Step 4: Why Tin?
Try to solder immediately after tinning the tip, the sooner the better.
Periodically while you are working (after soldering one or two connections), clean and re-tin the tip.
Tinning improves conductivity and makes soldering easier, as well as quicker, which is a good thing.
Some electronic components are sensitive to heat, and the quicker you can solder them, the less likely they are to be heat damaged.
According to the instructive Terry, properly tinning the iron tip before putting it away will help preserve it.
Comparing our soldering iron (like new), and the iron of the guys down the hall (terrible) this seems to be a good practice to keep.
Happy soldering! -Royal
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