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Topic by bakutools    |  last reply


Soldering Help? Answered

So i recently got a 40 watt weller soldering iron. This is my first soldering iron ever, and i have watched many instructional videos and tips on how to use it. I had a bit of trouble tinning the tip but i got the hang of it. I am using Rosin Core Solder btw. Today i went to go practice my soldering a bit, so i plugged in my soldering iron and waited for it to heat up. Once i heated it up i got a damp sponge and i wiped off the old solder. IIRC i wiped it off and then tryed to tin the tip again, but i saw my tip has turned black. I tried to tin it, but the solder just turned into a ball and rolled off the tip, as if the tip was oil and the solder was water. I tried taking off what i presumed was oxidation by cleaning it with the sponge, mr. cleans magic eraser, and my last resort was a nail filer. MR cleans magic eraser turned the oxidation a grayish blue, but the nail filer was the only thing that took off all the oxidation. (i know that any sort of abrasive thing shouldn't be used, but i was angry and confused). I felt pretty happy, but as soon as i put solder on the tip, the tip immediately turned black and the solder rolled off again, making tinning impossible. I tried re tinning my spare chisel tip too and it wasnt so bad, but the solder just rolled off too. Now all i have left is a tinned "mini chisel" tip that im scared to use because i dont want to mess up what i have left. Is there something im doing wrong? I could really use some help.

Question by jaguilar16    |  last reply


Soldering help?

I have trouble getting the solder to actually stick to the things I'm soldering. I use flux, but all the solder sticks to the tip. I have to keep making a bigger bubble until it falls off onto the wires. Am I doing something wrong?

Question by 7654321    |  last reply


Why is solder not staying on the tip of my soldering iron?

The tip of my new soldering iron is not holding solder while tinning even after applying flux. Soldering is therefore getting difficult, can anyone suggest a solution for this problem?

Question by Ankan Nayak    |  last reply


Any soldering tips for soldering a VQFN-16 IC? Answered

Its tiny, ≈ 4mm, has 16 pads Have to try to hand solder it. have some really thin solder i think its .2mm? Or should i go with more of a heat gun method (would have to buy a cheap heatgun, would hairdryer work??) chip might also go by 16-VQFN 16-HVQFN, 16-SQFN, 16-DHVQFN its chip TPS61090- both on digikey and mouser thanks

Question by astroboy907    |  last reply


Tip will not tin on new soldering iron?

I just got my first soldering iron, a pen style weller. It was a real cheapo at $20 from home depot. When I go to tin the tip all the solder just beads up on itself and won't touch the iron. The iron turns black almost instantly and will smoke even if nothing is touching it. I have tried two different solders, one that came with it and some electric solder I bought separately, both are lead free and rosin core. The iron is 25 watts and gets up to 750 degrees fahrenheit. Any ideas?

Question by DELETED_Fuogger    |  last reply


Thin soldering iron tip! -FIND-

Hello, recently i have received an audio amp. But the problem is; i can't solder it! i have thin solder, but no soldering iron tip to do the job! Please help me find a tip Thanx!!

Topic by Sandisk1duo    |  last reply


What is soldering tip tinner/cleaner? Answered

I found this stuff at Radioshack. Is it a useful thing to have when soldering?

Question by Arya42    |  last reply


Soldering: Shaky hands. TIps anyone?

I enjoy electronics work, but all of my joints turn out bad because my hands seem to develop cerebral palsy when I want to hold them still. any tips? pointers?

Topic by bardon08    |  last reply


Soldering iron on without tip inserted?

Well, this is the second soldering fiasco I've documented on Instructables. I recently got a new tip for my soldering iron, but when I inserted it, I forgot to ensure that it was inserted all the way. When I turned the iron on, I gradually smelled what seemed like burnt plastic and resistors. I turned it off after about 3-5 min. of this, not realizing that the tip wasn't inserted. What did I just do to my soldering iron, and what did I inhale for a short period of time? 

