come off like that i am in love with the process. Oct 28, 2011. 12:42 AM REPLY

Wo0kiE says:
You wouldn't believe me if I told you how long I have been trying to come up with such a solution! Very good thinking!

Electorials says:

Sep 27, 2011. 11:57 AM REPLY It's a nice idea! Seems to work great also, but I would be afraid for pushing down the can. It would create such a terrible (and maybe painful) mess!

damirvk says:

Sep 28, 2011. 12:25 AM REPLY I agree, if you spill hot solder you can hurt yourself badly, so measures against that must be taken. Consider my build just as a concept. Every solder pot must be fastened on something heavy to avoid spilling.

orangetj says:
like your ex? :P

Oct 23, 2011. 6:23 AM REPLY

http://www.instructables.com/id/Desoldering-tool/

anonymouse197 says:
Hahahaha...

Oct 27, 2011. 8:43 AM REPLY

creepy :P

Electorials says:
huh?

Oct 23, 2011. 6:31 AM REPLY

orangetj says:

Oct 30, 2011. 10:45 AM REPLY i was infering that the project can cause similar damage and or mess as ones ex girlfriend/boyfrieng just in a different sort of pain and mess

static says:

Oct 10, 2011. 2:32 PM REPLY Me I use a propane torch to met the solder, and give the board a sharp rap while holding it component side down, and they fall out.

PKM says:

Jun 26, 2009. 6:31 AM REPLY Ye gods, how much solder did you use for that? I'd be incredibly worried about having half a cupful of molten metal on a wire stand on my table- we've seen what McDonalds coffee can do to people, imagine spilling this O_O That said, this does look like a decent technique if you had to do a lot of parts- for the occasional desoldering job I'd prefer an iron and braid or a solder pump, but I can imagine doing a hundred like that would get tedious. I'd still worry about exactly what I was breathing, though, and how long that solder will last before accumulating too much oxide slag etc. on the surface.

static says:

Oct 10, 2011. 2:26 PM REPLY You would n'tbe heating the metal to the point it would be giving off gas. Unless you use a bunch of flux core solder to to fill, in that gas let tr off gas in well ventilated place bore using it. I'm not so sure what exactly the author used, but there is something called body solder, which is bars of the solder alloy with no flux, often used in body world where craftsmen desire to avoid plastic filler. Stained glass artist us similar solder. Also the welding supply store may carry babbit, that's a lead alloy. Mar 4, 2010. 10:06 PM REPLY i once desoldered a printer, 2 power supplies and a pc motherboard in about 2 hours. my hands started to cramp up from holding the iron and to make it worse i dont have a solder pump or braid. as for fumes, use a case fan, hook it up to 12v, and t as a fume extractor. i noticed one of the goodies from power supplies are the ac to dc converters, then i can finally harness the power that is 18v AC!

zack247 says:

damirvk says:

Jun 26, 2009. 9:29 AM REPLY You must be very careful, spilling this can be very dangerous. When you are finished with desoldering take peace of wire and scrap off dirt from top. Good remark, maybe I should take video of that proces and put it here.

ironsmiter says:

Jun 26, 2009. 8:31 PM REPLY I'd consider making that pot 1/4 the height. You should still have plenty of heat in all that mass, to do a bunch of de-chipping, before you have to wait for more heat. With less weight, it's even less likely to tip over. You get to use less solder(meaning cheaper). And it'll take less time to heat up in the first place, making for a faster time-to-use. Finally... I'd make TWO pots. One for old or unknown solder, and one for niosh lead free solder. That way, you can maintain your personal "lead free" sticker status :-) Just make sure to clearly label them.

zack247 says:

Mar 4, 2010. 10:08 PM REPLY i dont think they make solder with lead in it anymore, that stuff is from the 90's, and it heats up really fast, so this method is really only needed for the bigger components

ironsmiter says:
hehe, they most certainly DO still make lead based solders. Just do a google or amazon search for 60/40 solder, and you'll see. it's not USED much in new electronics, but you can bet it's still all over the place. Less so, if you're in europe.

Mar 5, 2010. 12:35 AM REPLY

izidor7 says:
Listen You don't need to use lead free solder... the industy does!!!!

