sanding soldering iron tip??

Discussion in 'DIY Discussion' started by DavidF, Sep 17, 2006.

  1. DavidF

    DavidF

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    Hi there,

    I'm very much on a learning curve with modding and initially, soldering.

    To cut a long story short I bought a 15w Antex iron (from Maplins) a couple of days ago, got it home and found that the tip wouldn't "tin".....the solder just ran straight off it. We (myself and an electrician friend) tried various solders.

    I took it back to Maplins yesterday and was advised to very carefully sand off a black coating off the end of the tip.........this extends just a little beyond the angled part.

    The guy sounded very confident but I'm just slightly sceptical about this.......can anyone comfirm (or deny)this before I knacker a perfectly good soldering iron? The coating looks like its there for a purpose!





    thanks very much,


    David
     
    DavidF, Sep 17, 2006
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  2. DavidF

    felix part-time Horta

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    Well Maplin-man is indeed a clown - the dark area is a thin iron coating which protects the actual bit. Bits are made of copper, and without the coating the tin in the solder quickly dissolves it you see... a quick brillo-pad scrub might help though.

    It sounds like your new bit just needs a clean, the flux in the solder isn't getting through and allowing the solder to 'wet' the bit properly. Put a paper towel folded in a saucer, wet it, and wipe the tip on it when hot is usually enough to ensure proper wetting - this is v. useful during soldering jobs also to keep the tip tidy and clean.
     
    felix, Sep 17, 2006
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  3. DavidF

    zanash

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    second that .....

    look at the email I sent you about dry cleaning ...you can also get a tip cleaner flux and solder powder in a little tin the size of a two pence.

    if you sand the tip you will damage it! the agressive fluids will corrode the tip away in a couple of hours if it can get at the copper.
     
    zanash, Sep 17, 2006
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  4. DavidF

    DavidF

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    sold tip

    thanks very much both - yes, I'd better order that cleaner, I think.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 17, 2006
    DavidF, Sep 17, 2006
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  5. DavidF

    I-S Good Evening.... Infidel

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    [​IMG]

    That's a tip tinner. Use that to get a good layer of tinning on the iron. After each joint wipe all the excess flux off the tip of the iron with the sponge.

    [​IMG]

    That is a brass sponge. This is the most abrasive thing you should use to clean a soldering iron tip. Use in conjunction with a normal wet sponge.
     
    I-S, Sep 17, 2006
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  6. DavidF

    zanash

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    There's the stuff !
     
    zanash, Sep 17, 2006
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  7. DavidF

    DavidF

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    Ok....... so thats the dry solder bit cleaner Mr.Sibson has shown above and I think you mentioned a week or so ago, Pete. I tried to get it at Maplins when I bought the iron but they didn't have it in stock. I'll speak to that company you gave me the link for tomorrow am.

    The tip tinner; is that better than tinning with normal solder?

    Whist I am writing, I have a Maplins N78AR solder station here some one kindly donated. Its without the thing to retain the bit.......any one know where I could get another "retainer" without writing the whole iron off...... I gather its quite a good one?




    thanks,



    David
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 17, 2006
    DavidF, Sep 17, 2006
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  8. DavidF

    I-S Good Evening.... Infidel

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    Yes.

    Ask Maplin, although they don't list any spares on the accessories list. What I do notice is that the BP53H solder station I suggested in your other thread is on it's special offer price again at £30.
     
    I-S, Sep 17, 2006
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  9. DavidF

    DavidF

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    Thanks, I'm sure its very good value but i'm not currently in a position to spend £30 if I don't have to.

    As I say, I would like to save the origional if poss.
     
    DavidF, Sep 17, 2006
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  10. DavidF

    DavidF

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    What imean to say is, having just bought the 15w iron do I need the station you mentionas well? Its possible Maplin might be prepared to swap..........would it be worth gioing the extra mile for the station?


    Ask Maplin, although they don't list any spares on the accessories list. [/QUOTE]

    The first guy I spke to was quite emphatic they don't stiock the parts
     
    DavidF, Sep 17, 2006
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  11. DavidF

    I-S Good Evening.... Infidel

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    No. But once you get a temp controlled station you'll never again use your self-balancing iron (the type you have now).

    If they'll do it, yes. You can never go wrong with good tools IMO. With the small 15W iron then you can do small components into tracks and things like that. When it comes to trying to solder heavy wire into a brass banana plug, or trying to extract a through-hole component from a ground plane on a plated through board without ripping the barrel out of the hole it really won't cut it. A temp controlled station will handle both and more, so in the end maybe it will save you buying a bigger iron for heavier jobs.

    This is something of a pays your money, takes your choice. The same applies to some extent to the BP53H as well... Right now you can get tips and elements for it, but will that be the case in 5 years time? If you buy a Pace or Weller iron then you know you will be able to, but you're looking at £200 to buy the iron in the first place. At work we're using soldering irons all day every day and so over the lifetime of the station being able to replace parts makes a big difference. For a hobbyist who uses it 3 times a year it's not worth that outlay.
     
    I-S, Sep 17, 2006
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  12. DavidF

    DavidF

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    Thankyou.........food for thought.
     
    DavidF, Sep 17, 2006
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  13. DavidF

    Tenson Moderator

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    Just to say, for larger jobs like Isaac mentions I sometimes use a pen blow torch. It is also good for removing SMD parts. It will melt the solder in a second and you can get wide coverage to do all the pins at the same time. Just don't keep it on there for long :eek: I'm not sure it should be recommended, but it is what I do.
     
    Tenson, Sep 17, 2006
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  14. DavidF

    DavidF

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    thanks Simon............SMD parts?
     
    DavidF, Sep 17, 2006
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  15. DavidF

    I-S Good Evening.... Infidel

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    Surface Mount Device. A far simpler and easier to work on system of putting components on boards with massive advantages in terms of component parasitics.

    Lots of people dislike them because they're smaller and so believe them to be more difficult to work with.
     
    I-S, Sep 17, 2006
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  16. DavidF

    DavidF

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    thanks again...
     
    DavidF, Sep 17, 2006
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  17. DavidF

    Tenson Moderator

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    They are if you can't see it!
     
    Tenson, Sep 17, 2006
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  18. DavidF

    RobHolt Moderator

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    wetting

    Just get the tip nice and hot, then lick it :p


    <that was a joke btw before some clown tries it!>
     
    RobHolt, Sep 17, 2006
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  19. DavidF

    I-S Good Evening.... Infidel

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    0402 and below I will accept is problematic. 01005s require the use of a dust mask to prevent inhalation.

    However, 0603 and 0805 passives, and chips down to 1mm pitch are easy enough with a normal soldering iron, and 0.5mm pitch MLP and QFN are doable with the right technique and equipment.

    Rework on 0805 or 0603 passives is far quicker and easier than through-hole equivalents.
     
    I-S, Sep 17, 2006
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  20. DavidF

    DavidF

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    soldering

    You can never go wrong with good tools IMO. [/QUOTE]


    I don't disagree with you........I suspect starting with a defective iron has done me no good at all. Not one of my better decisions.
     
    DavidF, Sep 21, 2006
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