#1
Alright, got my first soldering iron today. Tried to tin it when I started, got annoyed and thought I did it right. Well anyway, after practicing how to solder on old guitar strings, I then soldered my bass so it works again. HOORAY!. Bad part, I tried to tin it when I put it away....it was fail. The tip is like black, and the solder won't stick to the tip anymore... Should I sand it down or something? The directions on this weller soldering iron say you can only use some weller-brand bar to sand it..
Or should I just buy a new tip?
Or should I live with it?
#2
Quote by binary-ghost
i really wish i had pics to proove it... i just realized how immensely unbelievable this is but... i promise you... he was doing something to the dogs crotch with his face..
#5
Solder isn't supposed to stick to the tip... It's supposed to go on whatever you're soldering on?
#6
eh... tips arent that expensive. But if you want you could clean it with a simple stove or range cleaner.
#7
digger's right. You need to wipe it on a wet sponge while its still hot. There are some pretty good soldiering tutorials on youtube.
#9
NO!!!! Don't sand it. Here's what you need to do. Get yourself a small sponge. A small dish washing type will do - just don't use the abrasive side, if it has one. When you're soldering, have the sponge available. It should be damp, but not dripping with water. After the iron first heats up, dab the tip on the sponge. This will remove any oxidized solder. Melt a little fresh solder on the tip. Just before you get ready to solder a connection, dab it again. The purpose is not to wipe off the solder. All you want to do is touch the tip to the sponge and remove the oxidation. Some solder may come off, but that's not a problem. Again, add just a little fresh solder to the tip. The point of this is to keep the tip coated with solder. This will prevent the actual tip from being exposed to the air and corroding. With a little fresh solder on the tip, go ahead and make your solder connection. Before making each connection, repeat the previous step - dab the tip and add a little fresh solder if necessary. You don't want a big blob of solder - just a nice, even coating. When you're all done soldering, go ahead and wipe the tip on the sponge. Now you want to remove all the solder. With the tip clean, add some fresh solder to the tip and unplug the iron. Let it cool without doing anything else to it. It's now ready for next time.

FWIW, Radio Shack soldering irons are crap and only good for the occasional hobbyist. If you're really serious and don't mind spending a few buck, get yourself a Weller soldering pencil. Something like a WP35 is a good choice. Weller makes a ton of different tips for this pencil and they'll last a lot longer than the ones that come with the Radio Shack pencils, or irons. Rat Shack soldering tips will oxidize and turn to crap fairly quick. A Weller tip, if properly cared for, will last quite awhile. If you want to get one, look at Mouser or Techni-Tool.
#10
Quote by paulvxD
Solder isn't supposed to stick to the tip... It's supposed to go on whatever you're soldering on?



Yes it is. The solder protects the tip from oxidizing. Try soldering with a tip that won't accept solder. Solder sticking to the tip is called wetting. Solder on the tip allows heat to flow to the connection. Without wetting action, you'd have to leave the tip in contact with the connection longer, resulting in damage to whatever you're soldering.
#11
Quote by Ekofu
I always just used a wire brush on it



Probably another not so good idea. See my tutorial underneath your post. Once the wire brush removes the plating on the tip, it's ruined. Best to use a damp sponge.
#12
Quote by KG6_Steven
Probably another not so good idea. See my tutorial underneath your post. Once the wire brush removes the plating on the tip, it's ruined. Best to use a damp sponge.


I did use a sponge already, it still blackened, and any time I try to wet the tip and coat it with solder, it either doesn't melt, or it drips off, and if it does stay on, it only does so on one side.