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Replating soldering iron bits and ele...

:: EPE Chat Zone ­:: ­Radio Bygones Message Board :: » EPE Forum Archives 2007-2009 » Archive through 18 June, 2007 » Replating soldering iron bits and electrode ideas « Previous Next »

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conundrum
Regular Contributor
Username: conundrum

Post Number: 25
Registered: 06-2006

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Posted on Wednesday, 13 June, 2007 - 09:56 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hi all.
This one has been bugging me for a while. For some stupid reason every single cheap soldering iron I have owned, be it iron-over-brass or iron-over copper has failed due to bit erosion.

I have found a way to effectively replate them however.

Obtain a surplus ball point pen, some steel wool, bicarbonate of soda, syringe/needle and soldering iron bit.

Get 100ml of water (ideally deionised) and stir in as much bicarbonate of soda (NaHCO3) as will dissolve. I used one teaspoon.

Sand the bit and/or shape to correct form to remove SMDs etc then clean it with isopropanol.
Then, get your ball point pen, cut off a 1" section of the barrel and stuff it with steel wool up to the end.
Use the syringe and needle to inject the bicarbonate solution until the wool is saturated.

Poke a small hole in the top of the pen, and insert a multimeter electrode. The other end of the multimeter connects to the positive side of a constant current supply with a maximum voltage of around 12-15V.

Connect the soldering iron bit to the ground side.
Adjust the constant current supply so that the iron bit is *just* bubbling, too high and it may not correctly plate. 0.3A on mine.

You will need to leave the setup at least an hour to plate properly, I recommend removing it after half an hour and gently abrade the plating with a tissue to get rid of any debris.

Hope this helps someone.
-A
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boris
Frequent Contributor
Username: boris

Post Number: 206
Registered: 05-2005


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Posted on Thursday, 14 June, 2007 - 06:32 am:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Why not just buy a new one?
"What's red and invisible?"
"No tomatoes"
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terrym
Frequent Contributor
Username: terrym

Post Number: 492
Registered: 05-2005

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Posted on Thursday, 14 June, 2007 - 09:09 am:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Not as much fun?

TM

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