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Gas soldering iron instead of hot air rework station?

i dont want to pay for an entire rework station... so would it be possible to use the hot air tip of a gas(butane) powered soldering iron instead? The portasol from Weller sounds nice, but i also found a ~ $20 from radio shack i might want... anyway it doesnt matter which one, just like will it replace a rework station ...SAFELY?

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appolo8 years ago
I assume you mean the hot air blow tip? You can use it but you have no precise temperature control. I would suggest you strip some scrap PCB's to practice with first. Scrap PC's would be a good place to experiment with. Rework stations can be very expensive but have dropped in price recently. For regular use I would recommend a rework station rather than the portasol. But never use the naked flame_excess heat can damage components and de_laminate the PCB. Your looking at temperatures up to 400*C + to remove larger items. Hope this helps.
raykholo (author)  appolo8 years ago
please tell me more about any problems that might result from the fact that i wont be able to control the temp, and yes i was referring to the hot air blow tip... i just tried working with scrap pcbs, and it was a disaster with my current soldering iron so i want to see if gas powered hot air will make things easier i have also already learned that naked flame will do heavy damage; i made a final desperate attempt to desolder a shrouded header from an old motherboard with a small candle after everything else i had failed to do the job yep this makes me sound bad at electronics :( yes you definitely helped and any cheap, good rework stations u would recommend? ( if its only one or the other, i would probably choose cheap) thanks
Embarrasingly, the portasol is exactly what we use at work. :-) Set at the lowest level, simple work is done very easily. We have even removed BIG TQFP packages, and replaced them working. It takes practice, like Apollo says - play with some dead motherboards or something. Other good tricks - flux the component you are removing with a SMD flux pen. On good PCB, with solder resist layers, use solder paste from a syringe, and put a long thin line of paste ACROSS all the pads on a big TQFP package, on top of a liberal painting of flux. When you reflow the solder, surface tension, and the resist will pull the line into order on each pad, with no shorts, or misses.
raykholo (author)  steveastrouk8 years ago
sounds about right...
im just getting started with pcbs, and after taking apart an old printer and desktop, i tried to desolder a bunch of both smt and thru hole parts... very hard to do with a ~$10 radioshack soldering iron that ive had for like 2 years...
so i was thinking, like could i also use the portasol to remove many pin thru hole components such as headers or dip stuff... also any tips for that with the soldering iron i have now (mentioned above)?

thanks, and can u also check out this cheaper butane iron: link cuz u seem to know a lot more about this than me and again i am cheap, dont wanna pay $50+ for portasol, cuz i need to get the hot air tip then and its just seems easier to get the entire kit that weller advertises it as...

again, thanks
karnuvap8 years ago
Another advantage of the portasol is that the gas given out is (after it has been 'consumed' in the catalyst) what is known as 'reducing'. This means that it helps prevent oxidation which would otherwise hinder the desoldering process.
Good point ! A justification for me being cheap. Steve