Forums

Question about soldering iron tip

Started by Peabody January 23, 2017
I have a plain 30-watt pencil iron.  It's this one:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KXX6RLA/

The tip is almost 3 inches long, and when fully inserted only about 3/4 inch 
protrudes out of the barrel.  The 3 inches also corresponds to the portion of 
the barrel that has become darkened over time, which I assume indicates 
that's where it heats up.

Would it be possible to pull the tip out a bit and lock it in place, then 
create a new tip with a file?  And would it be possible to do that several 
times as the old tip deteriorates?  Or does it have to remain fully inserted 
to heat properly?

I'm not aware of any replacement tipsfor this iron, so if I can file a new 
tip a few times, it would extend its life.

Has anyone here actually done this?

Thanks

On 1/23/2017 7:48 PM, Peabody wrote:
> I have a plain 30-watt pencil iron. It's this one: > > https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KXX6RLA/ > > The tip is almost 3 inches long, and when fully inserted only about 3/4 inch > protrudes out of the barrel. The 3 inches also corresponds to the portion of > the barrel that has become darkened over time, which I assume indicates > that's where it heats up. > > Would it be possible to pull the tip out a bit and lock it in place, then > create a new tip with a file? And would it be possible to do that several > times as the old tip deteriorates? Or does it have to remain fully inserted > to heat properly? > > I'm not aware of any replacement tipsfor this iron, so if I can file a new > tip a few times, it would extend its life. > > Has anyone here actually done this? > > Thanks >
The tip does not have to be all the way in. If you file it you may have difficulty getting proper flow when you solder. The new tip is plated. I have had some luck tinning the filed tip with silver tinning paste. Those tips are readily available.
Tom Biasi says...

 > The tip does not have to be all the way in. If you file
 > it you may have difficulty getting proper flow when you
 > solder. The new tip is plated. I have had some luck
 > tinning the filed tip with silver tinning paste.

Thanks very much.

Testing with a magnet, I don't detect any sign of magnetism,
so apparently the plating isn't iron.  What would it be?
Maybe nickel?  Nickel could be replaced through
electroplating.  But that may be overkill.

 > Those tips are readily available.

I haven't found any on Ebay.  Maybe the manufacturer of the
iron has them.


On 1/23/2017 9:24 PM, Peabody wrote:
> Tom Biasi says... > > > The tip does not have to be all the way in. If you file > > it you may have difficulty getting proper flow when you > > solder. The new tip is plated. I have had some luck > > tinning the filed tip with silver tinning paste. > > Thanks very much. > > Testing with a magnet, I don't detect any sign of magnetism, > so apparently the plating isn't iron. What would it be? > Maybe nickel? Nickel could be replaced through > electroplating. But that may be overkill. > > > Those tips are readily available. > > I haven't found any on Ebay. Maybe the manufacturer of the > iron has them. > >
Depends on the tip. Some were brass, zinc plated. I have made them from copper wire and tinning them with silver solder.
In article <20170124-004805.624.0@Peabody.ssl.astraweb.com>, 
waybackNO584SPAM44@yahoo.com says...
> > I have a plain 30-watt pencil iron. It's this one: > > https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KXX6RLA/ > > The tip is almost 3 inches long, and when fully inserted only about 3/4 inch > protrudes out of the barrel. The 3 inches also corresponds to the portion of > the barrel that has become darkened over time, which I assume indicates > that's where it heats up. > > Would it be possible to pull the tip out a bit and lock it in place, then > create a new tip with a file? And would it be possible to do that several > times as the old tip deteriorates? Or does it have to remain fully inserted > to heat properly? > > I'm not aware of any replacement tipsfor this iron, so if I can file a new > tip a few times, it would extend its life. > > Has anyone here actually done this? > > Thanks
I doubt you could pull the tip out very much and it still work. Try this for the new tips. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008LTIIB0/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00 _s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
On Mon, 23 Jan 2017 20:24:11 -0600, Peabody wrote:

