Multiple PCBs, through hole component installation

Soldering up a PCB using through hole components can be sped up by using the following process.
#1 You want to solder up several PCBs.
#2 Out of old PCB material, cut a piece the same side as the board you want to assemble in #1.
#3 - Cut a piece of 1/2" foam the same size as in #2.

  • Use double sided tape to stick the foam onto the board in #2
    #4 Get some 1/2" aluminum channel from Home Depot and cut off 2 to 4 one inch pieces.
    #5 Take a second work board (as in #1), add 4 standoffs to the mounting holes. Add set screws to the tops of the stand offs.
    #6 Insert your work PCB onto the set screws in #5.
    #7 - Insert all your lowest through hole components (resistors diodes etc.) onto the work PCB in #6
  • Put the foam card in #3 on top of the work PCB.
  • Compress the foam down and add the aluminum channel pieces.
    #8 Solder the components and cut off all leads.
    #9 As before but this time add all your I.C.s
    #10 Solder all your I.C. pins.
    . . .
    Repeat as needed.

If you are doing only one PCB then a device like this is useful (made by Weller).

In #2 you capture your through hole components with the movable arm (has foam pad on it).
In #3 you rotate the (k)nob ( :astonished: ) to expose the bottom side for soldering.


That could be handy.

I participated in this Kickstarter...

My Grip arrived about a week ago. Unfortunately I don't have anything to assemble. But I should in about a month. If anyone is interested I will report back after I've used it.

You've got me in a grip. :relaxed:
Let us know how you like it.

I have used the Weller unit for years, have to replace the foam now though.
Grip looks like it has a nice third hand capability.


You should add a foam hand to your grip.

Let us know how you like it.

Will do.

There have been a few reports of minor problems. The Grid folks were very quick to provide replacement parts.

I did assemble it. That went well.

You should add a foam hand to your grip.

Great minds think alike. :smiley:

That's my plan. When I first looked over their videos that idea popped into my head. I'm hoping to find a foam (or reasonable substitute) that can survive the the heat. That way I don't have to be so concerned about shortest-to-tallest. Huh. I wonder if sand in a linen bag would work. Or something like a contour gauge. Or a pin art toy.

After soldering 100s of PCBs and useing only regular 1/2" foam never had any problems with melting.
Never tried it but may be a soft natural brush might work also.

I use a Shurline brush when making PCBs to speed up the etching process.
It has brush filaments on a bed of foam maybe try it.
Buy them at HomeDepot.

Had my wife sew 1 - 1/2 cups of tapioca in a cotton bag.
Use it as a self forming weight when adding components to material.