Hi Grant alias LaDog Yes, the forums have been dead of late. We had a high count of spam and blocked the forum for a while and this lead to users not interacting. Thanks for contacting us.
Rework stations do not have to be that expensive. A common solution is to use a stand for a temp controlled heat gun propped up in an inverted position to blow hot air on to a board which is supported by preferably ply wood. When heating a specific area the components can be easily removed. The gun should in preference have a range of tapered nozzles which can focus the air flow. This works very quickly – just don’t damage the board. RoHS is another problem entirely because of the greater temps and boards can be easily burnt.
I’ll run this as an article next week.
The most commonly used reworking manufacturer in SA is Magnum.
You can make all your own tools for this job, including a hot air gun with a small nozzle.
Maybe other readers can suggest some simple solutions. We aren’t really all that excited about sending readers off to the Asian market place – I believe Lauren Manufacturing are the manufacturers of the Magnum series of soldering and rework tools. They work very well and are reliable. Parts can be purchased for them easily. (Communica and Mantech plus others). I have two, the 2002 an 2004 (one has a temp display). They must be about ten years old without any hitches. Don’t buy cheap soldering irons – good bits are expensive and last. Cheap ones don’t. Because they are uncontrolled often the element burns out if left on. Leakage current is also extremely important.
Will follow up here, thanks for the post.