Question by The Manic Puppeteer    |  last reply


Nickel sponge+Soldering tip cleaner

Hello, I am a computer engineer and interested on making instructables ! Since i bought my soldering iron like 2 weeks ago i am on the making of one soldering station (with helping hands and such),I bought a sponge but i didn't noticed that wasn't copper (it writes nickel on it). Should be oki for my soldering iron (I mean to keep my tip clean)? Greetings from the sunny and bankrupted Greece ! Xristos.

Topic by Deithomen    |  last reply


Soldering tips and tricks for complicated metals

Whether you are just a hobby builder or do your own electronics projects, you know how to solder...Then one day you find yourself in the position that your solder just does not want to stick...My first moment of total defeat happened when I was a teenager.Was building some simple motor with instructions from a book but substituted what I could...Ended up with some stainless steel contacts and being unable to solder my wires to them...If you ever had problems like this then read on ;)What are easy to solder metals?Basically everything that does not form an oxide layer on the surface and is able to bind with tin, lead or silver.Copper is one of the easiest metals to solder on but every plumber certainly knows how important a clean and corrosion free surface is.Any coating or alloy that prevents oxidisation or provides a harder surface usually means with normal, electornics solder we might be lost.Nickel for example can be a true pain and same for chrome.So lets start with the hard metals first.Steel, nickel, stainless...If the part size does not already mean trouble to get it hot enough, then we face the problem of how to "wet" it with our solder.Normal steel is usually fine if you give it a fine sanding right before the soldering, however getting the heat onto the part is crucial.Even something simple like a 5mm thick steel rod can be a pain with a normal soldering iron.I good way to cheat is to preheat the part or area with a blow torach on a soft flame - not a hot, blue flame.Try to do this away from the area you need to solder as the temperature difference usually causes some initial condensation on the surface.Most steels that play a vital role don't like to be overheated as it can affect the hardness an other things, so be careful here.Rosin core solder works fine on steel and it also indicates when the temperature gets too hot by boiling and smoking badly.If you still struggle to wet the surface try to scratch it with your solder - if it does not melt the surface is not hot enough.Nickel coatings are usually very thin and a slight sanding quickly reveals the layer underneath.If the metal used is not copper already then a copper layer will be electroplated on before the nickel coating.Either way the key is to get through the nickel without going through the copper, for example if steel contacts were used for durability reasons.After that soldering is as easy as directly onto copper.Steinless steel however can be a true pain, same by the way if you need to preserve the nickel coating as best as possible and can sand it off.Without using chemistry the only way I found is to use a stainless steel tip in the soldering iron.But as the preperation of one requires chemicals anyway we might start with them first.The passivating layer of layer or stainless steel can of course be pre-treated by sanding.Especially very shiny surface benefit from it.After this I prefer to wet the surface with Phosphoric Acid - you can find it in the harware store as "Rust remover".It is a food grade acid used in many of your favourite fizzy drinks, so skin contact is not a big deal - just wash it off.The phosphoric acid is not strong enough to break the oxide layer but it keeps air away.And once you start scratching the hot metal with your stainless steel soldering tip it will prevent a new oxide layer from forming.This method however requires a low temperature solder and quick work as the acid boils off quickly.In the plumbing section of your hardware store your find various fluxes for soldering.Look for something containing both Ammonium Chloride and Tink Chloride.Around here a common brand name is Bakers Fluid.Usually if it has a red danger label on it you will find the above ingredients on the lable somewhere.Be careful with it as it is very corrosive and harmful to your health!Good thing is that all remains can be washed off with just running water.What does it do though?Unlike the phosphoric acid, the chlrodies directly attack the metal.Especially once getting hot, so if in doubt wear proper protection as advised on the label!The oxide layer is not only being eaten away, there is also an ion exchange happening, so a product with more than 30% of zink chloride is prefered here.The zink binds with the stainless steel or nickel and provides an easier way to bond for the solder.Key is to work quickly and with precision!Flux paste is good for brazing but not so good for soldering.The flux liquid, unlike the paste will start to boil right when the metal get to soldering temperatures.That is if you use standard lead based solder, most lead free types should be ready a bit sooner.Start to scratch the metal with the solder and use a soft flame from the other side or close to the soldering area - do not apply the flame directly onto the flux covered area.Why? Well, the flux isolates the metal from the heat of the flame and it will boil off way before the metal gets hot enough ;)On smaller parts and when using the soldering iron create a small bubble of solder and keep scratching the surface while it heats up.In case the flux dries off apply a bit more before this happens!Once the solder starts to wet the metal a tiny bit it is usually very easy to spread it out to the desired size and shape.With