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32941Re: [midatlanticretro] [OT] Soldering Iron Tip Issues

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  • J. Alexander Jacocks
    Oct 24, 2013
      On Thu, Oct 24, 2013 at 11:04 AM, Neil Cherry <ncherry@...> wrote:

      On 10/24/2013 12:12 AM, Dave McGuire wrote:
      > On 10/23/2013 10:42 PM, J. Alexander Jacocks wrote:
      >> I was trying to create a new power harness, and I stripped some wire, I then went to
      >> tin the stripped ends, and one side just would not tin. So, I cleaned my iron tip,

      >> Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

      > That brass mesh...A lot of people use it; it's very common...but I myself do not
      > recommend it. It puts a lot of unnecessary wear and tear on the plating. I use
      > exclusively wet sponges, and MG Chemicals tip tinner.

      I have tinner from around 1985, I haven' had to use it since then. ;-) I haven't
      used my backup tip either (but I did tin it when I got it).

      Yes, I'm still using that tip but I do keep it clean. I've found that I can
      dip it into a solder puddle (collected solder from solder removal) and it helps
      keep the tip clean (the junk tends to float out in the hot solder puddle). I
      also use the wet sponge method (on a real sponge not the plastic junk).

      > Sandpaper is right out. Never ever do that. It will remove the plating in a few
      > strokes.

      The thought of sand paper on my iron's tip makes me cringe.

      > Now, as to the great mystery about the second tip...that's weird.

      I've seen some plastics temporarily do that but the puddle usually helps
      to get the junk out (eventually).

      Believe me, the sandpaper was a last resort!

      The only other thing that I can think to add was that I used the first tip (the well-used one) to solder some brass wire to a brass plate, for my wife.  I'm now wondering if I somehow damaged the temperature regulator, for my small iron, doing that?  Seems unlikely, as I didn't leave it heating for minutes, or anything, but the possibility exists.

      I've tried making a solder puddle, to re-condition the tips, but the solder just won't adhere to the tip, at all.  When I plunge the tip into the puddle, the puddle moves away from it.

      None of this explains the behavior of the new tip.  It was completely unused, before this exercise.  At this point, I am unwilling to try my one remaining new spare tip, without understanding what is going on.

      As a side note, does anyone know of a good local store (chain?) source for Weller parts, near Baltimore or Annapolis, MD?  I'd love to buy some more spare tips, but I don't want to wait a week for Mouser/Jameco/etc.

      - Alex
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