[sdiy] SMD rework equipment

rsdio at audiobanshee.com rsdio at audiobanshee.com
Fri May 20 09:32:43 CEST 2016

I have the Weller WD 2M, with tweezers and pencil attached. Frys had a sale on these a while ago, and they sold out (not surprising). For me, it's much faster to replace resistors and capacitors with soldering tweezers. As mentioned, the hot air rework stations will blow passives off the board when you least expect it. The tweezers allow precise control. I use a small tool to hold the parts since the solder tends to make them stick to the heated tweezers. The tips for both tweezers and pencil snap in and out, and they have one set of tweezer tips that are large enough to heat all the pins on an 8-pin SOIC. I've had no problem using those tips on 14-pin SOIC by sliding the tip around to heat all the pins enough to dislodge the chip. This one station takes care of 99.9% of my needs, and I usually prefer not to be doing any kind of work that can't be handled by this setup.

I (ab)use a heat shrink gun when I feel like I need a hot air rework station. It's a bit crude, but I rarely need anything more than the tweezers mentioned above.

However, I should confess that I'm not reluctant to pay an EMS to do rework that's more involved. I really feel like my time is better spent on design or other things. If the rework cannot be done quickly and easily, then I just pay someone else to do it. I am spoiled by living in the Seattle area where there are fast and highly skilled shops in abundance, and who don't charge too much.


On May 19, 2016, at 5:09 PM, Jason Proctor <jason at redfish.net> wrote:
> thanks for the info, all.
> i have a Weller WTCPT iron, which has been a trusty servant. can i make this iron more suitable for SMT stuff, or are other irons (i see Metcal is popular) just more appropriate?
> any tips for steadying oldish hands while doing delicate work? i did wonder whether our EMS had a setup where nothing was hand-held. do such arrangements exist?
> thanks much!
> Jason

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