Soldering Iron tip is turning black and will not take a tinning ?
I have a brand new soldering iron and tips. I turned the iron on and waited for it to heat up, and immediately the tip turned black. I was told to clean it with a WET sponge and re-tin it. I did. or tried to, but it keeps turning black. I bought that tip-tinning stuff in the little tin and tried using that, but the tip still is black. It's as if the black tip will not accept the tin now...and it is brand new, although it sat in a box and a zip lock baggy for two years before I am working with it now. I tried to clean the tip by wiping it on a brass wire sponge thingy and then on the WET sponge. The tip looks like it would start to get shinny silver again but only in small places not the whole tip that should be all shiny silver. But then the whole tip just turns black immediately again even before I get to do any soldering at all. I tried to re-tin my other tip that did the same thing when I first tried to use this iron ( about 2 weeks ago) and the solder melted fast, but it just sort of built up on that tip like a big glob on the top of the tip. This soldering iron and solder I am using is for stained glass jewelry making not for electronics or plumbing. I am using all the correct materials for the job and have followed all directions and what I was told to try do, to fix it by the seller I bought it from, so I think I am doing everything right (?). I am using a lead free solder that is used for stained glass soldering jewelry. I am using the copper foil "tape" and copper metal and wire. But I can't get very far since this iron is giving me such problems. Am I doing something wrong or do you think the soldering iron is faulty? This iron is an Inland brand soldering iron. Can anyone out there please help me fix this? Or do I have to buy a new iron. I have so much work to do but can not do anything now until my iron will work properly. Help!!??? Oh another question I saw an Indestructible on how to make my own soldering iron tips from 6 awg copper wire...would this work for the job I need to do ? Because if it is the tips that are the problem I could make my own tips with pure copper but the all the irons I read about that are good always are made of a layer of iron and not just pure copper...will the self-made copper tips stick to my project or the solder since I am working with pure copper sheet and wire and I am using a lead free solder made up of Tin and Silver and one made of Tin and Copper. Its a bright shinny silver color since I want the silver look in the end... not the copper look in my hand made jewelry and sculptures I'm making.