Soldering and heating with hot air

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by kinsler33, Sep 27, 2017.

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  1. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

    Aug 17, 2014
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    2 in 1 Soldering Rework Stations SMD Hot Air & Iron Desoldering Welder ESD 862D+ | eBay

    The oddly-worded URL above links to an eBay listing for a soldering device similar to the one I purchased last year without much forethought. The thing is way too big and weird, but it's very well made and I have recently found a use for its most obscure feature.

    Over on the left is a 'solder rework station' for electronic circuit boards that use surface-mount devices (which are generally horrible to anyone as old as I.) It's like a very small, very concentrated hair dryer, and it will emit a stream of air hot enough to melt tin-lead solder at the very least.

    When confronted with torn-off bezel hinges and glass-holding tabs and the like I'd used my grandmother's old 150 watt American Beauty soldering iron (she used it to make bomb fuses at the Chicago Coin pinball machine factory in World War II, in fact.) It's a noble old tool, but utterly awkward if you've got a hand tremor like mine.

    So the other day I tried the Solder Rework Tool, or whatever it's called, playing the stream of hot air onto the solder blob where the bezel hinge had been attached. It melted immediately. Then I soldered the old hinge in place, and it was the neatest job I'd ever done. That's because I didn't have to lay a tinned soldering iron tip against the brass bezel to heat the solder joint, and that meant that there was no little blip of solder to contend with after I was through.

    There may be many more applications of this here device, for it'll heat up a stuck part without a flame.

    M Kinsler
     
    Bill Stuntz and Time After Time like this.
  2. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User
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    An interesting contraption and the price is 'right'. I like that it has (or claims to have) accurate temperature control. I have a huge old soldering iron like your grandmother's but I think 300 watt. I seldom use it for the same reasons. Thanks for sharing.

    RC
     
  3. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
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    Interesting. 500 degrees Celsius is pretty hot! Thanks for sharing.
     
  4. mldenison

    mldenison Registered User
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    Very neat! I just bought one. I have 2 SMD clock projects, each with a couple of SMD's. Now, maybe I can try to finish them.
     
  5. Dick C

    Dick C Registered User

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    Interesting machine.

    I have never soldered something like a hinge to the bezel, both brass. However, I am now in the learning mode and have read many of the posts in the forums, utilized the Internet, etc.

    Would you please describe the steps that you took after removing the old solder such as cleaning the two surfaces, if/how you applied flux, the type of solder that you utilized, how you might have clamped the two pieces together, whether you utilized the hot air device or the iron to heat the hinge (or the bezel), etc.?

    Thank you
    Dick
     
  6. Bill Stuntz

    Bill Stuntz Technical Admin
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    I just ordered one! My soldering station has been giving me trouble lately, and I need a new one anyway. And it should be useful for my part-time work as a PC tech, too. I occasionally need to re-flow the solder joints of surface mount graphics chips on laptop System Boards. The precision hot air gun should let me do that.
     
  7. bangster

    bangster Super Moderator
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    I'd like to see a pic of this tool in action!
     
  8. Dave T

    Dave T Registered User
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    Yea, me too! Up til now, I've never been able to solder anything to my satisfaction!!
     
  9. wow

    wow Registered User
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    I bought one after I read this thread. So far, I have only used it in a test to check it out. I had an old movement with a terrible solder job on the EW. It was soldered to the collet. Solder piled up. I turned on the hot air gun and gradually turned up the temp till the solder started melting. It blew the excess solder away and I removed the wheel easily. The soldering gun has several tips to choose from. The temp control feature is the best feature. I have only used it in a test mode so far, but I am glad I got it. I think it will be very useful in clock repair.
     
  10. Bill Stuntz

    Bill Stuntz Technical Admin
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    I'm going to create a thread in the Tools forum with a link to this thread.
     
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  11. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

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    Well, to begin with, I didn't remove the old solder because it had held for about a century and had thoroughly tinned the surfaces.

    The solder was 60/40 tin-lead flux-core radio solder, about #18 gauge, that everyone used to use for electronics work. I'd tell you to find some at Radio Shack, but they're gone now. The stuff I have use now came from an electronics supplier now called MCM Electronics in Centerville, Ohio and was their house brand with the semi-pronounceable name "Tenma." In past years I've used Ersin Multicore solder, which might even be better. I know nothing about lead-free or silver-bearing solders because I haven't had to use either one yet.

    Now as for flux, I don't quite recall if I added a smear of Kester Soldering Paste and, if so, if I used the stuff I bought 20 years ago or the stuff my father bought 60 years ago: both cans are there in the drawer. It's a good flux for big stuff like bezels and other brass hardware, but do not use it on wires or they'll corrode apart in a year or so.

