de-soldering station/ home brew hot air rework deal

I use my RS slder sucker quite a bit but it’s a real PITA because it has no switch and the stand that came with it is worthless. I may not know any better but it’s an awesome and fast tool for removing stuff from boards.

The worst thing about it is that it takes a couple of minutes to warm up and before using it I have to plug it in under the bench and make sure it’s not touching anything and then crawl around to unplug it when I’m finished and keep an eye on it while it cools etc.

Anyway, I got a new soldering station and figured I’d put the old one to good use:

The soldering station used the same iron as the sucker so it was an easy swap. I also moved the cord to the iron so it comes out the front rather than the rear.

I have some little pumps/motors/solenoids that came from blood pressure machines so I was thinking about trying to turn it into a home brew hot air station. It gets REALLY HOT but air moving through the tip may cool it off too much to be of any use.

Any thoughts or should I forget about the hot air deal and just get back to the project I was working on before I ran off on this?

Somewhere out there is an instructable for doing just what you are proposing; I don't remember what kind of pump was used, but a hole was cut into the squeeze bulb of the desoldering iron, and 1/4 inch tubing from the pump was forced into the hole. It was done this way because the squeeze bulb was heat resistant (probably some kind of silicone?).

Since you seem to want to keep the function of the desoldering iron, I would instead look for some silicone tubing that could fit over the metal tube the bulb fits on (you may want/need some kind of hose clamp as well); that way you could swap the bulb for the air source as needed.

As far as how well it would work - dunno. There are more than a few examples out there of homebrew SMT hot-air rework stations, so you might want to look around and see what other people have done.

It gets REALLY HOT but air moving through the tip may cool it off too much to be of any use.

I saw a DIY setup where fine steel wool was stuffed inside the heated part of the tip to hold extra heat and quickly heat the air when moved thru it. The easiest air control might be from the mouth thru aquarium tubing to the tip.

Good idea on the steel wool. I was thinking about a spring or coiled wire.