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Home✈️Aircraft🚁HelicopterHelicopter Main Discussion › soldering iron will not take tinning???
12-13-2011 11:57 PM  9 years ago
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400 flyer

rrApprentice

maryland, usa

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soldering iron will not take tinning???
hi guys,
i picked up a butane soldering iron/blowtorch from radio shack and im trying to tin the tip so i can start soldering but the tip will not take the solder. it rolls right off and i have it at the highest heat setting.

what can i do??
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12-14-2011 12:07 AM  9 years ago
Heli 770

rrProfessor

USA.

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Did you clean and flux the tip?
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12-14-2011 12:12 AM  9 years ago
wrongler

rrProfessor

Brewerton, New York

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Get it hot then wipe the end with a damp or wet rag, then try a little flux and add the solder. Also make sure you have good solder, maybe something you have used before.Bill Whittaker
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12-14-2011 12:23 AM  9 years ago
bigbadflyer

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Middle Earth New Zealand

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What does the flux do??New Zealand Helicopter Sheep Hearding Champion :-)
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12-14-2011 12:24 AM  9 years ago
TruckRacer

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Des Moines, Iowa

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It all depends on what kind of tip you have. If solid copper, chances are you overheated it before you got a tin on it and the resulting oxide will repel solder. Solution, lightly file the tip then tin the tip as soon as it is warm enough to melt solder. A non-corrosive soldering flux will aid this process. If the tip has a hard plating over an iron core which is common with better quality tips do not file as this will ruin the tip. Similarly though, it may have formed an oxide that will not take a tin. When cool, you can buff the tip with steel wool or very fine sandpaper until the tip is shiney. Like with copper, tin the tip just as soon as it will melt solder. Torch heated tips can be a problem to tin as they go from cold to too hot very quickly and once they form an oxide coating, can be almost impossible to tin. Once you get a good tin on the tip, add fresh solder often to prevent oxidation and turn the torch off when not in use to save the tip from damage.

Another thing you might try if all else fails, dip the hot tip in a tin of plumbers soldering paste and this will clean the tip. Dip then wipe the tip, dip then wipe the tip and repeat until the tip shows shiney metal then with a fair amount of flux still on the tip, tin with a liberal amount of solder. Good luck!
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12-14-2011 12:35 AM  9 years ago
Mike0251

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Hills of the Blue Ridge VA

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And use lead based solder not that eco green BS that is out there.
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12-14-2011 01:01 AM  9 years ago
TruckRacer

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Des Moines, Iowa

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Good point about the solder! I'm old school so I try to avoid using the lead free solders as much as possible.
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12-14-2011 01:23 AM  9 years ago
400 flyer

rrApprentice

maryland, usa

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wow guys, thanks for all the replys.

i can tell its not a copper tip. i will try the things you guys offered let me see if they work.
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12-14-2011 01:29 AM  9 years ago
Ace Dude

rrProfessor

USA

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12-14-2011 01:30 AM  9 years ago
budz

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las vegas

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just buy soldering paste and dip the tip you want to solder. carefull though, the lead will creep inside the insulation if you put too much paste.team solo
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12-14-2011 01:51 AM  9 years ago
cudaboy_71

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sacramento, ca, u.s.

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thanks truckracer.

you just saved me an iron-core plated tip i had just thrown in the junk pile because i got it too hot and couldnt get it to take a tin any longer.

buffed off the oxidation with a dremel wirewheel and re-tinned at 245°F

just like new again
if it ain't broke, break it.
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12-14-2011 02:17 AM  9 years ago
TruckRacer

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Des Moines, Iowa

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Its always good when a plan comes together!
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12-14-2011 02:58 PM  9 years ago
CF1

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Olympia, WA

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I've also had luck with 0000 steel or broze wool. When the iron is hot wipe the tip off on it and the solder gets wicked away.
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12-14-2011 03:13 PM  9 years ago
BOB WHO?

rrKey Veteran

Downey, Ca.

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There is a simple explanation; that Radio Shack butane soldering iron is the cheapest piece of crap you can find. I also bought one and ended up giving up on it. Nothing about it works even kinda OK. The torch does not stay lit either. I have seen fellow pilots with the same item and theirs sort of work; luck of the draw. Buy good quality- buy once.
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12-14-2011 03:27 PM  9 years ago
rcnut

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Rockford, Illinois

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A good soldering station is what you should have...if you're going to be soldering often. You can by tips for different wire sizes, and you're able to control the heat by setting the temp on the base unit.Team Miniature Aircraft
"I love the smell of Nitro in the morning!"
...Citizen 654!
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12-14-2011 04:16 PM  9 years ago
rexxigpilot

rrProfessor

rexxig2@comcast.net

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^+1

If you are using a butane iron as your main soldering iron, you are heading in the wrong direction. They are OK as a back-up in your toolbox, but will never replace a good electric soldering station. Most soldering stations are fairly inexpensive. Get one, but make sure it has adjustable heat levels. I use a Weller WLC100. It was cheap and works great.
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