the heat applied from the underside the solder will always flow to the area of most heat!Once done it is best to let the part cool down then to give it a good wash under running water to remove all remains of the flux.Failing to to do so will result in quick and ongoing corrosion, so do it properly...Aluminium, the bad metal...I encountered it first when I could not welding or brazing on a quite small part.Plus, of course, the problem of having to add a copper wire as well.Then again when I had to solder some aluminium wire.Acid won't work, chlorides only make it worse, so don't bother with either for aluminium.Standard rosin core solder also fails.But there is a suprisingly simple solution to the oxide problem on aluminium.Mechanical work...There are quite few videos out there showing how someone solders onto some aluminium foil.It is so simple because the foil is thin - use it to test your new skills.A thing though that is often done wrong is the surface preperation.It usually starts with a fine sanding - to remove the oxide layer.....The some oil is applied and soldering starts under the oil cover.And if pay attention then it is often a painful process of scratching with the soldering iron while trying to make the solder bubble wet the aluminium.That's why foil is so simple here....What happened in those videos?Quite simple: Aluminium oxidises right away while you sand it.Even if you are quick with the oil it already happened.So why not do the sanding after the oil was applied?A fibreglass pen or a stainless steel wire brush (usused on other things!) work quite well here.The oil prevents the air from attacking the aluminum.If in doubt use some clay and form a little dam around the soldering area to prevent the oil from running off.Petroleum jelly, vaseline and all other identical things work fine here same for clean engine oil.But you have to use rosin free solder, no flux core, just plain solder.If you don't have it simply melt some normal rosin core solder to a nice drop and clean the rosin off ;)Since there is no real oxide layer with this way of pre-treating the soldering and wetting happens right once the aluminium get hot enough to melt the solder.You might find it sticking nice right away but don't be fooled!You need to heat the aluminium until you actually see the solder forming a nice puddle.With careful sanding you create very clean boundaries.Other soldering tricks...Getting cholired based flux for a single job might be overkill.If you happen to have one of these tip cleaning stones for your soldering iron then you have what you need ;)Simply scrape some of it off and dissolve it is a tiny amount of water.Will only be ammonium chloride and requires more scratching on stainless steel but works...Preparing a stainless steel soldering tip sunds as easy as finding a suitable piece of wire and grindinga tip onto it.If you every changed the tip on a soldering iron them you know there is two types.The simple one for the cheaper irons uses a set screw or similar to hold the tip.The better ones are hold in place by a collar or other type of screw fitting.And well, those have a thicker part in their body.If you need to solder stainless steel more than once or twice it makes sense to buy a cheap but powerful soldering iron and to make sure it uses a straight piece of metal with no thicker parts to hold it in place.If you can't find some stainless steel wire or round bar of suitable thickness you can go slightly below or much thinner if you require a thin tip.Just make a copper or aluminium collar for the tip to hold it in place, like a sleeve to go around.Grind the tip to your desired shape before fitting it in....You won't need a mirror finnish and it can be helpful if the the surface is quite rough.After all, you want to scratch around on stainless steel with it and you can't harm it this way.To get a nice and clean cover of solder onto the tip you need the mentioned flux from above.Use a small cup and fill some of the flux in it so you can dip the tip of the soldering iron into it.If there is no temperature control start with a cold iron and the tip sanded off a last time right before dipping it into the flux.Use some clamps or whatever you feel like to help keeping the tip in place.If you get flux onto bits you don't want to cover with solder then wash off and try again.Turn the iron on observe the tip.As soon as you see tiny bubble forming take it out and quickly start rubbing your solder onto the tip.It helps to have a thick enough solder so you can apply some pressure here.And of course the solder should be nice and shiny and not covered by oxides...Special cases like titanium or othe metals that usually fail to bond with solder....Let's face it: whenever soldering is not feasable we are happy to revert back to crimping or screwing.Nothing wrong with it either and often the better option when it comes to being able to do a quick repair at a later stage.Most of thes special metals, including your favourite heating wire can still be solder using the right surface prep and flux but it really should be avoided if you can.And real bond like you get when soldering copper would only be on a surface level and mechanical strenght questionable.On a professional level ultrasonic soldering is used to make the impossible possible.The cavitation effect breaks through the surface oxides or passivating layers and the solder just wets the surface like it would be copper.On a hobby level things look different though.Unless you decide to build your own solar panels from scratch the investment into some low end ultrasonic soldering machine already set you back a few grand....There is a way to cheat on the cheap though if you are into experimenting and building things....More on that in my other topic about making an ultrasonic soldering tank. ;)

