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Preventing paste flux from drying up


#1

hi all

can anyone give me some ideas how to stop my paste flux drying out so
quick, i know some are going to say “keep it covered”, but when you
are doina lot of soldering it seems better just to leave the top off
the pot while you work so you just have to dip the brush, plus i only
keep a small amount in the “working” pot, is there anything i could
add to it to stop its drying up so quick, i do add a small amount of
water to thin it out a touch and even with that small amount of water
it still dont last long, cani add something more oil like to it

i would be greatful for any help and advise

regards
jason


#2

Jason,

I’ve been experimenting with paste flux containers for years, and
have been known to prowl the kitchen sections of stores, always
looking for a better flux container. For a long time I used one of
those glass, rubber gasketted preserve jars with that heavy wire
lock-down mechanism. They would seal well, but was a two-handed
operation to close, and the rubber gasket got pretty nasty after a
while.

Somewhere a while back I found a squat metal capped glass storage
jar ( in Ikea’s kitchen section, I believe) and used that for quite a
while as my alcohol-based flux container. Strangely, on the bottom of
the container was the name of the manufacturer, “BANG”. Somehow I
thought this was not a good brand for a flammable flux container, and
eventually stopped using it… Ikea had a perfect wide, squat-shaped
glass container, which I bought several of, which has a
plastic-gasketed aluminum lid (one handed on and off) which seals
really well, and has a loop handle on the top of the lid, which is a
great place to hold your flux brush. These cost a few bucks each ( a
bargain, I thought), and doesn’t have BANG on the bottom. I looked.
For my paste flux, I just add a little water to it to thin it when
it dries out, but keeping it covered when not being used seems to
prevent it from drying out too much.

The alcohol based flux needs to be replenished occasionally with
alcohol as well, even if covered, it seems.

Jay Whaley


#3
I've been experimenting with paste flux containers for years 

I use a large prescription pill bottle, I cut a hole in the center of
the plastic top for a natural bristle brush, it starts drying out
about every couple of months, I add a little water and its good
again. The size of the hole can limit how the brush gets loads with
flux. Thin the paste flux to the consistency you like.

I take the brush out and deposit a little flux on the top and dip
parts in it. With the torch going, I flux where I am going to solder
the finding, I can solder (braze) multiple pieces by taking a
finding, dip it in flux on the top, heat the part, pick up a piece
of solder with the fluxed finding, either heat the finding till the
solder just starts to melt and then heat the piece till the flux is
clear, then bring the finding to the part till the solder flows, or
use the finding to transfer the solder to the piece, deposit on the
flux which was already heated till dry, heat the piece till the
solder just starts flowing and then bring in the finding and heat
till I see the finding sink down when the solder flows again. I can
then pick up another finding, solder the next finding. I think this
is the fastest way to solder, and I get the best solder joints this
way.

Richard Hart G.G.
Denver, Co.


#4

take a jar lid that is wider than the top of your flux jar. punch a
hole in the middle of the lid and put the brush thru. use masking
tape to hold the brush at the right height. this way your brush is
always kept moist and ready to use. and the brush can be lowered
easily when necessary.

when you’re done for the day, put the regular lid back on the flux
jar.