I am soldering a 10 lead MSOP (LMH1980) onto a PCB. Or trying to do so. The chip has a pitch of 0.5mm. I find that every time I use the "tack and glob" method I have been taught, I cannot remove the excess solder; it just sticks to the pins. (Tack and glob: pin a few crucial pins down, then glob solder over the pins. Wick away excess solder.) Tack and glob seems to work for a TQFP44 dsPIC and an TSOP16 ADG733 chip, but every time I do tack and glob on the LMH1980 I find that I cannot remove the excess solder, and in the process of trying to do so, I have damaged two PCBs (pulled the pads off) with components already on them. How can I solder this chip? BTW, I have only a basic temperature controlled soldering iron and hot air station (Aoyue 968.) Nothing fancy.
Solder bridges mean you need more/better/fresh flux.
(Either iron or hot air will work fine. Heat is heat. I prefer iron for clearing shorted pins: wipe iron on sponge, apply to pins, repeat. The excess solder will stick to the tip.)
Given that you have a hot air station, I think your best bet is to use a very thin layer of solder paste, preheat the board + chip (I used to have a recycled George Foreman grill for this) and then use the hot-air to push the solder past the melting point and allow it to flow.
BTW, do you have solder mask on your boards? At finer pitches, the solder mask can make a big difference on your success rate.
If you are going to tack-and-glob, make sure your glob is much smaller than usual. You might need to work with a much finer solder.
BTW, for solder already stuck beneath and under pins, sometimes hot air with high air flow can push the solder away from the pins enough to clear the short. If your board is masked, there's a decent chance the resulting glob sitting under the IC will harmlessly stay put.
I've soldered similar devices without any problems. I use a very fine tip and a stereo microscope. I normally use drag-soldering with a mini-hoof cartridge and my Metcal system for fine-pitch devices, but I don't think it's suitable for one like that.
You can avoid damaging the PCB when removing parts like that by using Chip Quik.