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Picture of Free Replacement Tip for Soldering Guns

I got an old weller soldering gun ( iron ) from the dump, but the tip was shot. Easy to buy a new tip, but I thought the replacement tip was too expensive for a gun that cost nothing.  But without a tip what use was the gun?   So how to make a replacement? A free replacement.  Here is how I did it.

 

Step 1: Tools and Supplies

Picture of Tools and Supplies

Vise

BoxCutter or Knife

Copper wire

Pliers

Solder and Soldering Iron

 
Kill5treak4 months ago
I have a question.
I acquired a Wen "quick hot" soldering gun from a dumpster dive and it works just great, turns on heats up, I even was able to find some solder as well with it in the same dumpster but, the tip will not hear up enough to do anything with it. I can give more information if needed but how do I fix this so I can use it and not have to buy a new version?
Straw_Cat1 year ago

I picked one of these up at a yard sale and I just discovered the tip on it doesn't heat up either. It came with an extra, flat tip, but I'll clean up the contacts with some emery cloth and try your tip for making my own tips. Thanks.

mykiscool1 year ago
I have an old soldering iron that's similar. It's wen brand. It's my favorite soldering iron. Better than the new ones. It gets the tip red hot in less than two seconds.I just tap stuff and vacuum to desolder it.
Bi112 years ago
1) Aluminium wire is common for holding the framing for suspended ceilings. I don't much care for the way it solders. I use AWG 14 (Romex ground wire) for the 8200 Weller.
2) I also use a Weller D-550 (325W) regularly. There, a heavier wire is called for; I use Awg 8 most times, occasionally AWG 6 if not as much heat is required.
3) On the electronics bench, I purchased a couple of low end Radio Shack irons and use AWG 8 to make tips for that as well. They aren't as delicate as a store-bought tip, but work well enough for non-circuit board work. They have to be threaded with a die, so I don't use them often. Usually for larger work than the 25W will handle.
4) When I store the 140W gun (Weller 8200), I usually loosten the nuts on the end of the tips. Forgetting to tighten them causes all sorts of problems, use small pliers and loosten then retighten them to restore connections.
5) Alloys don't seem to make much difference in tip life at the amateur level. I just make up 3 or 4 tips at a time for the 8200 and replace one when it gets to looking too rough on the end.
6) As an aside, I worked on tube servo amps as late as 1981. They were still in use in certain applications by Leeds & Northrup controllers in a foundry.
Wyle_E2 years ago
I don't use my old Weller gun much. Modern electronic equipment needs s small iron. Back when I was working on tube equipment (yes, I'm that old) I used to use the 12-guage wire trick when a tip wore out and I didn't have a spare. What usually kills tips is the copper dissolving into the solder. You can slow this down by using a copper-bearing solder, like Ersin Savbit. Iron-plated tips last much longer and are worth it if you do a lot of soldering, but I've only used them on my little Ungar modular irons. Never clean an iron-plated tip with anything but a damp sponge. Once you scratch the plating, the underlying copper erodes fast.
foxwoodfarm2 years ago
I have always thought that a solding tip had different material at the tip so that it heated up more than the wire part of the tip. Doesn't the wire get very hot all along it length?
dsandds20032 years ago
What i usually use is, depending on which gun you have. Either #10 or #12 copper electrical wire works well.
dsandds20032 years ago
Wonder how stainless steel wire would work??
russ_hensel (author)  dsandds20032 years ago
Solder does not want to adhere to it. Resistance is also different. But try it.
pfred22 years ago
I was using one of my Weller 8200s yesterday and it was giving me all sorts of trouble staying hot. Maybe I have some corrosion build up where the tip makes contact with the holders like you say? Those tips really do get trashed. I've bought a few soldering guns used and the tips are often in tough shape when I get them.
sleeping2 years ago
i have similarly used weird stuff like coat hangers in a bind. Yours looks more appropriate.
I guess tin sticks more hard on copper than iron so iron is easier to keep clean. May be nickel or chrome plating copper could be an interesting experiment to try.but nickel and chrome are toxic and allergenic and I don't think it is worth the risk of an enviromental damage . Aluminium could be entersting but aluminium wire seems to be uncommon. What is the the thick probe wire in refrigerators termostatic device made up with ? It seem to me to be aluminium. 
russ_hensel (author)  aristide2022 years ago
You want a material that that solder will "stick" to. Solder actually dissolves a bit into the surface. A flux helps. Chrome and aluminum are usually difficult.
thebear12 years ago
good have done this to with an old gun i had for years did not want to toss it so did what you have done thanks for posting this for others to see