As with last time I'll begin with an overview of the work area. It consists of two back-to-back workbenches that are typically used in tandem.
|Assembly and test bench|
I have a grounded mat plus a wrist strap for working at this bench, grounded through the earth terminal of my benchtop power supply.
|Close-up of test equipment|
Just off the right side of the frame is my cheap 10x/30x stereo inspection microscope from Premiere. It's proved invaluable for checking the quality of component placement and looking for shorts, as well as just providing a close-up view when manually applying solder paste or placing components.
|Through-hole component inventory|
If you look closely at the full resolution frame you can see that the left-hand iron is labeled "SAC305 ONLY" and the right hand is labeled "LEAD ALLOYS ONLY". I try to avoid mixing solder alloys when I can, and rather than swapping tips it's easier to have two identical irons. The majority of my work is lead-free but occasionally I find it necessary to rework an older board using 63/37.
The hot air pencil is absolutely indispensable for SMT soldering. It allows me to reflow a single component during rework without putting the entire board in the oven, getting much nicer looking joints than I would if I used an iron as well as taking advantage of the self-aligning properties of the reflow process. It's also about the only way to remove a large QFP intact.
Just visible at the right side of the frame is an activated-charcoal solder fume extractor. While I do work in a large room with good ventilation, it's a lot harder to replace your lungs than a TSSOP so I prefer to err on the side of caution ;)