Topic by Downunder35m  


My soldering iron tip keeps corroding.

I recently bought a new soldering iron and it works great. The only problem is: The tip keeps corroding down! It won't solder properly and it's a bit frustrating. What can i do to stop this?

Question by WerdnaN    |  last reply


Building a hair thin Mini hot tip (like soldering)

Building a hair thin Mini hot tip (like soldering) Building a hair thin Mini hot tip (like soldering) Well as you read it I am trying to build a very very small heat controllable mini hot tip (max 40 degrees C) And definitely I am sure you are such an expert in the area that the hair hot tipwill sound like a joke to you. What for? well, long story short I want to put bacteria samples on it & gradually increase the temperature and see how the populations die or survive, and most likely how long they last, to demonstarte if actual dishwashers do a good job. (maximum temp boiling point) I actually want to record the video given to the fact that the microscope I have access at school is wayyyy more powerful than the rest. I know I should use an LED or just heat but what prevents me from doing so is just blowing away the samples from the tip or changing the exposure too much with extra lights. I believe the principle is almost the same as with the coil inside electric bulbs or the same as in ironing clothes but not as hot (in orders of magnitude) I believe the trick is driving voltage and just making variations to it with a dial please help I really want to see those bacteria and film them . All help will be appreciated Thanx Micro Freak apprentice

Topic by dejabox    |  last reply


need help soldering

I'm having some trouble soldering and am hoping you guys can give me some pointers.  When I try to get a little bit of solder on the tip of my iron, the bead that forms will sometimes either not stick to the iron at all or will roll up the tip a bit so it's on the side rather than right on the point.  How can I get the solder to go on the very tip?  I am soldering 0603 surface mount LEDs, so precision is key. Also, I've been placing my wire against the fluxed pad and dragging a bit of solder across it, but something I read said you should apply a tiny bit of solder to the pads and the ends of the wires separately then hold them together and just apply heat with the iron to fuse them.  Which method do you think is better/stronger?   Thanks.

Topic by aliasjanedoe    |  last reply


Extra tiny soldering

Ok, I have a weller 40w iron and I want to do some seriously tiny work, I cannot afford to buy anything. how would I go about making a tip for the iron?

Topic by The Ideanator  


Butane Soldering Iron

Hello! Recently my soldering iron broke, and i want to buy a new one! I was thinking of getting a butane with interchangeable tips. Can you suggest an online one thats >$10 and with free shipping? Thanxs!

Topic by Sandisk1duo    |  last reply


soldering iron advice.

It has become apparent in my that a soldering iron is my next necessary resource/skill. Wondering what I am looking for in a good one, or any tips on what other people use. The use will be arduino circuit building. thanks  

Topic by stupidityisanart    |  last reply


soldering iron help ?

