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Soldering Iron Tip erosion

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BosKonay
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Here is a brand new soldering iron tip, and what mine looks like after about 1 hours use.

 

I tinned the tip well, keep it clean after use and wipe down with a damp sponge every few minutes of use, I don't leave it 'on' unattended or when not being used for more than a few minutes,....

 

I guess the question is, short of buying spare tips regularly, is this just how corrosive modern lead-free solder is?!

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Hmm, you could well be right Anthony - the iron is a draper from halfords. Think it was 20 quid. That said, the tips are handy enough, I buy a pack of 5 on ebay for a tenner, so maybe I just have to accept they are a bit rubbish and treat them as semi disposable!

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An Antex or a Weller are the only way to go Stephen. I have a temperature controlled Antex and a 25 watt Antex and the temperature controlled iron can have the temperature turned down low enough for white metal soldering. I bought both of them in Maplins many years ago and the tips seem to last a good while as long as you take care of them.

 

Rich,

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Good tip Eamonn (excuse the pun) that makes good sense. I see you made the right choice with the avatar :-bd.

 

Rich,

Yes I love that photo of Currabaha Level Crossing with the Weed Killer train in the distance,

on the Waterford-Ballinacourty Branch.Photo was taken by David Parks in 85 or 86 and loco

stalled big time on the middle of the main Cork road,causing traffic delays.This crossing is

the one just west of Kilmackthomas on the former main road.

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a little tip guys as I worked on a production line in a electronics factory many moons ago.

Before you turn off your iron put more solder on the tip area and this keeps the thing in good

order and prevents corrosion and rust especialy if the iron is only used a small bit.

 

Spot on, Eamonn.

 

I have one of those Halfords irons as well, just be sure clean and tin the tip when you are finished. I've done a heap of soldering on my layout and I'm still on the tip I got with the iron.

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Yes I love that photo of Currabaha Level Crossing with the Weed Killer train in the distance,

on the Waterford-Ballinacourty Branch.Photo was taken by David Parks in 85 or 86 and loco

stalled big time on the middle of the main Cork road,causing traffic delays.This crossing is

the one just west of Kilmackthomas on the former main road.

 

David Parks, now that's a blast from the past, I remember meeting him at the GSRPS up in Mallow station round about '84-'85.

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David Parks, now that's a blast from the past, I remember meeting him at the GSRPS up in Mallow station round about '84-'85.[/QUO

 

I often chat to David about trains in the good old days

and gave a good account of the GSRPS on certain other

site until his posts were deleted.He told me great journeys

on the weed killer trains on the North Kerry line and the

Ballinacourty branch.He has a lovely shot of 172 stopped at

The LC in Lixnaw Co Kerry in 1984 with the very last train

Over the line.

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Yes I love that photo of Currabaha Level Crossing with the Weed Killer train in the distance,

on the Waterford-Ballinacourty Branch.Photo was taken by David Parks in 85 or 86 and loco

stalled big time on the middle of the main Cork road,causing traffic delays.This crossing is

the one just west of Kilmackthomas on the former main road.

 

I used to holiday for a week each year, in a house just a few hundred yards up the road from that crossing, in the late 70's, early 80's. These were the last few years of the workings to Ballinacourty. I was barely a teenager at the time, but I'll always remember those trains!

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David Parks, now that's a blast from the past, I remember meeting him at the GSRPS up in Mallow station round about '84-'85.

 

The Boat Train Route, the GSRPS, David Parks and Soldering Iron erosion now thats what I call a thread :)

 

During the 1980s Johnie Walker? of the Wexford Club captured the atmosphere of the route to in a layout during the 1980s, and count myself lucky to have travelled to Kilmacthomas and Ballinacourthy on RPSI specials.

 

The GSRPS never really had a chance, I met David several times at Dromad excellent company a goodd juddge of porter and whiskey, its a pity the way things turned out both at Mallow and Dromad he had great vision but little chance of success in ireland.

 

Now soldering Iron Coated tips are your only man, I have several Antex tips good as new after 10 years use.

 

John

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My Antex iron suddenly stopped producing enough heat to melt solder. I thought it might be the element but when I changed the bit the problem was solved. What happens to a bit that would reduce the heat it transmits?

 

Dirt, plain and simple.

 

The tip has to be spotlessly clean and well tinned to transmit maximum heat.

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Better give it a wash then !

 

Turn the iron on when it heats up wipe it on a damp sponge or cloth. Tin it by melting a little solder onto the tip and letting it flow over it. Leave it on until it stops giving off smoke then wipe the tip on the sponge again. That should do it....

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You'll find the tip will blacken from the flux in the solder itself - wipe it down when finished and melt more solder all over the tip before cooling.

 

I followed that tip (to tin the tip really well - after - each use) and am getting much better life and heat transfer now! (also be careful with modern steel tips, not to clean them too abrasively, as if you break or crack the coating, the tip will erode very quickly!)

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