A poor man's desoldering station


A DIY desoldering station made from a cheap electric desoldering tool and salvaged parts.

My father made this for himself to cope with the amount of rework he was given in the nineties.

Bill of materials

You need :

An electric desoldering tool that lends itself to this hack is this one :

RS Components/Radiospares used to sell this tool as the "OK Industries electric de-soldering tool item no. SA-6-230" (order code 604-501). Operating instructions.

Nowadays, Rapid Electronics sell one branded "RVFM" that looks exactly the same (order code 85-0900).

Maplin have a similar product (order code N37CH).


Remove the desoldering tool's piston. With tubing, connect the pump...

... to a petrol filter...

... to the inlet of the compressor via a solenoid valve :

The outlet of the compressor is left open :

The SPST switch controls the compressor.

The momentary switch controls the valve. Mount it so it can be used as a pedal.

The petrol filter is there to keep solder particules and other residues out of the compressor. The one used here is a "Purflux EP58 filtre essence".


For those not already familiar with desoldering tools :

Put the compressor and switches on the floor under the bench.

Power the electric desoldering tool and the compressor. Wait until the desoldering tool has heated up.

Touch the desoldering tool's nozzle to the solder blob. When all the solder in the hole has melted, step on the momentary switch. The solder is sucked in. Repeat until all pins are desoldered.

This is http://www.teaser.fr/~amajorel/desolder/, last modified AYM 2008-11-19.