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Hot plate for SMD reflow

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djsb:
I'm thinking about buying or making a hot plate for SMD reflow work. Does anyone know of any plates that are specifically made for the purpose and that are not too expensive? Another possibility is buying a PID controller, a cartridge heater and a thermostat and making a plate out of Aluminium. Like this one
 
http://www.neufeld.newton.ks.us/electronics/?p=537

Any thoughts?

David.

GeoffS:
Have you considered using an electric frypan or skillet?

Cut off the raised edge and bolted a piece of 25mm aluminium plate to the base. You could then use a PID controller similar to that in your link for temperature control.

not_Dave:
Have you heard about how they did business at sparkfun? I the beginning they used a hot plate just like you asked. Here is a link to their tutorial..

http://www.sparkfun.com/tutorials/59

mikeselectricstuff:
Problem with hotplates is heat-up time. Try a toaster oven. I use this one from CPC. Someone at Adafruit posted about a cheaper one from Argos

Hypernova:
They also sell a kit that let you convert ovens, the same kit should work just as well for hot plates.

http://www.sparkfun.com/products/81

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