Help - my soldering iron tips are black!

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Walkingthedog
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Re: Help - my soldering iron tips are black!

#11

Post by Walkingthedog » Sun Jul 05, 2020 12:34 pm

I realise my emery paper idea was a bit stupid.
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Re: Help - my soldering iron tips are black!

#12

Post by Tricky Dicky » Sun Jul 05, 2020 12:37 pm

Bandit Mick wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 12:20 pm
Have just tried using the second tip from the set of 3 - a pointed one and that too has instantly turned brown and won’t hold solder.
If these are new tips then you may find they have protective coating applied being iron carbide coated that coating can rust whilst in storage so to keep them looking pristine manufacturers tend to apply a lacquer like coating this normally burns off as you tin it for first use but you may find a wipe with IPA will remove it. To tin a new tip as soon as the iron is switched on start trying to apply solder to it before it has chance to form an oxide layer.

Richard

PS Do not rely on what appears to be tinning applied by the manufacturer always freshen it up with clean multi core solder on first use.
Last edited by Tricky Dicky on Sun Jul 05, 2020 12:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Bandit Mick
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Re: Help - my soldering iron tips are black!

#13

Post by Bandit Mick » Sun Jul 05, 2020 12:43 pm

I think I’ve solved the mystery! My antex iron has a plastic stand. The holder is like a large spring. When you insert the iron into the spring and push it fully in the tip touches the bottom of the plastic stand. Looking carefully down I can see that the edge of the plastic stand is melted. Surely this is a bad design! Will have to now order new tips - at 12 quid a set. Annoying but problem solved. Thank you for your time everyone.

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Re: Help - my soldering iron tips are black!

#14

Post by Tricky Dicky » Sun Jul 05, 2020 12:48 pm

Bandit Mick wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 12:43 pm
I think I’ve solved the mystery! My antex iron has a plastic stand. The holder is like a large spring. When you insert the iron into the spring and push it fully in the tip touches the bottom of the plastic stand. Looking carefully down I can see that the edge of the plastic stand is melted. Surely this is a bad design! Will have to now order new tips - at 12 quid a set. Annoying but problem solved. Thank you for your time everyone.
If it is an Antex stand then I am surprised that is happening, used them for years and never had that problem.

Richard

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Brian
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Re: Help - my soldering iron tips are black!

#15

Post by Brian » Sun Jul 05, 2020 1:11 pm

I have an Antex ST4 stand and never had an issue?? Are you pushing the iron on to far?
Antex replacement tips shouldnt cost more than around £5 each! Example... Antex 2.3mm tip example
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Tricky Dicky
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Re: Help - my soldering iron tips are black!

#16

Post by Tricky Dicky » Sun Jul 05, 2020 1:14 pm

Bandit Mick wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 12:20 pm
Have just tried using the second tip from the set of 3 - a pointed one and that too has instantly turned brown and won’t hold solder.
Still a little concerned at this happening. Steel and ferrous metals form oxides on their surfaces between about 200C and 300C, also known as the tempering colours. Brown forms in the mid 200Cs. Your iron is coated in a ferrous material and this smacks of oxide forming.

Richard

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teedoubleudee
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Re: Help - my soldering iron tips are black!

#17

Post by teedoubleudee » Sun Jul 05, 2020 1:24 pm

Brian wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 12:05 pm
Hi
Wiping the hot tip onto a damp sponge during soldering is essential, as WTD has stated. Also I find an occasional hot tip wipe in one of these very useful too. :D Link to tip cleaner Others are of course available this is an example ;)
I use one of those tip cleaners all the time instead of a damp sponge and never had a problem.

Interestingly when I did my basic workshop training in the RAF we were taught to use a file to keep the tip in shape and good condition, so I guess in those dark days they didn't have any kind of protective layer.
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Walkingthedog
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Re: Help - my soldering iron tips are black!

#18

Post by Walkingthedog » Sun Jul 05, 2020 1:36 pm

Same with my GPO training, file tip. Like you say must have been made differently then.

I just rest my iron in the stand so it is stable, no need to shove it right in :D
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Re: Help - my soldering iron tips are black!

#19

Post by Tricky Dicky » Sun Jul 05, 2020 1:46 pm

teedoubleudee wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 1:24 pm

I use one of those tip cleaners all the time instead of a damp sponge and never had a problem.

Interestingly when I did my basic workshop training in the RAF we were taught to use a file to keep the tip in shape and good condition, so I guess in those dark days they didn't have any kind of protective layer.
Back in the day soldering irons just had a solid copper tip which you could file and use emery to clean, my first electric iron was like that. Once coated copper tips came in using the latter was out, my first coated tip iron was a Weller low voltage one I acquired in the 70s. File off the coating exposes the copper core and initially the iron will solder very well but the action of the flux starts to produce a cavity which then needs further filing to correct and soon you have no effective tip.

Richard

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Re: Help - my soldering iron tips are black!

#20

Post by Bandit Mick » Sun Jul 05, 2020 2:04 pm

Finished soldering with my one remaining tip - for O gauge I think so needed a steady hand. Did not push the iron So far into the stand and had no problem with the tip. You live and learn I suppose.

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