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DIY vacuum pen

Vacuum pen for SMD soldering

As I’m into SMD soldering for the moment I wanted a vacuum pickup tool. So the first thing I tried out was a manual pickup tool for eBay like this one

That didn’t work out all that great.

Lots of people have made vacuum pens using a regular aquarium air pump. But as I already have a vacuum pump in my AOYUE 968 rework station I might as well use that.
This vacuum pump is normally used for sucking out soldering fumes but as many other I found the attachment very annoying to have on my soldering tool. So why not use it as a vacuum pickup tool instead?

So I dismantled the eBay tool

Took some electrical tape over the slot in the pen, added a vacuum control hole in the front of the pen and a hole for a plastic valve that is normally used in aquariums. The reason for this valve is to control the airflow so I can get the correct vacuum for different parts.

It actually worked out great.