Well today i finally got my soldering iron Weller marksman 25 watts for $ 17.75 but i turned it on it smoldered for 3 minutes then stopped then the tip started to get black and solder wont stick to it is that oxidization and how and what do i use to clean it off

Question by albylovesscience    |  last reply


walmart (U.S) lead-lead free solder that erodes soldering iron tips

What solder to use to keep it from eroding my s-iron tip i like lead-tin but i am not sure if rosin-cores by themselves not erode soldering iron tips lead-free solder uses antimony, another neurotic metal that can cause cancer

Question by cavemen    |  last reply


New with arduino any tips and tricks that could help me? Answered

I want to start making things with Arduino but i don't know where to start. Any hep will be appreciated!  I also was wondering if anyone knows where i can get a quality solder. (mine keeps breaking)                      -Thanks

Question by gibsoncrazed14    |  last reply


Soldering help required

Hi everyone. I just signed up for Instructables, but I have been a constant visitor for a while now. I'm also the happy owner of a cheap soldering iron I bought a while ago for some projects I had on mind, so I've been checking out all those Instructables about soldering to have a clue of how to solder without dying on the attempt. The problem is, most of them are for soldering circuits and I'm more interested in other kind of stuff like audio wires, speakers, LEDs, switches, and the most audio plug jacks. So, I bought my soldering iron (a pretty cheap one) and started to use it but, hell, I just cannot figure out how to do it right. The first time I used it I tried to tin it correctly but I think I might have let a spot I couldn't tin quickly and apparently that spot never heated correctly. After several days of use the tip of the darn thing changed a few times of color to finally corroded and the mentioned spot of the tip fell apart although I cleaned it and tinned it after every use. My second bigger problem is that after tinning the tip the solder appear to have life of its own. Usually I put the tip upon the place where I want to solder and next to the wires, apply the solder, and then the solder: a) Melt, shrinks and go back the way it came.... or b) A portion stays in place but manage to stay down, left or right from the wires to be soldered. When trying to tin wires the solder always rejects them (I think running away from them). So please, help. Could anyone tell me what am I doing wrong. Is it the solder? Do I need to stop being cheap and buy a better soldering iron?? Is it me doing all wrong?? Can anyone post a "Soldering for less than dummies" Instructable??? Any help will be highly appreciated.

Topic by fiola    |  last reply


Solder Iron Tips: oily, bubbly coating forming... See Pics

Can anyone explain to me what is happening with my soldering iron? It makes it very hard to remove. I thought maybe flux is getting down there somehow but I've been taking care to alway keep the tip down and avoid any excess solder accumulating on the tip (aside from tinning of course). But it's happening again!

Topic by milsorgen    |  last reply


Soldering iron problem, can someone help me ?

My iron heat very well at 1~2 minutes (30W) and tip also get hot as rest of the metal part but as shown in picture (Working) part where solder works and heated (Not working)/tip doesn't heat the solder ! i don't know why?? don't tell me temperature not high at tip (i really burned my self while i was checking that tip is very hot) is it solder problem or iron problem ?

Question by abdalrahman.gamal.90    |  last reply


Shock from soldering gun? Answered

I tried a bit of soldering a few hours ago and as soon as I touched the hot tip with the solder wire,I got a shock!!(huge enough to be detected by a tester).....what shall I do?and could water touching the metal tip be a cause?

Question by Adarsh_tronix    |  last reply


where to buy micro-tip soldering iron?

Anybody know a good place to order a soldering iron with a very small tip? I want it for working with 0603 LEDs. I can't find replacement tips for my current soldering iron. Something not too expensive would be nice.

Topic by aliasjanedoe    |  last reply


How do I clean my soldering iron tip?

I hope you can help me here, my whole soldering iron tip is covered in oxides, except the very end of the tip, that part is fine. The oxides won't come off, I even tried to use the tip cleaner stuff, but that did not work, it only prevent the oxides from forming... :(

Topic by Plasmana    |  last reply


Redesigning the soldering iron!

