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Author Topic: PCB Tinning Using Plummers Solder Paste  (Read 839 times)
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gfull
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« on: November 12, 2018, 02:19:16 14:19 »

Has anyone had any experience using plumbers solder paste for tinning DIY PCB's?

I've seen some YouTube vids which make the process seem very easy and not hazardous to one's health. Search for "PCB tin plating with plumbers' paste".

Its not the easiest stuff to find but you can get the lead free type from Ebay.

Fittingslotpaste Lf Nr.3, S-SN97CU3 Fitting, Copper Pipe, Drinking Water 100g
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Sideshow Bob
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« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2018, 03:06:29 15:06 »

Why do you want to tin your DIY boards in the beginning. You can get plastic coating on spray cans that are made for eletronics. After coating the boards the will be solderable.
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CocaCola
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« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2018, 05:19:48 17:19 »

Most plumbers paste is acidic flux based, not recommended for electronics...

If you insist on tinning the entire board use electronic solder paste, it's cheap enough from Asia...

But, as said above, they make 'foamy/rubber' resist stuff that you brush on all the pads then you can simply spray the board with lacquer or some specialty board costing and when you solder down all the pads you can tin them at that time and get a near factory looking, board, when you are done...

Personally for me with the low cost of batch PCB manufactures nowadays, I do wonder why people invest so much time into DIY boards...  Yeah I understand for in-house rapid prototyping it can save turn around time, but then again if the board is for in house rapid prototyping why do you need a coating and/or full board tinning to start with?  I will make some boards in house for prototypes but anything I plan to put into use where a coating or what not is desired I'll simply order up a pro made one, as it's cost efficient, heck I would argue all day that it saves money nowadays when you consider labor and the out of pocket cost for blank copper clad boards vs getting one made professionally from a batch PCB company...
« Last Edit: November 12, 2018, 05:21:50 17:21 by CocaCola » Logged
Sideshow Bob
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« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2018, 03:24:20 15:24 »

Most plumbers paste is acidic flux based, not recommended for electronics...
Yes that is correct. I had in the back of my head why why plumbers flux and electronics flux are quite different. For prototypes in DIY style I have used this product for many years (I am not affilated with Electrolube in any way) https://www.electrolube.com/products/conformal-coatings/cpl/other/. As long as you do not spay on to thick on boards. it will indeed be solderable after spraying. For most components in DIY style boards. But of course you can do the coating after the solder job
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« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2018, 05:14:16 17:14 »

As long as you do not spay on to thick on boards. it will indeed be solderable after spraying.

If you want you can use a faux painting DIY hack, dab mustard (yes the yellow condiment) on all the pads and solder locations, let it dry overnight and then paint over it and the board, when the paint is dry drop the board in warm water and brush lightly with soap and water all the areas covered in mustard will be clean and void of paint...  They obviously have real paint resist stuff as I mentioned above, the stuff I have used is similar to whipped cream and dries to a spongy rubber that simply peels off but it's expensive and mustard works just as well and is cheap.
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