soldering iron not getting hot

Discussion in 'The Workbench' started by chuckmehh, Jan 12, 2011.

  1. chuckmehh

    chuckmehh New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2009
    Messages:
    3,684
    Likes Received:
    1,077
    Location:
    Morgantown, WV
    What's up guys? First and foremost, I'm a soldering noob, so ANY advice is greatly appreciated.

    I got a cheapo iron from Radio Shack (not even sure of the voltage) and I had soldered some pickups in before with it and all that good stuff. Today, I went to take the pickups out of a recently acquired LTD EC-1000 and the tip isn't getting hot enough to melt the solder. The barrel is still VERY hot, but it's just not transferring to the tip. What do you think?
     
  2. MM54

    MM54 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2010
    Messages:
    4,113
    Likes Received:
    590
    Location:
    Erie, PA
    I use a cheapo 25W Radioshack soldering iron most of the time, works great.

    Is the little screw that holds the tip in tight? Also, is the tip clean? If it's cruddy it may not be able to let the heat out.
     
  3. chuckmehh

    chuckmehh New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2009
    Messages:
    3,684
    Likes Received:
    1,077
    Location:
    Morgantown, WV
    I will tighten it, screw it, then clean it........and then I'll tend to the soldering iron :fingersx:
     
  4. MM54

    MM54 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2010
    Messages:
    4,113
    Likes Received:
    590
    Location:
    Erie, PA
  5. chuckmehh

    chuckmehh New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2009
    Messages:
    3,684
    Likes Received:
    1,077
    Location:
    Morgantown, WV
    I'm thinkin I just need a new tip. I dunno man it's just not even melting solder or getting hot. :confused: Any suggestions from anyone else of a better soldering iron to get or something? Mine is a 30 watt by the way.
     
  6. MM54

    MM54 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2010
    Messages:
    4,113
    Likes Received:
    590
    Location:
    Erie, PA
    My little radioshack one has been going string for a long time, for being cheap I think they're pretty well made (really, a soldering iron isn't complicated). I'd try a new tip, and then look for a new iron. If it turns out you need a new iron, you'll have a spare tip!
     
  7. brp

    brp Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2010
    Messages:
    5,266
    Likes Received:
    2,845
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    Ya the screw(s) that holds the tip is always the first suspect. They loosen themselves from the expansion/contraction of constantly heating up and cooling down no matter how tight you turn them. Also it's often too easy to over tighten them and strip the threads :(

    I have a few soldering guns, some highend ones and cheap ones, and the one that actually works best is a no-name chinese made one, because it actually has a compression fitting to hold the tip tight, rather than screws. I don't know why they all don't have that.

    Next suspect is a dirty tip as MM54 said.
     
  8. Micky

    Micky Well-Known Member VIP Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Messages:
    18,325
    Likes Received:
    14,196
    Location:
    Vermont
    If the tip isn't tight, it can't transfer the heat...
     
  9. chuckmehh

    chuckmehh New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2009
    Messages:
    3,684
    Likes Received:
    1,077
    Location:
    Morgantown, WV
    The tip is most definitely tight as an update. Still no go.
     
  10. Adwex

    Adwex New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    Messages:
    9,024
    Likes Received:
    4,080
    Location:
    I'm not sure.
    Try sanding or filing the tip.

    Also, try "tinning" the tip...melt a dab of solder on it, it helps transfer the heat. It also prevents the tip from oxidizing, which can impede heat transfer.
     
  11. thetragichero

    thetragichero New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Messages:
    2,274
    Likes Received:
    544
    Location:
    flo rida
    yeah i'm willing to bet it's an oxidized tip
     
  12. jcmjmp

    jcmjmp Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    Messages:
    8,104
    Likes Received:
    1,096
    Location:
    Canada
    1) The tip must be cleaned (paste cleaner)
    2) You must tin the tip before using it
     
  13. Blisster

    Blisster New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2010
    Messages:
    1,039
    Likes Received:
    446
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    sand the tip a little so it has a slightly flat side and try that. I've had the same exact problem. Sometimes a larger gauge tip helps.
     
  14. chuckharmonjr

    chuckharmonjr Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2010
    Messages:
    8,623
    Likes Received:
    4,072
    Location:
    About as far south in Alabama as you can go withou
    +1000000000000 Blisster...I would recommend sanding both sides with 40 grit to clean it..then tin it up
     
  15. brp

    brp Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2010
    Messages:
    5,266
    Likes Received:
    2,845
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    It also should be noted that sometimes cheap irons or guns just don't work worth a crap after a while. But it's likely a dirty/oxidized tip. Sometimes you just need a new one. Sanding can help for awhile though.
     
  16. diesect20022000

    diesect20022000 Well-Known Member VIP Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2010
    Messages:
    19,576
    Likes Received:
    7,167
    Location:
    44076
    yeah i'm thinking you just need to sand the tip or replace it. if nothing else works though take it back. I've got a 30 watt weller that i use and you need to remember to let it heat up for at LEAST 10 min first. the first time i tried soldering with it it didn't work right either and it was because it wasn't hot enough and because i didn't angle it properly. if you have the cone shaped tip on use the side of the cone NOT the tip. Good luck homie.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2011
  17. thetragichero

    thetragichero New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Messages:
    2,274
    Likes Received:
    544
    Location:
    flo rida
    get a weller gun off amazon
    i think i paid less than 40$ shipped, and you can get the tips from rat shack for like a buck apiece
     
  18. splatter

    splatter Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2009
    Messages:
    387
    Likes Received:
    17
    Location:
    canton ga
    throw it away and go to home depot and buy a weller. I used radio shack irons before some are just sh!t . Sounds like you got one of those
     
  19. thetragichero

    thetragichero New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Messages:
    2,274
    Likes Received:
    544
    Location:
    flo rida
    here you go: [ame=http://www.amazon.com/Weller-WEL8200PK-120-Volt-Universal-Soldering/dp/B00002N7S0/ref=sr_1_13?ie=UTF8&qid=1294939466&sr=8-13]Amazon.com: Weller WEL8200PK 120-Volt 140/100 Watts Universal Soldering Gun Kit: Home Improvement[/ame]
     
  20. poeman33

    poeman33 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2008
    Messages:
    10,613
    Likes Received:
    10,015
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada

Share This Page