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Old 26th March 2009, 02:00 AM   #1
tinitus is offline tinitus  Europe
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Default Soldertip salvage

Hi

Unfortunately I was careless and forgot all about my solder iron with power on

It was in perfect condition but now it looks like this, completely burned and black all over

I suppose that you know by now that its not functioning at all
Wont take solder and no heat transfer
It can melt the solder though, but it just drops off

Well, its not the first time so I wonder if there is any possible way to "repair" such a tip ?

I reckon its ruined fore good, but maybe there is some "secret tip" to make it work, at least until I find a new one

Its a Weller and works perfectly, handling different tip sizes, best I have ever had

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Old 26th March 2009, 02:11 AM   #2
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you can heat it up again and use a wet towel and wipe it off, or take sandpaper to it.
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Old 26th March 2009, 11:53 AM   #3
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weller makes a little metal can thing filled with solder and paste flux "foam". if the coating of the tip is still ok, heating your iron up and poking it into this and rolling it around will clean it up nice. once you burn a hole in the tip coating though, the copper inside will eat away on the inside, leaving a shell of coating material that won't heat well and will crumple every time you put any pressure on it to transfer heat. sandpaper will ruin the coating, as will touching the teflon tip of a solder sucker (teflon releases a tiny bit of fluorine gas, which damages the coating).

another type of tip cleaner that works well is a piece of desoldering braid or coax braid, and you melt some solder on it. when you melt the solder with the iron and rub the braid, the braid acts like a brush and scrapes the oxjde of, while the solder re-tins the tip. the flux also helps by reducing (chemical reduction, the removal of oxygen from oxide compounds) the oxides on the tip, leaving metal behind.

if it's not too far gone, just dipping the tip in paste flux while hot is enogh to clean it back up to useable condition
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Old 26th March 2009, 03:35 PM   #4
tinitus is offline tinitus  Europe
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That sounds right

Thanks

btw, maybe its time to try an old solder iron mounted with a silver tip
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Old 26th March 2009, 10:05 PM   #5
tinitus is offline tinitus  Europe
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Quote:
Originally posted by unclejed613
weller makes a little metal can thing filled with solder and paste flux "foam".

another type of tip cleaner that works well is a piece of desoldering braid or coax braid

I used a piece of braided speaker wire, and plenty of solder
I had to repeat the process many times
And it actually worked so that I have a useable tip
Another tip with same problem was a bit worse, but it became useable as well
It only seems that I have to repeat this procedure at every power up
Maybe they will get better, or maybe worse
But its ok until I fiind new tips

Thanks fore warning about not to touch any plastics with the tip...it does happen

Along with new tips I will try and find that "cleaning-can"

Thanks fore the "tip"
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Old 26th March 2009, 10:32 PM   #6
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oh. my iron doesn't have a coating.. its.. iron. lol. back from when my dad was in high school
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Old 26th March 2009, 11:31 PM   #7
tinitus is offline tinitus  Europe
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Ironicly its called a "long-life" tip

Some day I will have to try and mount one of my old irons with a silver tip..."ordinary" round silver
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Old 31st March 2009, 08:25 PM   #8
timg11 is offline timg11  United States
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If you're in the market for a new soldering station, the Weller PES51 has a handy feature. It has closed loop control of temperature. As part of its control circuitry it has a timeout function. If the tip temperature doesn't vary (due to being used to solder something), after 30 minutes it turns itself off. If you are using it, it will not turn off.

Very nice for saving energy and soldering tips for all of us who sometimes forget and leave the soldering station turned on.
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Old 13th April 2009, 12:26 AM   #9
tinitus is offline tinitus  Europe
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A soldering station would be nice, and next on my list

But I have quite good news
After hundreds of solderings on my speaker xo my solder tip seems ok again
After repeated cleaning on braided wire/solder my precious tip still wasnt very good
It could be used, but when I cleaned it after work done, I had to repeat the "rubbing" in solder at start up

So, I decided to not clean it at all, but just being careful not to "pollute" it too much, and disconnect it immediately after soldering

So it just now happened what shouldnt
I accidentally "cleaned" the tin on my jogging pants
And big surprice
The solder tip was now smooth and shiny, just like new

I seem to remember someone suggested to NOT clean the tip after soldering, but only BEFORE soldering

Might be a good "tip"



btw, isnt that a nice picture by a cheap webcam
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Old 13th April 2009, 12:39 AM   #10
Mr Evil is offline Mr Evil  United Kingdom
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Quote:
Originally posted by tinitus
...I seem to remember someone suggested to NOT clean the tip after soldering, but only BEFORE soldering...
If you clean it last thing, you leave the surface of the tip exposed to the air. Make sure it is tinned before turning it off and it will keep that nasty oxygen away.
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