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Questions relating to designing PCBs
By kd5crs
I've never done any surface mount soldering, but I've got my first board on the way. Assuming it works and I want to make several of these, I'm wondering if a stencil is worth it. Each board only has 40 pads, and the components are just 0603s and a SOIC.

Would you splurge for a stencil, or just use a solder paste syringe? I'd be making around 100 boards, if everything works.

By nickersonm
I'd go for a syringe. I used one for two of these boards, and it wasn't difficult. It might be helpful to place the components as you finish pasting each part layout - I waited until I pasted everything, and some of the paste had dried out a bit by then. It still worked fine (molex connectors added later), but I had to be careful to avoid jostling the parts while moving it to the oven.
By AndyC_772
Personally I'd use a soldering iron for a small number of boards to test them out and make sure they work OK. For 100 boards I'd look at contracting the job out to a manufacturer who has automated equipment, or at least, an experienced operator who can solder by hand quickly and reliably.
By MichaelN
For 100 boards I'd get a $25 stencil from Ryan O'Hara and do it myself - you'll save a LOT of time and trouble compared to using a syringe or hand soldering. If you can contract the job out at a price that's reasonable, that would be another option.