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Flux. You have to use lots and lots of flux ... that's what makes the solder stick to the tip and not just bead up and fall off. I have a small container off it that has about 2 shotglasses full of flux paste. I put the tip in the paste, wipe it off with damp sponge, dip it in the paste again .... and then the solder will stick and "tin" the tip. Flux, flux, flux ... is the magic ingredient.