I have looked at many design recently--like all the Arduino clones on Kickstarter and pretty much any prototype circuit--they either use breadboards and Arduino shields or complete SMD components. I understand that SMD components are used because they are smaller and cheaper DIP components. I also completed a board recently where the cost of the PCB was more than all the components combined. That's a little ridiculous. I want to move to SMD parts. However, I am at a standstill.
It is difficult to hand solder even a relatively large SOIC-24 even with a nice Hakko-FX888 with a curved tip, although my solder was pretty thick. I tried to flux the pads and drag solder, but I seem to create many bridges and removing even just one is miserable. For this reason, I want to move to non-iron based methods such as the reflow skillet with solder paste, however I do not know where to buy it. I heard that it must be kept cold or it will lose its chemical properties, and I hear it is applied with a syringe. Is there a tutorial and accompanying product that I may buy to hopefully solder TQFPs 32s, LQFP 100s, and maybe QFNs?