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Cheap alternative to hot air rework station?

Thread starter #1
Well, hot air rework stations are a little expensive (by expensive, I mean that I can't afford it.) Anyways, I was wondering if anyone has ever tried using a hot air plastic welding kit? I'm not looking to keep the host circuit boards in amazing shape or anything, I just want an easier way to remove DIP's and the like (irons just don't do it!)

Linkohs.
 

3v0

Coop Build Coordinator
Forum Supporter
#2
If all you want to do is salvage parts from old boards a hot air gun will do the job. But it too easy to overheat the PCB which can be a bit on the smelly side so I do it outdoors.

The plastic welder is only $20 less the then hot air rework from MPJA.

Well, hot air rework stations are a little expensive (by expensive, I mean that I can't afford it.) Anyways, I was wondering if anyone has ever tried using a hot air plastic welding kit? I'm not looking to keep the host circuit boards in amazing shape or anything, I just want an easier way to remove DIP's and the like (irons just don't do it!)

Linkohs.
 
Thread starter #3
I don't have a hot air gun (I used to use a "power paint stripper", but it was powerful enough to set wood on fire from a distance, not to mention toast boards.) The MPJA one for 99USD looks good, all I really need is a rework station that has a smaller directed airflow, using a heat gun on a circuit board is like swatting flies with an elephant gun.
 
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3v0

Coop Build Coordinator
Forum Supporter
#5
From time to time you see DIY efforts to build hot air rework units. Often times an aquarium pump is used for the air and a soldering iron for the heat. I am sure it can be made to work if you get the right stuff and do a decent job of it. At one time I would DIY most anything and everything but I am slowly getting over that. The $100 unit looks good to me.

I don't have a hot air gun (I used to use a "power paint stripper", but it was powerful enough to set wood on fire from a distance, not to mention toast boards.) The MPJA one for 99USD looks good, all I really need is a rework station that has a smaller directed airflow, using a heat gun on a circuit board is like swatting flies with an elephant gun.
 
#6
Heat gun. Hold board vertical in vise. Prehest both sides, then aim heat to surface mount side and heat until the components start to drip off, you can tap the board and most will come off. If some hols on or are through hole, you can "pluck" the board (bend it slightly back and let it go) and send them flying into a box. How hot does the plastic welder get? It will get upwards of 850F , way hotter than needed for even lead free solder (482). You want to get it to 220C, then raise it to 250C for 40-80 seconds then drop it down again. It looks like it would work fine if you can adjust the temperature correctly. Remember to always turn 5-10 psi on before you heat element and turn off element before you turn off air, otherwise you will burn element out.
 

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