I'm just getting my feet wet in smd soldering, but would like to use this part. It looks to me like to only way to use it (for the home brewer type) would be solder paste in a toaster oven? Could the plastic hold up to that, though?? Is there a better way?
Just use a suitable soldering iron with a fine tip and thin solder.
…I thought the front 3 pads were completely covered up. Maybe the switch doesn’t set tight against them, where I can reach them. That’ll be great. I have a few coming in the mail.
Hot air is a technique that's worked well for me in situations like that, you can control the heat direction a bit better, I still use solder paste tho
I do have a Weller Pyropen, which came with a heat shrink tube. I never thought about being able to do hot air work! I tried it on a 0804 resistor and it worked like a beauty! So I guess parts are made to take that heat, as long as you don't overdo it.
The biggest problem I have with the small parts is capilary attraction making them stick to the iron when I remove it.
I bought a cheap reflow gun and some paste, sooo much easier.
I just bought a rework station, delivered for $62. But I haven't used it yet. I have used an electric skillet to do SMD work. Here are a couple of links to tutorials.
If you search Ebay you can find rework stations cheap. The one I got is a W.E.P. 858D. Dave Jones did a review of this model on his EEVBlog. He liked it and he showed how it works on a couple of different items.
So you can go to your local hardware/housewares store and get a $20 skillet or order a $62 rework station. Or you can do both and have all your bases covered.
I used the skillet method to solder some SMD Hall Effect sensors and, after I got a decent skillet, it worked just fine. I first tried it with a real cheap and small skillet. It was barely big enough to made a toasted cheese sandwich in. But it just didn't get hot enough. But when I bought a larger skillet it worked fine.
I thought of one more thing that might help you. I ordered a kit from practicalcomponents.com that was basically dummy parts and a few boards. I think I paid about $20 for it. They have a bunch of different kits, if you call them up and tell them what you're trying to do (learn) they'll point you towards the right kit.
The boards I have built feature a combination of SMD and through-hole components. However, I observe one rule for myself and that is that all contacts have to be accessible for re-work.
I see that the switch in question comes in a through-hole as well as a SMD version. I'd let someone else sweat the details of getting those hidden SMD pads to reflow nicely and would use the through-hole version instead.
I pay extra for the privilege of having exposed solder connections (for SD card holder for example). But I more than make up the difference every time there is a small issue with a component not reflowing 100% correctly and then being able to come in with a fine-tip and braid / solder to clean it up.