Trying to replace a dead capacitor on a motherboard, or playing with advanced tweaks and repairs to add on cards is incredibly difficult to do successfully without a hot air pencil to help you get the solder off.  All to often you will get the component off, and bake the area around where it used to be.  MAKE:Blog has a project for all you modders out there, with an inexpensive hot air pencil you make yourself.

“SMT desoldering stations can be very expensive. So what are you suppose to do? Make your own, and that is exactly what Alfredo did with surprisingly good results. For those of you that are wondering, YES, that is a soda bottle in there! Now that’s recycling!

Working with SMTs (surface mount technology components) is quite difficult without an smt hot air pencil. The prices of smt stations are too high, so I decided to build it by my own. The result is very impressive. Anyone with basics electronics can try to build it, it’s made with common materials.”

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk