Instructables

Where's my desoldering iron!?

Need to do a little desoldering and don't have (can't find) an iron?
The purpose of this instructable is to show how you can remove solder from a board when you're in a pinch.

Let me know what you think of doing it this way or if you have another method...
 
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Step 1: First things first

Picture of First things first
Here's what you'll need:

1) Something you want to desolder
2) a piece of wire or two
3) tinning flux would be nice
4) a soldering iron
5) wire strippers
6) pliers

I'm using a strand from a piece of cat 6 cable I had laying around. All I had was solid, but I'm guessing the stranded type might work even better (like copper braid).

Strip the wire back a couple of inches and get out those pliers.

Step 3: Tin it up. Suck it up.

Put a little flux on your wire like you are going to tin it.

Press the shaped wire down on the solder to remove and press the soldering iron on top of that. You are basically making a copper sandwich with the board on one side and the soldering iron on the other.

Sorry about no pics for this part. This took both hands and I'm a little clumsy with a camera in my mouth. (excuses excuses)

Oh yeah, be sure you hold the wire at least three or four inches back. As it is copper, it can heat up a little quick. If it heats up too much though, you are probably keeping the heat on it for too long!

If there is still solder on the board, just snip your wire back and do it again.

Step 4: Just like new.

Picture of Just like new.
And there you have it!

After a press or two, the solder has cleared off the board and out of the component hole.
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is that an easy button board?
whatup.dub (author)  TheParacorder1 year ago
Why, yes it is an easy button board.
mrmerino2 years ago
Buy a desoldering braid? Or a desoldering pump? One of those with the big plunger and the spring. Those springs are strong. My tongue still hurts.
Sigh...
putty1cat2 years ago
Good idea! I will have to try this on those really old mobos, that the solder never seems to heat and melt. I really want the capacitors for a batteryless torch.
Electorials2 years ago
Nice idea ;)
jtc105123 years ago
Very nice. I've wanted to do this when i need parts off of boards. sometimes, when i cant heat it up, i even bend the pins off. (not a good idea) i used to wonder what a good way to absorb solder was. there's copper braids that you can buy, but this is a good and cheap alternative.
pgd50004 years ago
thanks, love the matrix reference
Hey i have always wondered... are those weller cordless soldering irons any good?(unlike coldheat)
DO NOT USE COLDHEAT! it can potentially damage ur components and is not a good tool to work with pcbs

im guessing that u mean the weller butane irons. The portasol is said to be pretty good and i am considering getting it.... not only is it good for soldering (using a soldering tip) but the hot air tip and blow torch tip can be used for smt work and also possibly desoldering... Adjustable flame control also allows for precision temperatures as to not burn out certain components such as semiconductors, which are very heat sensitive

Clearly, i have done my homework on this topic, so to say
these are the irons i am talking about
yeah I know about the coldheat ones, thanks for the info
no prob so were u talking about the butane irons? cuz they also have battery powered ones which i dont think are good though....
actually any cordless
sure...
excellent if u do tiny jobs due to very thin soldering edge. Beautiful for detail jobs. And the batteries last long. Just remember to use 60/40 solder. Not less!!!
ok thanks!
duh they're weller arent they?
yeah but usually battery powered ones arent that great
weller ones are
ur stirppers are on the way!!!
Yay and so is your wick!!!
agis685 years ago
hey we have the same soldering tool....by Weller of course
Hey where can i get some flux? does radioshack sell it ? (i haven't been to radioshack in a while!)
1 week does not count as ''"a while:'' jullian
...shutup :(.....
uhhhhhhhhhhhh lets see '''NO'''
why?
cuz i said so thats why
this is actually a really great idea!!! almost like a desoldering braid!!!
dg335 years ago
Nice idea I just heat it up and whack it against something ant it just blobs off, i do the same to clean the tip of my iron but slightly more gentle so i dont brake anything...
DanCat5 years ago
Hey! Isn't that PCB from an Easy button?
whatup.dub (author)  DanCat5 years ago
Actually, yes, it is. A soon-to-be re-programmable Easy Button.
slimguy3796 years ago
what I do is heat up the bead of solder and blow real hard on the bead and the bead will come off (I don't know why I do this, because I have a de soldering gun)
hmm a screwdriver a jet lighter and anything solder will adher to tends to be good (obviously wicking it is best but...) I found during my early soldering days it's very possible to pick up solder with some wire as long as it stranded core (the one that frays and can withstand movement) or another good one is simply getting any fabric able to survive temps that solder melts at and absorbing it with that. finally you can also use a soldering iron to pick it up by heating the solder and picking it off with it (you may need to heat it a couple of times) as it seems to stick when there's too little flux left in it, then wipe off the tip on a block of scrap MDF. In the final days of technology coursework I was really getting rough on tactics (like making PCB jumpers out of screws and whatnot as my circuit was printed very wrong the technician who was even more stoned than me) By the way the stranded wire thing isn't me being patronizing it's just people call it all kinds of things...
The beauty of this technique is that it will work without any actual technique..:) Wicking, and other proper methods take some practise to master.. Just don't do this with expensive heat sensitive components..
Yeah with expensive heat sensitive components it gets risky, using the iron alone is dead easy and if you have a temp controlled one makes it possible to get heat sensitive components far quicker...
I've got quite a bit of experience both soldering and desoldering over the last few decades, and I still resort to dremel assistance to remove certain things..
Yeah definitely easier, if you're binning the board then you may aswell do it the easy way...
I'd say the technique in this instructable is pretty much only to be used on scrap pcbs as well.. I know I wouldn't be doing that while fixing an xbox anyhow..:)
emm well now... I had a little damage to an Xbox before and did some of the scrappiest soldering ever but it worked fine... A steel rod went through the whole thing and meant a PCB jumper was needed, the pole's placement couldn't have been luckier, if I find the board I'll get a pic...
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