I ordered this awesome N|Watch
kit the other day, which requires some serious SMD hand-soldering skills. There’s always the easy alternative to use a reflow oven
, but guess what, there is no stencil included (and no, I don’t have a paste dispenser). In a desperate need of a third hand (!) in order do a neat job, I saw some similar DIY solutions (thumbs up for Google images) and managed to build my own version in less than 30 minutes, just using junk metal parts : the SMD beak
Step 1 : The arm : find a metal rod (mine was 5 mm), file its tip to a conical shape (like a pencil) and bend it at about 90 degrees. Adjust its length to your preference.
Step 2 : The base : find a larger metal rod, about one inch in diameter and length. Drill a hole (for about 1 cm deep) using the same drill size as the arm diameter.
Step 3 : The weight : find a third rod, about half an inch in diameter and length. Drill a hole in the center, using the same drill size as before, this time all the way through. This is going to be the extra tip weight, for a firmer component grip.
A few tests : the tip weight is substantial, nothing can move at all, even the smallest passive components. Now ready for soldering !
For More Details: The SMD beak