Hand machined mechanical pencils

Surface mount component soldering arm (28/06/08)

This is quite a simple tool, but it's very useful for holding surface-mount components in place whilst soldering.

A rotatable arm is mounted in a ball-bearing pivot, which in turn is held in a standard ½" Thorlabs optical post mount. This allows the arm to be swung around and adjusted for height. The pivot was some bit out an old printer. Different "fingers" can be attached to the end of the arm. I normally just use a plastic point which can hold any surface mount component in place. Shown below are several split clamps for holding MSOP-8 packages (I can't remember exactly why I needed these!). The finger bears down on a "table" where the PCB can be attached.

Soldering an SOIC-8

Soldering an MSOP-8

Holders for MSOP-8

Closeup of MSOP-8 holder