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Dust of your karate skills for this solder removal tip!
Soldering is one of the most useful skills you can have - and it truly is an art. With practice and patience, you can solder tiny pitch SMD components and rework your projects with the best of them. With that said, there are tricks to the trade that, while maybe a bit unorthodox, can make soldering a bit easier. Today, we have a tutorial from SparkFun Engineer Chris Taylor on the "Slap Method" for Through-Hole Rework. Check out the video:
In the above video, Chris is demonstrating how he removes solder out of some vias when he accidentally soldered a row of header pins to the wrong side of the board. To sum it up succinctly - you heat up the vias and then "slap" the board onto your desk - sending the solder flying and thus clearing the vias.
Keep in mind that though it sounds really simple (and truthfully, it kind of is), this can be a dangerous method and you should take precautions (like wearing goggles and long pants). We don't recommend it for beginners. Remember too that this can be hard on components. We have almost never had any issues, but the potential for harming something on your board is certainly present. Check out the tutorial for more explanation and pictures on how to use the "slap method." What non-conventional tricks and tips do you have for working on your projects? Let us know in the comments!