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Care of Woodburning Tips

Burning tips require the most care of any of the components. If you have a new tip that maybe needs a little more sharpening, use a fine stone or fine file to true up the edge. Follow the angle ground from the factory. Don't get carried away with sharpening! Remember, if you grind the sides of the tips to make them thinner, you're inviting early tip failure.

A very important part of tip maintenance is keeping the oxidation buildup off the cutting edge. Oxidation can develop from air exposure even while the tip is sitting in a drawer. I've found the best way to eliminate oxidation is to frequently stop burning, turn off the power, and strop the tip on a bench strop, just like you would strop your knife edges. If you don't have a strop, an old piece of rough side leather will work just fine. the oxidation that builds up is a very effective insulator. it will keep the heat from the machine trapped behind the oxidation and not allow it our to the wood surface.

A classic sign of dirty tips is having to turn the heat up to a setting or 7 or 8 to do work you used to do at a setting of 3 or 4. Oxidation buildup is also the leading cause of tip failure. Burrs that may develop on an edge, from knocking around in a drawer, can be removed with 400 grit sandpaper or a fine stone. Carbon buildup is indicated by a dark, iridescent coloration on the tip. Stropping your tips: You may clean your burning tip by stropping it on a leather strop which has been treated with aluminum oxide powder or "Yellowstone" sharpening compound.