Soldering and heating with hot air

kinsler33

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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
 

R. Croswell

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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
 

mldenison

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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.
 

Dick C

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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
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
 

Bill Stuntz

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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.
 

bangster

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I'd like to see a pic of this tool in action!
 

wow

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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.
 

Bill Stuntz

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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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kinsler33

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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
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
 

wow

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

shutterbug

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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.
 
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kinsler33

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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
 

shutterbug

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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!
 
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Bill Stuntz

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Shop around. I got mine at a great price. There are many from which to choose.
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.
 

kinsler33

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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
 

Bill Stuntz

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

Bruce Alexander

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I just found another very good use for these machines: setting and adjusting Jewel Pallets. The accurate temperature control works like a charm. Combine it with a 3rd hand soldering stand and run the temp around 285 (for shellac flakes) works pretty well using either the soldering iron or the heated air with a narrow tip and low air flow. :thumb:
 

wow

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Love the hot air for soldering. Working on a very old American made tall case right now and the minute hand broke off when I was setting the clock. Checked it and found that it had been soldered at some point in its 200 year history. Poor solder job. I cleaned up the joint, cut a small piece of brass so it fit the width of the hand at the broken point, fluxed and tined each piece with silver bearing solder, then laid the brass strip over the broken joint and heated it with the hot air till the solder melted. Ended up with a very strong joint. Smoothed it all out with my Dremel and painted it black. Much better than an iron or a pencil torch. Controlling the temp is the best part.
 

Derek Smith

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I've been soldering for more than 45 years and do an adequate job of it. But one look at this and I "accidentally" hit buy. At least that's the story I'm sticking with when my wife asks me. ;-)

Thanks for the tips! (No pun intended!)

-Derek
 

Bruce Alexander

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It takes up a little shelf space but it's a very nice piece of equipment to have Derek. I already had a couple of soldering tools but I'm glad I decided to buy one of these.
 

kinsler33

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Centigrade, which is popularly known as Celsius. Nobody seems to use Fahrenheit for much of anything these days except American weather reports.

Celsius: 0 = freezing point of water, and 100 = boiling point of water.

Fahrenheit: 0=lowest temperature easily produced in the lab, which is with an ice-salt mixture, and 100, which is body temperature in most of us. :
 

shutterbug

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You can choose which one you want displayed. Personally, I don't use the Celsius scale for much of anything. It must depend on where you live :)
 

Bill Stuntz

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I don't use the Celsius scale for much of anything. It must depend on where you live
Me too. I understand Celsius, and agree that it's "better" than Fahrenheit. But I can't THINK in it. I grew up thinking in degrees F, and I don't automatically "feel" degrees C. I "know" 0, 25, 37, 100. But unless it's near one of those, I have to convert. I don't KNOW whether I'd want to wear a jacket at 20C, or shorts at 30C without converting.
 

dAz57

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We converted to metric in 1974, so while my first car had both mph and kph on the Speedo all later cars are kph, except my 1928 model A, I just pot along at the speed she likes, a summer time day hits 35°C I know it's going to be hot and generally quite humid too.

Currently sitting on 23°C which is quite nice

While sometimes I might use feet and inches, when I am actually measuring things I only use metric, mm, I can blame that on the watch trade because they only use metric well before I started in the trade..
 

Bill Stuntz

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I wish the US had converted to metric... if we had, I'd have been able to learn to think in it.
 
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harold bain

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In Canada we went metric in the 1970's. I still think in Fahrenheit and convert easily. Strangely if I want an 8 foot 2 x 4, that is what I order, as lumber is still imperial measure, probably because our trading partner for softwood is the USA
 

shutterbug

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The US tried to convert, but people kept wanting to compare the old with the new. If they had just made the leap, we'd be metric too by now :)
 

Bill Stuntz

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If they had just made the leap, we'd be metric too by now
Yep. Too many people resisted the obvious advantages. I wanted it, but since we didn't switch, metric hasn't become intuitive. I still have to mentally convert to "feel" what the numbers mean.
 

john e

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For dimensions and velocities, I only use feet/miles.

For soldering, I use only Celsius. 183 Pb/Sn, 221 Sn/Ag, 232 Sn, 345 Pb.

