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DIY Soldering Pencil Replacement Tip  
When it came time to replace the COPPER heat-emitter for my thermal-transfer light sabre, I was dismayed to discover that they were nowhere to be found!

Locating a reasonable IRON tip online, I was just as disappointed that each tip cost approximately 50% of simply purchasing another 'blade.

Yet the soldering iron is the soul of the geek-guy: Why toss a perfectly operational unit into the ocean, when we can DIY?



Measuring the diameter of the old emitter, I quickly found a coated iron nail in the shop. Not only did the diameters match, but the shank of the nail (16 penny) was long enough to allow for an extraction of the desired length.

After amputation, the skill drill allowed for the tip to be both honed & buffed to a customized solder-tinning point.



Opting to shock the coating off (heat the tip up in the iron, then screw-it loose into a bucket of ice water) in the man-cave before entering into the air-conditioned robotics room also proved to be a good idea. (You can also just use an uncoated iron nail or rod to start with.)



Of course I also used the above sharpening process to re-condition my older emitter, as well. When time permits, I plan to visit the geek-guy temple so as to requestion a thermally-superior copper rod so as to use these forces (Yo! ... Da?) to calmly fashion a similar lattice.



Before dropping the heated tip into the water, a few shots of WD-40 at thermal-maximum may even provide a reasonable patina.

Total cost for a new tip? About 2 - 5 cents per "crystal" (We support lots of Eagle Scout Projects. When required, we buy project-fasteners by the gross.)


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-Rn


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