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Old 10-20-2009, 08:26 PM   #16
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Heat kills tips...

But to be more detailed tips are made of a base of copper and a protective plating of another metal Iron or less often nickel or chromium (or in the case of hakko, a double plating of chromium over iron. others may have this as well)

More active metals tend to invade and replace/erode less active metals, in a similar way water can erode dirt and rock. (in result only, the processes are completely different) Copper has a low reactivity level compared to most other metals. (like the lead and tin in solder) This is why tips have protective coating of a different metal.

The erosion process increases with heat, (I think its on the level of doubling for every 10*C) and in the presence of reactive compounds like acids. (flux is a form of acid, RMA is weak compared to other types and is best for long tip life) Iron as we all know reacts easily with oxygen (rust) even at room temp, and acids make this worse.

Cheap irons have iron plated tips, which will wear out quickly, and the more heat the quicker it happens. More watts is more heat, and cheap irons are on or off, temp selection might at best be high and low.

You can also crack or wear away the protective plating by using bad technique when soldering or cleaning the tip. Even tiny cracks will exposes the copper to damage. If you ever need to file the tip, you are in a loosing battle. When the copper is exposed, just a few minutes is enough to put huge pits in it.
my weller 40w is uber high quality

so if I use a solid core solder and some flux, it would last longer than useing rosen core solder?
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Old 10-20-2009, 08:43 PM   #17
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my weller 40w is uber high quality

so if I use a solid core solder and some flux, it would last longer than useing rosen core solder?
Us RMA core solder and RMA or solid solder and RMA, either way. Use a new tip, keep it clean, and don't over heat the tip. Like I said, once the tip starts to pit, its a lost battle.

Solder selection matters to, lead free solder can eat at a tip made for lead solder faster. That is why they sell lead free tips.
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Old 10-21-2009, 11:22 AM   #18
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This occasionally goes on sale for 1.99$ 3.99$ now Not that 3.99 is expensive for such a useful thnig.

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...Itemnumber=319

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Old 10-21-2009, 11:25 AM   #19
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This occasionally goes on sale for 1.99$ 3.99$ now Not that 3.99 is expensive for such a useful thnig.
I will add the link. I don't use them much, unless the parts are awkward. I use my hands when possible, but it does burn a bit.
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Old 10-21-2009, 11:29 AM   #20
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I will add the link. I don't use them much, unless the parts are awkward. I use my hands when possible, but it does burn a bit.
I keep this in my toolbox minus the magnifying glass myself.
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Old 10-21-2009, 11:32 AM   #21
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I keep this in my toolbox minus the magnifying glass myself.
I got mine from RS, its basicly the same thing, but it has a built in stand...
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Old 10-21-2009, 11:34 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by marine6680 View Post
Us RMA core solder and RMA or solid solder and RMA, either way. Use a new tip, keep it clean, and don't over heat the tip. Like I said, once the tip starts to pit, its a lost battle.

Solder selection matters to, lead free solder can eat at a tip made for lead solder faster. That is why they sell lead free tips.

the problem is, its a 1 temp iron, and I can spend 30min soldering stuff...


lead free= I hate that crap, I can't get it to work for me at all...
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Old 10-21-2009, 11:46 AM   #23
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the problem is, its a 1 temp iron, and I can spend 30min soldering stuff...


lead free= I hate that crap, I can't get it to work for me at all...
A new tip,even a cheap one, properly cared for should last you a few 30min soldering sections before dieing on you. If you have a new tip, try that, don't bend or pry with the tip either, it cracks the coating. If you tend to solder a lot, or for long periods of time, I suggest a quality iron. It will keep you from pulling out your hair. It really is a big difference in how well they work.

The only people who I have heard say lead free isn't all that bad to work with, have never used lead solder, especially 63/37. I can't stress enough how much better 63/37 is over 60/40. Its not as huge of a jump as lead solder vs lead free, but once you use it, you will not want anything else.
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Old 10-21-2009, 12:45 PM   #24
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Been soldering since I was in high school (Mr Fixit at the local Hdw store). In undergrad school, I made extra money assembling the old Heathkit stereos. I started with a Weller gun that's just recently lost its 2nd tip. Gun is older than a whole lot of people on here btw, buy good equip and take care of it, it lasts!

When I started back into this hobby, I chanced on Deans racing solder and quickly realized how good of a job it does. Prob is the enviro cases are going to save us all from sitting around all day sniffing Deans (or any leaded solder) fumes so its gone away. Kester used to make one that would replace Deans and I've been looking for a while with no luck (still have a fair amt of Deans on hand). Its a 62% tin, 36% lead 2% silver formulation. It was sold as stock number KE1119-ND as 18ga wire and KE1120-ND as 23ga wire solder.

I have managed to read about a guy in England who found/bought a pound, so it must still be around. I think they discontinued it cause it was expensive and didn't sell well. Sure would like to find some if anyone has ever seen any of it or anything like it.

Great how-to!!
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Old 10-21-2009, 04:05 PM   #25
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If deans stopped production then it could be hard to find. I would say give the 63/37 stuff a try. You can find it easily.
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Old 10-23-2009, 02:57 AM   #26
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Updated with some more tips and info on wire and plugs/connectors.

Also:

Mods, is there a way to change the thread title? I would like to be able to update it whenever I add new info. And is this thread sticky worthy? It would not benefit many if it gets lost among the multitude of new posts.
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Old 10-25-2009, 08:04 AM   #27
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Excellent write up. You seem to have covered all the bases.

I would add that it is not desireable to dunk the tip of the iron in flux to clean it and when storing your iron, leave a good amount of solder on the tip to prevent oxidation.
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Old 10-25-2009, 12:02 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by rwhisen View Post
Excellent write up. You seem to have covered all the bases.

I would add that it is not desireable to dunk the tip of the iron in flux to clean it and when storing your iron, leave a good amount of solder on the tip to prevent oxidation.
Oh no, I never meant it as a way to clean regularly and/or prior to storage. I meant it as an emergency step to bring back a tip that has been neglected. I use that technique when I need to use an iron someone else has neglected and is covered with flux residue, and wiping with a tip cleaner does not work.

I will edit it real quick. I'm glad you mentioned that. To me, I know what I mean, but if others are unsure then I will clarify.
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Old 10-25-2009, 06:26 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marine6680 View Post
Updated with some more tips and info on wire and plugs/connectors.

Also:

Mods, is there a way to change the thread title? I would like to be able to update it whenever I add new info. And is this thread sticky worthy? It would not benefit many if it gets lost among the multitude of new posts.
Thanks for the informative post. I do a LOT of soldering and I still learned something.

I think it deserves a sticky
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Old 10-25-2009, 09:00 PM   #30
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Thanks for the informative post. I do a LOT of soldering and I still learned something.

I think it deserves a sticky
Thanks, guess someone needs to contact a mod about stickyness. I don't want to do it... would feel like an arrogant ***
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