If you're like me, you have a ton of PCBs laying around from things you've taken apart. Put them to good use and salvage the components from them.
Step 1: Stuff You'll Be Using
Either a desoldering iron, a soldering iron and desoldering pump, or a soldering iron with desoldering wick or braid.
Solder (It helps, trust me)
Helping Hands (Optional)
Magnifying glass (Useful if you're desoldering surface mount components)
PCB Board to get components from
Water Bottles (Optional, but you'll need them if you're making the containers)
Step 2: Using a Desoldering Iron or a Soldering Iron and Pump
Find the component you want to take off, then flip your PCB over. Try to find the leads to your component, and hold your desoldering iron on the lead until the solder melts, then suck it up. If you can't get enough solder off, try adding a little. Weird, but it works. Make sure you squeeze the bulb BEFORE you stick the iron on the solder, otherwise you'll blow molten solder everywhere. And you do not want that.
Once you sucked up enough solder, break the leads away from the hole, then pull the component out. In the pictures, I'm desoldering a tact switch from an old stereo. I was lucky enough to have switches with only two leads.
Step 3: Desoldering With a Soldering Iron and Pliers
If you don't have a desoldering iron, you can desolder two-lead components using a normal soldering iron and needle-nose pliers.
Clamp the board in your helping hands, and grab the component you want to take out with your needle nose pliers. Heat one of the leads, and at the same time, tilt the component so you pull the lead out. What you'll get is a lopsided component. The idea is to do this while alternating sides until the component comes out. It's a good idea to use locking pliers.
Thanks to Zaen for this tip. Instead of using pliers, wedge a small screwdriver under the component while heating the leads.
Step 4: Create Containers
This step is for all you green people out there.
We are going to make containers for the components out of old water bottles. Recycling before recycling!
Using an x-acto knife, cut the bottom of the water bottle off, starting 3 or 4 bumps up. Stack three to create a set. Repeat this for as many water bottles as you like.
These containers are pretty stable, and are quite useful, too.
I find I am always wanting tact switches, for simple projects or more complicated ones. And who doesn't like LEDs? Salvaging parts is a great way to save money and get the parts you want. So that's it! Thanks for reading!