As I told you in the previous post, the tip has had it. The plating has eroded away, which makes the tip unusable. Sadly there’s no way to replace just the tip, the perfectly healthy heater has to be trashed as well. So I decided to have a look inside!
As you can see, there’s not much in there. All the magic happens inside the small steel tube. The heater / temp-sensor still work by the way! But now it is quite useless and I have to order a replacement right away. When the thing is on and has reached 300°C, you can touch the tube inside the body without getting burned. It barely gets warm. The heating element is indeed at the very end of the tube, right inside the soldering tip. Makes sense. The temp-sensor is in there as well.
The 3mm end-mill was damaged some more. It wasn’t in perfect shape to begin with, but now a piece close to its tip broke off. After milling away quite a lot of material, the vice lost its grip on the body and the thing started to rattle. I immediately stopped the mill, but the damage was already done. Now I have a reason to get a few new tiny end-mills as well. The 1mm spear-drill survived the slot-cutting just fine.
I burnt a couple of fingers on my left hand. I ‘forgot’ that I had just powered the iron and mindlessly picked it up – of course I touched the business end of it.