    The soldering technique consisted of (1) using the hot air stream to melt the existing lump of solder left on the bezel, (2) fluxing and adding a bit of solder to the tinned mating on the hinge, (3) lining up the parts and pressing them together as best I could, (4) heating up the whole thing until I was convinced that the solder on both sides had melted, which is sometimes tough to see and finally (5) continuing to hold the parts together until I was convinced that the parts had cooled enough for the solder to harden. All of which is to say that I used conventional soft soldering techniques, only with hot air instead of a soldering iron, and it worked.

    To press the parts together, which is always an interesting problem, I sat the bezel on a wooden block, laid the hinge atop it, and pressed down on the hinge with a screwdriver while I applied the hot air. This doesn't do the screwdriver a lot of good, but no harm seems to have been done.

    M Kinsler

    I might also mention that, as an experiment, I used the hot-air tool to blue the head of a nail.

    Mark Kinsler
     
  12. Dick C

    Dick C Registered User

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    many many thanks
     
  13. bangster

    bangster Super Moderator
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    I wanna see pictures.:yoda:
     
  14. wow

    wow Registered User
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    Bang, here's one on YouTube. Not about clock repair, but pretty good illustration. There are many other on YouTube.
     
  15. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    #15 shutterbug, Oct 12, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2017 at 11:48 AM
    apparently you can't watch that one unless you go to Youtube. (edit: clicking on the "watch this on Youtube" link seems to work)

    This one shows what it can do.
     
  16. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

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    That's approximately the machine I have, and I wonder if the maker of the video understood that you can use its hot air gun for soldering and intense heating as well as just for heat-shrink tubing.

    I'd have taken pictures of my own bezel-hinge soldering with the hot-air gun if I'd had any confidence that I knew what I was doing, which I didn't. It worked far better than I thought it would, and the Chinese variety seems perfectly adequate for clock work.

    M Kinsler
     
  17. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    #17 shutterbug, Oct 18, 2017 at 11:40 AM
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2017 at 11:50 AM
    I ordered one, and just got it. The main features are

    1) It heats up and cools down crazy fast! Waiting for the old style heaters to get to temperature was frustrating!
    2) It holds the set temperature throughout the process
    3) Wide selection of soldering tips and heat gun tips
    4) Easy removal of multiple solder point objects (like chips) with the heat gun.
    5) Good gun and solder tool holding fixtures
    6) Very good safety features (the air gun cools down automatically when placed in it's holder, so you don't start any fires)

    I have not yet tried the heat gun for heating big stuff like bezel hinges, but I think that will be a much easier project with it!
    There are several videos on Youtube using the machine. Search for "SMD Rework Station 862D+" to watch some of them.
    I've noticed that there is more than one name for the same machine in the video's. As long as it's the 862D+ they are the same machine.
    I also noted that the ones in the video have a clamp fixture to hold the various gun tips to the heat gun. Mine has a newer 'screw on' feature which looks faster and better.
    I'm envisioning the air gun as a great tool for keeping hot glue pliable as you position objects too!
     
  18. wow

    wow Registered User
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    Shop around. I got mine at a great price. There are many from which to choose.
     
  19. Bill Stuntz

    Bill Stuntz Technical Admin
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    Mostly in the $50 ballpark. After I ordered mine, I saw one for about $5 cheaper. So I should have shopped around a little. I just got mine and haven't actually used it yet, but I'm convinced that it will be a very handy gadget.
     
  20. wow

    wow Registered User
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    On eBay for less than 40 with free shipping.
     
  21. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

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    Ulp.

    I sure hope everyone likes their machines. Otherwise I suppose you can blame me.

    I've been using mine to re-construct a warning lever that I somehow managed to lose off a grandfather clock movement. I re-strung the chains, set it up on the test rack, started the pendulum, admired the nice vigorous pendulum motion, and behold: there is no warning lever and no e-clip on its pivot post. I have a photograph of the movement with the that lever, so I know I had it and I know roughly what it should look like. And I have torn the place apart in the search.

    In any event, I'm getting better at soldering, and learning just how an Urgos chime auto-correct works.

    M Kinsler

    rats
     
  22. Bill Stuntz

    Bill Stuntz Technical Admin
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    I KNEW that machines like that existed. And I assumed they'd be out of my price range until I looked into them because of your post. Thanks! :mytnx: So yeah, I DO blame you. But "credit" might be a better way to say it.
     
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