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  1. #1
    520 started this thread.
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    Video of Board Sorting and Depopulating with Air Chisel

    I know you guys like pics but do you like videos? Just a simple video I made while sorting boards and depopulating low grade boards.

    Lot of threads talk about using screw drivers, chisels and pliers to depopulate. IMO this $14 dollar air hammer from Harbor Freight is the quickest way for going through a lot of boards.



    Yeah sure I bust a chip or 2 into pieces but I would say +80% come off just fine and it's the fastest way. Way better than pliers or channel locks for removing transformers.

    I get .05-.15 for the low grade boards if they are depopulated or not so for me it's worth the time and effort when I have nothing else going on.

    It took me 30 mins to sort and depopulate a 55 gal barrel full of boards when I was going full speed. In the video I am going slow to show how I do it a bit better than if I was ripping through everything at full tilt.


    Last edited by 520; 09-21-2018 at 06:29 PM.

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  3. #2
    mikeinreco's Avatar
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    I would consider you a fairly dangerous man sir
    BUYING ALL COMPUTER SCRAP WORKING OR NOT
    CHECK OUT MY BUYERS THREAD http://www.scrapmetalforum.com/scrap...nic-scrap.html

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    Snowman18's Avatar
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    Self explanatory.

    Dust from broken chips and surface mounts stays on the sheet metal, from where it can be brushed off into container.

    Having one hand freed up I cup this over the cutting end of the chisel when cutting a row of pins free, I also sharpen the chisel with the same profile found on a wood chisel using the ground side towards to face of the board.

    I use the pneumatic air hammer with a short stroke with the air pressure backed off to 40 psi.

    Last edited by Snowman18; 09-21-2018 at 10:10 PM.

  5. #4
    520 started this thread.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeinreco View Post
    I would consider you a fairly dangerous man sir
    How so? If I'm doing something wrong I would like to be corrected. I lost my gloves but I just bought a new pair if that's what you're talking about.

  6. #5
    520 started this thread.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowman18 View Post
    Self explanatory.

    Dust from broken chips and surface mounts stays on the sheet metal, from where it can be brushed off into container.

    Having one hand freed up I cup this over the cutting end of the chisel when cutting a row of pins free, I also sharpen the chisel with the same profile found on a wood chisel using the ground side towards to face of the board.

    I use the pneumatic air hammer with a short stroke with the air pressure backed off to 40 psi.

    Sorry for not understanding... What do you cup over the Chisel as you cut? Thanks for the tip on chisel sharpening I was thinking about doing that myself but wasn't sure.

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    Snowman18's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 520 View Post
    Sorry for not understanding... What do you cup over the Chisel as you cut? Thanks for the tip on chisel sharpening I was thinking about doing that myself but wasn't sure.
    Using the jig leaves one hand free use it as cover when cutting those long rows of pins that the ram and peripheral cards and ribbon cable connectors fit onto.

    If you choose to make a jig, shortly after you start using it you'll find ways to improve on the process.

  8. #7
    520 started this thread.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowman18 View Post
    Using the jig leaves one hand free use it as cover when cutting those long rows of pins that the ram and peripheral cards and ribbon cable connectors fit onto.

    If you choose to make a jig, shortly after you start using it you'll find ways to improve on the process.
    Ok got it. I was thinking about laying down a piece of carpet which would grip the pins on the bottom of the board but it would fill with dust which I don't want. Dust mask and fan only does so much.

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  10. #8
    Snowman18's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 520 View Post
    Ok got it. I was thinking about laying down a piece of carpet which would grip the pins on the bottom of the board but it would fill with dust which I don't want. Dust mask and fan only does so much.
    I work from the right hand side, after the board is tipped tap the edge of the board onto the hard metal plate then use the edge of the board to scape the bits and pieces over to the left hand side.

    Every so often pick out the long pieces of plastic that previous covered ram pins etc. Sometimes a cut on a row of pins will leave them inside the protective plastic if they;re gold plated on the tips I'll take the time to pull them out with a pair of side cutters. Side cutters will grip better than pliers after using them a few time you'll learn just how much pressure to apply.

