[SOLVED] Soldering gun tip - Weller DIY tipreplacement

I have a Weller soldering gun & the tip burned through. Not having a
spare, I took a piece of 12ga copper wire and improvised (I know, it
won't last long). I find it so fiddly to get the ends bent just right
to fit in the holes after passing through the nuts & I saw the way
around it. I passed the wire in through the SIDE & locked in down:
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But that seemed too easy. Paraphrasing: "If it seems too easy, there
must be some problem". I can't see it, so I'm asking - what might be a
problem?
Thanks
Reply to
Bob Engelhardt
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Should be OK for as long as it lasts. I'd probably have hammered that wire to a dull point.
Reply to
tschw...
That works well enough, until it doesn't. A few potential problems.
1. You might notice that the typical Weller soldering gun tip is much stiffer and harder than the soft copper wire. When you try to push on a solder connection with the tip, the Weller tip will not bend, while the copper wire tip will bend into a pretzel. Copper alloys can be hardened: "Hardening of Copper Alloys"
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2. The copper wire is likely a different resistance than the real Weller tip. My guess(tm) is that the Weller tip has a higher resistance than the copper wire. If you have a milliohmmeter or ESR (equivalent series resistance) meter, measure a real Weller tip and compare it to the copper wire tip. If the copper wire has a radically lower resistance, you might find that transformer winding in the soldering gun will tend to overheat (or simulate a fuse). If the tip becomes red hot, try a longer wire, or buy a real tip. Use an IR thermometer to measure the tip temperature. 600°- 650°F (316°- 343°C) for lead-based solder and 650°- 700°F (343°- 371°C) for lead-free solder.
3. The idea behind a soldering gun is to heat the tip and not the clamp where the tip meets the screw clamps. If you want to use wire, I suggest you bend the ends of the wire in the same manner as a real Weller tip to obtain maximum clamping pressure and surface area:
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4. You probably need the blob of copper on the tip to prevent the flux from destroying the tip. Try twisting the wire near the tip and maybe beat on the twist with a hammer.
Tech Tips Tuesday, Super Hot Soldering Gun
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How to Make a Soldering Gun Tip
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Homemade Weller soldering gun tips DIY
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More:
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Full disclosure: I gave up on soldering guns years ago and no longer have any soldering guns. Temperature controlled irons are better.
Reply to
Jeff Liebermann
On Sat, 24 Sep 2022 13:25:08 -0700, Jeff Liebermann snipped-for-privacy@cruzio.com wrote as underneath :
Trick I have used: End the points with a Silver Solder (Easy-flo type), joint or blob depending on the exact shape you want. More trouble to make but lasts for ages and wets perfectly. C+
Reply to
Charlie+
That's the way I did it in the late 60's, but only used the thing a few times in a month, ususlly on solder tag terminals. It was a what Bob Unruh taught in shops class at the local high school.
RL
Reply to
legg
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The Weller replacements are plated copper. Nothing special and not rocket science. The copper wire option will simply not last quite as long as an original as the plating resists damage from the flux, and does not anneal as easily (become soft). But if one is not pounding the tip on the workpiece, that should not be of any issue.
Further, if one wishes to be 'elegant', use a hammer to dap the wire lightly to a flattened shape at the tip fold. Even a file to make a point.
Peter Wieck Melrose Park, PA
Reply to
Peter W.
Thanks for the replies!
I know a copper tip doesn't last as long as the iron(?) plated Weller ones, but I thought that it was that copper dissolves in the solder. The tip about plating with silver solder was brilliant. I refined my tip like that. And I got a big blob which I filed to the shape I wanted.
I have a temperature controlled iron & just use the gun when I want a lot of heat on a crude joint. E.g., unsoldering an AC cord.
Installing the tip through the sides of the gun's arms actually doubles the area of contact between the tip & the nut.
Reply to
Bob Engelhardt
Yep. Iron plating on copper:
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"Weller® 8125N Soldering Tip With Hex Nut, For Use With 8200 Universal Soldering Gun, Solid Copper, Iron Plated"
Some interesting details on how iron is plated onto copper:
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Correct.
Measure the voltage drop? Fire up a soldering gun and measure the AC voltage drop between the transformer secondary (threaded rods) and the base of the tip. I would measure it for you except I don't own a soldering gun or a thermal imaging camera. I also couldn't find any info or photos online. I'm looking for a good excuse to buy an IR camera, but this isn't it.
Reply to
Jeff Liebermann
On Mon, 26 Sep 2022 12:43:51 -0400, Bob Engelhardt snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net wrote as underneath :
snip
Also I forgot to mention, if you need much more rigidity than the copper gives you - you can up the gauge a bit and use brass wire (silver solder tip now more essential), check Watts to see you got it about right! C+
Reply to
Charlie+

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