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 Post subject: Alternative Solder Flux/Paste Dispenser
PostPosted: Jan Mon 14, 2019 10:11 pm 
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Location: Ironwood, MI
In what may take the award for the goofiest kink posted here I offer the following:

Many years ago I purchased a tin of solder paste and it has been an annoying thing on my
workbench to navigate around. I tried using the tin by opening it each time when I needed some
paste but all I did was get paste all over the bench surface and my fingers. I then took to leaving the tin cracked with a toothpick sticking out and when I needed a little I just grabbed the toothpick.
Invariably the rosin-colored paste ended up on the expensive cream-colored sweater I got for Christmas or my elbow caught the toothpick and flicked it onto the middle of an otherwise clean schematic.

So I decided to try something different and bought a syringe at the dollar store and commenced to
fill it with a rubber spatula and a plastic spoon. (My wife gives me all her worn out kitchen utensils- it's amazing how many of them I find useful in the shop). The problem was that the opening of the syringe was so tiny that you had to squeeze hard to get a slow trickle. The paste also started ebbing around the seal of the syringe and came out the back side. I tried cutting off the syringe's nozzle but the opening was no bigger than the nozzle itself so it was a fool's errand to do this. In addition, even the largest syringe at the dollar store was not big enough for all the paste in my tin so I could only empty part of my tin.

I then remembered seeing a long time ago a toothpaste-like container of solder flux. While I was brushing my teeth this morning I squeezed the last dollop of toothpaste out of the tube and it hit me: Use the empty toothpaste tube for my solder paste! Eureka!

Down to the workshop I went with my emaciated tube of toothpaste.
Attachment:
Flux2.jpg
Flux2.jpg [ 81.39 KiB | Viewed 1895 times ]


By now I was fed up with the syringe idea so I just hack-sawed the end of the syringe to make the transfer of solder paste less time consuming.
Attachment:
Flux1.jpg
Flux1.jpg [ 81.05 KiB | Viewed 1895 times ]


Plastic toothpaste tubes are nice because you can cut them with a scissors.
Attachment:
Flux3.jpg
Flux3.jpg [ 116.53 KiB | Viewed 1895 times ]


I took the cap of the toothpaste tube off and let hot water run through it. Then I swabbed the inside with paper towels to get any leftover residue. Then I put the cap back on and blew into the open end to make the tube balloon out fully.
Attachment:
Flux4.jpg
Flux4.jpg [ 139.13 KiB | Viewed 1895 times ]


The nice thing about a full size 5 ounce toothpaste tube is that there is plenty of room for all the solder paste. I emptied my syringe and left-over paste from the tin and the toothpaste tube was only half full.
Attachment:
Flux5.jpg
Flux5.jpg [ 85.26 KiB | Viewed 1895 times ]

Next I folded the open end 2 or 3 times to make sure I'd cut off any potential from leaking.
Attachment:
Flux6.jpg
Flux6.jpg [ 137.21 KiB | Viewed 1895 times ]


Then I heated up a 25 watt wood-burning tool a soldering pencil would work too). I held the fold down with a metal paint scraper and made 3 medium-fast passes over the plastic toothpaste tube to fuse the folded end to the body of the tube.

I am now ready for improved dental hygiene now that I can brush my teeth with solder flux.
Attachment:
Flux7.jpg
Flux7.jpg [ 141.55 KiB | Viewed 1895 times ]


Now isn't this about the dumbest expenditure of time you've ever heard?


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 Post subject: Re: Alternative Solder Flux/Paste Dispenser
PostPosted: Jan Mon 14, 2019 10:55 pm 
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Location: Wayside, NJ Monmouth
And all your solder joints will be minty fresh. Will put this one in the todo list. Thanks for the tip.


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 Post subject: Re: Alternative Solder Flux/Paste Dispenser
PostPosted: Jan Mon 14, 2019 11:03 pm 
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Your wife needs to get you a honey-do-list. You have way-way to much time on your hands.

