Soldering Stations

HELP. my soldering iron tip melted after use on a craft project?

jocelyn asked:

It's a Weller SP40, 40W iron, and I'm using lead-free solder. Feeling pretty bad since I borrowed it from a friend. Her husband has used it with no problems, so it's not new.

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2 Responses to “HELP. my soldering iron tip melted after use on a craft project?”

  1. mike1942f says:

    Do you mean got shorter? Soldering tips are almost impossible to melt from the heat of the tool, but they do dissolve gradually in the solder and wear. Some have replaceable tips and many tips can just be filed back into shape and retinned. Look at the choices – whole new cartridge and tip, new tip – and just talk to friend/husband. Several times in my youth I did something to borrowed equipment and either repaired/replaced it or panicked, only to be told by the people, “Oh that shouldn’t have happened, it’s under warranty” or used.

  2. Terrie B says:

    I’m not familiar with Weller, but I soldered in a factory for many years. I’m not sure what you mean by “melted.” Ours got holes in them — tiny pinholes in the tip. They wouldn’t heat after that. There is no fix for that. We replaced our tips. The Weller iron is less than $20. At the tips were about $7.
    Tips wear out but to help your tip last longer:

    Don’t hold the tip on the metal longer than necessary.
    Always “tin” the tip. That means that you coat it with solder when you have finished and before you turn it off. Tin it if you are going to leave it sit idle, too. (Actually, if it’s going to be 10 min or so, tin it and turn it off.) Tips left “naked” burn out quicker.
    Clean the tip frequently on a wet sponge. Built up residue is bad.
    If the tips are hollow — don’t sand them! They have very thin walls. We used solder wtih flux in it and applied a coat of solder to the tip, then wiped it on a wet sponge. Repeat as necessary.

    I hope this helps.

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