Solder paste is a mixture of flux and metal solder powder. These two elements are highly essential when it comes to soldering two different metal pieces together using a soldering iron. Just like other types of solders such as solder wire or strips, the solder paste comes in different types of alloys, which include gold and silver.
In addition to that, different solder paste tends to have different melting points, and they include easy, medium, and hard solder pastes. Generally, a solder paste is just like any other type of solder available in the market; however, it features an added advantage whereby it is pre-mixed with flux.
As a solderer, understanding how a solder paste work is vital. Therefore, in this article, we shall be discussing how to use solder paste with a soldering iron.
Using A Solder Paste With A Soldering Iron
Unlike other types of solders available in the market, a soldering paste comes in a syringe. This means that when applying this form of solder, you will be using a syringe. The syringe makes it relatively easy to apply the soldering paste with precise accuracy. Its design makes it favorable for use when soldering jump rings.
To start using a solder paste, you will just have to remove the cap from the syringe and then go ahead and secure the needle into place. Usually, the syringe comes equipped with a needle for this particular use.
Before you commence on the soldering proves, you should consider checking if the metal you are working on is clean and free from debris and greasy fingerprints. If present, you should consider getting rid of it since it will end up interfering with the soldering process. Debris is known for making it difficult for the solder to flow through the joint nicely.
In addition to that, you should ensure that the join you will be soldering is flush completely. You should file until there is no visible light seeping in your join. By doing so, your soldered joint will be strong and will allow the solder paste to flow correctly through your join.
Go ahead and apply a relatively small amount of the soldering paste to your join or the area you would like to solder. Consider applying small pressure on your syringe plunger, and you will become used to the amount of pressure needed to apply a small amount of soldering paste.
Get rid of any excess solder paste from your syringe before replacing the cap. It would be best if you considered doing this immediately after every use. By doing so, you will be able to maintain your soldering paste consistency for an extended period.
Soldering with solder paste
Once you have the solder paste in place, you will go ahead and apply heat to your join. It would be best if you considered doing this in a circular motion. It is highly advisable that you use the same heating technique used while using a solder wire or strip.
The circular motion should heat the whole metal. It would be best if you considered concentrating heat on your joint once the entire piece of metal starts getting closer to the annealing temperature.
It would be best if you always remembered that the flux present in the soldering paste would bubble and burn off eventually. Continue heating the joint as you observe the solder paste starts bubbling. You shouldn’t worry if the solder paste is not falling in the right place. All you have to do is concentrate the heat on your join, and the solder paste will be attracted to the join.
If you are not satisfied with your soldered joint, you will have to clean your metal piece once again and then use additional solder paste on the join and repeat the above steps while reheating.
When you are done with the whole process and are satisfied with your new joint’s strength, you will go ahead and use a pickle solution to help remove oxidized metal. The entire process is relatively easy and can be achieved by anyone irrespective of their soldering skills.
Advantages Of Using A Solder Paste Over Other Solders
One of the significant advantages of using a solder paste over other solders is that it comes equipped with a syringe, which helps you dispense the solder in relatively small spaces hence offering you the perfect solder joint. This comes in handy when soldering jump rings or earrings.
As an individual who has worked with solder wire or strips before, you will are aware that once it’s cut into small pieces, they can be blown easily out of place while heating your metal. There is nothing stressful than having your small pieces of solders flying out of the joint. On the other hand, soldering paste has incredible consistency, which allows it to remain in place as you solder your joint. This makes it relatively easy to work on your project.
Storing Your Solder Paste After Use
Since your solder paste is semi-liquid, storing it so that it can maintain its consistency is highly essential. Therefore, after every use, you should consider refastening the syringe cup immediately. By doing so, you will be protecting your solder from drying up fast and losing its functionality.
When stored under excellent condition, the soldering paste can go for up to two years. If you are not planning on using your solder paste soon, you should consider removing the needle attached to your syringe and reattach its lid. Once this is done, you might consider storing it in a ziplock bag; this way, air will have fewer chances of seeping through the syringe and drying your solder paste.
When soldering using a solder paste and your syringe has clogged, you should consider soaking it in warm water. By doing so, you will be able to get rid of the dried solder paste.
If this fails, you might consider using a thin metal piece to help remove the paste. As we conclude, you should note that soldering using a solder paste is relatively easy; all you have to do is adhere to the tips discussed in this article.