[vcf-midatlantic] VCF East Clinic kudos (soldering iron cleaning brass)

Dave McGuire mcguire at neurotica.com
Thu May 5 01:26:29 UTC 2022

On 5/4/22 21:08, Herb Johnson via vcf-midatlantic wrote:
> This is not "brass wool" which would be an abrasive mesh of dry, sharp 
> fine  brass wire. The Hakko product is apparently brass coiled ribbon 
> (my words for it) that is *rosin coated* (fatty acid compound). Other 
> products may have other coatings, or none.
> A stated virtue of brass over wet sponge is "the tip temperature is not 
> reduced". The virtue of brass is that it's softer than most metals. Of 
> course, melted solder is softer still so it removes excess solder from 
> tips.
> Since it removes solder, it's likely it will accumulate loose solder 
> splatter. That's likely why it's contained in a bowl or holder, to 
> capture the material.
> This is all Web homework I did, not stuff I knew previously. Someone 
> with industrial training in soldering, or some reference for that 
> training, may be informative.

   "Brass wool" was simply poor choice of terminology.  I think we all 
know what the stuff looks like.

   This all makes a lot of sense, with the exception of the tip 
temperature thing.  If the tip temperature is affected appreciably by a 
wipe or two on a sponge, and doesn't recover by the time the iron is 
moved back to the work, there is something wrong with the iron.

   In my industrial training in soldering, which admittedly was decades 
ago, we were told to use wet sponges.  But I'd already been soldering 
for many years before that...using wet sponges with good results.

   With a wet sponge, the flashing of the water to steam loosens 
dross/slag and other impurities and allows them to be easily removed by 
slight friction against the sponge.

  That said, though, Hakko is a first-rate company that makes real tools 
for industry, not hobby toys, and they sell those brass coily things. 
If they didn't work well, Hakko wouldn't be selling them.  But I myself 
have never used one.


Dave McGuire, AK4HZ
New Kensington, PA

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