How do I desolder without desoldering iron, braid, pump, or any special desoldering tool. Just a soldering iron?

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Shelbyd17 months ago

I just held the board upside down. Melt the solder from below and it will drip down onto the iron tip. I then scraped the solder off of the iron tip with a spare, flat edged soldering tip.

Beware of dripping melted metal...a few of the bigger drops just fell off in globs.

(This was my first attempt at soldering/desoldering so idk if this is against protocol, but it worked perfectly for me on a small board!)

seandogue5 years ago
your question reminds me of the guy who asked, how to I drive a nail without a hammer, a rock, or any other form of item with which top drive the nail.

One by one
"When the only fastener you have is a nail, every tool looks like a hammer."

(Corollary to the old observation that, given a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.)

I've got a hammer. And I've got a bell. And I've got a song...
Kiteman5 years ago
Fix the board in place (say, gently in a vice, but large boards can just sit there and be heavy).

Hold onto the component with a pair of pliers and apply a gentle pulling force.

Heat the joints with your soldering iron.

Remember to clean the tip of your iron.

(That's how I do it, anyway.)

coleyy (author)  Kiteman5 years ago
I'll try that with my soldering iron's large flat tip
lemonie5 years ago

It depends what it is.I've done hundreds of components with heating & pulling.

caarntedd5 years ago
Do you have a dremel tool or something similar? Do you need the board or just the components? If you can sacrifice the board, chop it up with the dremel until the components fall out. Wear a dust mask. Clean up the components with your soldering iron.
orksecurity5 years ago
Solder-suckers and braid really are quite cheap, you know.

Stranded wire, untwisted, can be used to wick up some solder. It's not as good as real desoldering wick, but it helps.

Remember that chips are temperature-sensitive. If you're going to try to desolder one terminal at a time, you want to either be quick about it, use a low-wattage iron, use heat sinks, or some combination of the above. (The same applies when soldering chips into circuits, of course, but it's usually easier to do that quickly.)

There's always the "wave desoldering" technique that was developed many years ago by hardware hackers at (I thin) MIT, back when computer cards had large numbers of useful general-purpose chips: Clamp vice-grips onto the chip, hit the underside of the board quickly with a propane torch, yank the chip out of the board before it could get cooked or the solder could harden again. But that counts as a "special desoldering tool".
BTW, if you try the wave desoldering approach, be aware that it may spray bits of hot solder over the area as the board springs back.
Typo: "think" lost its k. Oh well. Can you tell I should be dieting?
+1. We've used an oxytorch once...
Kiteman's method will sometimes work on single sided boards, if you have a big iron, but nothing is going to shift them off a doublesided board, if they have more than 8 legs.