Mar 6, 2010. 8:09 AM REPLY

Cuz you probably won't be producing 1 000 000 000 tons of electronic's so the posible fiew promils of lead in the solder is quite a bit... but concidering for home use.. you can use with the lead!!! for this project you can go to the shop and buy the solder 35%Sn and else lead... i bought like 0.1 kg and it's expencive!!!! The best thing will be to buy fiew kilos of lead... pure lead!!! cuz molten led is at higher temperature then you need to mult the Sn!!! Concidering this medod of desoldering can be used for deloldering slots.. with >50 joints.. and that are through the whole... this method can also be used for heating up boards... but you could easily use a cloethes iron or a stove plate!!!! they are safer for usage.... cuz you can't get fried with moltem netal.. that easilly!!!!!!

http://www.instructables.com/id/Desoldering-tool/

Salvegiing SMD parts should be done wiht a heat blower.... I have the Macita.. heat blower.. and it has thempertaure regulation... and can give like 2000W... so that is quite nice for this! and shouldn't be done at too large temps cuz you DON'T WHANT TO FRUY THE ELECTRONICS! As for the "bath tub" of lead... you should be alwas using flux!!!!! beacause with it all the joint's will be melted momenterelly and the componen'ts won't suffer !!!! (slot)

izidor7 says:
you can buy the lead at your local metal depo!!! the lead should be relly cheep....

Mar 6, 2010. 8:20 AM REPLY

While we talk about cheep .. the cheepest would be to buy separate Pb and Sn and mult them together and make you own solder... you wolud get it cheeper... maybe i'll make an insgurctable... about how to strec the thing into a whire!!!

jcoronel says:
Very good work. Congratulations!!

Oct 9, 2011. 2:41 PM REPLY

TheRealPeregrinus says:
Very cool.

Sep 29, 2011. 8:20 PM REPLY

pfred2 says:
Neat. I have one of these myself:

Sep 27, 2011. 6:10 PM REPLY

damirvk says:
Nice build. tnx for sharing

Sep 28, 2011. 12:16 AM REPLY

pfred2 says:
It would have been had I made it. My solder pot is an Esico model #37 though

Sep 28, 2011. 4:53 AM REPLY

techno guy says:


Won't the heat kill I.C.'s if you use this to remove them and then plan to reuse them?

Sep 27, 2011. 7:59 PM REPLY

damirvk says:
If you quickly remove component heat won't kill her 80% of components desoldered this way are reusable.

Sep 28, 2011. 12:13 AM REPLY

zack247 says:
a ic that would burn up from soldering temps probably isnt worth reusing.

Sep 27, 2011. 10:54 PM REPLY

http://www.instructables.com/id/Desoldering-tool/

Rainh2o says:

Sep 27, 2011. 6:21 PM REPLY Why use this to remove a component? I remove and replace 3-100 pin components regularly with a scope, a fine pointed dental pick and a nice solder iron. The only thing I ever use a solder pot for is tinning large amounts of wire leads or larger legged components. I think you would risk created solder shorts with this. just my opinion. Nice project for making a solder pot or any other pot for heating things though!

TekoMuto says:
could always use a tuna can instead of cutting one

Sep 27, 2011. 8:36 AM REPLY

SharpyWarpy says:

Feb 10, 2011. 9:50 AM REPLY Hi damirvk and thank you very much for sharing your solder pot build. I built this using your directions with a couple of differences. I don't have any of the light duty heating element, only some out of an old 220v clothes dryer. I couldn't get the math right -- the old grey head ain't what it used to be -- so I experimented with different voltages starting with 12v. I used an old microwave oven transformer for power. I cut off the secondary winding of said transformer and wound it for 12v, which as those experienced with these transformers know requires 12 windings, one per output volt. I kept adding windings until I had 16v, which got the element nice and red. I used fairly closely wound element inside the ceramic insulators. I didn't bother with converting to DC. I have lots of lead in my junk pile (I love my junk pile) and used some of that and half a spool of old acid core solder. The unit takes the same amount of time as yours to heat up the solder to a liquid state. The liquid is beautiful and fun to watch and play around with. I use an old spoon to skim off dross. I keep the pot well away from the edge of the table so spills are not a big problem.

damirvk says:
Hi I am very glad that you like my build. Also you made clever modifications that will help future builders. BR Damir

Feb 11, 2011. 1:19 AM REPLY

SharpyWarpy says:

Feb 19, 2011. 7:42 PM REPLY Here are some pics of the solder pot I built using your instructions. Thanks again. I have wanted one of these for a couple of years but never knew quite where to start.

damirvk says:
Nice work. Quite bigger pot than my. tnx for pics

Feb 20, 2011. 3:08 AM REPLY

alexanderm says:
Great idea! Thanks for the Ible!

