By 2016, most people have got the hang of doing SMD soldering in the garage–at least for standard packaging. Ball Grid Array or BGA, however, remains one of the more difficult packages to work with [Colin O’Flynn] has an excellent video (almost 30-minutes, including some parts that are sped up) that shows exactly how he does a board with BGA.
[Colin] uses some spare boards to lock the target board down to his bench and then uses a custom stencil and solder paste to prep the board. Once he has the solder paste on, he places the components using a homebrew air tweezer and some regular tweezers.
For reflow, [Colin] uses the common T-962A with the open source firmware. Two other modifications to the oven: a custom vent hood with a carbon filter and a Jolly Wrencher sticker for decoration (we heartily approve).
[Colin] uses a microscope to do some inspection of the board, although the BGA could have concealed faults that would be hard to spot. At the end of the video, he did find a short (but not on the BGA, luckily, so it could be reworked by hand). He also melted a header shroud that would require rework.
The detail in this video is like spending an hour in [Colin’s] shop getting a first-hand look at the process and if you haven’t done this before–or you just want to pick up some of his tips–there’s a lot of value to that. We’re beginning to get spoiled with all the work [Colin] puts in to share his skills and knowledge. He presented a fantastic USB workshop at the 2015 Hackaday SuperConference, and did an amazing job of designing and documenting high-end embedded hardware security equipment with the second place winner in the 2014 Hackaday Prize: ChipWhisperer.
We’ve seen custom BGA rework stations and even some crazy hand-soldering of small pin count BGAs. [Colin’s] method requires a stencil and a reflow oven (although a conscripted toaster oven would probably work).