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Soldering Iron Question... Solder won't stick! - Page 4

post #46 of 50

Back in the 80's I had a summer job during summer vacation with an electrical company and we handled up to three aught for 3 phase transformers.

Nothing like the smell of Yellow 77 in the morning! (electricians will get that).

Didn't have much need to solder it though, although I know people these days use one aught for car audio power and need to solder on the ring couplers or terminals.

Edited by SuperTech-IT - 9/1/15 at 3:46am
post #47 of 50
400 amp emergency generator sets have big plugs also and Mapp gas torches compare not to a Weller from the Depot. I believe I contaminated my tip melting the wire insulation by mistake. I was unaware of the intricacies of electronic soldering. This forum has been hugely helpful while reassuring that I'm not alone in my difficulties.

post #48 of 50

I use Kynar wire for many projects, which is not easy to strip without damaging the wire itself because it's so thin.

My solution is to lay the tip of the wire on a piece of cardboard, put the tip at the point where I want it stripped, and pull the wire.

This strips the wire perfectly but of course puts plastic on the tip.

This easily cleans off with the damp sponge that comes with just about any soldering station, but if you don't have one, GET one.

Or, get 10 (about $1.29 on ebay - http://www.ebay.ca/itm/Cleaning-Sponge-for-936-12-Solder-Station-5-3-5-0-6-10-pcs-pack-Skin-color-/221407109276?hash=item338ce4609c )

After a number of joints soldered, it's always a good idea to drag the tip across one of these sponges (dampened of course - best to have them in a container about the size of the sponge) and re-tin the tip.

This keeps the tip clean and free of contaminants and allows for easy tinning.


If your tip is too contaminated to be cleaned by the sponge initially, I suggest scraping it with the edge of a piece of cardboard.

Do not wet the cardboard. You basically want to scrape off the contaminants without damaging the plating (most solder tips are copper core with a thin plating of iron or another metal). Dipping the hot tip into solder flux can aid in this cleaning process initially, and will aid in tinning the tip once cleaned.


Alternately, you can simply get another $2 tip for your iron on ebay, and just take better care of it.

If you know you have contaminated the tip with wire insulation, a quick swipe on the damp sponge should instantly remove the contaminants, and your tip will enjoy a long and healthy life.

Always immediately re-tin the tip after wiping on the sponge.

Edited by SuperTech-IT - 9/1/15 at 9:24am
post #49 of 50
Success! Was forced to use 2000 grit wet/dry sandpaper before ordering new tips. The sandpaper doesn't appear to have damaged the tip as plating is now shiny bright, it tins beautifully, and I have finally completed the project. The help I've received from everyone is greatly appreciated.

post #50 of 50


If you ever want to get a whole lot of soldering practice all in one project, go to www.TheLEDCube.com

click the BUILD IT link at  the top to go to the assembly instructions.

Either of the projects will have you a master solderer in no time.


Don't forget to keep your tip wiped and tinned ! (and avoid sandpaper if you can, it's a last resort)

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