Nov 20, 2010. 11:14 PM REPLY

While i'm not keen on the use of this for desoldering SMD components, as it isn't usable on just a single component (it would mess up the solder on other components), could easily overheat the components, and i don't care for the integral instability, it offers inspiration! i think i might use the idea to create a solder pot. For the uninitiated, a solder pot is useful for tinning, amongst other things. Some suggestions for upgrading: Use a ceramic container, placing the coil with ceramic standoffs in the bottom, and the can on top of the coil. This would waste less heat/energy, and allow for tabletop placement. The supply wires could be run through the side of the ceramic container. The ceramic container could be cut down to size for your use. For those asking about the volume used, the more solder used, the more constant the heat retention. If the container is insulated, the volume of solder used, could be significantly reduced. This would also reduce spill danger.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Desoldering-tool/

nedim155 says:
zasto bas bug mogao si stavit gameplay ispod toga a ne bug :)

Sep 26, 2010. 4:45 AM REPLY

damirvk says:
lllooolll bas steta, nazalost nasao se pri ruci

Sep 26, 2010. 12:23 PM REPLY

nedim155 says:
pozdrav iz bosne damire

Sep 22, 2010. 11:27 AM REPLY

damirvk says:
Oooo ima tu i nasih ljudi. Pozdrav

Sep 22, 2010. 1:05 PM REPLY

zack247 says:
2 questions: 1: would it work if i just used the lid of the can? or does the solder take off the solder on the pcb? 2: if solder is required, where did you obtain so much?

Mar 4, 2010. 10:01 PM REPLY

ironsmiter says:

Mar 5, 2010. 12:43 AM REPLY it's the solder. the mass of molten solder quickly heats up the solder joint, while surface tension wicks away excess solder after the part has been removed. I dunno where he got his bits of solder, but I find massive amounts of lead based solder in old cast-iron pipe. My last batch came from a neighbors plumbing remodel. The lead found its way into cast ingots for future projects, the cast iron was donated to the local college's art school for their cast-iron sculpture class.

juanoporras says:

Oct 25, 2009. 6:15 PM REPLY nice instructable, but the can could be a little bit shorter so you dont have to melt all that solder. also I believe that you can solder with this tool, am I right? from what I know, in big factories and assembly lines the PCBs go throu something like this to solder all the components at once. thanks for sharing.

zack247 says:
they do, i saw it on how its made

Mar 4, 2010. 9:58 PM REPLY

damirvk says:
Yes can could be a little shorter, but not too much to avoid quick cool down of solder. I did not use it for soldering but i think it is posibile as you described. BR Damir

Oct 26, 2009. 12:19 AM REPLY

izidor7 says:

Feb 13, 2010. 6:08 AM REPLY The industry solders like this.. so it's perfect.... the board must be silk screened.. like these electronics... the mass production solders like this watch this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmY3j6zEMLE everithiing is clear. at last the first two minutes : - ) I'm going to make one of these.. but for another project... :-) I need to desolder and solder ( replace ) the Pci-e slot on a motherboard.. and this method is the best.. for that kinda work.. certenly i'll truy this out.. but i won't be using the can.. I'll be using the shape I nedd. for this... Ps.. can the parts sink down??? i guess they should float on the top... so that's great for desoldering smd's also.. you just need to fish out the pieces.. :-/

juanoporras says:

Mar 5, 2010. 10:16 AM REPLY for desoldering SMDs (if you want tho use them later) I recommend you use a heat gun, cause if they fall into the melted tin, it is most likely that they are going to get fried. so at the end you will have a deep fried chip :P Juan

http://www.instructables.com/id/Desoldering-tool/

zack247 says:
lol you just reminded me about how my friend was nagging me to add a ram slot to one of his motherboards!

Mar 4, 2010. 10:02 PM REPLY

izidor7 says:
But Why the poor BUG??? P.S. Jel si bas moral BUG-a deti ispod???? Kaj je bilo tak lose izdanje???

Feb 13, 2010. 6:19 AM REPLY

Scurge says:

Jun 30, 2009. 9:20 PM REPLY Dude, this is awesome! I was just complaining about the mistake I made soldering up the arduino wave shield (soldered the connector pins in the wrong holes.. have to de-solder 20 pins).

Scurge says:
well, just watched the vid. dunno if this would be a good choice for repairs, but it is a great idea for parts scroungin!

Jun 30, 2009. 9:23 PM REPLY

lemonie says:
!A cup of molten metal, spilling this isn't good (I know), but the whole thing is just great. L

Jun 27, 2009. 1:06 PM REPLY

damirvk says:

Jun 27, 2009. 3:31 PM REPLY Pictures and video are taken in early stage of development and testing, and I have written these article more to show the principle of device. Later device is mounted on heavy metal plate (about 6 kg, diameter cca 40cm) that just can not be flipped over, so spilling hot solder is impossible. Even it is possible to fill the plate with water to cool down the solder instantly if it is spilled, but I never used these and there is no need. I will take some pictures of finished soldering pot and put them on my site when I catch some time.

view all 59 comments

http://www.instructables.com/id/Desoldering-tool/