toaster oven reflow soldering

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by bug13, Dec 19, 2012.

  1. bug13

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Feb 13, 2012
    Hi guys

    Recently I feel like moving from through hold to surface mount (also suggested by my tutor), I am thinking building a toaster oven reflow soldering for my hobby/education use. (for me this project itself is a good learning experience, considering the thermal dynamic, safety issue and PID control)

    Just wondering if anyone have experience with toaster oven reflow soldering? Is this any good? What should I know/research before doing anything stupid?

    Thanks :)

    I have another post asking about how to control AC load/heating element here in this forum
  2. tshuck

    Well-Known Member

    Oct 18, 2012
    Sparkfun has some pretty good write-ups about their experiences in doing reflow soldering:


    Toaster Oven
  3. ErnieM

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 24, 2011
    Google it,there are lots of people who posted their quite successful results doing exactly this.

    I made the switch to SMD maybe 10 years ago and do not regret the decision. I even use SMD parts in my prototype builds using 0.1" spaced pads on traditional prototype boards (the ones you solder to, not solderless!). A fine tip ironis all I typically need, though I also occasionally use a hot air pencil, which DOES tend to blow tiny parts all over the place if they escape your tweezers.

    SOIC and the like are handled with adapter boards to spread the tiny leads back to 0.1" spacings.

    At work we have a small bench IR top unit reflow oven,small draw you place your board, hit start,and it beeps several minutes later. It was several hundred dollars, so may be out of your budget.
    SPQR likes this.
  4. ErnieM

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 24, 2011
    Well I have a Switch Timer over in the completed projects section where I built a box to hold a button,press the button and it turns on a relay for a set (and programmable) minute count. Here's the control board:


    Sorry but my camera can't get any clearer then that and still get any detail. I tend to stock resistors and caps in 0805 sizes as there are pretty ideal for the 0.1" pads. SOT-23 transistors go down nice too, but any more leads and you best use an adapter. The cheapest (but very good) adapters all come from China or the Philippines thru EBay.

    It's a pretty big project to document all these things but your suggestion is really good... if I get some free time (and I should have some between Xmas and New Years) I just may do that. Meantime ask about anything you want, here or start another thread to keep things straight.
  5. MrChips


    Oct 2, 2009
    I do SMD boards by hand with no problem. You need the finest tip and solder you can find.
    Plus I use a microscope since my ability to focus up close is not that great at my age.
    I will post a picture of my SBC at some stage.

    I even do prototyping on double sided copper clad boards by cutting away copper strips.
    I can mount SOIC components directly without having to use adapters.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2012
  6. atferrari

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 6, 2004
    Could you show two or three pictures, please?
  7. PackratKing

    Well-Known Member

    Jul 13, 2008
    I dunnow...............I just have this aversion to placing the whole board, chips and all into a heatsource that gets everything including the board substrata up to solder flow temp... Heat being one major enemy of integrated circuitry, it just doesn't wash.
  8. SPQR


    Nov 4, 2011
    This is really superb.
    I'll let you and the mods decide on how you'd like to handle a new thread.
    I know that on this forum, there is a concern regarding "highjacking".

    My questions would be:
    1. What are the typical sizes do you buy? (you've partially answered that)
    2. When do you think you CANNOT or should not use SMDs?
    3. I use 1/32" tips, do you always use them? (Partially answered by you and others)
    4. When you make your PCBs (if you do), how do you adjust your thinking for other parts that might have to go on the top?
    5. When you solder, do you tin the part and the pad, then solder or just go for it?
    6. Can you show us one of the prototype boards you were talking about?

  9. ErnieM

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 24, 2011
    Placing the entire board, chips and all into a heatsource that gets everything including the board substrate up to the solder flow temperature is the industry standard way to reflow SMD boards.

    Most parts come with a recomended reflow temperature profile. Keep within the guidelines and all should be well.
    PackratKing likes this.