How To - learning new techniques

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Hello all! So there have been a few times when someone knows what they want to do, but may be lacking the abilities or knowledge on how to do it.
I thought it would be a good idea to create a new page for this - Mostly I have a feeling that there will be linking to some videos. If a picture is worth 1000 words, what is 30fps worth?

Warping stencil trick

First up on the list is something I personally do when reballing larger BGA - This one is of an iPhone 7 CPU. If you get the techniques used here, SMC is NO PROBLEMO.


Check out at 49:15

Direct Link to the time stamp [1]

The important things to note are - I am applying pressure in the centerish of the stencil. Not worried about the solder paste below the tweezers as it will flow. But this will stop your stencil from bowing/lifting in the center. I like to use 385c by 40 air on my Quick. Find a setting that works for you. This is what I like. It is not a rule or a solution.

Dried up solder paste

2nd up... Is your solder paste too dry or wet? Here is me being an foolish man, and refreshing my solder paste. It dried out to a clump and well, its what I had near by. Is your paste too dry or wet? This is what I do to thin out my paste some.


Check out at 1:02

Direct Link to the time stamp [2]

If you want it to be thicker. I will drag it across my black mat a few times to let the flux stick to the mat, but take the balls with my scraper. I don't use paper towel or stuff like that.

SMC Reballing

3rd up, is how I reball SMCs. The Quick and dirty way. This is the rest of that above video.


Check out at 12:03

Direct Link to the time stamp[3] I adopted this method after reballing about 50 macbook air RAM ICs from some other experiments. As the key to everything - Practice makes better.

Here is another more recent video I made about SMC reballing. A little cleaner.


iMac screen removal (2012 and newer)

4th up. Proper iMac screen removal practices. A huge pet-peeve I have is when I see an iMac screen cracked, the paint scratched from a razor blade or damage caused by heat - all due to another "professional" removing the screen. This is the right way to remove an iMac screen. Only addition that could be added is the "wedge" to hold the iMac angle and do this vertically. I like to do it laying down as in the video.


You will receive iMacs that have the wrong adhesive on them... I am sorry. Your life just became complicated. We charge quite a bit extra if we receive one of these. There is a lot higher risk that the screen will break, and to clean the screen and housing for the proper adhesive can take hours if you are aiming to have a flawless job.
Just take it slow, if opening it feels like there is something catching, STOP and study what is going on with that screen. One I had the other week - had B7000 all around it. I used a discarded plastic (the cover for the sticky side) from the a used seal to slip in at the bottom edge and slowly sliced through the B7000 silicone to free it from the housing at the end.

Butterfly Keyboard Cleaning - Advanced

5th up. We have noticed recently an uptick in butterfly keyboards that are no longer eligible for the recall program. (https://support.apple.com/keyboard-service-program-for-mac-notebooks) We always recommend clients get it fixed for free at the local AASP, but soon this will not be possible. It seem, that it is time to learn how to repair them, one key at a time. This is the first in a series of the different types and keys, how to clean them.


You will break a few keys while learning. Please do NOT practice on clients keyboards. Always be ready to purchase a new top-case if needed and let your client know the risks and costs associated if you cant preform the repair.

Trackpad Click Cleaning

6th up in the series of How To. Trackpad click cleaning. This will work for pretty much every track pad with a physical click. Macbook pro unibodies, Macbook Airs and probably other similar designs in general.
The main problem why these become "stiff" or you need to mash them down super hard is because there is some oxidation/dirt between the contact points. You will see in the title card of the video the golden ring and circle. To have a successful click, those 2 pads need to make contact. That is the job of the snap disk. If it has a layer of oxidation or dirt, then you need to try much harder to cause good contact between the layers.

We have been doing it this way for a few years and have not seen a single one come back with any sort of click issue.