Little Trick for Desoldering Through Hole Components





Introduction: Little Trick for Desoldering Through Hole Components

Have you ever felt frustrated trying to desolder a component from a board, wishing you had one more hand?

This trick can help you with some of the components. Specifically through hole components that are mounted with a little clearance below them. By little clearance I mean at least enough room to put a paperclip wire through. And they also should not have their legs remarkably bent on the other side of the board - this method does not work if you need to use force for bending them back. This worked nice for transistors, vertically mounted resistors and diodes and some capacitors depending on their exact mounting position.

Step 1: How to and Video

(Link to the video in case the embed is not working: )

You need: rubberband and paperclip or semi-hard wire.
Straighten the outer loop of the paperclip and make a smaller hook in the end. Put the rubberband through the smaller loop. Find some way to attach the rubberband's other end to your desk. Put the wire hook under the component you want to remove. Hold the board so that the rubberband exerts a little pulling force on the component. Heat the solder joints and the component will be pulled out as soon as it gets free. The component is very likely to go flying. So be prepared to search for it all over the place. But after a little practice you will learn to pull just reasonably strong not too much and lower the chances of long distance flights.

Step 2: Clumsy Drawing and Disclaimer

Here is also a clumsy drawing of the setup.

It's so simple that I don't 100% except to be the first one to come up with the idea. But I couldn't find a mention of this kind of technique.



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Very nice idea. I would refine it with fred3655's idea of a clip instead of the hook, perhaps a crocodile clip? Then it won't fly away and wait for when you want to unclip it. Of course one can marry your and fred's ideas and modify a pair of helping hands?

A further refinement would be to determine how much stretch the rubber band needs, the feed it through a plastic tube the length of the band unstretched and attach the paper clip to it. That way the items don't fly all over the place.

I salvage a lot from boards, far more than I'll ever use but with me it's more an obsession rather than need, this little trick is going to be very helpful. The other method I favor is heating the component's pad and giving the solder a blast of compressed air to move it away from the pad, messy but quite effective, especially on multi- lead components plus the instant chill minimises overheating potential.

If you're salvaging parts and you're using an iron to do it then you're salvaging parts wrong too. Salvage is not rework. So the same techniques do not apply. When I got 2 minicomputers to scrap for parts I had to rethink my game plan myself. I spent over $150 dollars to buy a device called a solder pot. I can put a board over it, and instantly pull up any part I want. 64 lead DIP? No problem! I can pop one of those up about as fast as I can get the board over the pot where it is. You'd be fooling with that all night long using a soldering iron. It'd be beat by the time you were done playing around with it then too.

Good luck trying to blow solder out of a well made through hole plated circuit board too. It's not gonna happen. With rework you're trying to save the board, with salvage you're trying to save parts. So different techniques work best in the different situations. With salvage you don't care what happens to the board, with rework you don't care what happens to the part. These concerns dictate totally different plans of attack too.

I try and limit myself to the ways and means other people have Fred, a kid in
Chattisgarh India or Addis Ababa, Ethiopia may only have a soldering
iron and pliers as his toolkit while trying to learn electronics, and
little else. The simple tricks like the author posted increases the
chances of a succesful part recovery at no cost, and is easy to
employ. The compressed air technique I mentioned was posted up on
Youtube by a Russian lad, and again is quite effective for what
little he had in the way of resources. $150 for a solder pot =9,228
Rupees, where the mature skilled worker makes only 240 Rupees a day is a distant dream, most surely never to be realized. Their only way
out is through self- education, which is why I posted my small
contribution to the subject, but I do understand your methodology

Yeah you could get a piece of sheet metal, dish it out, throw some lead on it, and put it over a barbeque too. I saw a video on Youtube of a fellow in China doing exactly that. If I'd seen that before I bought my solder pot I might have gone a different route myself. But I bought my solder pot before the Internet really got going. So I went the way I did. Fact is molten bath is the way to fly. Get in on it however you can.

I also saw a guy using a flat clothes iron to affix SMD's to his p.c.
board, I figured maybe that could work in reverse and mimic a solder pot
so I got an old electric griddle from a thrift store, and sifted some
sand and tried using it as a "hot box", Unfortunately it wouldn't get
hot enough and I didn't want to mess with the thermostat, but one of
these days... I initially used the same technique with a camp stove, sand, and a tray and it did work, freeing up the components, but it was too difficult to regulate the heat to attain detachment but not immolation of the components, so I do think the idea is workable with the right combination of elements.

What's an SMD?

SMD is not slang, it is an acronym. An acronym that is completely recognized by industry too. SMT is also a valid acronym, though less used. SMT stands for Surface Mount Technology.