Writing from the Fab Academy at AS220 Labs, Jenine Bressner shares the technique she uses for getting just the right amount of solder and freeing up one hand:

I demonstrate soldering components onto a step response circuit board that was milled on a Modela CNC router. My technique is informed by my soldering experience in silversmithing.

A soldering video tutorial


14 thoughts on “Nifty surface mount soldering technique

  1. Maybe because there is no electrical contact with the printed circuit intended (?) then this becomes more of a “riveting” procedure – but if otherwise, since all the contacts aren’t allowed to heat then this would seem to make a “cold solder joint” quite likely…?

  2. @theophrastus, I wondered the same thing at first, but I saw that she was making sure to heat the pin and flow the solder around the joint. (The components do make electrical contact with the printed circuit).

  3. If she had a vice to hold the board, she would probably find it much easier to apply solder. That and maybe some thinner solder.

    Interesting technique though, similar to dispensing solder-paste via a syringe.

  4. Though she makes it clear that the technique comes from a jewelry making background it is still no excuse for not using proper soldering technique.

    First, life is far easier if you drill your holes in a proper grid pattern, in the case of the header .1″ (2.54mm) on center.

    Second, as was noted by another, use a vice or the like to hold the board.

    Third, clean and tin the tip of your iron. Place a small excess of solder on the tip. Just enough to tin the tip and solder the connection. Put a small amount of flux at the interface of the pin and trace. Dip the tip in the flux and transfer it to the interface of the joint to be soldered, the heat at the interface will wick the solder into the joint as soon as it heats up producing a clean fillet. Remove the heat and you are done.

    A problem with using solder paste is the need to remove all of the residue from the board since it is conductive.

  5. This is a really cool project. I would love to work on something like this but my soldering skills aren’t that great. I used for help repairing some of the old soldering I’ve messed up on my car. They’ve always done a great job and actually taught me a few things for future projects as well.

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I'm a tinkerer and finally reached the point where I fix more things than I break. When I'm not tinkering, I'm probably editing a book for Maker Media.

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