How to Create a Pin Alignment Tool
Quick and Easy Pin Alignment ToolBy John Mastromoro
It's about as simple as it can get, but I have found this tip to be quite useful, especially when you need to adjust a bent pin quickly. It's as easy as going through your ‘junk box’ items.
Save an old ball-point pen instead of throwing it out. Sooner or later a ball point pen will either have a dried up ink cartridge or, for some other reason, become useless.
Depending upon how the pen is manufactured, unscrew, or twist off, the ‘tip’ end and remove the spring (if necessary) and ink cartridge stem.
The spring has the potential for other uses, but the ink cartridge stem can most likely be discarded. Replace the ‘open tip’ onto the pen.
Now you have a simple and useful ‘pin straightener/alignment tool’ for bent pins on ICs, display modules, etc. Just insert tip over a lead at desired location to bend or over an IC pin to straighten as necessary.
If you stuff a small dab of Play-Doh or clay into the hallow tip, with just a little exposed, it can be used to pick up surface mount components.
John Mastromoro lives in Saint Johnsville, New York. He was a printer, linotype operator and an electronics tech. He is a retired Navy veteran that has worked with refrigeration and for Conrail and CSX RRs as a computer specialist. He has several US patents, is a keyboardist and enjoys designing novelty electronic games and gadgets as a hobby and been a Jameco customer since the beginning.