After a recent post on the topic, I decided to experiment with a bit of IC decapping by way of propane torch. My first chip roast went relatively well allowing access to the precious chip within. I imagine a more evenly distributed & thorough torching would have made the hammer unnecessary – but I was happy with it as a first try.

Now I find myself in need of better optics – anyone have any microscope recommendations?

Update: Already some very helpful tips rolling in! –

Marc writes –

The hottest part of a flame is the tip of the inner cone (blue part). You should never touch the cone to the workpiece. (sorry, I majored in product design – metals)

Duly noted and thanks!

Keith writes –

Boy Scout tip — be careful heating porous rock and concrete. If it has a high moisture content and the water boils faster than it can be driven out, the rock could potentially explode.

It certainly doesn’t look like that was an issue here, but one might recommend baking the moisture out at < 100°C for a while before torching.

Another reason I should’ve stayed in Scouts. Good point.