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Flux! - It's not a dirty word.

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I'm bored right now while trying to wait for 4:30pm EST to roll around so i can go home from work and i thought i'd blab about how much i like flux

No there are some really good fluxes out there that make the soldering job go so much easier. The particular brand i use is from M-Line and it works very well. It does leave a residue lightly sticky but if you get the M-Line rosin solvent (Flux Remover) the solder joint will look nice beautiful

Beware that there are many types of flux ranging from plumbers grade and electrical grade and even electronics grade. I learned my lesson the hard way and used plumbers grade flux for a year long outdoor project and their is a chemical or something in that particular type of flux that cause my solder joints to rust and corrode in a matter of days. It caused me to take all the solder work i had just spent 3 weeks doing and toss it down the drain.

Use all the flux in the world on your electronics projects. Just make sure you use the right kind and make sure you remove all the left over residue from your PCB.

Flux is not a dirty word

M-lines rosin solvent is 50% Toluene and 50% Isopropanol
M-lines flux is a non corosive active rosin flux

This is not a sales pitch. Shop arround and find the flux that is right for your application and make sure you take it off as soon as your done soldering. Some fluxes contain impurities which are conductive
Squintz said:
lol! sorry for that lame post bus i needed to kill a few minutes yesterday

haha...sorry dude. I'll always remember, i was at work one day and my boss was over in the corner working away...all of a sudden I hear "FLUX OFF!!!!" I was like "go flux yourself".....then he said, no no i need some to clean up this mess.

i just thought it was of those "had-to-be-there" moments :D
I have heard of certain flux which give off poisonous fumes. Certain manufacturers that produce solder wire down here in india add excessive flux into the solder wire to increase its weight. This makes the solder wire look like a hose pipe and the weight increases the price.
there is atleast one flux that has been band from use in the US. I think its because it actually worked. I mean the government always wants to take away the good stuff. but anyways i think it had lead in it and lead is not good for the nose.

We still have some floating arround the shop here and i use it durring those really hard to reach jobs because it flows great and doesnt leave any sticky or corosive residue. There is only a scarce supply of it so we all use it very sparingly
i was soldering one day in college and afterwards my instructor told me to go wash my hands because lead is known by the state of california to cause cancer....i told him we dont live in CA and i grew up carrying pellets for my gun in my if i was gonna get it, i already had it

but i know what you mean about the flux....i got some stuff from my dad...he had it poked away in the corner of his shed in a little blue jar. It was made in like 1962 or something....not sure if its that old, but its OLD...and it works better than anything i've got at work
Flux! This stuff is fluxing great! :D

An electronic technician friend of mine kept telling me he couldn't work without it. He got some when one of his friends cleaned out his garage. He said none of the electronic supply stores carry this stuff as solder has built-in flux. He's treating what little he has like gold.

So I went out looking for this fluxing great stuff. I tried my local electronic store first. The shop assistant gave me this look like "what the flux are you talking about? You don't need it, it's in the core of the solder! You might find it in the plumbing section of a hardware store."

So off I trodded to the local hardware store and there it was, heaps of them. I know it's made for plumbing purposes but it works great. I just take care to clean the joints with a wet rag. Wires or components that are hard to tin is a piece of cake with flux. Great fluxing stuff! :D
be careful on using plumbers flux for electronics. It can cause problems overtime. You may not notice it right away but let it site for a year and you may go back and find that all your joints a corroded and ready to flake away.

I would search the internet for some electronics grade stuff. It out there. My local electronics store sells it.
Flux comes in the form of a liquid or paste and it is used to help with heat transfer from your soldering iron to the solder. It makes the solder much easier to work with while soldering but when you are finnished soldering it usually leaves a residue on top of your solder connection. So you need to use something to get rid of this residue. A q-tip and some rosin solvent is best to get rid of the residue. Its called rosin solvent because the flux contains rosin.
Flux removes the oxide from the copper that you're trying to solder, and allows the solder to wet the copper. Usually theres plenty in the solder, but if you're trying to clean up a board after removing something, a bit extra can be useful. Heres how to make some. Go to a musical instrument shop that sells stringed instruments and buy some rosin. ( it's used to make bows sticky) . Wrap it up in an old bit of cloth and powder it with a hammer. Then dissolve it in isopropyl alcohol or methylated spirit to make a thick syrup. There you are, works a treat :D .
Thanks a lot for the tip spuffock. I did just what you suggested and got a small block of rosin from the local music instrument store. You didn't tell us that stuff is VERY sticky on the hands in powder form! Normal detergent cannot get rid of it easily. It smells wonderful though. Don't know if I could smoke it? :lol: Perhaps smear some behind the ears to smell manly, like a hardworking electronic technician having put in an honest day's work? :lol: Anyway this stuff works quite well.

Here's a tip for anyone who wants to make some. First, having crushed the stuff in some old cloth, try not to get some on your bare hands. Add just a very small of amount of mythylated spirit for mixing. Leave the mixture for a few minutes. It might start to harden, add a little more spirit until a loose consistency is formed. Just remember adding a little spirit at at time is bettter than adding too much in one go.

After I told the store owner what I needed the rosin for, he was impressed with the ingenuity and gave me a handy tip in return. He told me if I wanted to stop RF drifting out from an electric guitar chamber, paint the chamber with graphite powder mixed in auto laquer paint. In times goneby people used leaded paint but that's banned now. We can use this method to insulate plastic enclosures.

Now if you'd excuse me, I need to sneak into the garage to smell that rosin mixture. :p
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