Another soldering question

Greggy

Senior Member
Messages
13,439
I've recently begun to take on projects like building kit amps, rewiring guitars, modding amps, biasing amps, etc. So I've developed soldering skills. I currently own a 40 watt Radio Shack pencil iron.

Question: my tips are wearing out fast. Specifically, a notch begins to develop on the edge about 1/16 of an inch or so up from the tip. I keep the tip tinned between touches, and wipe it clean with the moist sponge on the soldering station after each touch then tin the tip before placing the iron on the stand. The notch begins to appear after 1 hour or so of use. BTW, I'm using Radio Shack tips, rosin core solder also. What could be causing this? I expect longer life from these tips.
 
Messages
429
It sounds like your doing most things right.It all comes down to "you get what you pay for."Get off of a hundred bucks and buy a Hako and don't look back.I've been using the same tip on mine now for over 6 months of daily use and it looks new.
 

Greggy

Senior Member
Messages
13,439
Originally posted by tonezoneonline
It sounds like your doing most things right.It all comes down to "you get what you pay for."Get off of a hundred bucks and buy a Hako and don't look back.I've been using the same tip on mine now for over 6 months of daily use and it looks new.
Thanks for the suggestion. I've heard good things about Hako.
 

TheAmpNerd

Member
Messages
1,056
Originally posted by Greggy
Thanks for the suggestion. I've heard good things about Hako.
Yeah, I have a hako and love it too. Better then the
Weller stuff that I have, (and had) which I've found to start
falling apart and one iron even melted in 1/2 on
my bench--go figure, yes folks that was a Weller!

I've don't lots of soldering with my current tip
and lots of times of heavy desoldering, I max
out the temp control and let it sit there and
bake. While I start doing other stuff, not ideal
but hey tip hasn't worn out yet.

Here is a link, buy this one, it is also ESD save
and is ANSI-IPC-J-STD-001 compliant:

http://www.hmcelectronics.com/cgi-bin/scripts/product/0460-0004/

Buy a couple of tips so you learn which works best
for what you do.

Thinking the standard tip might be a bit large,
so you might want to try the .045.

If you doing real fine stuff the .02 is good.

Any way, good luck and enjoy.
 

Wakarusa

Member
Messages
1,458
The standard Rat Shack tips are soft copper with a very thin tinned layer. As soon as you wear through the tinning (due to the mechanical friction of soldering) the tip erodes in a hurry.

Basically, they're garbage.
 

Greggy

Senior Member
Messages
13,439
Originally posted by Wakarusa
The standard Rat Shack tips are soft copper with a very thin tinned layer. As soon as you wear through the tinning (due to the mechanical friction of soldering) the tip erodes in a hurry.

Basically, they're garbage.
That is entirely consistent with what's occurring. Either I find another manufacturer of tips that fit this iron, or I'll buy a new iron. Rats.
 

WailinGuy

Member
Messages
1,290
Whichever new soldering iron you buy, it ABSOLUTELY MUST BE a temperature controlled iron. Inexpensive, non-temp controlled irons are intended only for doing quick repair jobs; they're not meant for idling on a workbench for hours at a time. If an iron is not temperature controlled, it just keeps getting hotter and hotter. Even a good quality tip will wear out very quickly because the plating easily oxidizes when heated beyond normal soldering temperature (700 - 750 degrees F). Also, making good connections is difficult when the tip gets too hot. And it becomes more likely the components you're soldering will get damaged from being overheated.

You're already seriously enough into electronics to warrant making the investment in a high quality temperature controlled soldering station. You won't regret it.
 

Greggy

Senior Member
Messages
13,439
Originally posted by Jim Salman
Whichever new soldering iron you buy, it ABSOLUTELY MUST BE a temperature controlled iron. Inexpensive, non-temp controlled irons are intended only for doing quick repair jobs; they're not meant for idling on a workbench for hours at a time. If an iron is not temperature controlled, it just keeps getting hotter and hotter. Even a good quality tip will wear out very quickly because the plating easily oxidizes when heated beyond normal soldering temperature (700 - 750 degrees F). Also, making good connections is difficult when the tip gets too hot. And it becomes more likely the components you're soldering will get damaged from being overheated.

You're already seriously enough into electronics to warrant making the investment in a high quality temperature controlled soldering station. You won't regret it.
Makes sense to me. THe iron is 40 watt, I plug it into a weller soldering station ( a cheap one that has a dial with numbers from 1 to 5, but no way to estimate actual tip temperatures). So I have no real control over temps.
 

Big Dan

Member
Messages
195
From all the reviews here, I decided to go ahead and order a new Hakko last night. I went with the 936-12 and I bought a few extra tips too.

Should be here in a few days. Then, I'll get started on my first amp project.

Dan
 

Greggy

Senior Member
Messages
13,439
Tear it up. By amp project I assume you mean a kit. Those are fun and educational. I'm almost ready to spring for my second amp kit, but waiting to pay uncle sam on April 15 first. Damn taxes.:mad:
 

Big Dan

Member
Messages
195
Originally posted by Greggy
Tear it up. By amp project I assume you mean a kit. Those are fun and educational. I'm almost ready to spring for my second amp kit, but waiting to pay uncle sam on April 15 first. Damn taxes.:mad:
Actually no, not a kit (yet). I have a '68 SF Bassman that belongs to a friend of mine. Gonna BF it and give it a good tune up. Then, I'll be moving on to my '63 Ampeg Reverberocket combo. This one needs a little more than the Bassman, so I wait till I'm a little more skilled. Maybe next year I'll look into a kit.

Dan
 




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