    Those pins I believe are made from Kovar as are the pins on the older cpu's, kovar is also used for the pins on vacuum tubes if anyone is interested in know the reason this alloy existes google it.

    Here's Wiki link for Kovar, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kovar

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  12. #9
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    Air chisel looks like the best way to go for depopulating the boards. Nice video !

    Have you a chance to run the numbers and see how you're doing money wise yet ?

    Are the buyers okay with broken IC chips -or - do you refine those ones yourself ?

  13. #10
    520 started this thread.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hills View Post
    Air chisel looks like the best way to go for depopulating the boards. Nice video !

    Have you a chance to run the numbers and see how you're doing money wise yet ?

    Are the buyers okay with broken IC chips -or - do you refine those ones yourself ?
    If you check out my thread "520s scrap finds" I broke down the numbers in a recent post.

    As far as just the depopulating it is the least profitable part.

    But considering I still need to put hands on my boards to sort them and also I need to strip a few transformers and larger pieces of metal to make some of the green boards qualify as midgrade I might as well do the low grade stuff while I'm at it.

    I got about 2 lbs of ic chips not sure about the broken ones being accepted by buyers.

    15 pounds of aluminum and 25 pounds of transformers. These are all estiments as I don't have my scale set up.

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    520 started this thread.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowman18 View Post
    I work from the right hand side, after the board is tipped tap the edge of the board onto the hard metal plate then use the edge of the board to scape the bits and pieces over to the left hand side.

    Every so often pick out the long pieces of plastic that previous covered ram pins etc. Sometimes a cut on a row of pins will leave them inside the protective plastic if they;re gold plated on the tips I'll take the time to pull them out with a pair of side cutters. Side cutters will grip better than pliers after using them a few time you'll learn just how much pressure to apply.

    Those pins I believe are made from Kovar as are the pins on the older cpu's, kovar is also used for the pins on vacuum tubes if anyone is interested in know the reason this alloy existes google it.

    Here's Wiki link for Kovar, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kovar

    Hey thanks again for the advise! I built this temp jig to hold the boards and I am loving it. But I feel like I am breaking more boards now so I am thinking about putting a rubber edge on the 2x4's but it also could just be the current brown fiber boards I am depopulating have been sitting in the weather for probably a couple years.

    I also dug this other chisel out of my tool box. With the curve in it I can reach over other components easier. The tip on putting an edge on it like a normal chisel and using it with the grind facing down is working great. I went from 20% of the IC's breaking in half to probably only 10%.


    [IMG][/IMG]

    [IMG][/IMG]

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    A lot of the brown boards I get are very brittle.

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  17. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by 520 View Post
    If you check out my thread "520s scrap finds" I broke down the numbers in a recent post.

    As far as just the depopulating it is the least profitable part.

    But considering I still need to put hands on my boards to sort them and also I need to strip a few transformers and larger pieces of metal to make some of the green boards qualify as midgrade I might as well do the low grade stuff while I'm at it.

    I got about 2 lbs of ic chips not sure about the broken ones being accepted by buyers.

    15 pounds of aluminum and 25 pounds of transformers. These are all estiments as I don't have my scale set up.
    It's not a big money thing but i sounds like you're making something with it.

    I tried depopulating years back but it turned out to be unprofitable for me. So much of it is situational. The nearest yard to me is a sixty mile run each way. It turned out that i was losing money after deducting travel expense from the pay out at the yard.

    It was a good education though. It got me interested in all the little bits n pieces that make up the scrap value of the board.

    Took it a little further and it gave me a better appreciation of the job hazards involved. I think that was the thing that set it for me. I didn't want to trash up my shop with all of the toxic metallic dusts and fumes that were being generated during the depopulating process.

    There's got to be a better way of doing this job.

    Some kind of a closed loop system that keeps everything contained ?

    Maybe something like a hammer mill that pounds everything into a fine powder that could be assayed and sent out for further processing ?

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