I couldn’t agree more!! I’ve used just about every kind of flux;
Blue stuff, Batterns, Pripps (although this one is good for fire-scale
prevention) and White paste flux like Handi-flux and the product you’ve
named; Sta-Silv. This stuff is available at almost any welding supplier
for less than any jewelry supplier sells Handi-Flux. It seems to
":absorb" more oxidation than any thing! I’ve learned to use the
"stickiness" that paste fluxes provide to advantage. After heating the
flux carefully (so as not to have the bubbling action shift any thing)to
the point just before it goes glassy, I can gently pick up the two
pieces (to be soldered) and check their alignment for accuracy before
any thing is soldered together. this eliminates the annoying problem of
un-soldering missaligned parts. I’ve never found Batterns (or any
"self-pickling" flux) to be capable of this kind of use.
Paste flux can also be used to “clean” things. I’ve used it to
absorb oxides from ingots. If you’ve ever torched a diamond that you
"thought" was clean and found out otherwise, you know that the ugly
brown stain can be difficult to remove. I liberally coat the "dirty"
stone with paste flux and slowly heat it until the flux turns glassy.
After letting it slowly cool down to room temperature, I then let the
pickle dissolve the flux and dirt away!
I do recall, however, there was once a product called “Dan-Dix”
(maybe Dixon’s attempt at Handi-Flux?). This paste flux is utter
garbage! Avoid it.
Just my very own Two Cents, Eben Lenz