SMD soldering aids for small boards

Jim Sheldon

Having bought the EZ Keyer IIi SMD kit and also gotten several other
boards with SMD's on them I found that with my fat fingers, I needed a
way to keep the parts from bouncing off the board during construction &
especially something to keep them in place during soldering. In
commercial SMD board population, this is all done by precision machines
and, of course, those machines and the programming necessary, especially
for a "one off" board, would be totally impractical for any of us
amateurs so we have to muddle through or build some kind of aid to keep
the parts corralled and in place until they are soldered to the boards.

So far none of the kits I've built have had circuit boards larger than 3
X 5 inches so I made the tray fixture out of readily available hobby
woods from either Home Depot or Hobby Lobby,
For the hold down device, I used stuff I had on hand - an old heavy
steel base from an unrepairable, home made bug I scrapped plus some
surplus 6061-T6 aircraft aluminum bar stock obtained from a surplus
metals store in Wichita called the "Yard" store. It helped that I do
have a small table top milling machine and a bandsaw but everything
could have been done with a hacksaw and a file plus a drill and tap.

It got it's first use on the EZ Keyer IIi kit and worked so well I
decided to at least share the pictures of the fixture to the group's
photo's area.

Tried uploading the pix yesterday (followed Yahoo's directions) but they
would not upload. Funny but this morning everything worked and I was
able to get all the photo's uploaded. I hope they prove helpful, not so
much as a construction project, but as idea generators for anyone
wanting to do something similar.

Jim - W0EB

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