As mentioned earlier, the plan was to laser etch a stencil, and use it for assembly.
0603 components are hard to work with, without a PCB!
I laser-etched a piece of plywood, juuust deep enough to nestle some LEDs and a piece of wire. Then, I used conductive silver glue (in the syringe) to glue them to the wire.
The idea there is (from experience) it's pretty difficult to simultaneously hold down the LEDs in the proper position, and deadbug solder them. The hope was that the glue would just be able to get blobbed in appropriately, without disturbing the components. And, honestly, it didn't really work.
The LEDs love to jump around, and part of the issue is that my tweezers were ferrous. So just the slightest bit magnetic, and that messed with stuff.
So this while this glue is drying, I'll try again, maybe try solder again, maybe try with glue and holding this down better somehow.
When you order a bunch of conductive glue from China, and then forget about it while it takes the 2-month boat trip across the ocean, it is a total mindfuck when you randomly get a bunch of syringes in the mail.