> Tom Biasi says... > > > The tip does not have to be all the way in. If you file it you may > > have difficulty getting proper flow when you solder. The new tip is > > plated. I have had some luck tinning the filed tip with silver > > tinning paste. > > Thanks very much. > > Testing with a magnet, I don't detect any sign of magnetism, > so apparently the plating isn't iron. What would it be? Maybe nickel? > Nickel could be replaced through electroplating. But that may be > overkill. > > > Those tips are readily available. > > I haven't found any on Ebay. Maybe the manufacturer of the iron has > them.
You may find something close enough to work though. I'm using one from Hexagon (a pricey production grade tool) in an el-cheapo 30 watt pencil iron with excellent results. (and it is advertised as being iron plated and is attracted to a magnet) A thick piece of copper wire, and file will work too, but they don't last long. Turning the heat down with a light dimmer when not actually soldering is a good policy...
On Mon, 23 Jan 2017 20:24:11 -0600, Peabody wrote:

> Tom Biasi says... > > > The tip does not have to be all the way in. If you file it you may > > have difficulty getting proper flow when you solder. The new tip is > > plated. I have had some luck tinning the filed tip with silver > > tinning paste. > > Thanks very much. > > Testing with a magnet, I don't detect any sign of magnetism, > so apparently the plating isn't iron. What would it be? Maybe nickel? > Nickel could be replaced through electroplating. But that may be > overkill. > > > Those tips are readily available. > > I haven't found any on Ebay. Maybe the manufacturer of the iron has > them.
PS I just looked at my tip and it is 1/8" diameter ~2" long (total) Found this on-line: Hexacon CT302X Specifications: Tip Diameter: 1/8" Tip Width: 1/32" Tip Length: 9/16" Tip Style: Conical Chisel and it sells for $17 each (gasp)
On Mon, 23 Jan 2017 20:13:54 -0500, Tom Biasi wrote:

> On 1/23/2017 7:48 PM, Peabody wrote: >> I have a plain 30-watt pencil iron. It's this one: >> >> https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KXX6RLA/ >> >> The tip is almost 3 inches long, and when fully inserted only about 3/4 >> inch protrudes out of the barrel. The 3 inches also corresponds to the >> portion of the barrel that has become darkened over time, which I >> assume indicates that's where it heats up. >> >> Would it be possible to pull the tip out a bit and lock it in place, >> then create a new tip with a file? And would it be possible to do that >> several times as the old tip deteriorates? Or does it have to remain >> fully inserted to heat properly? >> >> I'm not aware of any replacement tipsfor this iron, so if I can file a >> new tip a few times, it would extend its life. >> >> Has anyone here actually done this? >> >> Thanks >> > The tip does not have to be all the way in. If you file it you may have > difficulty getting proper flow when you solder. The new tip is plated. I > have had some luck tinning the filed tip with silver tinning paste. > Those tips are readily available.
If the tip is copper underneath the iron plating then I've never had too much problem with the solder flowing -- just with the fact that the solder will dissolve the copper. -- Tim Wescott Control systems, embedded software and circuit design I'm looking for work! See my website if you're interested http://www.wescottdesign.com
Ralph Mowery says...

 > I doubt you could pull the tip out very much and it
 > still work.

 > Try this for the new tips.

 > https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008LTIIB0/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00 
_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

The diameter is right, but the tip on my iron is 3 inches long, which is 
significantly longer than those tips.  I guess I could sacrifice one of the 
new ones and cut a section off of it and stick that in first.  But not sure 
how well that would work.


default says...

 > A thick piece of copper wire, and file will work too,
 > but they don't last long.  Turning the heat down with a
 > light dimmer when not actually soldering is a good
 > policy...

Yes, I have the lamp dimmer box for my iron. I don't know
why more people don't use them.  The pencil iron is just a
resistive load, which I assume looks to the dimmer a lot
like an incandescent filament does.  And sometimes 30 watts
is just too much.  Plus, as you say, when idle, you can turn
it down without turning it all the way off.

I hadn't thought about the copper wire, but that's an
interesting idea.  Maybe 8 or 10 gauge.

But I wonder if there's a way to plate copper with iron.  I
found videos on Youtube for plating copper with nickel with
stuff any pool owner would have at home.  But iron may be
more difficult.  It does appear that the best tips are iron
plated.