I accidentally left my soldering iron, an XYTronic 258, on all night last night, set to a pretty high temp setting. Today I found that the tip was all oxidized and pitted looking. I tried cleaning it, I tried re-tinning it, but to no avail. Then I tried sanding and finally filing the tip. I got down to clean metal, but solder won't stick to it any more.
Did I ruin the tip? This is for hobby use, and I don't know of any places locally that sell tips for this iron. I'd really rather not wait a week for a replacement tip.
I read on other threads here that the tip is iron coated in Copper. Is that correct?
Is there anything I can do to rejuvenate the tip, short of getting some copper sulfate and electroplating a copper coating on it? Or is even that hopeless? I have stuff I'd like to solder this evening, but the heat transfer stinks now.
I have a fixed temp Radio Shack soldering iron that this one replaced (along with a fresh tip for that one) but my memory is that it is dreadful. The tips are not interchangeable between them, either.
It looks like my iron is variable power rather than thermostatic. It sounds like what I really need is a thermostatically controlled iron. Is there a moderately priced iron my readers can recommend? (I've been doing a lot of electronics lately, using it several times a week, and do end up doing electrical/electronic soldering a few times a month even when I'm not in the middle of an electronics project.) And what should I expect to spend on a decent iron for electronics and general electrical soldering?