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Old 05-11-2013, 04:34 PM   #1
JonathanAnon
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Default Making your own solder tips.

Hi,

I'm working on a way of making my own soldering iron tips. I can make the shape of the tip required using any metal... I can buy 5mm cold rolled steel. Then I die an M4 thread on to one end, which screws in to the soldering iron, and I can shape the other end with a file for the actual tip.

BUT, I dont think the constituency of the metal is right... What metal should I be using as the tip?

thanks,
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Old 05-11-2013, 04:41 PM   #2
mariushm
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Default Re: Making your own solder tips.

Tips are usually solid copper plated with something to extend the tip life - fluxes and solder "eat" the copper otherwise, not to mention it oxidizes.

You need to make them out of metal that conducts heat well.
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Old 05-11-2013, 04:47 PM   #3
JonathanAnon
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Default Re: Making your own solder tips.

Hi there, thanks for the quick response.. I think I can get copper 5mm rods similar to the cold rolled steel ones that I had been using. I'm just concerned that it's too generic to be fit for the purpose that I'm using it for.
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Old 05-11-2013, 05:46 PM   #4
twbranch
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Default Re: Making your own solder tips.

I made my own in a class many years ago. I don't remember what we coated it in but it was copper. It actually lasted for a while and was a good tip for me. I haven't made any since.
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Old 05-13-2013, 06:10 AM   #5
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Default Re: Making your own solder tips.

Easy as crap. Go to your local commercial electrical distributor and get some solid heavy gauge grounding wire.
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Old 05-13-2013, 05:21 PM   #6
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Default Re: Making your own solder tips.

On low end tips the copper is plated with nickle, on high end, iron clad then nickle plated but the nickle plating is removed from the end of the tip to expose the iron so the solder will adhere to it. If you need a special tip shape then it seems a fair alternative but if not, ready made tips should last a lot longer.
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Old 05-13-2013, 05:28 PM   #7
Sparkey55
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Default Re: Making your own solder tips.

A brass screw with threads works also. Cutoff the head file some of the threads so you have a smooth tip. TADA.
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Old 05-15-2013, 04:29 PM   #8
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Default Re: Making your own solder tips.

We buy long rods of solid copper (I think I got 36 feet of 3/8 for less than $20) We cut 2.5 inches off at a time for tips. They need to be shaped with a file (chisel or point) but we just do that each morning and it lasts all day. The tip gets a little shorter each day and after a couple of weeks we just toss the nub away and start over.

Simple and cheap
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Old 05-15-2013, 05:08 PM   #9
JonathanAnon
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Default Re: Making your own solder tips.

Having trouble getting the copper rods... What I thought was copper in the local B&Q turned out to be brass rods.... Bought the brass rod and the damned thing just would not thread.. Used the die the same way that I did with the steel rod, but it would not work on the brass.. I'll have to keep looking for a source of copper rods.
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