Hi, we’re a team of engineering undergrads hoping to redesign the soldering iron. Specifically, we’re looking at making it safer and more usable by younger teens and children. We’re looking for any feedback or advice you might have, especially if you have kids, so if you can spare a few minutes to fill out our survey, that’d be awesome. Or if you have any questions, feel free to shoot us an email at: solder.otter@gmail.com. Thank you for your time and input! https://docs.google.com/forms/d/14cAsPIbiU_jf09aFBU03nplbYuBtr0JpTPzrWEp4OFw/viewform also, does anyone know why there is so much metal exposed towards the tip?

Topic by solderotter    |  last reply


NYC Soldering Championships

Apparently, for all of you in the NYC area, July 29th (next-next tuesday) is the NYC Soldering Championships."With solder irons blazing, and the power of molten metal at their finger tips, New York City's electricity enthusiasts and hardware hackers will connect components to complete circuits for the glory of being the fastest soldering gun in NYC."The end goal is to solder an entire electronics kit (which has not yet been chosen) as fast as possible. Unfortunately, you must be 21 or older to enter.....After the competition, the Ignite NYC talks will begin, several of which seem quite... interesting...For registration and more information, check out NYC Resistor's site.

Topic by T3h_Muffinator    |  last reply


Do i have to tin the whole tip?

I got a new soldering iron and one of those tip tinner and cleaner tins from radioshack. The tip of the soldering iron is 1 inch long and when  i use the tinner only the vary tip gets tinned the rest is brownish black. Do just tin the vary tip with  the tinner or the whole tip?

Question by redlizard5    |  last reply


can i fix the tip of my soldering iron

I have this soldering iron that i totaly messed up. i didnt treet it well when i first got it and now i want to kno if it is even fixable. the tip is not only flat but the only part of it that is able to melt the solder is the size of a pin. im cash strapped and want to kno if there is some way short of buying a new tip to not only make it be able to melt the solder but to some how get it to be somewhat of pointed again. thanx

Topic by lurkingshaddow    |  last reply


What's a good soldering iron?

Me and my dad have a really crappy soldering iron. It has a really messy tip, it heats slow, it has a short cord, and it is clumsy to hold. We were wondering what to look for if we were to go to Fry's or Radio Shack to buy a new one.

Topic by YummyPancakes    |  last reply


Building an ultrasonic soldering station ?

I have some strage projects coming up that will require me to solder things together that usually don't really like this.In my past job this was quite easy as we had an ultrasonic soldering bath and several ultrasonic soldering stations.Well, the access to those is gone :(At first I thought "How hard can it be to build one?"Not really too hard for a half decent soldering bath but a lot harder for a soldering iron...The soldering stations we used operated in the range of 50-60kHz.Commonly available transducers and their drivers however you find for 28 and 40kHz.Finding small ones in the range of 10 to 20W is also not easy.I can deal with a soldering iron that ends up in the size of a 500W wood burning iron as long as the tip is replacable.But what are the frequencies really required to solder for example on ceramic, titanium or lab grade glass?Does anyone have experience with doing this on lower frequencies than what the professional stations use?Last but not least:Is there any software available (preferably free or as an online tool) to simulate the quite long feed horn that is required with a soldering tip?Going with 1/4 wavelenghts is logical but how could I get the info on the actual shape required without simulating it first?I was thinking of using a heater cartridge like used for the hotend on a 3D printer to heat the tip.However, tests on my ultrasonic actuator showed the entire thing disintegrates within a few minutes, at least the filler and "glue" used to hold it all together.Would a free standing heating coil around the tip work?Heat transfer would be a pain and losses high, but should be possible?In case you wonder why: I just don't ave the thausands of dollars at hand required to buy one of these soldering stations....

