How to get rid of brown rusty spots on soldering iron tip

Discussion in 'Shock Brother's DIY Amps' started by itsGiusto, Nov 2, 2019.

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  1. itsGiusto

    itsGiusto Tele-Meister

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    My tips always seem to develop a few small brown, rusty-looking spots that I can't get rid of. Solder no longer flows to the spots, and they don't get as hot as the rest of the tip.

    Why does this happen, and is there anything I can do to fix them? Any thing I can do to prevent them in the future?
     
  2. rolandson

    rolandson Tele-Meister

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    I don't know about preventing them, but it's rather common to periodically clean tips with emery cloth or sandpaper.
     
  3. Fretting out

    Fretting out Tele-Afflicted

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    I’m not an expert but you might be able to prevent this by keeping your soldering irons tinned / keep a small amount of solder on the tip)
     
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  4. itsGiusto

    itsGiusto Tele-Meister

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    Well, I definitely try to. But still, especially when I keep the iron very hot and I'll using it for hours at a time, they seem to come, and the tip also starts to seem duller and less hot. I can generally get the tip nice and shiny and hot again by repeatedly tinning the tip and plunking it in a tub of rosin paste and running against a wet sponge, but that doesn't generally seen to help the brown spots, which seen to want to stick around.
     
  5. itsGiusto

    itsGiusto Tele-Meister

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    Do you do this while the iron is hot or cold?
    Generally I was afraid of damaging the tip with sandpaper/steel wool, or stripping off the shiny tinned coating. How hard do you go on it?
     
  6. joeford

    joeford Friend of Leo's

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    get a better iron!

    i wasted hours of my life with lousy 25/35 watt irons. my solder joints were cold and looked like poop. i burned through tips like crazy because i spent so much time with solder cooking on a lukewarm tip and that stuff will chew through them.

    i switched to a variable solder station (30 bucks through amazon) and haven't had an issue since. i wipe the excess solder off when I'm finished and my tips last for years instead of weeks.
     
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  7. itsGiusto

    itsGiusto Tele-Meister

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    I have a variable 40w solder station.
    I thought that you're not supposed to wipe the solder off when your done. That leaving a coating of solder on it while it's on and also turning off is supposed to protect the tip.
     
  8. Tonetele

    Tonetele Poster Extraordinaire

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    A bit of steel wool like you use on washing dishes works well.
     
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  9. itsGiusto

    itsGiusto Tele-Meister

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    Do you use it in it while hot or cold? How hard do you scrub it?
     
  10. joeford

    joeford Friend of Leo's

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    should be enough for guitar parts. my advice is to keep the heat cranked on it and do a quick dry wipe with a paper towel after you use it. you'll get the dull gray clumps off and have a shiny silver tin underneath. if it's already corroded with brown spots, it's perfectly okay to sand it down until it's shiny again... just make sure to tin it as soon as it's on again
     
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  11. Informal

    Informal Tele-Holic

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    I just give it a few spins on a fine file... then re-tin.
     
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  12. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I use a variable 2 in one soldering station too. I just clean the tip when hot on a wet sponge. Any rust would just be surface rust and disappear when re tinned the next time you use it.
     
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  13. Tonetele

    Tonetele Poster Extraordinaire

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    Obviously NOT hot. But I can see the humour in your question.:rolleyes:
     
  14. rolandson

    rolandson Tele-Meister

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    Cold. I like my fingers just as they are.
     
  15. itsGiusto

    itsGiusto Tele-Meister

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    Haha, I wasnt joking though, honest! I've used steel wool on a hot iron before. I can get a few scrubs in before the wool heats up. I guess I thought it was like the sponge cleaning, it wouldn't work if the iron wasn't hot, or something.
     
  16. jimbo735

    jimbo735 Tele-Afflicted

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    Sometimes I just replace the tip saves Yuge amounts of time over the years!:)
     
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  17. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Doctor of Teleocity

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    My old iron has a copper tip. I clean it with a file and tin it every time I use it.
     
  18. wabashslim

    wabashslim Tele-Holic

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    Tips are replaceable for a reason.
     
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  19. hopdybob

    hopdybob Tele-Afflicted

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    my electronic supply store told me not to use a file, there are some kind of cups with copper wool to wipe off the tip from residue.
    but the tip do wear wen standing on a long time at high temp so maybe you have to replace this one
    maybe investing in a new soldering unit with , i think they call it thermical tip, it only warms (very fast) when you use it
     
  20. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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