John
 

Bill Stuntz

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183C=361.4F, 221C=429.8F, 232C=449.8F, 345C=653F but I have to admit, I wouldn't want to feel any of those numbers. They all convert to "too hot to touch" - and I used to have a "solder drop" scar to prove it.
 

Dick C

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Yep. Too many people resisted the obvious advantages. I wanted it, but since we didn't switch, metric hasn't become intuitive. I still have to mentally convert to "feel" what the numbers mean.
For many it became a financial decision as the cost of tooling changes, etc....would be out of their ability to pay for the changes.
 

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I might also mention that, as an experiment, I used the hot-air tool to blue the head of a nail.
I have a pair of hands which had a fairly nice blue color but they also had light rust and pitting so I wanted to re-blue them.

This piece of equipment does a very nice job of bluing Hands as Mark alluded to in his earlier post.

Attached are a couple of photos of polished hands before and after exposure to the hot air gun.
I attached the widest tip available and cranked up the heat (550 degrees F) and the fan to their maximum settings and used an "Extra Hands Soldering Aid" to suspend the hands above a non-flammable surface.

The bluing process proceeds at a slow and predictable rate. The temperature is well controlled and gave a deepbluish-purple color on these hands.
The color is just what I was hoping for.



Polished Hands.jpg
Blued Hands.jpg

Edit: The minute hand actually looks a lot better than the photo suggests. The light washed out most of the bluing towards the tip. :)
 
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dAz57

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I used my heat gun to remove the crystals from a pair of Tissot rockwatches, the case on these is granite, to get the movement out the hands have to come off first and since the dial and case is one piece, generally the crystal is broken to remove it,

So with nothing to lose I removed the back, placed the watch on a thick steel block, then with the 5mm nozzle I ran that around the glue joint while watching with a loupe, once the glue started to bubble I was able to lift the crystal with a sharp screwdriver, both crystals came out with no damage to the case or movement.
 

Dick C

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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
I am about to solder a hinge to a bezel using the hot air technique. The hinge and the bezel appear to be approximately the same thickness.

The glass is still on the bezel held in by brass tabs. Would you recommend removing enough tabs in order to remove the glass or bending them up to get the glass removed or is it okay to solder the hinge with the glass in?

Dick C
 

Derek Smith

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The method I use to remove glass from the bezel is to put the bezel in my parts dryer and warm the whole thing up until the glass can be popped out with very little pressure or effort. The ring will expand to be larger than the glass.

My "parts dryer" is really nothing more than a cheap $25 hood type hair dryer from amazon with the hose going into a cardboard box. I've been meaning to build a real wood box, but it has sufficed for a long time and I've got plenty of other, more fun things, to do.
 

Rockin Ronnie

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The method I use to remove glass from the bezel is to put the bezel in my parts dryer and warm the whole thing up until the glass can be popped out with very little pressure or effort. The ring will expand to be larger than the glass.

My "parts dryer" is really nothing more than a cheap $25 hood type hair dryer from amazon with the hose going into a cardboard box. I've been meaning to build a real wood box, but it has sufficed for a long time and I've got plenty of other, more fun things, to do.
Can you show us a photo of your parts dryer?

Ron
 

R. Croswell

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My "parts dryer" is really nothing more than a cheap $25 hood type hair dryer from amazon with the hose going into a cardboard box. I've been meaning to build a real wood box, but it has sufficed for a long time and I've got plenty of other, more fun things, to do.
Thee's something that seems a bit unsettling about cardboard and wood around heat sources. How about making a nice metal box? Aluminum sheet, and angle strips, and pop rivets are available at most hardware stores. A metal box would eliminate any fire hazard, and also eliminate any out gassing of volatile compounds in the wood, or cardboard, or the glue used in either product, and well as potential dust issues.

RC
 

Derek Smith

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I did use a metal box, really a case, for a few days. It got so hot that is was uncomfortable to touch. The blow dryer doesn't produce so much heat as to start a fire or create a seriously dangerous situation. Remember, it's designed to blow air onto your head.

In any case, it only takes a few minutes in the dryer to dry the parts and I never simply walk away from it and leave it unattended. Part of my plan when I build the box is to incorporate a 10minute timer so the dryer won't run longer than that without a restart.

Derek
 

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