Question by Downunder35m    |  last reply


Spare tip for MAPLIN soldering iron N78AR ??? How to find it ??? Answered

Hi ... would someone be so kind and give me advice, how to find spare tips for the MAPLIN N78AR soldering iron ??? I know, that I can buy a set in MAPLIN ... but I would like to buy 3x fine tips - preferably on EBAY - but I don't know how can I find it ??? Thank you in advance. Zholy

Question by zholy    |  last reply


DIY Soldering Gun? Answered

My 40W soldering iron is a bit too weak. I've been thinking about making a soldering gun, but it confuses me a bit... Since I don't work with sensitive electronic components, I don't think there's a problem. I also like the fact that I can control the amount of heat easily... I soldering gun is pretty much a "mix" between a soldering iron and a welder, right? Similar to a hot-wire styrofoam cutter. Maybe I should call it an Incandescent soldering lamp...  A hot wire cutter is exactly like a soldering gun, except it uses a thicker, shorter, wire that has low resistance... To make one, what I need is a power supply that can supply: High current, and low voltage (Wikipedia doesn't define low voltage), right? With a 5V 40A ATX power supply, a switch, and a single core wire that has close to 0 resistance, do you think I would be able to make a soldering gun? A 5V ATX power supply is the power supply with the lowest voltage that I own.  I don't know the resistance of the wire that I can use, because I don't know what wire to use, and don't know the current it will take. I know I will need the heating wire of the tip to be a higher gauge, so it will have more resistance on high amps, and it will be the one that will heats up. From what I'm guessing, 5V is too high, and something like 1V would be better. Perhaps I'll find a way for stepping it down to a lower voltage...

Question by Yonatan24    |  last reply


Tinned my soldering iron, now it wont work?

Hi there. I recently read an instructable on here on how to solder (rather, read through several) and all of them mentioned that it was imperative to tin the tip of your soldering iron. So I took out my trusty butane soldering iron, and tinned it with a layer of solder so thin, I can't see a thickness to it, and can only tell it's there because it's shinier than the tip of the soldering iron. My problem, is now the tip doesn't appear to get hot enough to melt solder (?!), as no matter how long I hold it directly on a piece of solder, it never actually seems to melt. I tried brushing the tip with some sandpaper (while cold) and a diamond drill bit (gently! while hot) to try and remove some of the solder from it, but to no avail. I can no longer solder anything. Any suggestions on what I'm doing wrong or how I could fix this? Thanks, Adam

Topic by NuclearDog    |  last reply


What is the best way to clean excess solder from a wire tip? Answered

At school we do electronics, and i soldered some wires together and now there is a large blob of solder on the end, and nothing to attach wires to because the wire fell off. There is now no wire left. Help!

Question by The Jamalam    |  last reply


how to solve soldering problem? Answered

I soldered a lot but from some time,my problem is that after tinning the tip and putting in soldering paste(when needed), I get a layer of a sort of oxide or something,but that is not what bothers me. The big problem is that the solder is not tinning on surfaces (wires and component leads). what can be the cause?(i'm guessing the solder since the problems started after buying new solder)

Question by theVader75    |  last reply


MIG Soldering Iron Concept

The plan is to modify a existing soldering iron remove the tip have a small nozzle at the front (made of a thick disk of metal, drilled with a normal bit until a small hole is poked, thus making a cone nozzle)(thinner than what i put in the picture, because the taper should be 45 degrees) the area where the tip is screwed in to will be where the solder liquidfies a hole will be drilled above that for a flexible copper tube to guide solder in the tube will be heat sinked so the solder only liquidfies when it is near the chamber the solder will be feed with some sort of unreeling mechanism or something that is controlled by a button the feed will be guided to the copper tube via another sort of tubing the pressure of adding solder will force the liquid solder out the nozzle the goal is to have a tiny drop of liquid solder, small enough for average through hole soldering, come out with a press of a button. flux should be applied before. does anybody see anything wrong that could happen with my concept? does anybody have other ideas and suggestions? had this been thought of before?

Topic by frank26080115    |  last reply


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. 

Question by donnadidit    |  last reply


Gas soldering iron instead of hot air rework station?

I dont want to pay for an entire rework station... so would it be possible to use the hot air tip of a gas(butane) powered soldering iron instead? The portasol from Weller sounds nice, but i also found a ~ $20 from radio shack i might want... anyway it doesnt matter which one, just like will it replace a rework station ...SAFELY?

