While the normal way of applying solder paste to your boards is with a metal stencil (or perhaps a cheaper plastic stencil for one off prototypes), if your board only has a couple dozen components or you are pressed for time, it may end up being more time consuming than it’s worth to have a real stencil made. Thankfully, solder paste stencils aren’t the only feasible way to accurately apply solder paste to you board. With only a few inexpensive pieces of equipment (and a bit of patience) you can just as easily apply the solder paste by hand
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I’ve done dozens of boards this way. For really fine pitch components, you can run a thin bead of solder along the area for the pins, and the surface tension will bead the solder up around the pins (see this article). Of course, plan on having solder wick handy to mop up the inevitable bridges…
Limor, can you comment on which tools and paste you are using? Trying to track down a good syringe for applying paste…
harvest, did you read the article? 😉
Ya … you just need to lay down one long continuous line of paste across the middle of the pads on 0.5mm parts like QFP. You sometimes get bridges (though that’s the case even with stencils) but they’re easy to clean up, and I still find it preferable to hand-soldering certain parts since you need a 350-400
Hmmm … my comment got cut in half. Moral of the story: I added a video to the page on removing bridges on QFP parts as well if it helps anyone.
Zephyrtronics http://zeph.com/ has everything for SMD rework and you can get both normal and power plungers for their syringes.
The specific page for this stuff is here: