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Component lead cleaners.

Hints and tips for vintage technology repair and restoration
 
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Component lead cleaners.

Post by Alistair D » Sun Mar 03, 2013 3:45 pm

Many years ago RS components made a plier like tool for cleaning component legs. So often I wished I had bought a pair while they were still available.

The other day I had a flash of inspiration and here is my take on a very easy way to make your own. The pictures are pretty self explanatory. A little bit of green Scotchbrite and some double sided sticky tape was all that was needed.

Al
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Re: Component lead cleaners.

Post by Refugee » Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:43 am

Does it get the tape goo off components from reels?
How well does it cope with very old stock components?
I am thinking of making one out of plastic as there is often plenty laying about where kids have smashed old TVs to bits.

 
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Re: Component lead cleaners.

Post by Alistair D » Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:07 pm

If the glue has hardened then the Scotchbrite should remove it quite easily.

I tried the pliers on some well tarnished component legs and they cleaned up quite quickly. The green variety of Scotchbrite is more abrasive than you might think.

Al

 
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Re: Component lead cleaners.

Post by neil29 » Mon Mar 04, 2013 1:09 pm

i use a file or a metal scraper to clean component legs 8)) :wft?: . cheers,Neil.

 
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Re: Component lead cleaners.

Post by rob t » Mon Mar 04, 2013 7:37 pm

i just use a pair of long nosed pliers.
rob t

 
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Re: Component lead cleaners.

Post by Terrykc » Tue Mar 05, 2013 12:14 am

I think Alistair's idea is brilliant! :thumbr:

However, it has to be interpreted in context ...!

Component leads are tinned and, over time, the coating becomes contaminated due to reaction with the atmosphere ...

This is not a new phenomenon - I recall RS ½W resistors half a century ago that gained blackened leads very quickly just sitting in a drawer waiting to be used ...

Scraping the leads with many of the tools mentioned earlier in this thread will remove (some of) the contamination but with some provisos ...

The first, and most obvious one, is that they will only remove the contamination at the point of contact which, if it is a straight edged tool against a circular component, will be a very thin line. Increasing the pressure will result in a wider line but only at the expense of the tinned coating which will also be removed. Ultimately, the 'clean' line will be even wider but with the result of all of the coating being removed - usually accompanied by a slice off the base material, too ...

Note that I am not saying that such methods are wrong - suitable soldering methods will easily restore any surface damage and remove any remaining contamination - but that does not necessarily mean that they are an ideal solution ...

Alistair's idea is a simple and effective solution to a problem. I doubt it will remove the glue traces from bandoliered components effectively though, without getting clogged very quickly. A wipe with a suitable solvent soaked rag with resolve that problem very easily but, ask yourself this question ...

How often do you actually use the the extremities of the lead-out wires of a bandoliered component ...

Thought not - so why not cut the sticky bits of the ends and use Alistair's gizmo on the rest ...? :=D

 
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Re: Component lead cleaners.

Post by Refugee » Tue Mar 05, 2013 12:48 am

The two things I have used are first for temporary fitting for test with full length wires tin it first with a little solder from a 2.5Kg reel of solder that is very fluxy that I happen to have.
For tarnished leads I hold the component between my fingers and gently hold the tarnished lead in a pair of heavy pliers with ribbed jaws and spin it as I slowly pull it out so that I get a series of clean spirals.
I am now thinking of making a tool with the green pads out of a bit of cabinet plastic formed round a hot metal rod and trimmed. I think a pair of pliers is a bit expensive for this job but good for a trial :thumbr:

 
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Re: Component lead cleaners.

Post by Terrykc » Tue Mar 05, 2013 1:52 pm

Refugee wrote:... I think a pair of pliers is a bit expensive for this job but good for a trial ...

I'm sure that a suitable pair of cheap tweezers would work just as well (with the Scotchbrite wrapped round the jawes) and save you the cost of a new pair of pliers ...

 
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Re: Component lead cleaners.

Post by Refugee » Tue Mar 05, 2013 2:30 pm

That is another good idea :thumbr:

 
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Re: Component lead cleaners.

Post by Alistair D » Tue Mar 05, 2013 2:52 pm

Terrykc wrote:
Refugee wrote:... I think a pair of pliers is a bit expensive for this job but good for a trial ...

I'm sure that a suitable pair of cheap tweezers would work just as well (with the Scotchbrite wrapped round the jawes) and save you the cost of a new pair of pliers ...


Tweezers should be fine. I only used those pliers since I found them recently in a drawer and they are the same as a pair already in my toolbox.

Al

 
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Re: Component lead cleaners.

Post by Michael Watterson » Tue Mar 05, 2013 3:08 pm

An ink rubber (rather than softer pencil rubber) is good to clean without scratching or removing plating. Absolutely essential for perfect PCB/Veroboard esp. if using SMD.

Battery valve pins are my big corrosion issue (I guess chemicals from dying batteries). I push the base in and out of a brass suede brush and then a PCB cleaning block (softer than ink rubber but more abrasive).

Also handy are the cheap packets of double sided disposable nail file boards with coarse and fine "sandpaper" on them.

You can get VERY cheap sets of pliers that would be of little value other than attaching "Scotchbrite" or nail file boards!


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