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 Post subject: Re: Alternative Solder Flux/Paste Dispenser
PostPosted: Jan Tue 15, 2019 4:51 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: Charleston, W.Va.
Hi telegrapher,
Your idea is not so "goofy"; many of us older guys will still remember the following:

For many years, even as late as the early 2000's, Radio Shack offered its "Non-Spill Paste" Rosin Soldering Flux in a 1 oz. white plastic squeeze tube with a black screw-off cap, just like a toothpaste tube. This tube measured about 1-1/4" in diameter by 3" long, Radio Shack product #64-021. I still have one of these in my stock, still about half full of flux. These small tubes of paste flux were very handy to carry in the toolbox when making service calls.

Later on, Radio Shack began offering the same product in a 2 oz. wide-rim hard plastic container about 2-1/2" in diameter with a screw-off lid, product #64-022. It was the same product, just packaged differently, and is still available at the few privately-owned Radio Shack stores which are still in business.

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 Post subject: Re: Alternative Solder Flux/Paste Dispenser
PostPosted: Apr Sat 20, 2019 3:50 pm 
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Location: dayton oh usa
nice fix for those !@#$%&$#! flux tins that are usually fused so tightly closed you would think someone soldered them shut.
this is mostly for the plumbing flux ones as the acid contributes to the problem.
but none were very nice to deal with.


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 Post subject: Re: Alternative Solder Flux/Paste Dispenser
PostPosted: Apr Sat 20, 2019 5:33 pm 
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[quote]I am now ready for improved dental hygiene now that I can brush my teeth with solder flux./quote]
What kind of soldering iron do you plan to use on your teeth? :-D. I'd avoid lead based solder, btw. ;-)

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 Post subject: Re: Alternative Solder Flux/Paste Dispenser
PostPosted: Apr Tue 23, 2019 2:39 pm 
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Location: Ironwood, MI
Barry H Bennett wrote:
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I am now ready for improved dental hygiene now that I can brush my teeth with solder flux./quote]
What kind of soldering iron do you plan to use on your teeth? :-D. I'd avoid lead based solder, btw. ;-)


Well, I've found the standard Weller gun works OK on the front but to get into the crevasses of your back molars you really need a low wattage pencil. This, of course, is after flossing with dial cord.


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 Post subject: Re: Alternative Solder Flux/Paste Dispenser
PostPosted: May Tue 14, 2019 7:41 pm 
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Location: Thornhill, Ontario, Canada
Don't let it get back into the bathroom!
Cheers,
Roger

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 Post subject: Re: Alternative Solder Flux/Paste Dispenser
PostPosted: May Sat 25, 2019 10:44 pm 
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Location: Austin, Texas
While it doesn't work for all situations, I read somewhere back in the 60's that you should drill a 1/16 " hole in the lid of the paste can to dip in component leads. I am still using my original can of paste with the hole in the lid.

Jay


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 Post subject: Re: Alternative Solder Flux/Paste Dispenser
PostPosted: Jun Sun 09, 2019 3:07 pm 
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Location: Highland, MI
Poston Drake wrote:
For many years, even as late as the early 2000's, Radio Shack offered its "Non-Spill Paste" Rosin Soldering Flux in a 1 oz. white plastic squeeze tube with a black screw-off cap, just like a toothpaste tube. This tube measured about 1-1/4" in diameter by 3" long, Radio Shack product #64-021. I still have one of these in my stock,...

I still have mine.


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 Post subject: Re: Alternative Solder Flux/Paste Dispenser
PostPosted: Jun Sun 09, 2019 7:31 pm 
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Joined: Nov Wed 30, 2016 7:35 pm
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Location: Sunbury, Ohio 43074
JnTX wrote:
While it doesn't work for all situations, I read somewhere back in the 60's that you should drill a 1/16 " hole Jay

As long as you're not drilling the hole in your teeth, I go along with this one. :-D

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 Post subject: Re: Alternative Solder Flux/Paste Dispenser
PostPosted: Jun Wed 12, 2019 2:25 pm 
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Now your solder joints will have no cavities. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Alternative Solder Flux/Paste Dispenser
PostPosted: Jun Mon 17, 2019 4:04 am 
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A pill bottle with a lid, can help. You can mix some isopropyl alcohol with the flux till it becomes a liquid then put into bottle or a tin made for mints, as the alcohol evaporates it becomes more of the consistency that you may like.

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