Question by raykholo    |  last reply


What am i doing wrong with soldering?

So im still pretty new to electronics and obviously my projects involve soldering.  But here's my problem, i go through tips too often. i dont use my soldering iron too much but my tips still oxidize all the time.  I tin the tips when i use them but they still get oxidized.  Although my iron is from radioshack, (i know not a quality iron) could that be the problem? or that my solder is lead-free? If anyone could tell me why my tips still get oxidized all the time that would be great, thanks in advance.

Question by texpert    |  last reply


Good soldering iron, w/ fine point tips, less than $50? Answered

Hey all- I've finally decided that my soldering iron just plain sucks. $3 harbor freight irons just dont cut it anymore :) (dont really recommend them. Solder eats away at tip). So- the question. I need a good, high quality soldering iron, preferably fine point (or has fine point tips available). I would like one under $50, but I'm looking for around $30.  Do you think I need to get one with variable temp? I am using lead free solder, but I may do some (not a ton) of SMT work. Just as long as it works, and has a quality tip I am good :) Thanks for your answers -A907

Question by astroboy907    |  last reply


The solder doesn't take (start flowing, leave the iron) when I use my copper soldering iron. worked fine before.?

I tried filing it, it is mostly flat.  I see solder has attached to the sides, I do not know how to remove it.  The solder on the iron looks wonderful, like I was taught it should look.  I played with the temperature, no success.  The solder will not take.  I would appreciate any information you have to share with me.  I am a new metalworker and solderer and have run out of troubleshooting advice that I was taught.  My tip is about 1 cm by 5 or 6 cm. 

Question by sigrun_franzen    |  last reply


How do I take care of my soldering iron tip?

I am a newbie at soldering, and I recently bought a $8 iron from radioshack. After the first time I used it, it had already began to erode. I think I tined it like I was suposed to. I melted a little bit of solder on it, and wiped off the excess. Would wiping it to much do this. Please help.

Question by electronicdude    |  last reply


What is the plastic tool that came in my solder kit? Answered

Hey guys, i just bought a solder kit.  This one to be exact.  There is a little plastic tool that I cant figure out what it is supposed to be used for.  It has two tips, one pointed, and one that is "forked" .  Can somebody tell me what it is?  I've been looking at soldering videos and cant find what this tool is. Thank!

Question by Epond89    |  last reply


Making a water heater from a soldering iron?

I have got a soldering iron  of  60W, (with a damaged tip). And the main purpose of this project is to make a low power water or coffee heater with things you already have.  Im not a tech savy, but i know that the iron has a 2 pin socket. So, if you dip it directly in water, u'll get a shock if you touch the water. Another modification is needed- the heating rod.  the rod is made of crude iron, which can easily rust, and the tip has some leftover solder, which can poison the coffee.  can someone help in this?

Topic by arnab321    |  last reply


Soldering Copper Round Bar

I plan on making a backdrop (pictured) out of copper. I have a little bit of experience soldering copper pipe. I have an idea of how to build the backdrop but would appreciate some feedback/tips.Dimensions:- 5' W x 7' H x 3' DMaterials: - Diagonal members: 0.1875" round bar- Circular votive holders: 0.125" round bar- Rectangular border, kickers, and base: 1/4" x 1" rectangular barI'm thinking that I will solder the diagonal members at each intersection and where the ends meet the rectangular bar frame. The base will be a 3' rectangular bar on the left and on the right. There will be a kicker on each side, connected to the base and about halfway up the vertical members of the frame.Does this seem feasible? Will the structure be stable? How can I form the circular votive holders?

Question by sjung510    |  last reply


What do I need to do to solder easily? Answered

We I have a cheapy soldering iron and I am just trying my hand at simple led projects. However when I try to solder none of the solder "sticks" to the components. The solder just sticks to my tip. How do I fix this problem for good.

Question by sunny342    |  last reply


how do I repair my soldering iron? Answered

The two wires from solder tip to the a/c cord broke,are they suppose to touch or are they seperate from each other?

Question by madyarddog5613    |  last reply