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Author Topic: Solder does not stick to iron after cleaning  (Read 2535 times)
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 I purchased this 25W soldering iron a few days ago and used it for the first time without any problems. A few days later I tried using the iron again and the solder would not "stick" to the tip when I attempted to tin it.

I read up on this subject and thought that the tip might be dirty. So, I went about cleaning it. I tried to use a wet sponge when the iron was hot. This worked nicely, and the iron looked great! However, the solder still would not stick. So I then tried using a brillo-type pad to clean it. Yet again, the iron came out looking great but nothing would stick to it.

Here is an image of the clean iron:


I am not sure what to do.
Any suggestions?
« Last Edit: August 04, 2013, 08:22:52 pm by sherrellbc » Logged

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Buy some flux...
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I've only recently began soldering and have read that flux is optional. I know the flux is used to make the flow of solder easier, but have not read anywhere that its mandatory. I suppose I can try it.
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If your solder has flux in it you should not need to get separate flux to tin the tip.
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If your solder has flux in it you should not need to get separate flux to tin the tip.

I looked at the solder I've been using and did not find anywhere on it stating it already has flux in the solder.
http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=15986486

And I also have this item for cleaning the gun, but it has not helped either:
http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=15693336
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No, absolutely not, flux is NOT optional. It is absolutely required. Your solder should have rosin flux in it.

Did your iron sit turned on without solder on the tip? That will cause a layer of hard corrosion to build up. Always put fresh solder on the tip after soldering, and before turning it off.

Iron cold: Clean the tip gently with a brillo pad. Wipe it clean with a paper towel.
Take some rosin core solder and wrap it around the tip.
You'll have to hold the iron at an angle, tip pointing up just a little to keep the solder from sliding off.
If you have some flux (DO NOT USE PLUMBERS OR ACID FLUX!), then add a little to the solder coil on the tip.
Turn the iron on, and stand ready with some more solder in your other hand.
When the solder starts melting, it should stick to the tip now. Add more solder as needed.

Extra flux is mandatory with lead-free solder. You may find you need to apply it to each joint before you solder.

http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=12580192

I prefer not to buy my solder and flux from Radio Shack.

Let us know how this works out.
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The solder I had prior to what I linked was rosin-core. I suppose I just took it for granted what I was getting from RadioShack was similar. My options are quite limited - either RadioShack or Walmart. I will see if I can find some flux and get this to work. I appreciate your comments.

The solder I linked does not say it is rosin-core - is this a bad thing or should I pick up some different solder?
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Yep
Quote
hard corrosion to build up

It's not the solder the iron you have is a great iron it just gets to hot and corrodes the tip when setting I use tip cleaner on mine radio shack sales it for $9:00. But thats a lot of work so I got a dimmer from Lowes and made a box with dimmer and outlet in it.
Set that for about half heat till I need the iron and now she is great tip stays clean and if I need all that heat I still have it.

Spent about a hour playing with the dimmer to make setting I can set and just use the iron.


* IMG_0241.JPG (155.19 KB, 648x484 - viewed 28 times.)

* IMG_0242.JPG (165.58 KB, 648x484 - viewed 24 times.)

* IMG_0243.JPG (161.49 KB, 648x484 - viewed 28 times.)
« Last Edit: August 04, 2013, 09:34:38 pm by be80be » Logged

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Why "lead free"?  Trying to do the world a favour?  Forget it.  Take her to lunch instead.

I don't know how to keep a lead-free situation tip in good condition.
> > > "Abandon hope, all ye who enter here!" < < <

I use one of these
http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2062721
all the same.
When the tip is hot, plunge it into the compound, kind of rotate it in there, remove it, wipe it off.
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Yep
Quote
hard corrosion to build up

It's not the solder the iron you have is a great iron it just gets to hot and corrodes the tip when setting I use tip cleaner on mine radio shack sales it for $9:00. But thats a lot of work so I got a dimmer from Lowes and made a box with dimmer and outlet in it.
Set that for about half heat till I need the iron and now she is great tip stays clean and if I need all that heat I still have it.

Spent about a hour playing with the dimmer to make setting I can set and just use the iron.


I was thinking of something similar. Looks just like mains with a rheostat for current limiting. Nicely done.
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Quote
When the tip is hot, plunge it into the compound, kind of rotate it in there, remove it, wipe it off.

That works but I'm sure the op has the same iron I have and it get's hot fast and he'll be dipping more then soldering if he dont turn the heat down when not soldering.
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Why "lead free"?  Trying to do the world a favour?  Forget it.  Take her to lunch instead.

I don't know how to keep a lead-free situation tip in good condition.
> > > "Abandon hope, all ye who enter here!" < < <

I use one of these
http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2062721
all the same.
When the tip is hot, plunge it into the compound, kind of rotate it in there, remove it, wipe it off.


Yeah I was suggested this by the guy at RadioShack. I wanted to avoid using this stuff solely based on the harmful health effects of inadvertently inhaling it.
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It's not going to be that bad on you just use only when needed and use a fan to suck the fumes away. you'll be a ok then.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2013, 09:48:20 pm by be80be » Logged

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It's not going to be that bad on you just us only when needed and us a fan to suck the fumes away. you'll be a ok then.

What is the power rating on your rheostat used in your current limiting design? Your design is similar to this, right?
http://www3.telus.net/Whalco/SDim/Rheostat.png

Where the 'lamp' load is the soldering iron.
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It's a dimmer http://www.lutron.com/en-US/Products/Pages/StandAloneControls/Dimmers-Switches/RotaryDimmer/Overview.aspx
http://digital.turn-page.com/t/23303/119 1500 watt triac dimmer
Here the Lowes page http://www.lowes.com/pd_211632-539-D-600PH-DK_0__?productId=1059607&Ntt=dimmers

You'd wire it up close to that
« Last Edit: August 04, 2013, 10:03:40 pm by be80be » Logged

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