Glass fibre cleaner for soldering iron tip



You have to try those to appreciate them. I've been using them since the 80s and they're excellent for small scale cleaning jobs, not just soldering irons but any metal cleaning application.
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wrote:

I don't know about the glass fiber brush. I would think it would gouge grooves into the comparatively soft iron soldering tip.
Fiberglass insulation would probably work if wet, but doesn't seem to offer anything over the conventional wet sponge. The idea is to scrape off the oxidized dross, which can be done with anything that holds water. I once used a piece of wet (wool) felt when my sponge walked away.
Also, for smelly, smoky, but good tip cleaning, try a block of sal ammoniac (ammonium chloride). About $5 for a small block. Available at hardware stores in the copper pipe soldering section and at stained glass suppliers: <http://www.crystalclearimage.com/salamtibl.html
There are also polishing bars, which are more suitable for large torch type soldering irons that tend to get incrusted with glassy goo. <http://elexp.com/sdr_wpb1.htm
There's also a variety of tip re-tinners made by Weller, MG, and Plato. They contain silver and are a bit pricey. If you're down to un-tinned iron on your soldering tip, you can sometimes recover some of the tip with this stuff. I have a small tin, but rarely use it. <http://www.mgchemicals.com/products/4910.html <http://www.all-spec.com/1/viewitem/FS100-01/ALLSPEC/prodinfo/i=rss
I forgot to mumble about keeping the lead free and leaded tips, irons, solder, sponges, cleaners, and such separate. I've trashed a few tips mixing solder types which required aggressive cleaning and retinning to salvage. I now have two separate soldering irons for each. For desoldering, I use the same tool for both.
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Matt H R wrote:

I would not recommend that for use on a hot tip... no need really - a light wipe on a damp sponge ought to be plenty.
Those pencils are quite harsh - they would be more suited to cleaning tarnish off a cold bit for example. However there is a danger of damaging the iron cladding on copper bits like the Antex ones.

Its unlikely to be damaged or melt. Not sure how well it would wipe though.

Yes they do - its a good idea to wear gloves when using them or you will end up feeling irritated in the same way as if you handle glass fibre wool.
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John.

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I've been using these fibre glass pens for years, they are great for repairing PCB traces, but do tend to leave invisible irritating splinters in your fingers if you are not careful.
I wouldn't imagine them at all suitable for cleaning soldering tips, it would be a right old palaver. Whats wrong with the wet sponge method?
Gareth.
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On Sun, 19 Apr 2009 05:51:05 UTC, "Gareth Magennis"

Cools the tip down momentarily. I use this on mine...a coil of softer metal...works well for me...
http://tinyurl.com/cnccoq
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If it hasn't re-heated by the time you get to the job, you need a better iron!
MBQ
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wrote:

Probably true. My main iron (which I've been using a lot recently) is 75W....although as it happens I use a 'brass shavings' cleaner.
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I am using the pencil thin Weller 80 watt iron for serious work. Its a 3 piece combo with air and solder pump. The solder pump becomes unusable after sitting there sometimes for weeks of non use. I have to rub the brass pretty hard to get through to the metal. Usually a big job. I usually end up holding the iron and pump tips close to the board and go from iron to pump real quick. I wish each channel would have an auto off. The iron only takes about 15 secs to fully heat. The old irons back in the 80's we were using were straight unregulated ones and with the high temp, the tips would need a lot of cleaning.
greg
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Its main use is cleaning PCB tracks before soldering.

Why not the usual damp sponge or steel wire brush?

It does indeed so best only used where it can't be avoided.
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Matt H R wrote:

I thought those pens were for cleaning the tracks on the PCB, rather than the actual iron?
I use one of these for my iron, seems to work well, and doesn't cool the tip like a wet sponge does!
http://cpc.farnell.com/pro-s-kit/sh-1025/tip-cleaner/dp/SD01015?_requestid 5986 http://tinyurl.com/cxth8b
Toby...
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Unless your tip was improperly tinned or the Silver has broken through, a damp sponge is the best. Other things will leave a mess that contaminates your work. If you have to, a brass brush will take care of flux crust. Once you have to resort to a file, time to break out a new tip and use the old one for desoldering or plastic welding.
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On Sun, 19 Apr 2009 00:40:54 +0100, Matt H R

I've been using an old rag for what, 30 years now.
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That brush works great but not for tip cleaning. It is for cleaning the work after you solder. I use a metal pot scrubber stuffed into my iron holder to knock the waste off of the tip. Some suggest that the metal will scratch the tip, but I have not found this to be the case. I just have it shaped so that when I put the iron in the holder it fits into a hole in the scrubber and a twist of the iron going in or out cleans it quite well. I never have to worry about wetting a sponge, which for me is inconvenient as most of my repairs are in the field.
I use a brush virtually identical to that one to clean my work to check it. I scrape the bulk of the flux of of a joint then brush it with the fiber pen for a final cleaning and can see the trace and joint to verify the integrity of the work. Leaves it looking professional as well.
Leonard
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Matt H R wrote:

What's wrong with just using an ordinary wet soldering iron sponge? I've used the wire-wool cleaners, but I find that sponges do a better job.
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