Having completed the assembly, it was time to try it out and see how well it worked. Taking a dead network card to practice on, I plugged in the pump and then the newly converted air pencil iron. Moving the flow of hot air back and forth over the pins I wanted to remove, then placing a thin X-acto Blade under them to lift them from the board, I got results after a few seconds.
I can tell I need some more practice and a new tool to lift the pins, as I was not really able to get under the middle pins without lifting the outer ones, but the overall results were positive. A strong, thin wire should make it easier to remove the pins.
The next test for the iron was attaching SM components. For this, I used one of the small electronic projects that are going to be used in my next mod. The 6 pin IC chip is a 4N35, DIP-6 PHOTO TRANS Fairchild optoelectronic device that I picked up early this year from Mouser Electronics to make my HDD led fade in and out like Japala's HDD eyes at Metkumods.
Holding the air pencil soldering iron about 1cm away from the board and chip, the solder started to melt and bind the two pieces together within a few seconds. First, the solder rippled, then it coated the copper ring of the PCB and steel of the pins as like standard soldering iron. While it did work, I really need to pick up some liquid solder or solder paste for projects like this.
It is also important to note that you will need to keep the pump on for a while after you turn off the iron or the heat from the tip will reach the air hose and melt it. Alternatively, you also can add a better hose that won't melt as easy (e.g. Silicone) but that would add to the cost of the project. Additionally, solder paste is the best thing to use when mounting SM pins, or if that is unavailable, very small rolled solder. I haven't had enough practice to feel comfortable removing the memory chip from of one of the CVS camcorders yet, but this tool is sure to make the job easier.