There are a number of basic tools that are required:
- Range of screwdrivers (flat head, phillips head, torx)
- Range of pliers (long-nose, flat)
- Wire cutters, metal shear (also to cut plastics)
- Soldering iron - desoldering pump and solder wick
- Multimeter - preferrably with L,C,R and transistor tester
Get a "system" for storing and labelling salvaged parts. The typical "junk box" approach (i.e., everything just thrown into a conveniently large container) is pretty limiting, as you will spend a lot of time "hunting through" this junk box and not really know what you may or may not have for a particular project. It is much better to have a series of containers that are labelled appropriately (e.g., capacitors, connectors, sockets, switches, motors, etc).
The actual containers in turn can be "salvaged" (or recycled) by just using food containers (e.g. plastic 2L ice-cream containers are my favourite, and not just because they use to store ice-cream which I was "forced" to consume in order to get the container!), cardboard boxes from various products, etc.
Have an old cloths iron that can be mounted hot side facing up onto which PCB's containing SMD's can be placed. The PCB is heated from underneath and from the component side (when hot enough) the SMD's can then be picked off with tweezers.
For those particularly fussed about working out "black blob components" and or with a penchant for "de-capping" and really finding out the internal secrets of IC's, the following link gives details about a decapping procedure (requires acids, so at your own risk) http://travisgoodspeed.blogspot.com.au/2009/06/cold-labless-hno3-decapping-procedure.html.
Again for those that are particularly interested, a "black blob component" is more correctly termed Chip-on-board (COB) apparently. From http://electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/9137/what-kind-of-components-are-black-blobs-on-a-pcb:
"the techniques is called Chip-on-board (COB). You do exactly the same to bond the die directly to the PCB as you would to bond the pins in an IC package. Savings: no package needed. (You could say no soldering also, but that has to be done anyway, so that's not really something you save on). COB is not cost-effective for small series, and with a few exceptions you will only see it on mass-produced products (100k~1M/year). The blob is an epoxy resin to protect the IC with the bonding mechanically; the bonding wires are very thin (as thin as 10μm for gold wire) and therefore extremely fragile. Another form of protection it offers is reverse engineering protection. This is not fool-proof (the resin can be removed), but it's a lot harder to reverse-engineer than simply desolder an IC.