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Topic: Why does my solder gun tip break so quickly?  (Read 1018 times)
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timarie
« on: March 17, 2007 07:43:29 PM »

I've been doing a lot of soldering lately for jewelry purposes. I've noticed that I've been dealing with WAY too many broken tips. I went through probably 10 pieces of jewelry tonight before I had a broken tip. I know this isn't normal. what could I be doing wrong?

I'm hoping for some help from some of you wonderful stained glass people! Thank you if you could offer any advice!


Timarie
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bellarosa
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2007 02:21:14 PM »

I have been soldering for years, mostly on electronic components, but I have never had a tip break on me.  My typical heat was always between 400-950, so I don't know if that is a factor.  Maybe the quality of the tips??  How do you clean them?  Do you use a wet sponge to dab it with before you use it?  Well ok....I went through a nasa certified soldering school (Wierd I know, Military) I will just list the steps of what we were taught to do with our tips before and after use.

Before use:

1. The tip should have been coated in a thin layer of solder before left to cool, so when you first use it, after it has heated up, you should use a dry, clean cloth to wipe off the solder. 

2. Dab the tip on a wet sponge, then apply a bit of solder.

3.  When using the iron you should not be placing any pressure on the tip.  The heat from the tip merely acts like a guide for the solder.  The tip is merely a path.


After use:

1. Wipe the tip clean of all solder using a clean, dry cloth.

2. Coat with a thin layer of solder ( too much left on will make it drip)

3. Let cool, or if use is still in progress just let stand.


I was always told that leaving a bit of solder on the tip will protect it while it is not in use.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

Hope this helped!
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"Maybe imagination is only intelligence having fun"
timarie
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2007 07:49:53 PM »

Thanks bella! I use 95-5 when I solder, I think that melting point is around 450F? I was concerned that maybe the gun/tips I'm using aren't meant for long periods of use (hour plus?).

You definitely gave me some tips that I'll have to try. I'll most likely be doing some work tomorrow so I'll let you know if it works out better for me or if I have more questions for you!

If you think of anything else in the mean time PLEASE let me know!

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