With a successful through-hole design under my belt I am now ready to try fabricating a board that uses surface-mount components. I have been reading about this, and have gathered that the DIY crowd has gotten reasonable results with "hot plate" reflow soldering.
I think I understand the basics of this technique, but one point on which I am still unclear is the necessity of a solder resist coating. Is reflow possible without it?
I have seen a kit from LPKF for adding a solder resist coating to a prototype board, but do I really need it?