Soldering iron tip woes

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dacflyer
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Soldering iron tip woes

Post by dacflyer » Tue Apr 09, 2019 7:32 am

I got a few iron tips that have issues, and i don't know why..
I've tried to retin them, but it doesn't help. thy aren't oxidized, the tips are as clean and smooth as can be. but i can't get them to take solder.
It is as if the tips have a glaze or something.
What can i do besides throw them out.. I'd hate to, because they look perfect.
Now a new one out of the package, The tips look all nice and shiny and the tip is dull looking.
My old ones look almost as good, but have a little heat tarnish. I keep my iron about 725F
and usually when it is resting, i try to keep the tip covered in solder. so that any oxide will wipe right off.
I use a brass wool thingie.
I'm thinking what i can do to refurbish these tips, They are not worn down or pitted any.

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Joseph
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Re: Soldering iron tip woes

Post by Joseph » Tue Apr 09, 2019 8:50 am

I have a switch that lets my soldering iron idle at a lower temperature. It helped a lot to keep the tips from going bad as fast.

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CeaSaR
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Re: Soldering iron tip woes

Post by CeaSaR » Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:04 am

You'll probably laugh and most likely wince, but on my OOOOLLLLLDDDD Radio Shack iron with the Pyramid tip, all I do is use a file to keep the shape and it retakes a tinning right away. Of course, I don't use mine as hard as you guys do, so I still have my original tip. :D

CeaSaR
Hey, what do I know?

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Joseph
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Re: Soldering iron tip woes

Post by Joseph » Tue Apr 09, 2019 10:11 am

I can't knock that since my soldering irons have been those low cost ones with the tip held in by set screws. My tips are 6 gauge copper wire. When the tips get deeply pitted I can cut new ends onto them.

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Janitor Tzap
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Re: Soldering iron tip woes

Post by Janitor Tzap » Tue Apr 09, 2019 11:54 am

I've still got my old HAKKO 926ESD Soldering Iron.
It's currently on it's 2nd Soldering Tip.

All I do to the tip is;
{While Hot} lightly file the Tip, stick it in to flux, wipe on a damp sponge, re-tin the tip with solder.
Wipe the tip again on the damp sponge to remove excess solder from the tip.

So, when I need to do some work on a PCB next time.
I let the Iron get to the set temp, then wipe the tip on a damp sponge to remove any oxide before I start.

Never used a "Springy Thing"
Image
Just a damp sponge too keep the tip clean.
Image
Here's a thing on Soldering Tip Maintenance: http://electropit.com/index.php/2016/06 ... and-shiny/


Signed: Janitor Tzap

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haklesup
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Re: Soldering iron tip woes

Post by haklesup » Tue Apr 09, 2019 12:32 pm

A solid copper tip can be just filed or sanded but cheap tips may be other alloys with a plating on top to make it wet the solder. A super cheap tip can burn off (or erode) this plating in no time and become impossible to restore. Stick with the brand names and don't bank on an ebay deal.

If that's not the root problem, get it up to temp and just plunge it into some paste flux for a few minutes and scrape with the solder brillo, a very light sanding (like 440 grit) might help. A wet sponge is really mainly good for removing excess melted solder while working, it may not actually clean it much if it is gunked up.

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dacflyer
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Re: Soldering iron tip woes

Post by dacflyer » Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:28 am

Joseph >> can you explain this idle switch ? i have been known to just turn my temp down.

Janitor Tzap >> i use that "springy thing " but i get mine from the grocery store, it's made of brass.. stainless still works as well.
works to scrape the oxide off. i have started to leave a lil blob of solider on the tip, when it's idling. it seems to help.
but i still do not know what the tips are coated in from the factory./

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Joseph
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Re: Soldering iron tip woes

Post by Joseph » Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:01 am

The idle switch inserts or removes a diode rectifier in series with the heating element. I think that it cuts the AC voltage going to the heater in half.

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Re: Soldering iron tip woes

Post by dacflyer » Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:34 am

Hmmm, ok,, won't help for mine,, it's DC powered.

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Joseph
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Re: Soldering iron tip woes

Post by Joseph » Thu Apr 18, 2019 10:25 am

Howabout switching in or out a power resistor

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dacflyer
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Re: Soldering iron tip woes

Post by dacflyer » Thu Apr 18, 2019 3:05 pm

just as easy to turn the temp down if not using it for a bit..

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Re: Soldering iron tip woes

Post by Joseph » Fri Apr 19, 2019 5:18 am

I used to have a low power iron that I would slip into a layered foil sleeve to make it hot. That gave me the idea the of opposite of clipping a temperature controlled one onto a heatsink that can dissipate more than the maximum output of the heater.

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